Campaign Newsletter - January 2016

January 10, 2016

As construction begins and excitement builds, new goals set for Beaverbrook Campaign

WE ARE PLEASED AND DELIGHTED that construction of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery expansion has begun. The concept for this project began 10 years ago and through drive, financial support, commitment and effort by many people, we will see the realization of something very important for youth, artists, schools, the tourism industry and diverse cultural communities and all the people of New Brunswick. The excitement and momentum around the Campaign has inspired us to set our sights just a little higher. In order to realize the full ambition of the Gallery, to expand and deepen the cultural experience of our visitors, we have raised our Campaign goal to $28 million. We believe that this new goal is within our grasp, as more New Brunswickers, along with art lovers from outside the province, become part of this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

With the momentum achieved over the past year, we will see renewed energy in 2016 to achieve our new goal and to build on the dream of our founder, Lord Beaverbrook, to make the visual arts more accessible in the daily lives of the citizens of the province and our visitors. The Gallery is fulfilling his dream, and, its vision to enrich life through art.

Thank you for your loyalty, dedication, and support. We look forward to working together to build on the successes to date. Your enormous generosity is so greatly appreciated.

James C. Irving
Chair, Beaverbrook Campaign

Bernard Riordon, OC, HON DFA
Director Emeritus

Campaign Initiatives

A number of new Beaverbrook Campaign initiatives have been announced that include funding for state-of-the-art exhibition galleries and public engagement spaces, increased financial support for programming, and increased endowment funds for operations.


A lead gift of $2M from J.K. Irving and family will establish the Jean E. Irving River Gallery, a signature gallery and gathering area situated at the end of the new Phase 2 Pavilion.

The new gallery is named in honour of Jean E. Irving, a New Brunswicker who, as well as being the heart of her own family, as a nurse, artist, author, naturalist, consensus-builder and dedicated volunteer, has touched the lives of many. Her deep appreciation for the beauty of nature, drawn from her experience of living in rural areas, led her to champion the development of the Irving arboretum in Bouctouche and many other parks and playgrounds across the province.

The rhythms of industry on water shaped her character. If the river is employed as a metaphor for her life, it bears witness to her strength, dedication and caring for her family, community and the world at large. Her efforts on behalf of children, youth, disabled and disadvantaged people have contributed greatly to the social justice
fabric of the province.

Her dedication to community has been recognized with numerous awards such as The Salvation army’s Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service, the Caring Canadian Award, the Paul
Harris Award, two honorary doctorates and the Order of New Brunswick.

The Jean E. Irving River Gallery will be one of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s premier exhibition spaces, approximately 1,615 sq. ft in area. The light-filled gallery will open to a panoramic view of the St. John River, often called the “Rhine of North America” and the city’s walking bridge. It provides a contemplative, destination space for Gallery visitors and will be a prime event space in Fredericton. The Jean E. Irving River Gallery reclaims the Beaverbrook art Gallery’s original design feature of affording one of the finest river views in Fredericton.

Beaverbrook art Gallery Director/CEO and Chief Curator Terry Graff expressed his appreciation to J.k. Irving and family for their generous gift and added that he and the Board of Governors were pleased to have this new gallery honouring Mrs. Irving as part of the Gallery’s expanded facilities.

J.K. Irving reflects on the dedication of the gallery to his wife:

Logging on the rivers of New Brunswick was an important part of my early life and my wife Jean has been at my side throughout. She has played a large role in my decision-making and her refinement and aesthetic have contributed greatly to the success of our family and I am very pleased to be able to honour her in this way.


Ann Birks of Montreal, a well-known collector of folk art, has contributed $100,000 to the Beaverbrook Campaign which will support the Canadian Folk Art space, a designated space for the presentation of Canadian Folk Art, in her name and that of her late husband Barry Birks. Located on the lower level of the new Pavilion, it will provide the Gallery with an opportunity to showcase examples of its folk art collection on a rotating basis.


One of the mandates of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is to support New Brunswick artists at all levels, including emerging artists. For the past 11 years, Earl and Sandy Brewer have made the Studio Watch Emerging Artist Series possible, and have recently extended their support for an additional five years. They have also contributed $225,000 to support an exhibition space, to be located on the upper floor of the new Pavilion, which will highlight recipients of the Studio Watch: Emerging Artist award. Providing a permanent space in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery to exhibit the work of emerging artists recognizes the importance of developing in the art and artists of New Brunswick. The exhibition space is a tribute to the late Norma Brewer, a woman who embodied the qualities of resilience, fearlessness, integrity and confidence.

Earl Brewer says the importance of the Emerging artist award is the endorsement that the Beaverbrook art Gallery gives to the artist:

We have so many talented people here in New Brunswick, we must endeavour to support them and endorse their efforts, strengths, and potential. Our mother was fearless in her endeavours, a hard worker, she was intelligent, she was strong, and she was kind. She was also a philanthropist who believed in supporting and giving back to her community. She was a tremendous role model.


Susan Murray of Toronto has generously donated $100,000 to support programming in the new Ann and Barry Birks Canadian Folk Art Space. Rotating thematic presentations of folk art in this space will enable visitors to better appreciate folk art for its inherent aesthetic qualities, its contribution to Canadian art history and heritage, and its value in the study of the visual arts. The ongoing presence of folk art in the Gallery through this initiative will help break down barriers by celebrating human creativity, and demonstrating that art can happen anywhere, in any culture, and in any place.