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Art gallery staff question whether finances robust enough for new building

August 19th, 2010 · 12 Comments

(Sorry, late posting on this due to sporadic ability to connect from paradise)

A new round of layoffs at the Vancouver Art Gallery has prompted staff and their union rep to speak out even more vocally this past week than the unhappy mutterings I’ve heard for the past few months.

As my story says in more detail, they are wondering how the gallery will fundraise the $350 needed (okay, only $260, subtracting the province’s $50 million and private donors’ $40 million) for a new building when it can’t even keep operations going now without laying off people and running a deficit.

The gallery says the layoffs and deficit are a result of the recession, which won’t last forever. And the money that’s going into advertising, PR, and contract staff to plan the new building are from special money donated just for a new building so it doesn’t affect the operating budget one way or another.

That all may be true, but it doesn’t look good to have this kind of unhappiness within your own staff ranks when you’re out trying to convince the public to give big.

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