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AGO’s First Thursdays and Long Winter turn up the heat in a blaze of unforgettable art and music

Over 25 artists and musicians kick off 2014 at the AGO’s popular art party

TORONTO — The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Long Winter, the monthly wintertime underground event series, will set this January’s AGO First Thursday ablaze with music, art and drinks. With over 25 participating artists, the galleries will be bursting at the seams with pop-up performances, art installations, musical guests, art talks and much more. Advance tickets are $12 for members and $15 for the general public, on sale now at The 19+ event runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m.

Launched last year by members of the Toronto punk band Fucked Up, Long Winter bills itself as a “monthly night of immersive and interactive music, installations, visual art, readings, food and dance to help get Toronto through our long and cold winter.” For the third installment in their 2013/14 season, AGO First Thursdays and Long Winter collide to serve up a smorgasbord of the city’s most cutting-edge independent and underground musicians, artists, performers and DJs.

Four of Canada’s most thoughtful and provocative artists and performers—Shary Boyle, Vanessa Dunn, Aminah Sheikh and Petra Collins—participate in a discussion panel on feminism’s role in art, organized by After School and Hazlitt. The no-holds-barred conversation will give insight into their artistic practices and politics and will examine why feminism matters to artists today.

For one night only, Walker Court will be transformed into an expansive artist bazaar. Art-making stations will invite guests to create their own art objects to trade with the 20-plus artists displaying artworks. Visit the Facebook event page for a full list of participating artists.

International indie bands Snowblink and Doomsquad headline the musical portion of the night with performances on the fifth floor.  At 9 p.m., Californian/Toronto duo Snowblink will envelop audiences with their warm melodies and the delicate vocals of Daniela Gesundheit, hailed by the UK Guardian as “lilting, otherworldly…that seem to breeze in and out of the song like a late summer breeze.” Following Snowblink, the contrasting sounds of Doomsquad will bring audiences back into the deep darkness of winter with their “mysterious, creepy electronic” sounds, as described by Exclaim.

Toronto musician/performance artist Isla Craig will rove through the galleries as part of Soul Sisters Supreme Redux, singing with a small choir for a one-of-a-kind performance throughout the event. In Gallery Italia, Katie Stelmanis (of Austra) will be spinning dance beats while guests mingle with drinks and food.

A series of art installations by up-and-coming Canadian and international artists, including Paul Kneale, Megan Rooney, Henri Fabergé, Dangling Participle and Tough Guy Mountain (TGM) will fill the galleries. Full details are available at

Cocktails and pints will be available at bars throughout the Gallery. January’s food menu features an array of Moroccan flavours with chermoula-marinated fish sandwiches, khobz with fried eggplant and white bean puree, merguez sausage rolls, honey baklava and fig and walnut mammoul.

Tickets for January’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. The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 will be on view for a special First Thursdays upgrade price of $10. Book tickets online by visiting

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

Official Beer Sponsor: Grolsch

Media Partner: NOW Magazine

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.

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.

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

April 5, 2014 July 6, 2014: Francis Bacon & Henry Moore

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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