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The AGO Continues 1st Thursdays with Art, Drinks, Music
and the Announcement of The Grange Prize 2012 Winner

Fashion sensation Stacey McKenzie hosts Grange Prize winner event; 1st Thursday party to feature performances by DIANA and others

(TORONTO – Oct. 24, 2012) The second installment of 1st Thursdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will build on the excitement of the program’s sold out October launch, as the AGO and Aeroplan, an Aimia company, announce the winner of the $50,000 Grange Prize 2012 for contemporary photography live in Walker Court on Nov. 1, 2012.

Bringing together an impressive roster of artists, live music and art projects, 1st Thursdays are interactive art nights out featuring a variety of performances, pop-up bars, art-making activities, artist and curator tours, talks and live events. As the name suggests, 1st Thursdays take place on the first Thursday of each month, as the AGO opens its doors to adults 19+ from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cash bars are set up throughout the galleries and visitors can explore the AGO at their own pace throughout the night.

Toronto-born fashion sensation Stacey McKenzie will host The Grange Prize 2012 winner event in Walker Court and will move the party into high gear at 8 p.m. McKenzie is known for her appearances on Canada’s/America’s Next Top Model and for her international modelling career, appearing in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Flare and Vibe, among other magazines. The much anticipated award will be presented by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, a London–based artist duo who served on The Grange Prize jury this year.

During this celebration of all things photographic, party-goers are invited to experience the history of photography with the Tintype Studio and the experimental black and white panoramas featured in the exhibition Josef Sudek: The Legacy of a Deeper Vision. Guests are invited to assume the photographer’s role themselves as part of the AGO’s first visitor photo contest.

Following The Grange Prize winner announcement, musical guest DIANA will collaborate with local photographic artist Laurie Kang for a very special performance. Katie Stelmanis of Toronto indie band Austra will follow with a ground-stomping DJ set.

ShopAGO continues its DesignTALKS, a series of lectures by leading local designers focused on small space design. Architect, interior designer, teacher and critic Tania Bartolotto hosts this month’s talk from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. She will shed light on her unique process that utilizes design as a vehicle for maximizing our health and well being in the places where we live, work, learn and play. The AGO’s U.K.–born artist-in-residence Mark Titchner has a new exhibition in the Young Gallery and visitors are invited to get a sneak peek of his work on their way though FRANK restaurant.

Tickets for November’s 1st Thursday are on sale now. Regular-priced tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Admission for AGO Members is $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be booked online by visiting Party-goers are encouraged to buy tickets early, as the October launch of 1st Thursdays sold out, with rush tickets available only.

Once guests have paid the entrance admission for 1st Thursday, they will be offered the opportunity to purchase $10 tickets to see Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting. The exhibition will be open until 9:30 p.m., with the last entry at 9 p.m. AGO members enter the exhibition for free.

On Nov. 1, 2012, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aeroplan, an Aimia company, will announce the winner of The Grange Prize 2012, Canada’s only major art and culture prize whose winner is chosen entirely by public vote. Two artists from Canada and two from the United Kingdom have been shortlisted to compete for the $50,000 prize. Online voting is currently taking place at and is open until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2012. Selected by a jury of leading Canadian and British photography experts, the artists on this year’s shortlist share a fascination with the world of images that surround us every day — from fashion editorial and sports photography to landscape images and crime scene documentation. They include Annie MacDonell and Emmanuelle Léonard of Canada and the U.K.’s Jason Evans and Jo Longhurst.

For up-to-date details about 1st Thursdays, visit and follow #AGO1st on Twitter.

Updates, blog posts and more information about The Grange Prize can be found at

Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program, is owned by Aimia Inc., a global leader in loyalty management. Aeroplan is a long-standing patron of the arts, with a history of supporting artists and arts initiatives across Canada. Of particular significance is the company’s work, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, to develop The Grange Prize for contemporary photography. Aeroplan is committed to fostering a long-term, international dialogue about this important art form. Aeroplan has also joined the AGO in a partnership as the Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program, supporting planned AGO activities to engage visitors with photography, including special lectures and tours.

For more information about Aeroplan, please visit or

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, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

Oct. 20, 2012–Jan. 20, 2013: Frida & Diego: Passon, Politics and Painting

Mar. 16–Jun. 16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

The AGO 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 more information on The Grange Prize 2012 or 1st Thursdays at the AGO, please contact:

Melissa Prince; Veritas Communications

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

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

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