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Drop in at the AGO over March Break for life-sized games and art-filled activities

New Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge and interactive stations to be unveiled

TORONTO — The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is serving up nine days of drop-in fun to Toronto families this March Break, beginning on March 8, 2014. With activities spread out across the entire Gallery, there’s lots of room for families to play, shop, eat, learn and create in a spacious and artful setting. Drop-in programs and activities are FREE with the price of admission.

March Break drop-in programs will run daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 8 to March 16. And because March Break only comes once each year, the AGO will offerspecial Monday access on March 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to ensure that no fun gets left behind. For updates on daily programming, follow the AGO on Facebook and Twitter.

Kicking off the week on March 8, the Hot Wheels® Ultimate Track makes its grand debut in the AGO’s Walker Court. Featuring a gravity-defying racecar circuit stretching over 500 feet, the supersized installation was designed by a team of Track Experts to launch the brand new Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge, a cross-national competition. The Track Experts will be on site at the AGO to give tips and tricks to help kids create and connect their own Ultimate Track at interactive stations.

A variety of artful activities for visitors of all ages are FREE with Gallery admission and include:

  • The brand new Kids' Gallery, featuring the Just Like Me: Explore, Imagine, Create exhibition where you can add your child’s portrait to the in-gallery Instagram display;
  • a Gallery-wide game of Clue that starts in Walker Court;
  • family yoga at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the AGO’s Galleria Italia (Monday, Wednesday and Friday only);
  • family-friendly gallery tours, giving families a “kids’ eye view” of the AGO collection (starting on the hour in Walker Court);
  • all-day art-making, storytelling and costume play for the AGO’s youngest visitors in the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre (ages 5 and under);
  • screenings of art-inspired family films all day long in Jackman Hall; and
  • free kids’ meals in caféAGO with the purchase of an adult meal (ages 5 and under).

March Break is an ideal opportunity for older kids and parents to explore the AGO collection and the history of art. Visitors to the AGO’s contemporary tower can witness the ongoing conservation and careful restoration of Simon Starling’s sculpture Infestation Piece (musselled Moore) (2006-2008) by AGO conservator Sherry Phillips. Made of steel and zebra mussels, Starling’s cast of Henry Moore’s Warrior with Shield, a 1954 bronze in the AGO collection, spent 18 months in Lake Ontario gathering parasitic zebra mussels. Conservation projects at the AGO are generously supported by American Express, Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program.

Adventure-seeking tweens are encouraged to try out the AGO’s most recent mobile app, Time Tremors AGO, and transform their trip to the Gallery into a real-time interactive treasure hunt. Geared toward families and children ages 7 to 12, this app sends players navigating through the Gallery in search of clues hidden in works of art. Visitors can play different missions customized for the AGO all together in a single session or on subsequent visits to the Gallery as a single player or in a group.

Recently nominated for an International Digital Emmy® Award, Time Tremors AGO is available now for download from the iTunes store and Google Play at a cost of $2.99 and is supported for Android 4.1 + as well as iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and iPod Touch 4 and 5 generations. Visitors are encouraged to download the app from the iTunes store before they visit.

ShopAGOkids, Toronto’s best source for artful toys and educational gifts, celebrates March Break with a FREE gift with purchase of $20 or more.

Enjoy kid-friendly menus in both FRANK and caféAGO throughout March Break. FRANK restaurant at the AGO offers parents a $25 prix fixe lunch menu daily from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm in addition to kid-friendly options. For reservations, please call 416-979-6680. CaféAGO will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids five and under always eat for free at caféAGO with the purchase of an adult meal.

In addition to the drop-in programming available throughout March Break, the AGO offers full-day March Break Camps. To register or for more information call 416-979-6608 or visit www.ago.net/camps.

The AGO is located at 317 Dundas St. W. (between Beverley Street and McCaul Street). It is easily accessible by the TTC via St Patrick Subway Station or the Dundas streetcar. Please visit ago.net for more information on directions and parking.

Family Programs Lead Sponsor: BMO Financial Group

March Break Sponsor: Hot Wheels®

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. ABOUT THE AGO

ABOUT THE AGO
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 ago.net 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.

Nov. 30, 2013 – March 2, 2014: The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918

April 5, 2014 – July 20, 2014: Francis Bacon & Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

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 more information on March Break at the AGO please contact:

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403, andrea-jo_wilson@ago.net

Laura Banks; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 504, laura_banks@ago.net

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