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Aimia | AGO Photography Prize winner to be announced at AGO First Thursdays on Nov. 7

Zaki Ibrahim and 2013 Sobey Art Award winner Duane Linklater headline a night of artist talks, installations and special performances

TORONTO – It’s a night full of awards and award-winners on Nov. 7, 2013, as the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) announces the winner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize during the November 2013 edition of Toronto’s most popular art party, AGO First Thursdays. Awarded by public vote, the Prize honours living artists whose photography-based practices have displayed extraordinary potential over the past five years. Fashion designer Jeremy Laing and Toronto curator/collector Ken Montague are among the presenters. Vince Timpano, President and CEO, Canada, Aimia, will announce the winner alongside AGO Director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum in the AGO’s Walker Court at 8:30 p.m.

The winner of the $50,000 prize is chosen entirely by public vote, which continues until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2013, at and, for the first time, on the Prize’s Facebook page. Visitors to the AGO can also cast a vote inside the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2013 Exhibition, on view now. The finalists are: Edgardo Aragón (Mexico), LaToya Ruby Frazier (U.S.A), Chino Otsuka (Japan/U.K) and Erin Shirreff (Canada). As a group, these four artists represent a snapshot of current directions in photography and video, in which images are used to build powerful, complex and often personal narratives.

November’s First Thursday also features shortlisted 2013 Polaris Prize nominee Zaki Ibrahim, who delivers an eclectic mix of soul, house, hip hop and world-folk immediately following the winner announcement. Her album Every Opposite is described by Rolling Stone as “a beguiling sonic spread that sees the versatile stylist slide from atmospheric ragga to sparse heart-tuggers to sludgy pop.” Ibrahim’s energetic stage show, complete with backup dancers and a full band, will leave party-goers with a rejuvenated love for Toronto’s diverse R&B scene.

At 8 p.m., 2013 Sobey Art Award winner Duane Linklater gives a talk on his film Modest Livelihood, made in collaboration with celebrated Canadian artist Brian Jungen. The 50-minute film features Jungen and Linklater on a series of moose-hunting trips together in northern British Columbia. Hailed as “striking” by the Globe and Mail, the film is now on view in the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery.

Toronto performance artist Zeesy Powers unleashes raw truths to brave visitors in her performance entitled I Will Tell You Exactly What I Think of You. During the piece, participants’ faces are filmed while Powers dishes out her first impressions of them. Their recorded reactions will be live-streamed into another gallery space without audio, leaving passers-by to speculate about what Powers sees in her subject by watching his or her reaction to the artist’s comments.

Toronto-based artist Meryl McMaster’s self-portrait Victoria makes its debut in the AGO collection. Positioned next to iconic Canadian works, the arresting photograph is part of an ongoing series of contemporary interventions into the Canadian collection. The AGO’s Andrew Hunter, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, invites guests to share their perspective on McMcaster’s work during a curator art talk at 7:30 p.m.

Visitors can unleash their inner photographers and share images of their favourite AGO spaces and features on Instagram. Photos hashtagged with #MyAGO will be displayed on screens all night long in Walker Court. In another photo-centric art-making activity, party-goers can sift through collections of old family photographs to piece together their own unique photo collages.

One-of-a-kind cocktails, pints and delectable snacks are available at stations around the Gallery. Highlights of the November menu include fish and chips, cronuts, braised shortrib shepherd’s pie, flavoured popcorn and house-made gelato.

Tickets for November’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. David Bowie is will be on view for a special First Thursdays upgrade price of $15. Book tickets online by visiting

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

Official Beer Sponsor: Grolsch
AGO First Thursdays Spirit Sponsor: Drambuie
AGO First Thursdays Media Partner: NOW Magazine

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 and Founding Partner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.


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.

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.

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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,

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