UVic building named for champion of the arts

Michael Williams made donations worth a value of $17 million to university

  • Nov. 22, 2016 12:00 p.m.

The University of Victoria has honoured the legacy and generosity of the late Michael Williams – devoted local philanthropist, respected heritage property developer and longtime patron of the arts who died in November 2000 – with the official naming of the university’s administrative services building as the Michael Williams Building.

UVic was the main beneficiary of the Williams estate in 2001. Williams’ gift, with a net value at the time of $17 million, remains the single largest donation from an individual in UVic’s history. His properties continue to provide a revenue stream to support the university’s academic mission.

“Michael’s gift has had a vital and lasting impact on our university and on our community,” says UVic president Jamie Cassels. “His estate gifted to the university more than 15 years ago – including an exceptional private art collection of Indigenous, Northwest Coast and contemporary art, as well as his beautifully restored downtown heritage properties – continues to help UVic cultivate a creative academic advantage for our students and researchers.”

The assets bequeathed to UVic were primarily in the form of real and personal property and include Swans Hotel and nine other city properties, as well as an extensive fine art and antique collection valued at the time at more than $3 million. The university discussed with local groups and individuals how best to honour the wishes of Williams and also fulfill the university’s academic interests in support of creative activity and community engagement.

“I have had the great pleasure over the past eight years of helping students build upon Michael Williams’ vision by working with his art collection in community-oriented projects,” says Carolyn Butler-Palmer, who is the Williams Legacy Chair in the Modern and Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest. “And it’s truly through our students that his legacies live on – in communities here, as well as Vancouver, Regina, Toronto, Montreal and even back in England, where Michael came from.”

The Williams art collection continues to serve as an important point of entry for UVic students to develop a critical curatorial process in relationship to the larger community and has also strengthened community access to university programs, activities, facilities and knowledge.

 

Just Posted

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Saanich honours lifetime of conservation efforts

Mary Haig-Brown wins environmental award for 40 years of extensive volunteer work

Sidney lowers flag to half mast in honour of former fire chief

Mel Baldwin died June 21 at the age of 83; served Sidney Fire for 46 years

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read