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AGO Massive Party 2013 sets gold standard for Toronto art parties

#AGOMASSIVE glitters with live music, installations and performances by 14 Toronto artists including Thrush Holmes, Jade Rude and Maylee Todd

TORONTO – On April 18, 2013, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will go for gold as it hosts 1,800 art lovers at its ninth annual Massive Party fundraiser. Tickets to AGO’s Massive Party 2013 sold out four weeks in advance, setting a new Gallery record. The event has become one of the city’s most buzzworthy parties and has enjoyed sell-out status for the past four years.

Co-chaired by Laura Adams and Marie Corsini, this year’s fundraiser’s theme is GOLD. Curated by multidisciplinary Toronto artist Justin Broadbent, the event offers party-goers a dazzling night of performances by some of Toronto’s hottest artists, as well as live music, DJs, food, drinks and never-before-seen art installations inspired by the party’s theme. Proceeds from Massive Party support the AGO’s exhibitions and education programs. Guests can follow all the action and share their own party pictures online by using the hashtag #AGOMASSIVE.

“Gold is an exciting theme to play with, as it has been a symbol of luxury throughout history, a commodity, a metaphor for wealth, and an arbitrary base metal - one we find by digging in the mud,” said Justin Broadbent, artistic director of Massive Party 2013. “Since the event’s debut eight years ago with Bruce Mau’s Massive Change theme, it has become the biggest art party in Toronto. It’s exciting to work alongside so many talented artists and culture makers; I’m excited to show off AGO Massive Party GOLD!”

The gold-inspired custom works of art and performances throughout the Gallery are a perfect complement to the gold leaf-laden AGO exhibition Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art, which will be open to party-goers from 9 to 11 p.m.

A giant illuminated billboard designed for the party by Toronto artist Jade Rude, entitled Wish You Were Here, will welcome guests as they enter the AGO. Rude has also created a second series of works for Massive Party 2013 entitled Nice to See You (2013) that guests will encounter on the mirrors inside each restroom in the Gallery.

Once in Walker Court, guests can pose for portraits in the Kobo photo booth surrounded by all that glitters. Designed by interior decorator, stylist and set designer Melanie Cantwell, the photo booth gives guests a chance to win one of 10 Kobo Glo eReaders.

Thrush Holmes, one of Canada’s most celebrated contemporary artists, returns to the AGO with two brand new installations, focusing on gold as currency, religion and a symbol of love. He will also remount his Young Years, Young Loves, Diamonds, Cash + Credit (2011) for one night only in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre.

Upstairs in Baillie Court, Mahmood Popal — founder of multidisciplinary art and design studio Craft Studio — presents DOLLA, DOLLA, GRILLZ YA’LL ( 2013), an interactive art machine. Selling “fake versions” of real things, the vending machine will dispense gold grillz (tooth caps) and social commentary all night long.

Artistic director Justin Broadbent brings his unique vision to Massive Party 2013 with multiple art installations and unique décor pieces. Highlights include pieces entitled Kitsch, Poor Hipster, Don't Go Chasing 3D Waterfalls and a video homage to grillz.

In a daring feat of athleticism, Toronto artist duo Tibi Tibi Neuspiel and Geoffrey Pugen will perform their work Hurdles in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre. Originally commissioned by the Gallery for Art Toronto 2012, Hurdles features Neuspiel and Pugen racing against each other in a series of intense sprint heats. As they progress, a series of creative hurdles are added. Guests can catch the gold medal race at 10:15 p.m.

An elaborate golden caravan created by Toronto’s Mango Peeler will parade throughout the Weston Family Learning Centre. Glittering costumes and elaborate choreography will pay homage to traditional Philipino Tanikling performance.

Toronto singer Maylee Todd brings her artful and sexy blend of disco and psychedelic to Baillie Court with live performances at 10:15 p.m. and midnight. Spinning a variety of fresh and classic tracks, DJ Your Boy Brian will keep party-goers dancing in Ballie Court throughout the night. In Walker Court, DJ Mensa will dish out a mix of house, hip hop and Motown, while down in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre Felix & Gani (milk.) will crank out a jukebox of hits.

After all that dancing, guests can quench their thirst at one of the many open bars, sponsored by Diageo and Johnnie Walker Gold, sprinkled like gold dust through the Gallery. An incredible selection of inspired snacks will also be available throughout the gallery. Menu items include deep fried mac’n’cheese bars, crispy polenta stars, saffron-tomato risotto croquettes and more.

AGO 1st Thursdays, which took a break in April to let Massive Party shine, will return with programming inspired by the Early Renaissance and a ground-shaking performance by Toronto band Zeus on May 2, 2013, from 7  to 11:30 p.m. Advance ticket prices are $10 for members and $12 for the public. Hopeful guests are encouraged to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

The AGO gratefully acknowledges the support of Massive Party 2013 Lead Sponsor TD Bank, Art & Entertainment Sponsor KOBO and Supporting Sponsor Purpose Investments. In-kind sponsors include AusCan Media Productions Ltd., Chair-man Mills, Chateau des Charmes, C.J. Graphics, Johnnie Walker Gold and Kronenbourg 1664. The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine and Toronto Life are this year’s media partners. Design partners include C Poirier and Evoke Solutions.

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 more information about AGO Massive Party, 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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