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AGO heats up with a fiery, late-night First Thursday

New late-night hours will have guests partying with VAG HALEN, Light Fires and the Mighty Real DJs all night long

TORONTO—The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) throws another epic First Thursdays bash on June 6, 2013, kicking off the long, hot days of summer with late-night hours (8 p.m. to 12 a.m.), sizzling performances, sweltering music and blazing art talks. Advance tickets for the 19+ event are now on sale for $12 (general public) and $10 (AGO members) at

A host of performers from Toronto’s LGBT community take over Walker Court all night long with musical performances by VAG HALEN and Light Fires and a DJ set by the Mighty Real DJs.

Fresh from the fetes of the Venice Biennale—a famed international art exhibition—budding international art stars VAG HALEN take centre stage in Walker Court at 10:30 p.m. This all-lesbian, cock-rock cover band celebrates all things queer with their electrifying stage presence and mind-blowing performances. The group is known for leaving their audiences hot, sweaty and wanting more.

Regina the Gentlelady (the drag queen alter ego of Canadian indie rock singer Reg Vermue) and James Bunton (of Ohbijou) together as Light Fires. The electro-pop duo will take to the stage in Walker Court at 9:45 p.m.

In special partnership with NXNE Art, First Thursdays presents live performances by Quebeçois artists Brendan de Montigny and Nataliya Petkova. De Montigny presents I am LEARNING, a four-hour interactive drawing piece. Activated by the audience, Montigny will impersonate a “human printer,” creating unique images that visitors can take home. Meanwhile, Petkova performs [x]Tensions, a piece that uses a special sound-amplification device to measure and amplify the sonic activity of the Gallery’s walls, creating a real-time soundtrack for visitors.

Toronto artist Bridget Moser will be roaming through the Gallery all night, performing her interdisciplinary piece Local Snake Eats His Own Tail in front of works by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris. Inspired by Harris, Moser’s performances incorporate inanimate objects, prop comedy and experimental theatre and have been seen across Canada, the United States and Europe.

In Walker Court, AGO First Thursdays sponsor Joe Fresh® presents fingernail art by artists. Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., visitors are invited to receive the most memorable manicures of their lives, courtesy of artists from Toronto’s Magic Pony Gallery.

Who says art making has to involve a canvas? Liquid Karaoke’s Colin Bergh, James McDonough, Nadia Belerique, Mikey Apples and Jeff Hayward invite visitors to perform their favourite cover songs at the Galleria Italia karaoke bar. The top performance will win a Joe Fresh® gift card. Located in the east end of Galleria Italia, the karaoke bar will run all night long.

Local art celebrities are up for discussion as the AGO presents a series of pop-up talks on prominent Toronto artists, past and present. Beginning at 8:30 p.m. catch Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s brand new curator of Canadian Art, in conversation with Art Spin’s Casey Hinton as they discuss the work of Lawren Harris.

At 9 p.m. visitors are invited to join Greg Humeniuk, curatorial assistant in Canadian Art, for an informal tour of the exhibition Sorel Etrog.

At 9:30 p.m. visitors can join a discussion about this year’s Venice Biennale it-girl Shary Boyle and her 2010 exhibition at the AGO.

Summer is on everyone’s minds in the June edition of Out of the Vaults. Sketches and drawings of bikinis and bathing suits throughout history from the AGO Prints and Drawings Collection showcasing them in the Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre from 8 to 9:30 p.m

June’s First Thursdays menu features southern fried-chicken sandwiches and vegan coleslaw on the main level and fresh corn on the cob and grilled polish sausage on a bun in Galleria Italia. Bars serving mixed drinks, wine and beer will be dotted around the Gallery. Visitors looking for more than a taste can enjoy FRANK’s Florentine prix fixe dinner menu for $35. Call 416-979-6688 for reservations.

Party-goers can purchase $22 ticket packages online for Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art and June’s First Thursday. The exhibition will be open until 10 p.m., with the last entry at 9:30 p.m. AGO members enter the exhibition for free.
Tickets for June’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. Book tickets online by visiting

For up-to-date 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 First Thursdays at the AGO.

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 Ken 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, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

March 16, 2013 – June 16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

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

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

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.


For media inquiries about 1st 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,


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