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A Massive Uprising at the AGO: Fight for your right to party

(Toronto, March 27, 2009) Prepare for rebellion at Massive Party, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s first on-site benefit since its grand reopening.

On April 2, co-chairs Gillian Hewitt and Som Seif will host 1,600 guests for an evening of defiant music, consumerist cocktails, hedonistic hors d’oeuvres and provocative artists’ projects. The spectacular new Frank Gehry-designed spaces will serve as the backdrop for this fifth annual AGO fundraiser.

Guests will encounter a variety of protests throughout the evening as part of the Massive Uprising theme. Riot police will be on hand to quell the uprising and keep the peace, while partygoers will be inspired to make love, not war.

Massive Party will feature innovative installations and performances by such notorious contemporary artists as David Armstrong Six, Emelie Chhangur, Anitra Hamilton, Jay Isaac, Sarah Maple, Eric Mathew, Christof Migone and Franco Mondini-Ruiz – all provoking a sense of strength and dominance.

Anitra Hamilton’s ominous wall painting of the silhouette of a bomber aircraft called 5 o’clock shadow will set the tone for combat as Emelie Chhangur’s Power to the People button is distributed to all the guests. The front line revelry will be evident throughout the Gallery: Eric Mathew’s mural, The Future Is Now, applies a matrix of post-crash, post-consumer exhortations across a 48-foot wall, while Christof Migone’s poignant Disco Fall assumes a more nostalgic attitude towards change.

Massive Party will mark the first Canadian installation of rising British art star Sarah Maple, who is represented by three provocative photographic works: You, She Has a Very Hot Arse, and Can I taste your Maple syrup? It will also provide an arena for Texas artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz, who will liquidate his entire inventory during a marathon five-hour sales performance entitled Morsels for the Masses: Populist Art at Popular Prices!

Montreal artist David Armstrong Six will exhibit two elements from his 2007 No Refunds project: We Admitted We Were Powerless… and Silver and Gold. Jay Isaac has created an immense illuminated ice sculpture entitled Sword of Damocles.

DJ Efsharp, DJ M, DJ Richard, Whitney [Toronto] & Dr. Draw – Toronto’s hottest disc jockeys – will energize Massive Party’s hip and savvy crowd, setting the tone for Video DJs Artbeast with DJ Matt Weed and Justin Broadbent’s rebellious sounds.

The AGO’s executive chef Anne Yarymowich will supply a selection of hors d’oeuvres, which will be served on anarchy-supporting napkins and linens spoiled with graffiti tags. Specialty cocktails created by Diageo – The Capitalist and Moscow Mule – will complement these offerings.

Proceeds of this event will support the AGO’s exhibitions and education programs.

CTV is the Lead Sponsor of this year’s Massive Party. Supporting sponsors for the event are Claymore Investments, Inc., Equity Transfer & Trust Company and Investors Group, Inc., with assistance from Interbrand, Merrill Corporation Canada and NOW Magazine.

The cost of tickets is $125 and includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, music, performances, entertainment, and great art experiences. Purchase your tickets online at or call 416 979 6628. Ages 19 and over (ID required).

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416-979-6660, ext. 454,

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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