The Montreal Museum of Fine Artsis proud to announce that Dale Chihuly’s iconic artwork The Sun has found a permanent home in Montreal, thanks to the generous donations of Montrealers over the past year.
Throughout the fundraising campaign to purchase The Sun, the MMFA received support from visitors, Museum members and employees, as well as passersby, tourists and Montreal residents. But one individual made a donation that truly laid the foundation for this acquisition: J. Sebastian van Berkom.
The purchase of Chihuly’s The Sun would not have been possible without the exceptional support of J. Sebastian van Berkom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Van Berkom and Associates, who had these words to say about his motivations for making such a generous donation to keep the artwork in Montreal forever:
As an immigrant and entrepreneur who has been successful in my adoptive city, I have a unique and deep attachment to Montreal and its Museum of Fine Arts. I strongly believe in the importance of giving back generously to the community. I travel frequently and have had the privilege of visiting museums around the world. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ranks among the top international museums, because of its dynamic energy and creativity.
The Museum would also like to underscore the essential contributions of other major patrons who helped to keep The Sun in Montreal, notably Marcel and Caroline Elefant and Anonymous, as well as Jacqueline Desmarais and John and Phillys Rae, who made a joint donation in memory of a great man, collector, community-builder and the Museum’s first major francophone patron: Paul Desmarais Sr.
Pierre Bellerose, Vice-president, Tourisme Montréal – Danielle Champagne, Director of the Foundation, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – J. Sebastian van Berkom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Van Berkom and Associates – Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Manon Gauthier, Member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal and responsible for Montreal’s culture, heritage, design space, and status of women – Yves Bergeron, Regional Director, Newlook
Activities organized by Sun Life, New Look and the MMFA Foundation to keep The Sun in Montreal
From the outset, this unique fundraising campaign was supported by partners with a strong sense of corporate responsibility, such as Sun Life, which gave $1 per employee, and New Look, which raised funds through promotions tied to its Polaroid sunglasses.
In addition, a variety of activities were held by the Museum Foundation to raise awareness around the fundraising campaign: for example, the first edition of the BIJOUX=ART event, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the purchase of this exceptional artwork.
Finally, the general public made donations of $2, $5, $10 and $20 by text, phone, mail and online, as well as on site in the Museum’s donation boxes.
Learn more about the gift of works of art
The Sun will come out next spring!
With winter around the corner, The Sun’s colourful rays have been put in storage to protect them from the cold and bad weather. As soon as spring arrives, The Sun will be back in its usual spot for all to admire.