Bonnie & John Buhler, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, UWinnipeg President & Vice Chancellor, Anthony Kiendl, Director Plug In. ICA photo credit: Kelly Morton

The University of Winnipeg and the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art officially opened the iconic Buhler Centre today with Her Excellency Governor General Michaëlle Jean in attendance to unveil the first piece of art to be installed in the space, POLE TO MARK THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD (at Winnipeg) (2010) by artist Jimmie Durham.

The four storey, eco-friendly Silver LEED Buhler Centre with 50,000 sq. ft of space is the new home to UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business and Economics and its Division of Continuing Education as well as Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, blending art, education and business at one of Winnipeg’s most important intersections.

The Buhler Centre is possible thanks to an historic $4 million dollar gift to UWinnipeg by Winnipeg business icons and philanthropists Bonnie and John Buhler. This donation includes $1 million to create the Buhler Knowledge Access Fund to provide ongoing business scholarships within the Faculty of Business and Economics to outstanding students and those in need, including single parents and those with lower incomes. 

“The downtown and UWinnipeg are experiencing a renaissance thanks to the vision and commitment of Lloyd Axworthy (President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg),” said Bonnie and John Buhler, retired Chair of Buhler Industries Inc. “We wanted to support this vision and invest in the revitalization of our downtown. By contributing to UWinnipeg we are also investing in the future minds and leaders of our city and province.” 

Lloyd Axworthy (President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg

“This historic donation from Bonnie and John Buhler is a gift to the entire community that impacts the economic and social well being of the city adding vibrancy and culture,” said Axworthy. “With the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art we are building a neighbourhood that is evolving into an arts precinct and destination. In addition, we created a state-of-the-art business environment that will nurture students with all new SMART classrooms in a building filled with natural light. Having our business school in the centre of the downtown is an added advantage for our students and the business community creating a synergy of mutual benefit. This visible and accessible Centre blends education, arts, business and the community into a shared landmark.” 

The Buhler Centre project was managed by the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation (UWCRC) and was completed on time and on budget.  UWinnipeg faculty and staff will begin moving into the Buhler Centre later this fall and about 5,000 students are expected to attend courses in the Buhler Centre. 

Plug In ICA

Since its inception, Plug In ICA has played a central role in the creation and growth of a living culture in Manitoba, facilitating a mutually beneficial discourse among art and its wider social contexts. In addition to its fundamental role as a centre for the research and dissemination of contemporary art, Plug In ICA has nurtured the careers of numerous artists, curators, critics and arts administrators. 

“Plug In is engaged in a multi-phase transformation that includes the development of this amazing purpose-built facility,” said Anthony Kiendl, Director of Plug In ICA. “Our organizational goals are to expand and diversify our audiences, and enhance the pursuit of our core mandate- to research and present the most compelling art in the world. This facility provides the means to do this, and to be a physical centre for Winnipeg’s acclaimed visual art community.” 

A Buhler Centre & Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art backgrounder is available here and click here for the Artist Bio. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg P. 204.988.7130 E.  [email protected]  

Liz Barron, Project Manager, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art P. 204.942.1043 E. [email protected]  

Allison Bone, Campaign Consultant, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art P. 204.942.1043 E.