TORONTO, Dec. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Guardian Capital Group Limited (Guardian) (TSX:GCG) (TSX:GCG.A) announced today that it has donated its collection of Indigenous art to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, and is establishing the Guardian Capital Indigenous Art Fund to support ongoing engagement with the collection. In addition, Guardian is launching the Guardian Capital Indigenous Student Awards, educational grants awarded annually to Indigenous students at Canadian universities and colleges to help support their post-secondary education.
“We feel extremely fortunate to contribute our unique collection of art to an institution that will use it to both celebrate and educate,” said Guardian President and CEO George Mavroudis. “We feel it can make a larger and lasting impact on the heritage of our community by being transferred to the Agnes than it would if it remained within Guardian’s walls.”
Beginning in the 1970s, Guardian’s leadership built an extraordinary art collection, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and textiles by Inuit and First Nations artists. Among the most renowned is Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau, the founder of the Woodland School of art and considered by many to be a grandfather of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada. Among the important pieces is his “Sacred Medicine Bear,” iconic and much reproduced in print.
For the last several years, Guardian has been making plans to donate the company’s complete collection of 64 pieces. With experts on Indigenous art on its faculty and staff and with intentions to use the collection for research and teaching, including conservation studies, the Agnes at Queen’s was a natural choice as its new home. It will be housed there as the “Guardian Capital Indigenous Art Collection.”
“We’re honoured to receive this special collection, which provides opportunity both to celebrate Indigenous art and to underline its past, present and future importance within the artistic and cultural fabric of this country,” said Emelie Chhangur, Director and Curator of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. “We are extremely grateful to Guardian for this donation, as well as the additional support they are providing through their forward-thinking Indigenous Art Fund.”
“We feel very fortunate to be able to share this incredible collection with our Queen’s community — students, faculty, staff, alumni and beyond,” said Karen Bertrand, Queen’s Vice-Principal (Advancement). “This art will inspire artists and scholars, and will bring all of us together to enjoy and explore both the past and future of Indigenous art in all its forms. It is such a privilege to bring this to a wider audience through the Agnes.”
The Guardian Capital Indigenous Art Fund will be used to support the collection through various means, including cataloguing and updating, presenting an inaugural exhibition and related discursive programming, and developing both printed and digital interpretative materials. This donation represents a significant gift to the institution and contributes to the longevity of these important artworks as well as Agnes’s own commitment to contributing to the history of contemporary Indigenous Art.
While it is Guardian’s hope that these donations will serve as an important contribution to Agnes, Queen’s and the surrounding communities, it is the Guardian Capital Indigenous Student Awards that have the potential to directly impact the next generation of Indigenous scholars and artists at universities and colleges across Canada. The awards will provide annual financial support to Indigenous students to pursue post-secondary education. The first submissions will be accepted in winter 2021, with the inaugural awards to be made in time for the fall 2021 semester.
“We are extremely proud to play a small role in helping students achieve their post-secondary dreams, when they might not otherwise have had the chance,” Mr. Mavroudis said. “These three initiatives are meant as a tribute to Guardian’s early leaders, who believed wholeheartedly in community and the importance of giving back. We hope they will have a positive impact for years to come.” Among those early leaders was Hunter Thompson, who assembled the Indigenous Art Collection on Guardian’s behalf during his years as a Guardian senior executive. In conjunction with Guardian’s donation, Hunter and Valerie Greenfield Thompson are generously donating Indigenous works of art from their own collection to the Agnes.
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About Guardian Capital Group Limited
Guardian Capital Group Limited is a diversified financial services company founded in 1962. Guardian operates in two main business areas, Asset Management and Financial Advisory. As at September 30, 2020, Guardian had C$32.7 billion of assets under management and C$20.8 billion of assets under administration. Guardian offers institutional and private wealth investment management services; financial services to international investors; services to financial advisors in its national mutual fund dealer, securities dealer, and insurance distribution network; and maintains and manages a proprietary investment portfolio, which had a fair market value of C$552 million at September 30, 2020. Its Common and Class A shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange; in 2019, Guardian celebrated 50 years as a listed company. To learn more about Guardian, visit www.guardiancapital.com.