Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

AGO First Thursdays sneaks a peek at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013

Preview works by artists Ai Weiwei, Kim Adams, Michel de Broin, Reece Terris, Lisa Hirmer and (X)Static Clown Factory; Sandro Perri and Jennifer Castle perform

TORONTO – On Oct. 3, 2013, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will be immersed in art, drinks, music, pop-up installations and talks in anticipation of Toronto’s all-night art festival, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, which takes place the following weekend on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. This month’s AGO First Thursdays features exclusive previews of select festival art projects.

Canadian pop-folk darlings Sandro Perri and Jennifer Castle headline the night’s musical portion with performances in Walker Court. Advance tickets for the 19+ event are now on sale for $12 (general public) and $10 (AGO members) at

The event will also feature a special preview of Ai Weiwei’s major installation Forever Bicycles, which will be installed at Nathan Phillips Square as a highlight of this year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. A portion of this this complex and abstract sculpture, consisting of 3,144 bicycles, will be on display at the AGO as part of First Thursdays. Visitors can also see the AGO’s major exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What?, with purchase of a combo ticket.

Inspired by the work of Marcel Duchamp, who incorporated everyday objects into his art, many of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche’s artists have used similar ready-made objects in their pieces. For one night only, local and world-renowned artists will animate the AGO galleries with previews of their projects. Party-goers will have a chance to see:

  • Kim Adams’ Toaster Work Wagon, which presents two bicycles fused together back-to-back, forcing its riders to co-operate in a metaphor for human communication and negotiation;
  • Michel de Broin’s larger-than-life sculpture, Tortoise, which uses standard picnic tables as building blocks to create an enclosure;
  • Reece Terris’ reconfiguration of furniture found in lobbies and office buildings, as abstract art sculptures in these same public spaces;
  • Lisa Hermer of DodoLab’s roving performance piece entitled A Quack Cure, which brings to life a troupe of extinct creatures for a night of revelry;
  • Ruth Spitzer and Claire Ironside’s multimedia street performance piece entitled (X)Static Clown Factory, a Dr. Seuss–inspired workshop/parade float made of balloons, custom inflatables, bubbles, sound and light; and
  • a commissioned painting by Toronto’s Winnie Truong that illustrates the AGO’s new artist-in-residence Diane Borsato’s fear of being stung in the eyes by bees. This collaborative work is presented in conjunction with Borsato’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche performance, Your Temper, My Weather, which will involve 100 beekeepers meditating in Walker Court.

Jennifer Castle will deliver her beautiful blend of delicate folk music at 9 p.m. in Walker Court. A Toronto musician, Castle is often described as intimate, spare, menacing, psychedelic and beautiful, and she has garnered a strong local following with her traditional folk sound. Following Castle at 10 p.m., Sandro Perri will dish out some experimental folk backed by a full band. Perri’s music is inspired by his love of reinvention and his curious ear. His sound mixes elements of instrumental and vocal, dance, noise, drone, ambient, pop, jazz and folk. Both performances will feature visuals by local artist Maryanne Casasanta.

This month’s pop-up talks feature Ami Barak, Diane Borsato, Michel DeBroin, Reece Terris, DoDoLab, and Kim Adams. As the curator of Exhibition A, To Get Off To A Flying Start, as well as multiple Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013 projects, Barak will share his experience working with the all-night art festival. Visitors will have a chance to chat with AGO artist-in-residence Borsato and famed Canadian artist Adams about their works.

Tickets for October’s First Thursday are on sale now. Regular-priced tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Admission for AGO members is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Latest entry to the Ai Weiwei: According to What? exhibition will be at 9:30 p.m. for those looking to delve further into the world of the artist. Combo tickets include entrance to the exhibition and First Thursday’s general programming for $22 in advance and $25 at the door. Book tickets online by visiting

For details about First Thursdays, visit and follow #AGO1st on Twitter and Instagram.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is pleased to acknowledge the Joe Fresh® brand as the Sponsor of AGO First Thursdays.

Official Beer Sponsor: Grolsch

AGO First Thursdays Spirit Sponsor: Drambuie

AGO First Thursdays Media Partner: NOW Magazine

October’s First Thursdays art party is organized in collaboration with the City of Toronto and Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.


With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO and to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

Aug. 17, 2013 – Oct. 27, 2013: Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Sept. 25, 2013 – Nov. 27, 2013: David Bowie is

Nov. 30, 2013 – March 2, 2014: The Great Upheaval: Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection

The Art Gallery of Ontario 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.

- 30 -

For media inquiries about AGO First Thursdays, please contact:

Laura Banks; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 504,

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

Share and Enjoy: