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Musical guest Sloan keeps AGO up late at June’s Canadian-themed First Thursday

Monthly art party celebrates Canadian art with projects by Chris Flanagan, Bonnie Devine, Derek Liddington and Katie Bethune-Leamen

TORONTO — Classic Canadiana with a contemporary edge rules the June edition of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) monthly First Thursdays art party. On June 5, 2014, pop-up art interventions, art-making, interactive performances and musical guest Sloan join AGO’s celebration of its collection of Canadian art. Advance tickets for Toronto’s biggest art party are on sale now and cost $12 for members and $15 for the general public. Advance purchase is recommended, as this popular 19+ event regularly sells out. This late-night edition of First Thursdays starts at 8 p.m. and continues until 12 a.m.

Canadian music legends Sloan take the stage at 10 p.m. in Walker Court. Repeatedly included on Chart Attack’s lists of the greatest all-time Canadian bands, this Juno Award–winning Toronto-based rock quartet has been defining power-pop music since the ’90s.

This month, artist interventions take over the AGO’s Canadian collection. Party-goers can watch Bonnie Devine, a noted Objibwe artist and educator, create a mural for the upcoming AGO contemporary exhibition Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes. Devine is painting over a 19th-century map of Upper and Lower Canada to reflect the world view of the First Nations of the Great Lakes region.

Derek Liddington presents a two-part work entitled The sun will always rise and fall from east to west. The Toronto-based artist will use sculpture and video to reflect upon the motions of the rising and setting sun, using the iconic landscapes of the Group of Seven as his backdrop. Guests can view his intervention all night long on the second floor of the Gallery.

For one night only Toronto sculptor Katie Bethune-Leamen will install Blobs for Lawren Harris’s Glaciers, Snow, Ice & Unknown Things, a series of large porcelain sculptures inspired by snow, ice and glacier details in Lawren Harris paintings on view in the AGO’s Thomson Collection of Canadian Art.

Chris Flanagan presents Rita Marley lived on Degrassi Street, an interactive installation commemorating the heyday of Toronto’s reggae scene in the 1970s and ’80s and encouraging guests to map undiscovered sites of importance in the scene. A crystal-encrusted mixing board, rare vinyl artifacts and projected visuals will transport viewers to the basements, booze-cans and studios that produced some of the best music in Toronto’s history.

An interactive installation from the AGO’s Youth Council will encourage visitors to reflect on the future of Canada. The piece, entitled Blank Slate, invites visitors to write messages about their notions of Canada on Polaroid portraits. The images will be adhered to a wall-sized map on Canada.

Lisa Hirmer of the Hamilton-based art and design program DodoLab invites guests to collaboratively re-construct a new, inclusive vision of Canada’s landscape with pen and paper.

Pop-up talks start with at 8:30 p.m. with a conversation between artist Bonnie Devine and Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art. At 9 p.m. emerging Hamilton-based artist Jenna Shamon gives a performative tour of the AGO’s Canadian Collection. Derek Liddington and AGO gallery guide coordinator Melissa Smith will discuss Liddington’s First Thursdays installation at 9:30 p.m.

Canadian cocktails and pints will be available at bars throughout the Gallery. Food and drink can be purchased with cash, credit and debit cards. This month’s Canada-inspired menu includes poutine, lobster mac ’n’ cheese bars, East Coast donairs and an oyster station.

Tickets for June’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. Party-goers can purchase $22 advance combo-ticket packages for Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty and June’s First Thursday. The exhibition will be open until 10 p.m., with the last entry at 9:30 p.m. AGO members enter the exhibition for free but are encouraged to book tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased and booked 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.

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

Aug. 23, 2014 – January, 2015: Alex Colville

Oct. 18, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015: Michelangelo

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 media inquiries about AGO First Thursdays, please contact:

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


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