AGNS honours Sir Christopher Ondaatje with 2009 AGNeS Award




August 6, 2009 - HALIFAX, NS - The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and its Chair John Oliver are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2009 AGNeS Award. This year, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will honour Sir Christopher Ondaatje for his outstanding contributions to the Gallery including his founding gifts to the Christopher Ondaatje Gallery and Ondaatje Courtyard. 

Founded in 2007, the AGNeS Award recognizes the contributions of outstanding patrons of the Art Gallery and their enduring contributions to the people of Nova Scotia. Please join us in honouring Sir Christopher for the remarkable collection of 53 Canadian masterpieces that he has given to the people of Nova Scotia.

This year’s award will hold special meaning as Canadian sculptor John Greer has created a special cast of his work, Origins, to honour Sir Christopher. Origins has become an iconic symbol of the AGNS and has sat in the centre of the Ondaatje Courtyard since 1995.

Sir Christopher Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka and educated in England. After building a successful career in finance and publishing in Canada, he sold his business interests. Since 1995, he has traveled, written and administered The Ondaatje Foundation. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June 2000 and awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's honours list in June 2003.

Mr. Ondaatje has made numerous and significant contributions to AGNS capital campaign funding and of significant art work to the provincial collection. The   Ondaatje Courtyard is a lasting tribute to his capital gifts to the AGNS and the Ondaatje Gallery exhibits his wonderful gifts of Canadian art. This evening will the AGNS celebrates Sir Christopher Ondaatje's lasting contributions to the people of Nova Scotia.

View pictures from the event.



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