Renaissance ROM Campaign Reaches $262 Million

More than $12 million in new gifts announced on eve of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal’s Architectural Opening.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has announced more than $12 million in recent major gifts to the Renaissance ROM Campaign, which bring the total amount raised at the time of the opening of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal to $262 million. This includes $228 million raised for capital construction costs, plus $34 million for related priorities (such as endowed programs and curatorial positions).

"We continue to be humbled by the great generosity of our donors,” said William Thorsell, ROM Director and CEO. “At this important moment, we are fortified by the strong vote of support provided by these individuals, and we thank everyone who has made a gift to the Campaign.”

The most recent of new gifts to Renaissance ROM is from Peter and Melanie Munk, whose gift of $2 million was made last week following a construction site tour with William Thorsell. In making the gift, Mr. and Mrs. Munk commented on the importance and impact of the Museum and the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal for the community.

Among the most inspiring donations received to date is a new gift of $2.5 million from Alfred G. Wirth, Founder and President, Wirth Associates Inc., managers of global investment portfolios. While in discussions with the ROM about this donation, Mr. Wirth indicated he wished to help the Museum raise funds by challenging others to give. As a result, two members of the boards agreed to match Mr. Wirth’s gift with an additional $2.5 million each, generating a total of $7.5 million in new support for the Renaissance ROM campaign, including Mr. Wirth’s gift. In gratitude of this support, the ROM has named the Wirth Gallery of the Middle East in Alfred Wirth’s honour.

Also, ROM Governor Robert Farquharson announced his third gift to the Campaign, bringing his total support to more than $1 million. Mr. Farquharson is among 15 governors who have made multiple gifts to the Renaissance ROM Campaign. Additional recent gifts bring the total raised for Renaissance ROM and its related priorities to $262 million.

The overall project budget for Renaissance ROM is $270 million, comprising total construction costs of $240 million, plus approximately $30 million for the fit-out of the restaurant and retail facilities, financing charges and fundraising expenses. Today’s announcement of $228 raised for construction leaves just over $40 million to be raised by the Renaissance ROM Campaign, to complete the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition in 2007 and a further phase of renovated galleries within the ROM’s historic buildings by 2009.

The Renaissance ROM Campaign, chaired by The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, continues to attract extensive public support among individuals and corporations for its broad multi-cultural and educational mandate and its impact on the cultural landscape of Canada. The Campaign has funded critical needs for expansion of public galleries and amenities, as well as endowments, public and school programs, acquisitions and research, and accessibility. The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the new extension of the Museum designed by Daniel Libeskind that is the centrepiece of the Renaissance ROM project, will celebrate its public Architectural Opening and Building Dedication on June 2, 2007.