The Expansion Project
About three years ago, Mr. Wally Joyce donated generously to Markham through the Varley-McKay Art Foundation, motivated by his lifelong love of art, and his family ties to the community of Unionville.
While he did not direct his donation, in his modest way, he thought it would be nice if there was enough room in the Gallery to display the permanent collection more often. Wally was content when the Foundation undertook an expansion project and took pleasure in learning of the developments as they project took form. Everyone involved in the project hoped that Mr. Joyce would be able to open the new wing. Sadly, Wally Joyce died at the age of 95 on December 9th, 2010.
Working with the City of Markham, the Foundation engaged the original architect of the Varley Art Gallery, Jerome Markson, to illustrate the possibilities. Years later, the idea has become reality, shovels are in the ground and we are anticipating a day soon when the new space will be open to the public.
The project is a modest expansion of 1500 sq ft on each of two floors, at the north side of the building. The new gallery on the main floor will provide increased exhibition space, while the floor above will house the relocated administrative offices. The existing offices at the south side of the main floor will be converted to more community and programming space, while the gift shop will be remodelled.
We want you to engage in the creation of this new wing. Bill Pickering, past chair of the Varley-McKay Art Foundation, and chair of the Foundation’s Building Committee, is shepherding this project with grace and determination. Now, we are pleased to share his ongoing commentary as the building take shape. Please enjoy and return to often to see our progress!