Buhler Centre Background

News-Buhler Centre Backgrounder


The University of Winnipeg Board of Regents approved the project in the 2009-2010 Capital Budget on June 23, 2009

Joint Venture Agreement between Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and The University of Winnipeg signed July 7, 2009

The official sod-turning on the former United Army Surplus site was held on October 8, 2009 and construction began immediately

The Buhler $4 million donation is the University’s largest private donation, announced on Friday, January 22, 2010, to support construction of the Buhler Centre at 460 Portage Avenue and to establish the Buhler Knowledge Access Fund for students in the Faculty of Business & Economics

Buhler Centre opening Thursday, August 26, 2010 was attended by Bonnie and John Buhler and by Her Excellency Governor General MichaŽlle Jean, where she unveiled the first piece of art that will be installed in the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art.


The project is a joint venture between The University of Winnipeg and Plug In

Building cost is approximately $15 million. †The project was completed on time and on budget

The four-storey, eco-friendly, Silver LEED building is approximately 50,000 square feet

There is a third floor terrace space and interconnected sky-lit student lounges

The four-storey interior atrium space links the various residents in the building with natural light

A street-level restaurant will appeal to Plug In Institute patrons, University students and the broader public, expected to open by late fall 2010



Is home to UWinnipeg's Faculty of Business and Economics, Division of Continuing Education and Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art

All 12 classrooms/lecture rooms are SMART* classrooms. There are four additional computer labs and two seminar rooms (*A smart classroom is equipped with computer and audiovisual equipment, allowing the instructor to teach using a wide variety of media.)

 A CISCO Telepresence unit will be located in the building, and the space has been planned and fitted out for that purpose, expected to begin operation in late fall 2010


Four separate exhibitions spaces, including a class AA Museum space for fine art objects

New for Plug In is a bookstore that will stock over 500 titles in art, architecture and design from publishers around the world. There will be sub-categories of specialization in Winnipeg artists, and writing by artists. There will be multiple edition prints and artworks for sale – giftware – office supplies – candy and sundries. It is supported by a revamped webshop at Plug which will be launched in November

Plug In ICA Summer Institute will host 10 international artists in residence each year





Established in 1972, Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is a centre for the presentation of art that confronts ideas and issues affecting contemporary society. Plug In seeks to engage visitors from all walks of life through award-winning exhibitions, publications, public programs, and professional development opportunities. Plug In ICA continues to evolve and build upon its role as a research institution, and proximity to the university campus will enhance research activities. Plug In's participation in the 460 Portage Ave development is possible because of support from The Winnipeg Foundation, the Department of Canadian Heritage which supported preliminary design and feasibility studies and construction, the City of Winnipeg and private donors and volunteers.



UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business and Economics breaks down the barriers between traditional management disciplines and exposes students to a wider range of study than at most business schools. Our approach to business education aims to graduate students that are socially conscience business leaders and entrepreneurs and capable of adapting to the ever-changing needs of the modern business world. The Faculty of Business and Economics combines two programs- business/economics and liberal arts- in a student-focused, multidisciplinary learning environment. It is unique in that it allows students to enter directly into the Faculty of Business and Economics and start taking classes in their first year of study. It is not necessary to complete a year in another faculty prior to entering the business program.


Since 1972, the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) has been known as a dynamic learning centre and an integral part of The University of Winnipeg. With over 300 programs and courses to choose from, DCE is the perfect place to be for adult learners who want to upgrade their skills or launch new careers.†Many Certificate or Diploma credits from DCE can be transferred for credit towards a University of Winnipeg degree. Approximately 3.200 individuals take an average of 2.5 courses annually at DCE.†



  • The Buhler Centre project joint venture was managed by the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation (UWCRC).


  • The Architect is a collaborative including David Penner, Architect, Peter Sampson Architecture Studio and DIN Projects (Neil Minuk).†Consultants to the architect included Wolfrom Engineering, Tower Engineering, MEC (Civil Engineers) and Siegfried Rempel (museum consultant)

  • The Construction Manager was Manshield, and Chartier Property Management provided project management services to this project





  • John Buhler is a renowned Winnipeg businessman and philanthropist. In 1997 he was awarded the Manitoba Entrepreneur of the Year Award, in 1998 the Manitoba Citizen of the Year Award, and in 2000 the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Over the past ten years he has donated to a wide variety of community organizations and capital campaigns. His primary interest is in supporting health care projects, educational institutions, museums and centres associated with human rights. Throughout Winnipeg several buildings and centres are named after Mr. and Mrs. Buhler.†Some examples are The Buhler Gallery at St. Boniface Hospital, The Buhler Cancer Centre at Victoria Hospital, The Bonnie and John Buhler Centre at Seven Oaks Hospital, the Buhler Reflective Gardens at St. Amant Centre, The John Buhler Research Centre at the University of Manitoba and the Buhler Commons and John And Bonnie Buhler Library at Red River College. Mr. and Mrs. Buhler’s donations to these and other organizations have been instrumental in contributing to the growth and prosperity of Manitoba

  • Other donors include the Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba, the Society of Management Accountants of Manitoba, the Manitoba Chartered Accountants Foundation Inc, and Roberta Clake, Bryan and Catherine Clake.

  • The project also received funding support from Canadian Heritage, the Winnipeg Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Winnipeg Arts Council.†These funders advanced their funding through Plug In

†Updated August 2010