Winspear family art collection opens in Sidney

Brad Edgett’s connection with the Winspear Family art collection has come nearly full circle.

Mary Winspear Centre Executive Director Brad Edgett positions one of 18 sculptures in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Art Collection.

Brad Edgett’s connection with the Winspear Family art collection has come nearly full circle.

Edgett, the current executive director of the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, was at one time an art dealer in Victoria. One of the highlights of his career in the field, he says, was working with Margot and Bill Winspear on their art collection.

Much of the family collection — 18 sculptures to be specific — has now come to the Mary Winspear Centre to go on display in a new gallery.

The Winspears lived in North Saanich’s Ardmore neighbourhood. In fact, the family still has the home there. Edgett says he would often visit Margot and Bill there, bearing a variety of art pieces for them to look over.

“They collected and I helped them from 1997 to 2007,” he says.

Edgett maintained his relationship with the Winspear family as he moved into the executive director’s job at the community centre that bears their name (there are two other centres, he notes, one in Edmonton and the other in Dallas, Texas).

Bill died in 2007, Edgett says. Margot is still around but the family was deciding how best to share their art collection. The Winspears have, over recent years, donated art to the Sidney centre. This time, Edgett says he worked with the family to create a larger gallery for the public to enjoy.

“The Winspears were — and are — huge patrons of the arts. I suggested to the family to consider a Margot and Bill Winspear Art Collection.”

They agreed and Edgett built new display cases for the 18 sculptures. He says they represent the collection — work from Canada’s three coasts, from a variety of artists. The collection was unveiled in a special event on March 26.

Edgett says the collection at the Centre is meant to be seen and to pay tribute to the family for whom the Centre is named.