Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, announced the appointment of three members to the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada. 221A’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Brian McBay was appointed as a member of the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees. These appointments were made under the Government of Canada’s new approach to Governor-in-Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity, reflect Canada’s diversity, and support ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio by providing them with information and referrals.
Under the Museums Act, the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees serves as its governing body, reporting to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. The Board, representing all regions of the country, has the primary responsibility for ensuring that the resources provided to the institution are used judiciously to achieve its mandate. The Board provides strategic direction to the Gallery, oversees the conduct of its business, and ensures that all major issues are given proper consideration.
Brian McBay is Co-founder and Executive Director of 221A, a nonprofit organization that works with artists and designers to research and develop social, cultural and ecological infrastructure. He was named a 2018 Fellow at the Salzburg Global Forum and has been invited to speak on art, policy and urban development at the Western Front, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, SFU Centre for Dialogue, UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Emily Carr University, the Creative City Network of Canada, the City of Kelowna, BC Alliance for Arts and Culture and the Vienna Design Fair. He has contributed to C magazine and Canadian Art magazine and is currently the President of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres, the Vice-Chair of the City of Vancouver Arts and Culture Policy Council and a member of the Creative City Strategy External Advisory Committee. In 2019, McBay leads 221A’s study for a Vancouver based Cultural Land Trust. The study is conceptualized as a collective response to escalating real estate prices that have placed severe pressure on security of tenure for artists and arts organizations.
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians.