The Royal Ontario Museum – better known in Toronto as the ROM – announced a cash gift of $50 million from the Hennick Family Foundation, the largest cash donation in its history.
“We can’t think of a better way to support the revitalization of civic life in Toronto and Ontario than to support the Royal Ontario Museum’s new vision,” Barbara and Jay Hennick said in a statement, “which promises to transform iconic spaces and the way we experience art, culture and nature for generations to come.
The donation follows the museum’s announcement of its major new overhaul and branding strategy just a few weeks ago, starting with the first floor of the museum and gallery being free to the public of the June 9 to September 25 – some 80,000 square feet of exhibition space – which includes Asian galleries, two pandemic-related exhibits and the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples arts and culture, as reported earlier this month here in the Star.
New initiatives already in place in the open space for shows and events allow visitors to get up close to the artifacts and talk to ROM experts about their care.
In a statement, Josh Basseches, Director and CEO of the ROM, reaffirmed the museum’s commitment “to becoming increasingly central to people’s lives by creating a nurturing and inspiring environment that engages visitors and brings people together. people “.
Details on how the funds would be deployed were not immediately released. However, Basseches also hinted at other “physical and programmatic improvements” to come.
John Kearsey, president and CEO of the museum’s philanthropic arm, said in a statement that “The Hennick Family Foundation enables us to provide a more inclusive space for people to learn, exchange ideas and share different points of view”, and reiterated the importance of the gift for what he called “a once-in-a-generation change”.
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