Funding success for Forrester Gallery

Published on 21 June 2023

Forrester Gallery

Forrester Gallery secures grants totalling $460,000 for Stage 2 Project

Waitaki’s Forrester Gallery is pleased to announce the successful securing of significant grants for its ambitious Stage 2 Gallery Project, with a grant of $400,000 from the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund, and an additional grant of $60,000 from the John Westwood Christie Trust.

The Stage 2 Gallery Project is the final phase of the Cultural Facilities Development Project and represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the Forrester Gallery, allowing it to expand its exhibition, education and storage spaces and improve accessibility with an extension to the historic Ōamaru building.

The Gallery’s application to the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund had to successfully demonstrate the project’s alignment with the fund’s purpose to protect, conserve and promote New Zealand’s natural, cultural and physical heritage.

Chloe Searle, Director of the Forrester Gallery and Waitaki Museum & Archive, noted that the Fund Committee received 89 funding requests this round, seeking $28.1m, with only $5.8m available to distribute, saying “the fact that the Gallery Stage 2 project secured 6.89% of the total funds available across NZ, is recognition of the value this national organisation places on this important project.”

Ms Searle thanked the project team, which included staff from the Gallery and Council’s Property and Finance departments, who worked on preparing supporting information,  as well as the external organisations that supplied letters of support for the application.

Hard work and dedication from the Friends of the Forrester Gallery was also rewarded, with a grant of $60,000 from the John Westwood Christie Trust.

Ms Searle “The Friends are an amazing group of supporters and advocates for the arts who have been tirelessly working on fundraising efforts to contribute to the Stage 2 Gallery project. This additional funding will bolster the project’s resources towards helping the Forrester Gallery realise its full potential and solidifying its status as a vibrant cultural hub for the community.”

The JW Christie Trust supports local charitable organisations involved in education, health and arts, culture and heritage and has supported the Friends of the Forrester in the past for Stage 1 of the project, and with acquiring artworks for the collection.

"We are extremely grateful to the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund and the John Westwood Christie Trust for their generous support," says Ms Searle "These grants will help bring us a step closer to our vision of an exceptional gallery space that enriches the cultural landscape of our town and district. We look forward to one day welcoming visitors to our enhanced facility and providing them with an unforgettable artistic experience."