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AGO Marks the Year of India with the AGO Maharaja Festival

(TORONTO: January 18, 2011) To celebrate Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts, and to acknowledge 2011 as Canada's Year of India, the Art Gallery of Ontario is hosting The AGO Maharaja Festival.  From January 26 to 30, visitors will experience live performances, cooking demonstrations, henna tattooing, special exhibition tours and much more.  Visitors to Maharaja age 25 and under can experience the exhibition and festival for FREE. 

"The AGO is thrilled to celebrate the legacy of the Maharajas, and to acknowledge 2011 as the Year of India, by inviting visitors to experience firsthand some of the arts and traditions of Indian culture," says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO's Michael and Sonja Koerner, director and CEO.  "We are excited to open our doors to new and diverse audiences from Toronto and the GTA - to sing, dance, taste and create memories that will have new and familiar audiences coming back to the AGO time and time again." 

Highlights of the Festival include:

  • Sitar demonstration by renowned artist Anwar Khurshid, director of the Sitar School of Toronto;  
  • A performance of the Kings Salon by revered Toronto-based South Asian dance company, inDANCE;
  • Odissi dance demonstration by the internationally acclaimed Genevieve Beaulieu;
  • Special tours of the Maharaja exhibition that explore the trends in fashion, colour, textiles and design during the reign of the Maharajas;
  • Henna Tattooing in shopAGO, along with magnificent finds from India and abroad;
  • Cooking demonstrations with Arvinda's Indian spices with special guests Arvinda and Preena Chauhan; and
  • A special AGO Family Sunday featuring make your own costume and embellishments, Rangoli Floor Art with Asha Aditi, a performance by the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, and a glittering procession in Walker Court.

For more details, including the full festival schedule please visit: http://www.ago.net/maharaja-festival

During the AGO Maharaja Festival, AGO members are invited to enjoy a special Tea for Two service added the menu in the Norma Ridley Members' Lounge.  For more information visit: www.ago.net/membership.

The AGO will be open for Family Day on Monday, February 21, 2011.

Thanks to the generous support of the Patrons of the Exhibition - Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., The Globe and Mail, Rogers Communications Inc., and Scotiabank Group - the AGO's Maharaja exhibition is free to visitors 25 years of age and under. Additionally, a special offer for families covers admission for up to four adults and an unlimited number of children for $66.

Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts will be on view until April 3, 2011.  Organized in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, this is the first exhibition to comprehensively explore the opulent world of the maharajas and their unique culture of artistic patronage.

This exhibition has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation

ABOUT THE AGO

With a permanent collection of more than 79,450 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public amid international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery's façade; and the feature staircase, spiraling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic new African art gallery; from the cutting-edge works in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.

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For more images and more information, contact:

Sean O'Neill, 416-979-6660 ext.403 sean_oneill@ago.net

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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