EDMONTON.- The Art Gallery of Alberta received a generous boost to the capital campaign for the New Vision building project this week. Prem and Saroj Singhmar donated $1.2 million in support of the new expanded education centre. In recognition for the donation and the Singhmar family’s significant community leadership, the education facilities at the new AGA will be named the Singhmar Centre for Art Education. The new Singhmar Centre for Art Education represents the AGA’s commitment to the presentation of the visual arts in Canada, referencing both western and non-western, old and new cultural approaches.
”Education plays a vital role at the AGA. It lies at the core of our vision to transform the way people see the world through art. This extraordinary gift from the Singhmar family is a major contribution to the community because it reaches young children, special needs adults and anyone who felt art transformed them in some way and wonder how it does that,” said Tony Luppino, Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Alberta.
“It has been a personally enlightening experience to work with Prem and Gaurav,” Luppino continued, “Their enthusiasm for art and their belief in its importance in building stronger communities is very rejuvenating. I look forward to working with them especially in the area of Indian and Asian art to bring exciting new programs to the AGA.”
"Art educates by forming minds to habits of grace and order. Art education puts into play this noblest potential of art. We are honoured to have our family name associated with a centre for art education at the premier venue of this province, the Art Gallery of Alberta,” says Dr. Singhmar, “In addition, we are pleased that the gallery has expressed an intention to explore the artistic traditions of India through exhibitions at the AGA over the coming years."
Prem and Saroj Singhmar of Sherwood Park moved to Canada from India in 1985. The Singhmars have demonstrated great philanthropic initiatives. They endowed the first chair at a Canadian university devoted to the study of ancient India at the University of Alberta in 2006. The Singhmars also helped to establish the Wild Rose Foundation “Volunteer Wall of Fame”. Prem is also Vice-Chair of the Heritage Community Foundation's Patrons Council, and supports activities for the Kids Kottage Foundation and the Heritage Days Festival.
Prem Singhmar, a former eye surgeon, is a successful developer of hotels and commercial property in many areas of Alberta, including the recently expanded Coast Edmonton East Hotel. Saroj and Prem Singhmar have been awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal and Prem Singhmar was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition for outstanding and exemplary contributions to the community and fellow citizens.
Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta is the only museum in Alberta devoted strictly to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture. In conjunction with a full and varied exhibition schedule, the Gallery provides lectures, talks and seminars on art and art-related issues.
The New Vision building of the Art Gallery of Alberta will be a greatly expanded 85,000 square foot premier presentation venue for international and Canadian art, education, and scholarship. The gallery in itself will be a work of art that will complement and complete the cultural precinct surrounding Sir Winston Churchill Square and solidify Alberta’s Capital as a world-class city. The new building designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout will be an icon of architecture for Alberta and a centre of excellence for visual art in Western Canada. The New Vision capital campaign moves forward with great progress with commitments from private and corporate donors and all orders of government, reaching $85 million of the required $88 million.