Donations support programming at Queen’s

$30 million to help research, Agnes reimagined moving ahead

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
The Agnes will see major development.

Major gifts and financial donations have been made to various aspects of Queen’s recently. 

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre will undergo a major transformation after large philanthropic support from Alfred Bader, LL.D ’86, and Isabel Bader, LL.D ’07. 

The Centre saw a donation from the federal government, which was announced Monday. This follows renderings of the reimagined building being released to the public on Feb. 13. The scheduled opening of the renovated centre is in 2026.

A $30 million donation from Bruce Mitchell, Sci ’68, which will fund research across campus, was announced Feb. 21.

Agnes Etherington Art Centre 

“These renderings [emerged] out of our first year of talking and sharing circles with the community. These talking and sharing circles were particularly for BIPOC, and disability communities, including some Indigenous only and lead sharing circles, that work directly with the architects,” Director and Curator of the Centre Emelie Chhangur said in an interview with The Journal.

Chhangur believes it’s vital museums of the 21st century are connected with the local community, as they play a civic and pedagogical role while providing a dynamic social function. 

The Etherington house was donated by Agnes Etherington to further the cause of art and community, which Chhangur said comes in many forms—one being the creation of a live-in artist in residency. 

“In many ways, returning the Art Center to its origins while propelling the museum into the future […] The house [will be returned] to a home creating a live-in artist residency upstairs, and a community facing hub downstairs,” Chhangur said.

The live-in residency allows for the long-term stay of Indigenous community members.

“We’re really interested in Agnes reimagined, to think about different kinds of museum temporalities. We wouldn’t be asking Indigenous communities to only come during museum hours to visit ancestors and cultural belongings, which essentially are theirs in western vaults,” Chhangur said.

At the Feb. 27 event, $100,000 in support from the federal government was announced with MP Mark Gerretsen in attendance. A total of $251,289 from the Tourism Relief Fund will support five recipients, according to a statement from the University. 

$30 million donation

Principal Patrick Deane said in a press release Mitchell’s gift of $30 million will provide Queen’s with the resources to help achieve research goals. He said it will support the University’s goals of becoming a world leader in bringing together scholars and innovators. 

The donation will create funding for 79 graduate students and allow Queen’s to recruit 54 post-doctoral fellows. While nine new faculty members will be hired in strategic research areas, the same number of existing faculty will receive funds for their programs. 

“The best way to invest in research is to invest in people and create the optimal conditions for them to thrive,” Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross said in a press release. 


A previous version of this article stated Chhangur said, “We wouldn’t be asking Indigenous communities […] to visit ancestral and cultural belongings.” Chhangur said, “We wouldn’t be asking Indigenous communities […] to visit ancestors and cultural belongings.”

The Journal regrets the error


Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, donations, Mitchell

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