ICYMI: Unlike Anything Else in the World

Exterior rendering of Qaumajuq, the Inuit Art Centre. Michael Maltzan Architecture.

We are thrilled to have received a significant gift of $25,000 in support of the WAG Inuit Art Centre from Winnipeg couple Elizabeth (Liz) Marr and Nicholas (Nick) Slonosky in 2019.

The philanthropic couple celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last year and said one of the things they’ve never disagreed about in their three decades together is charitable giving. “We both come from modest backgrounds,” said Nick. “We’ve been very fortunate, and it just seems we should always say yes,” when asked to support worthy community causes. 

Liz laughed and added, “Within our means, of course. We’ve also worked for very philanthropic companies,” immersing them in Manitoba’s renowned culture of corporate generosity. 

After a long stint at Great-West Life, Liz moved to Greystone Managed Investments (now TD Greystone Asset Management) where she has worked for 20 years, currently serving as Vice President & Director. Nick recently retired from his role as in-house legal counsel at Investors Group where he worked for more than a decade and, prior to that, MTS where he worked for nearly 30 years. As he has throughout his career, he enjoys actively volunteering and supporting community causes. 

The couple contributes regularly to several charities in their hometown of Winnipeg, including the United Way where Liz chaired the Board of Trustees in 2012 and continues to volunteer with the annual campaign as a member of the Major Donor cabinet. 

Nick and Liz became aware of the WAG Inuit Art Centre project through the media when construction began in 2018. They soon learned they knew several people on the WAG board and Inuit Art Centre campaign cabinet. 

Nick said, “We thought, if these people we respect so much are involved in the [Inuit Art] Centre, we should look into it further.” 

They began by having a conversation about the project with Richard Yaffe, who is the President of the WAG Foundation and led the WAG for seven years as board chair. Nick and Liz then explored all the information they could find before committing their major gift. 

“For us, it was essential to know that Inuit are fully involved in every aspect of [the Centre’s] development,” said Liz. “We’re a northern country and [the WAG’s] incredible collection of Inuit art is unlike anything else in the world.” 

Nick added, “We like the message that this is Canada’s Inuit Art Centre–also the concept of art being a ‘voice’,” that connects people through shared stories. 

“This unique project will be one more amazing thing about Winnipeg,” said Liz. “We’re excited about it and we think other people should be too.” 

“I’m thrilled that Nick and Liz chose to support the WAG Inuit Art Centre with this major contribution, which comes from a place of genuine philanthropy. Over the years, I’ve been so impressed with how generously he and Liz support our community, with both their time and money. The Centre will be unique in the international art-museum world. This is a legacy for our community.” 

— Richard Yaffe, Founding visionary of the WAG Inuit Art Centre, President, WAG Foundation 

 

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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is located on Treaty No. 1 the original lands and waters of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininiwak, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.
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