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AGO takes it to the street with February’s 1st Thursday art party

Programming by OCAD U students features DJ collective A Tribe Called Red and Toronto-based street artists Deadboy, Li-Hill, Troy Lovegates and Kirsten McCrea

Toronto—On Feb. 7, 2013, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will hand over its keys to OCAD University curatorial graduate students to throw a 1st Thursday party featuring street-inspired art, music and food. This month’s programming includes street art workshops, pop-up installations and talks with local Toronto street artists, as well as a headlining performance by First Nations DJ collective A Tribe Called Red. Doors open to adults 19+ at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are now sold out, continuing a monthly trend that began when the series launched in October 2012.

The street-themed art party appropriately starts outside the Gallery with fluorescent bikes from The Good Bike Project lining the Dundas Street sidewalk. Inside, Walker Court will feature an installation by Kirsten McCrea that uses wheatpasting, an adhesive technique often used in street art. Upstairs, stencil murals by Deadboy will adorn the walls.

Toronto-based visual artist Li-Hill takes over Galleria Italia with a special large-scale work entitled Industrial Cascade. Using painting and sculpture, Industrial Cascade combines mural work and abstract installation. Li-Hill’s practice raises questions about the effects of Western capitalism while blurring the lines between high and “low” art.

Art-making stations in various AGO gallery spaces will include wheatpasting activities led by local artists. Toronto artist collective Bissel Bombers will teach visitors the art of “yarnbombing”, a street art practice of guerrilla knitting, to partygoers with a workshop entitled Yarnbombing 101.

At 9 p.m., critically acclaimed First Nations DJ collective A Tribe Called Red takes the stage in Walker Court. Guests will feast on an impressive visual spectacle by the trio paired with its unique electronic dance music. A Tribe Called Red’s mash up-style genre, dubbed “pow wow step”, draws from a variety of musical styles ranging from hip hop, dance hall and electronic mixed with traditional First Nations chanting and drumming. More music will be featured all night long with DJ sets by Max Mohenu, Mary Mack and Mike Juneau.

Pop-up talks, a 1st Thursday tradition, will shed light on the works of the local muralists, stencil artists and graffiti painters featured in the Galleries. Beginning at 6:45 p.m., Kirsten McCrea will speak on her collaborative art practices, patterned drawing styles and interactive wheatpasting techniques. At 7 p.m., Li-Hill elaborates on his special 1st Thursday installation in Galleria Italia. At 7:30 p.m., Deadboy shares his stencilling secrets. At 8 p.m., Troy Lovegates a.k.a. Other will discuss the art of printmaking while creating original artworks for partygoers to take home.

February’s 1st Thursday menu features house-made samosas, maple-glazed bacon doughnuts and sandwich stations on the main level, as well as pulled-pork sandwiches 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 one final night of FRANK’s three-course Winterlicious prix fixe menu for only $35. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (416) 979-6688. 

Tickets for February’s 1st Thursday are now sold out. For up-to-date details about 1st Thursdays, visit and follow #AGO1st on Twitter.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is pleased to acknowledge the Joe Fresh®brand as the Sponsor of 1stThursdays 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: Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program; and American Express, Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation 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, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

March 16–June16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

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

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 on 1st Thursdays at the AGO, 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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