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Art Gallery of Ontario announces new hours of operation, launches AGO Friday Nights

AGO Friday Nights and FRANK Cinq-à-Sept among new initiatives that celebrate expanded evening access to the Gallery

TORONTO – Toronto has spoken, and the AGO has listened. Beginning this fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario is extending its hours on Wednesday and Friday nights, offering visitors even more opportunities to enjoy the AGO Collection, its special exhibitions and a variety of exciting offerings including AGO Friday Nights and a regular Cinq-à-Sept at FRANK restaurant.

“We’ve been increasingly hearing that AGO visitors would like more ways to experience the Gallery in the evening, both anecdotally and through formal research,” says Alicia Vandermeer, Chief Organizational Officer. “After careful consideration of the possibilities, we’re delighted to announce the launch of AGO Friday Nights in addition to an extension of Free Wednesday Nights, already a community favourite. These programs, in addition to our hit First Thursdays series, really put the AGO on the map as one of Toronto’s most active cultural hubs.”

Launching Nov. 3, 2015, the AGO’s new hours of operation are:

Monday:          Closed
Tuesday:         10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday:     10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday:        10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday:             10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday:         10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday:           10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The AGO’s Free Wednesday Nights, a popular initiative for 35 years, expands by a half hour. Formerly closing at 8:30 p.m., free admission to the AGO Collection is now available each Wednesday from
6 to 9 p.m. The AGO First Thursdays art party series remains the same, as do the hours for FRANK restaurant and CaféAGO, viewable online at ago.net.

Launching Nov. 6, 2015, AGO Friday Nights offer a social, sophisticated and stimulating night out at the Gallery. Featuring themed programming, music, food, drinks and art-making opportunities, this in-gallery experience is perfect for culturally active adults seeking a unique cultural experience.The AGO’s central Walker Court will transform into a stylish bar, offering local and international drink selections for gallery-goers to enjoy. 

The inaugural month of AGO Friday Nights, taking place each week on Nov. 6, 13, 20 and 27, will celebrate the opening of J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free, a major exhibition featuring the experimental and contemplative works of Joseph Mallord William Turner. The AGO partners with Tapestry Opera, Canada’s largest and most influential contemporary opera company, to present Music Set Free, a special performance in Walker Court every Friday night in November from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Capturing a selection of music from Turner’s time in addition to pieces inspired by his influences, subjects and artistic practice, the concerts will feature works ranging from Beethoven to Britten, as well as a special world premiere of an original work commissioned in response to the exhibition. Music Set Free is curated by Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Artistic Director of Tapestry Opera, and is free to AGO Friday Night gallery-goers with the price of admission.

Interactive programming for adults will also be available each week, including free drop-in artmaking, featuring Turner-inspired mini-watercolours in Galleria Italia from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (no registration required), as well as pre-registered art courses. To register, please visit http://www.ago.net/courses-workshops/.

Offering the perfect warm-up for a Gallery visit or a wind-down from the busy work day, FRANK restaurant is now hosting daily Cinq-à-Sept from Tuesday through Friday between 4 and
7 p.m.,
making it an ideal after-work destination. A range of unique cocktails are available starting from $4, and a new tapas menu is on offer from $7. AGO Members enjoy a 10 per cent discount on food items.

AGO members will enjoy free admission to AGO Friday Nights. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at www.ago.net/general-membership.

For more information and programming details, please visit www.ago.net/fridaynights.

ABOUT THE AGO
With a collection of more than 90,000 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 ago.net to learn more.

Oct. 31, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016:  J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free

Mar. 12 – May 29, 2016:            Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s-1980s

July 2 – Sept. 11, 2016:            The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris

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, please contact:

Jumol Royes, Communications Officer
416-979-6660, ext. 504, Jumol_Royes@ago.net

Andrea-Jo Wilson, Senior Communications Officer
416-979-6660, ext. 403, Andrea-Jo_Wilson@ago.net

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