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CM to open pop-up facility in CoCA building

Canterbury Museum is packing up its exhibition space in preparation for five years of closure and a complete revamp of the building. It will open up a pop-up display on Gloucester St from mid-2023. KAI SCHWOERER/STUFF.

Tatiana Gibbs, Canterbury Museum to open pop-up facility in CoCA building during five-year renovation, Stuff, 25 January 2023

Canterbury Museum has found a special spot to open a pop-up museum while it undergoes a $205 million revamp over the next five years.

The museum will lease the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi (CoCA) Moroki building at 66 Gloucester St from early February – and will save the 1968 building at the same time with some “long-term sustainability”.

A $150,000 air conditioning improvement is included in the package for the CoCA building.

The pop-up will house a mini museum on CoCA’s first floor from mid-2023 for visitors to enjoy a scaled back Canterbury Museum experience while the Rolleston Ave buildings are closed.

It will include a mix of temporary exhibitions and “greatest hits highlights” from permanent galleries.

Canterbury Museum director Anthony Wright said the Gloucester St building was “perfect for our needs” and would keep the museum’s “flag flying” alongside its other sites: Quake City and Ravenscar House.

“The good news is that a few [museum] favourites will be shifting only just down the road.

“We’re conscious that our five-year closure is particularly impactful on young families, so there will be lots for kids to learn about and do in the pop-up museum. We’re also keen to provide visitors to Canterbury somewhere to learn about this region’s history.”

Pictured: Canterbury Society of Arts Charitable Trust chairperson Anna Ryan and Canterbury Museum director Anthony Wright. Wright says he’s “pleased we can help secure CoCA’s long-term sustainability by supporting the much-needed building upgrade”. Canterbury Museum.

The partnership provides some stability for CoCA’s future after the Canterbury Society of Arts Charitable Trust, which operates it, paused operations last May.

Trust chairperson Anna Ryan said the centre was facing “significant financial difficulties” and needed more than $150,000 to replace the air-conditioning system.

The work has started as the Christchurch City Council will provide a $75,000 grant towards the upgrade and Canterbury Museum will cover the rest of the bill to make the building is suitable for artefact displays and visitor comfort.

”I’m extremely pleased we can help secure CoCA’s long-term sustainability by supporting the much-needed building upgrade. It’s a great result for both organisations,” Wright said.

Canterbury Museum is preparing for redevelopment, which means the entire museum collection – 2.3 million items – has to be moved. (First published October 24, 2022). KAI SCHWOERER/STUFF. Click here to view.

Ryan said working with Canterbury Museum to bring “compelling displays” together for Cantabrians and visitors over the next five years was “exceptionally positive”.

“This gives CoCA time to work towards a financially sustainable future.”

Cafe Lux Espresso will remain at CoCa, along with current second floor tenants Johnstone Callaghan Architects. CoCA will continue to operate from the Ō Papa ground floor gallery behind Lux.

Canterbury Museum will close in April for five years for its ambitious revamp, which involves demolishing parts of the building built between the 1950s and 1990s.

More than 60 urban artists have been at work this month at the almost-empty building, in 35 spaces across five floors, for its final exhibition before the closure. SHIFT: Urban Art Takeover opens on Saturday.