BC | Canada 150 Grant Recipient Project Highlights

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Project: AGGV Spencer Mansion Heritage Conservation
Funding Received: $80,010

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s BC|Canada150 project helped ensure the preservation of the Spenser Mansion, a significant piece of Victoria heritage and important part of the AGGV that represents an historical connection to the community’s past.

The AGGV, located in the capital city of BC, is the second largest art gallery in the province and has been a vital community resource since its founding in 1951. It contributes to the development of visual arts by researching, publishing and curating exhibitions with artists at all stages of their careers.

The AGGV began its service to the community in the Spenser Mansion. The original three-story mansion was constructed in 1890 and was gifted to the AGGV in 1951 by Sara Spenser. Listed on the City of Victoria’s Register of Heritage Properties, this is one of the finest examples of heritage buildings that is completely accessible to the public (non-ticketed and open year-round). It continues to serve today as a space for gallery events with members, donors and visitors, as well as local businesses and community groups for meetings, celebrations and other events.

This project was a part of the AGGV’s mandate to maintain and preserve the mansion. To accomplish this, the old oil fired furnace and single pane windows were replaced with more efficient equipment. As a result, this project has positively impacted the AGGV’s organizational capacity by reducing operational costs and saving energy by reducing heat loss.

The stabilization and upgrades to infrastructure have also made the Spenser Mansion more environmentally controllable, making a more comfortable and welcoming venue for our audiences and overall a more attractive and enjoyable community space. It was improved functionality and expanded use of and access to the Spenser Mansion.