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AGO Adopts New Citizens Through Art

Date Posted: June, 21, 2007

The Art Gallery of Ontario is invitingnew citizens to learn about Canada through art. The AGO is embracing thesenewcomers with a pilot project called “Citizen AGO,” the firstof its kind in the country. As part of the first phase of the program, an AGOrepresentative is attending select citizenship ceremonies from now throughSeptember. At these ceremonies, the representative will present new Canadianswith a complimentary one-year family membership to the Gallery, which willoffer them the chance to explore Canada through its rich artistic heritage.

“No matter what language the AGO visitor speaks, the visual arts cancommunicate to everyone,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s Michaeland Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. “We are so pleased to welcome newCanadians to the AGO where they can experience great works of art.”

About160,000 citizens are sworn in annually across the province, and thisyear marks the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act, whichgranted official citizenship to Canadian residents for the first time.Through the “Citizen AGO” program, the Gallery aims to cultivaterelationships with the newest members of Ontario’s diverse culturalcommunity.

“We have had a very positive reaction to theprogram by new citizens,” says Beverley Carret, the AGO’s manager ofgovernment and community relations. “There’s a real eagerness amongthem to learn more about their adopted country through its art.”

MatthewTeitelbaum will be attending a ceremony to greet new citizens andpresent them with AGO memberships at 9 am on Monday, June 25 in thecitizenship ceremony room at 55 St. Clair Avenue East.

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660, ext. 454, Antonietta_Mirabelli@ago.net

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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