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Campbell Gift of $5 Million to AGO Pioneers New Approach to Philanthropy

(Toronto, October 28, 2008) Long-time AGO donors and art collectors Vivian and David Campbell are significantly increasing their support of Transformation AGO with a generous and trail-blazing donation that will also enhance the success of future AGO fundraising campaigns.

The Campbells are augmenting their previous Transformation AGO gift of $1 million with an additional $4 million. In recognition of this exceptional generosity, the AGO will name the new centre for contemporary art in their honour. And that’s where the trail blazing begins.

As part of their donation, the Campbells insisted that the naming of the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art be term-limited rather than in perpetuity. As a result, in 12 years they will relinquish the name, enabling tomorrow’s AGO to offer naming rights to tomorrow’s supporters of the Gallery.

The new centre, located on the fourth and fifth floors of the transformed AGO’s south tower, increases space dedicated to contemporary art by more than 40 per cent. At opening on November 14, 200 works will be on view in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, with expanses of glass offering vistas of Grange Park and downtown Toronto.

As founder, chairman and president of Tricaster Holdings, Inc., which invests in unique telecommunications applications, David is no stranger to innovation. In the fundraising arena, his non-traditional approach to traditional in-perpetuity naming is nothing less than a challenge to the philanthropic community.

“Through my example, I am hoping that donors across the non-profit sector will build flexibility into their commitments and consider the long-term needs of the organizations they support,” says David. “Institutions need renewal and revitalization every 10 to 15 years, and they need the capability to achieve that with a new generation of donors.”

“This generous and enlightened donation from Vivian and David Campbell not only enhances the momentum of the Transformation AGO Campaign, it also creates a new pathway to the AGO’s future,” says campaign chair Michael Koerner. “Their steadfast commitment to the Gallery in these challenging economic times also underscores the power of art to connect people, ideas and creativity.”

David is a member of the AGO Board of Trustees and chaired the board in 2000-2001. He and Vivian have also been lead supporters of the University of Toronto’s Museum Studies program, Massey College and the Munk Centre for International Studies, as well as the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Baycrest Centre, among many others. David has advised or served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Canadian Stage Company and the New York-based International Foundation for Art Research. The Campbells have also donated more than 60 works of art to the AGO over the last 25 years.

“The Campbell family’s extraordinary financial support combined with art works gifted to the AGO places them among our most generous supporters,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner director and CEO. “The sustained leadership and commitment of Vivian and David Campbell has been critical to the evolution of the AGO and the strategic growth of the AGO's collections. They have been among the most important supporters of contemporary art at the AGO over the past two decades, with gifts of remarkable works that have enriched the collection enormously in the depth of our holdings and the reach of artists represented.”

The Campbell’s gifted works of art have included landmark paintings by American artists Willem de Kooning and Christopher Wool, multimedia works by Reinhard Mucha and Michelangelo Pistoletto, sculptural works by Mike Kelly, Cady Noland and Tony Cragg, and photography by a range of artists including Yasumasa Morimura, Gunter Forg and, most recently, Francoise Sullivan. They have also gifted a large group of drawings by David Rabinowitch and selected prints by, among others, Bruce Nauman and the early 20th-century artist Edward Munch, whose work Vivian loves.

In late 2009, the AGO will present an exhibition of highlights of the Campbell collection of contemporary German photography. Over the last 15 years, Vivian and David have been collecting works by contemporary German photographers such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Candida Hofer and Thomas Demand. Several pieces from the collection are promised to the AGO and this exhibition will highlight key works from the finest collection its kind in Canada.

The Transformation AGO Campaign achieved its original goal of $254 million this past June – five months before the AGO reopens – and has achieved more than half of its additional goal of $22 million for project enhancements. The AGO will welcome members to a special preview November 9-11 and opens to the public for three days of free admission November 14-16.

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416-979-6660, ext. 454, antonietta_mirabelli@ago.net

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts

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