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Left to right: Malcolm Fraser & Lisa Bugden, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Rob Sobey, Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation;
Jeff MacLean, Michelin North America (Canada); Elizabeth Manuge, wife; Marianne Manuge, daughter; Carla Hall, grand-daughter.

In partnership with Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. and the Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia hosted a special reception to recognize the contributions of noted business development executive and longtime supporter of the arts, the late Robert (Bob) Manuge. The tribute included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, as well as a designated feature wall in the Gallery’s main entrance to showcase a rotation of works by emerging professional artists who are making their mark on regional and international stages.

A pioneer in investment attraction and an energetic entrepreneur, Bob Manuge valued fine art and actively championed the sector. As owner and operator of Halifax’s Manuge Galleries Ltd. over many years, he understood what prominent companies were looking for in a new location, and believed that arts and cultural institutions like the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia were equally important in creating vibrant and thriving communities.

Manuge was a key figure in attracting leading international businesses to Nova Scotia in the late 1960s during his career with Industrial Estates, where he worked closely with business leader Frank Sobey, who chaired the provincial business development organization. During this timeframe, he also introduced Sobey to the arts, which directly inspired Sobey’s strong—and lasting—interest in the arts, eventually leading to the creation of the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2002. Today, fourth-generation Sobey family business member Rob G. Sobey carries on the work of his late grand-father Frank as chair of the Sobey Art Foundation.
“When Bob Manuge introduced my grand-father to the visual arts in the 60s—particularly works by Canadian Masters such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson J.E.H. MacDonald and David Milne—it was the start of what is now a meaningful tradition and relationship to the arts for my family,” said Rob G. Sobey. “Bob had an incredible and intuitive approach, and in this case it opened a door to a new world—not just for my grand-father, but also to many Nova Scotians—and an understanding about the role the arts play in our communities and beyond.”

Like Mr. Manuge and the Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation, Michelin North America (Canada) Ltd. understands the importance of arts and culture to Nova Scotia’s social and economic stability. “We are very proud to honour the involvement of Robert Manuge in the history of Michelin in Nova Scotia,” said Jeff MacLean, President, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. “He created a legacy in this province and Robert will always be an important member of the Michelin Canada family.”
A few years ago, Michelin North America (Canada) created a video in tribute to Mr. Manuge’s legacy:

Michelin Possible: The Tale of Robert Manuge from Journeyman Film Company on Vimeo.

The generosity of Michelin North America (Canada) and the Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation will continue to be recognized through the Gallery’s celebration of works gracing the feature wall, as well as through its ongoing programming. A work donated by the Manuge family is also currently on view in the Gallery’s new exhibition, In the Artists’ Footsteps, until October 16, 2016.

Henry M. Rosenberg, Fire at the Roy Building, 1919, pastel on tan paper, 38.1 x 22.9 cm.
Gift of Robert and Elizabeth Manuge.

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