Art Collector Michael Audain signs Memorandum of Understanding with RMOW for new art museum 

Public hearing on design to be scheduled in the coming months

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRAD KASSELMAN COASTPHOTO.COM - GOOD SIGN: Whistler's mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, celebrates the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with art collector Michael Audain for the opening of a new art museum in Whistler in 2013.
  • Photo by Brad Kasselman Coastphoto.com
  • GOOD SIGN: Whistler's mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, celebrates the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with art collector Michael Audain for the opening of a new art museum in Whistler in 2013.

Whistler's world-class art museum is one step closer to reality today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the resort's mayor and art collector Michael Audain Dec. 18.

"This is a very important day for my wife and me," said Michael Audain, philanthropist, collector, and businessman. "We have had a dream for some time to build a museum for our art collection, and we are extremely pleased to confirm our plans in this beautiful, scenic park setting right in Whistler Village."

The MOU signing comes two months after the RMOW and the museum proponents entered talks to establish the art museum in Whistler. Since that time the non-profit organization Audain Art Museum (AAM) has been created specifically to develop and operate the museum, Patkau Architects have been hired, and the feasibility of the use of the land for the project has been confirmed.

"The creation of an art museum is consistent with long-term plans to build cultural tourism in Whistler," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. "This project will provide a significant opportunity for both the Audain Art Museum and the resort community with the potential to enhance the visitor experience and to continue to build on Whistler's reputation as a destination for recreation, arts, and culture."

Other next steps will include rezoning the RR1-zoned land to include institutional, museum or art gallery as permitted uses, and the development permit process for the 1.22-hectare site. The rezoning will require a public hearing, and the project will appear before the Advisory Design Panel.

More to come.

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