Daily Diigo Public Link 03/02/2008

by Yule Heibel on March 1, 2008

City, developer race to approve Portrait Gallery project Annotated

tags: art_museum, arts_funding, development, ottawa, portrait_gallery

This is an example of what should have happened in Victoria in regard to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s plans to move into a purpose-built gallery (designed by James Cheng), which would have been part of a single-tower residential redevelopment called Crystal Court, planned by Westbank Corp. The project was supposed to get built on Belleville Street in the heart of the Tourist District, in downtown Victoria. But it was essentially nixed from the start by the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA), which claims that block as part of its precinct. Consequently, city planners declined to support the developer’s application for rezoning, and the project was still-born.

In Ottawa, meanwhile, forward-thinking city politicians are supporting a two 26-story residential tower development that will include a free-standing 2-story national portrait gallery.

Too bad the Federal government can’t put any pressure to bear on the JBNA — their idea to auction off the national portrait gallery certainly put the fires under Ottawa’s seats, but hey-ho, here in Victoria we can resist all change. Boy oh boy, the city of Victoria really dropped the ball on the Crystal Court Development.

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