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Art Gallery of Ontario raises more than $1 million at farewell event for Director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum

New endowment in celebration of Mr. Teitelbaum’s 22-year leadership will fund sustainable programming supporting youth and community access

TORONTO — More than $1 million was raised for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on Wednesday evening at an gala event honouring Matthew Teitelbaum, the Gallery’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO. Mr. Teitelbaum was recently appointed the Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).

The gala, hosted by Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, President of the AGO Board of Trustees, and co-chaired by Roz Ivey and Andrew Federer, brought together 360 guests, raising more than $855,000 in support of AGO programs and exhibitions. In addition, several generous donors united in support of an endowment to celebrate Mr. Teitelbaum’s long-time commitment to sustainable programming supporting youth and community access, making it the most successful fundraising event in the AGO’s history.

The AGO plans to use the endowment fund to create a series of regular learning days for youths, at-risk communities and communities that have barriers to access. The format is based on the successful “Learning Day” model piloted in April during the Gallery’s recent exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time. The Learning Day, which was supported by AGO Board of Trustees Vice-President Bob Harding and executed in partnership with the United Way, welcomed more than 250 students from at-risk communities to participate in various activities and interactive learning stations at the AGO throughout the course of a day. Support for this fund was made possible by several donors, including Shirley Granovsky, Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner and The Woodbridge Company.

“I’m deeply grateful for the leadership our supporters have shown by making such generous contributions in Matthew’s honour,” says Corinne Rusch-Drutz, Chief Development Officer. “The funds raised on Wednesday evening will support our ambitious exhibitions program, and the endowment fund will allow us to develop sustainable and meaningful initiatives that will spark discussion and reflection, encouraging new AGO visitors to feel welcomed, included and represented at the Gallery.”

Mr. Teitelbaum joined the AGO in 1993 as Chief Curator and became its fifth Director and CEO in 1998, with a vision to transform the Gallery into an imaginative centre that fully reflects and enhances its surrounding community. Under his leadership, the Gallery’s holdings have grown, its audience broadened and its global reputation strengthened. Mr. Teitelbaum assumes his role at the MFA on Aug. 3, 2015. The AGO Board of Trustees has commenced an international search for his successor.

“It is wonderful to see the people of Toronto coming together to show their support for our institution and their belief in what the AGO can do for the city,” says Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, President of the AGO Board of Trustees. “These gifts are a fitting tribute to Matthew, who has championed the Gallery as a gathering place where everyone belongs and is welcomed to discuss ideas and experience great art. On behalf of the AGO Board of Trustees, I thank and congratulate everyone who contributed to the success of the evening.”

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 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, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults.

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.



For press inquiries, please contact:

Caitlin Coull; Manager, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,

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