(UPDATED) Art Gallery of Greater Victoria gets cash injection for renovations

A hefty donation will help with the planned remodelling of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Four years ago, Anthony Thorn, an established and impressive artist found out about the much needed renovations for the gallery on Moss Street, and because he loved the gallery and  was ill with cancer, he promised to donate some money to the cause.

Jon Tupper, director of the gallery, says the Thorn estate left $2.8-million for the gallery.

"So it was quite a substantial amount of money for us, and really kicked us off in the beginning four years ago.  We really started fundraising, and we've confirmed now we've got $11.8-million confirmed, in the bank.  So we're happy with that, and we're moving forward on this project."

He says the province has also provided 6 million dollars for the renos, which is included in the 11-million total.  They are making an appeal to the federal government, and hope to receive $10-million in funding from them.

Tupper says they are still fundraising, because their initial estimate of $20-million has risen to 25-million.

"Construction has been exploding, on Vancouver Island and in Victoria in particular, and so the construction cost has increased.  So we went back to our plans and reduced some of the costs and increased the amount of money we're going to fundraise."

The plan is to replace the existing gallery with a two story glass atrium.  The Spencer Mansion will be maintained. Tupper says the new gallery will be a gem for both the Moss Street area, and Victoria as a whole.

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