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AGO First Thursdays gets lit this fall with Mykki Blanco, Kardinal Offishall, Witch Prophet and 88 Days of Fortune

TORONTO – The Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) First Thursdays art party series kicks off a new season of performance, live music, talks and interactive installations tomorrow night. Tickets for Septembers First Thursday, featuring musical headliner Mykki Blanco, are on sale now. Tickets for October and November First Thursday will go on sale one week after the previous month’s event, on Sept. 8, 2016, and Oct. 13, 2016, at

Opening on the first Thursday of every month after the Gallery closes, First Thursday is a 19+ event and runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Regular-priced tickets are $13 in advance and $16 at the door. Admission for AGO members is $11 in advance and $14 at the door. Tickets for all events are expected to sell out; be sure to follow #AGO1st on Twitter and Instagram for ticketing and programming updates.


Sept. 1, 2016 – Constituency

On sale now

In partnership with Toronto’s MANIFESTO Festival of Community and Culture, September’s First Thursday celebrates the exhibition Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum. Gates proposes new ways of honouring and remembering the Black experience and examines the potential of these spaces through music, dance, video, sculpture and painting. Septembers First Thursday is dedicated to the constituencies of artists, community builders and activists whose work connects with Gates’ ideas.

On the eve of her new album release New York-based rapper, activist and performance artist Mykki Blanco headlines the event. The gender-punking, genre-twisting Blanco takes the stage in Walker Court for what is sure to be a raucous performance at 10 p.m.

Exploring issues of race, history and legacy, members of the Toronto-based feminist collective Bonerkill will perform in gallery. Visual and performance artist Jessica Karuhanga presents an original installation based on the #carefreeblackboy phenomenon and Sheila Sampath of Shameless Magazine and activist design studio Public invites party-goers to participate in an interactive art-making project.

The evening will also feature a series of pop-up talks by noted community activists and artists including Randell Adjei, Executive Director of R.I.S.E., Ashley McKenzie-Barnes of MANIFESTO, and Toronto artist Luis Jacob.

Supplementary programming includes the monthly Out of the Vaults exhibition supported by Volunteers of the AGO, surprise activations, as well as delicious themed food and drinks in the AGO’s Night Market.

Partygoers can purchase $23 advance combo-ticket packages for access to The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris. 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.

Oct. 6, 2016 – We Do Us

Tickets on sale Sept. 8, 2016

In October, First Thursday celebrates the groundbreaking exhibition Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989, with a program exploring the multiple perspectives and identity positions of local artists working today. Toronto music icon Kardinal Offishall will headline, with a DJ set in Walker Court at 10 p.m.  

The night features artist projects by Canadian lens-based artist Dainesha Nugent-Palanche, Asian Arts Freedom School (an art-based radical Asian history collective for Asian/Pacific Islander youth in the GTA) and the AGO’s fall 2016 Artist-in-Residence Walter Scott.

Nov. 3, 2016 – Be Magik

Tickets on sale Oct. 13, 2016

November First Thursday features musical performances by co-headliners Witch Prophet and music/media collective 88 Days of Fortune. Joined on stage by Lido Pimienta and Latasha Alcindor and visuals by Sun Sun aka Francesca Nocera, the event celebrates the AGO’s upcoming blockbuster exhibition Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces From Monet, Van Gogh and more.

Artist performances include no object, a multi-generational group of six performance artists, and contemporary classical violinist Edwin Huizinga in collaboration with choreographer and dancer Jennifer Nichols.

Partygoers can purchase $23 advance combo-ticket packages for access to Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, van Gogh and more. 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.


Official Beer Partner: Dos Equis

Official Vodka Partner: Absolut Vodka

Signature Partner, AGO Artist Projects: RBC Emerging Artists Project

Media Partner: NOW Magazine


With a collection of more than 90,000 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. Visit to learn more.

July 1 – Sept. 11, 2016: The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris

Oct. 22, 2016 – Jan. 29, 2017:    Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more

April 22 – July 30, 2017: Georgia O’Keeffe

Sept. 30, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018: Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters

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 all media inquiries about AGO First Thursdays, including high-resolution images and interview requests, please contact:

Samantha Chater, Communications Officer, AGO Communications

416-979-6660, ext. 504,


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