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AGO All Hours offers a different way to experience the museum; launches May 25
TORONTO – The next must-attend art event has arrived. The AGO debuts an entirely new way to experience the museum with AGO All Hours, an all-ages, all-day event happening three times a year. Sponsored by RBC, AGO All Hours launches a new platform for up-and-coming local and international talent, offering everything from special art installations and art-making activities to artist projects, marquee performances and more. AGO All Hours channels the intergenerational vibe of a classic Toronto block party, with art and artists at its core.
AGO All Hours launches on May 25, 2019 and celebrates the first day of the AGO’s new pricing model, which offers unlimited free admission to visitors 25 and under and a new $35 Annual Pass that includes access to the AGO for a year. Running from 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., AGO All Hours is the first durational event of its kind in the Gallery’s history.
“This is a way to deepen your relationship with the AGO and experience the museum through artists’ activations and audience participation,” says Heidi Reitmaier, AGO Deputy Director, and Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief of Education and Programs. “Whether you’ve never been here or if you come all the time, everyone is welcome. The day offers unique programming as we respond to the art in our Collection and work with a diverse array of artists.”
The first edition of AGO All Hours is headlined by author and artist Hatecopy, singer-songwriter Zaki Ibrahim, house dance crew Warehouse Jacks, dance artist Danah Rosales, hip hop sensations Haviah Mighty and Dijah SB, craft artist Kalpna Patel (AKA Ghostfaceknitta), and DJs Gonnie Garko, Cam Lee, Dre Ngozi and Chippy Nonstop. Visitors of all ages can meet in Grange Park for an outdoor drop-in drawing studio, try Studio Sampler activities in the AGO Gallery School, take in talks with artists such as Diane Borsato and Winnie Truong and listen to intimate musical performances with the Royal Conservatory of Music throughout the day and into the evening. Food and drinks are on offer all around the museum with the AGO’s special take on block party favourites like ice cream and hot dogs.
Adding to the exciting lineup is the highly anticipated public opening of Yayoi Kusama’s INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, the first contemporary artwork in Canada to be acquired through a major crowdfunding campaign. Same-day reservations to see the artwork can be made on site at the AGO.
Admission to AGO All Hours is free for visitors 25 and under, AGO Annual Pass holders and AGO Members, and $25 for single ticket purchasers, with in-and-out privileges throughout the duration of the event. Advance tickets are on sale now. More information can be found at AGO.ca or by following #AGOAllHours.
“AGO All Hours is a truly multigenerational and multidisciplinary event,” says Devyani Saltzman, Director of Public Programming. “We’re thrilled to build on the success of AGO First Thursdays in launching a new platform for Toronto artists, both established and emerging.”
More details about AGO All Hours on May 25:
Rise and play! AGO All Hours kicks off early with a morning of artful play for children of all ages, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Raccoons inhabit the Weston Family Learning Centre and Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre as artist Emily May Rose helps visitors make shadow puppets and raccoon masks. Surrounded by a thicket of colourful inflatable sculptures and dotted by hula-hoops and hopscotch courts, Walker Court is reimagined as a forested playground by Toronto artists Cam Lee and Kalpna Patel (a.k.a. Ghostfaceknitta).
Outside, AGO All Hours pays tribute to one the AGO’s first art instructors, Group of Seven member Arthur Lismer, with en plein air drawing in Grange Park. From 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., easels will be set up on the lawn, with AGO instructors on hand to give tips. At the E.P. Taylor Library & Archives, just inside the AGO’s South Entrance, archivist Marilyn Nazar presents a mini-exhibition of historic park photographs with talks at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All events in Grange Park and the Library are free of charge.
Throughout the afternoon, Toronto artists Winnie Truong, Basil AlZeri, Nyle Miigizi Johnston and Diane Borsato will present a series of pop-up talks throughout the galleries, offering their responses to works in the AGO Collection.
Pakistan-born, Mississauga-raised artist and author Maria Qamar takes the stage in Walker Court at 4 p.m. for a seated conversation about art and satire. Known for her celebrated Instagram feed @Hatecopy, Qamar’s satirical humour and pop-art sensibility has made her a recent sensation.
Music will fill the museum all day and evening. Jeimmi Carrasco, Lucas Blekeberg, David Liam Roberts and Maria Vallejo, string players from the Royal Conservatory of Music, will perform between 5 and 8 p.m. in pop-up locations in the galleries. Downstairs in the Weston Family Learning Centre, Toronto house dance collective Warehouse Jacks leads a rhythmic warm-up with dance lessons and house music beginning at 5 p.m.
Adult visitors to the Gallery School can sip a glass of wine or beer from its pop-up bar while trying out painting and printmaking. The Studio Sampler experience will run until midnight, with instructors and supplies on hand to help guide creative experiments. A life drawing session with a nude model runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the galleries.
Taking the stage in Walker Court at 8 p.m., Juno and two-time Polaris-nominated singer-songwriter Zaki Ibrahim returns to the AGO for what promises to be an unforgettable performance. Backed by an incredible ensemble of Toronto dancers and musicians, Ibrahim brings to the stage her unique blend of R&B, soul and jazz. The party keeps going in Walker Court as DJ Dre Ngozi and DJ Chippy Nonstop take the stage following Ibrahim.
From 8 p.m. to midnight, the AGO Youth Council invites museum-goers to party with them in Baillie Court on the AGO’s Level 3, as they present DJ Gonnie Garko and hip hop performances by Toronto’s own Dijah SB and Haviah Mighty. Friendship bracelet-making, glow stick art and a beverage station round out the upstairs scene.
Staying up late has its rewards. Dancer and movement artist Danah Rosales takes over Walker Court in the wee hours for a vogue performance with guest appearances by Toronto’s Kiki Ballroom girls. The AGO will remain open until 1 a.m.
To fuel the enhanced museum experience, food and drink will be available all day long in various locations. Coffee and ice cream is on offer at the AGO’s South Entrance from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., changing to a hot dog bar in the early evening in the Sculpture Atrium. AGO Bistro will be open all day until 9 p.m., extending its special drinks and appetizers menu from 5 p.m. until close. AGO Members will receive a 20% discount. caféAGO is open from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Pop-up bars also offer wine and beer in the Gallery School and in Galleria Italia in the afternoon and evening.
For anyone inspired to take home a memento of AGO All Hours, shopAGO will be open all day until 9 p.m. and will also install a pop-up shop inside the Gallery’s South Entrance during the day.
The next editions of AGO All Hours will take place on Oct. 26, 2019 and Jan.18, 2020. Follow #AGOAllHours for updates or visit AGO.ca.
AGO All Hours is proudly supported by Emerging Artist Partner, RBC.
ABOUT THE AGO
Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO Collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. Its 585,000 square foot building was most recently expanded in 2008 by Frank Gehry, and attracts approximately one million visits per year. A new pricing model, launching May 25, 2019, offers all visitors 25 and under free, unlimited admission; a $35 Annual Pass includes entry for an entire year. Visit AGO.ca to learn more.
The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.