Bill Reid collection finds home in Vancouver

  • Jul. 27, 2007 8:00 p.m.

The Bill Reid Collection has finally found a home. After a five-year search, the Bill Reid Foundation has secured a gallery-space just one block north of the Vancouver Art Gallery.The space at 639 Hornby Street was first occupied by the Canadian Craft Museum, which closed in 2002. More recently, the Chief Dan George Centre for Advanced Education held the lease and they, along with Simon Fraser University’s Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Art, will maintain a shared presence with the Foundation.The 140-piece collection, most privately owned by Bill and Martine Reid until she donated them after his death, is made up of gold and silver jewellery, carvings, drawings, and memorabilia from other artists.”Everything from gold cuff links to a massive 28-foot bronze sculpture,” says Peter Malkin, the administrative director of the foundation.The Bill Reid Foundation expects to have a grand opening of the new gallery space in spring of next year.Ironically, the first show will not feature 60 of the key pieces in the collection, because these will be coming to the islands for the first major exhibition at the Haida Heritage Centre.Mr. Malkin says the goal of the Bill Reid Foundation has always been to make the collection available to other institutions, and the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate has had a long standing request in.”It will be a great pleasure to have [the pieces] there,” he said.Although the gallery won’t be open until May 2008, Mr. Malkin encourages anyone from Haida Gwaii to drop in to the new space for a visit when in Vancouver.

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