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AGO Celebrates Pride Week Big Time

(Toronto, ON: June 17, 2009) The last week of June is Pride Week at the AGO as the Gallery celebrates art in the gay and lesbian communities, serves up rainbow-labeled Chardonngay and outs a Canadian iconic artist from the 19th century.

The celebration starts Wednesday, June 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. with Artwherk! Show for PRIDE, an installation of artworks on the walkway around Walker Court. The ARTWHERK! Collective, created in 2005 to showcase the work of young and emerging LGBTTQQ2S artists, invites AGO visitors to celebrate the power of artistic creation during Toronto’s Pride celebration. And catch the drag performance with music and a talk at 6:15 p.m.; the installation remains on view until Sunday, June 28.

Pride tours at the AGO are scheduled throughout the weekend of June 27 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., beginning in Walker Court. Free with admission, the tours by AGO Gallery Guides celebrate the history and culture of the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities. Artists include Kent Monkman, General Idea, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney and Michelangelo.

Weekend visitors to Off the Wall! Dr. Mariano Elia Hands On Centre can enjoy family friendly events, including making a flag for Pride, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Events on Saturday, June 27 at the AGO (included with general admission):

  • 12 noon to 1 p.m., performance by singer/songwriter Faith Nolan in Walker Court. Leading this year’s Dyke March in Toronto, Nolan was born in Halifax and grew up in Toronto. Her music is her political work, a politics firmly rooted in her being working class, a woman, African Canadian and queer. She has performed at concerts, music festivals, conferences, universities, rallies, and women’s events.

  • At 2 p.m., Dennis Reid, the AGO’s chief curator, research, presents The Outing of a Canadian Icon. Join this eminent scholar in the Canadian hub when he presents new research suggesting that one of Canada’s most popular 19th-century painters was gay. Revisionist history has never been so fabulous!

  • On Saturday only, visitors who present the AGO’s ad from the official Pride Guide receive two-for-one admission.

On Sunday, June 28 catch the AGO in the Pride Parade, where two of the finest examples of ancient Egyptian eye candy carry a banner for the AGO’s upcoming King Tut exhibition. The volunteer-staffed AGO on the GO booth will also be humming in the Community Fair and Marketplace. Drop by the booth at Church and Wellesley and pick up one of our special-edition Pride buttons featuring Kent Monkman’s cupid.

ShopAGO marks the Pride celebration by offering a 10 per cent discount on everything in the store from Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28.

Also throughout the AGO’s Pride Week celebration, to keep your attitude and energy on high, FRANK restaurant is offering two Pride cocktails at the bar – the Oscar Wilde, featuring Hendricks Gin, pink strawberry rhubarb syrup and bitter lemon soda, garnished with fresh Ontario strawberries; and the Alice B. Toklas, featuring French Champagne and Chartreuse with a twist of lemon. FRANK will also offer an Ontario wine from renowned vintner Daniel Lenko – Chardonngay – a special product package with a rainbow label. One dollar from each bottle sold will be donated to research for AIDS.

With a permanent collection of more than 73,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. The Gallery began an extraordinary new chapter in its history when it launched Transformation AGO in 2002. Multi-faceted in scope, Transformation AGO involved the unprecedented growth of the permanent collection, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, and the strengthening of the museum’s endowment resources. As the imaginative centre of the city, the new AGO dramatically enriches our visitors’ experiences and provides greater access to the full vibrancy of the art museum.

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416-979-6660, ext. 454,

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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