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McCain family announces donation to Beaverbrook Art Gallery campaign

BeaverBrook Art Gallery

Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press Images

The McCain family of Atlantic Canada announced Wednesday it's contributing $1.12-million to the $25-million capital campaign of Fredericton's Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

The money, coming from individual family members, the Harrison McCain Foundation and the McCain Foundation, will "further the work" of the 65-year-old gallery and, starting in October, 2015, relaunch the Marion McCain Exhibition of Contemporary Atlantic Art there as a "conceptually rigorous biennale drawing from a wide range of artistic practices and cross-cultural contexts." In addition, the donation will be used to finance the development and publication of a journal, to be published twice a year, devoted to contemporary visual art in Atlantic Canada.

The McCain Exhibition, named after the wife of Harrison McCain, co-founder, in 1956, of McCain Foods, began as a juried showcase in 1987, evolving into a curated exhibition in 1994.

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The capital campaign, a national initiative announced in November, 2011, is raising funds for infrastructure, programming and endowment. To date almost $17-million has been collected, including a commitment of $9.4-million from the New Brunswick and federal governments. The McCain contribution is the single largest private donation to the campaign to date.

Also as part of the campaign: the Beaverbrook announced last year it would loan 75 works from its permanent collection to various North American museums as part of a touring exhibition titled Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The exhibition is currently at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary through late August. The hope is the capital campaign can be successfully concluded by January, 2015.

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James More

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