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Archive: September, 2008

New design for AGO.net launched today

September 30th, 2008

For many people, a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario starts with a visit to www.ago.net. To ensure you enjoy a more intuitive, informative and accessible website experience, we are in the process of redesigning www.ago.net. The first release of the new design was launched today. It is the result of collaboration with Devlin eBusiness Architects. Click here for more information about the AGO/Devlin partnership.

The project began early in 2008 with community consultations, comparative research and user testing. A new architecture and user interface were developed and are being launched today in the spirit of a public beta site. We welcome your feedback as we seek to continually improve the site and help you to plan your visit to the new AGO. The site will continue to be released in phases over the coming months. Some of the features we are working to introduce include page-level comments, RSS feeds, sharing, feedback as well as a new event calendar. Many people have asked for web access to images of AGO’s digital collections. This is something that we are working towards for early 2009.

We’ll continue to post updates as this project progresses. Stay tuned and let us know what you think.

W. Garfield Weston Foundation Boosts Arts Education at the AGO

September 16th, 2008

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has committed the largest single gift in support of art education in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s 108-year history.

The foundation’s generous lead gift of $12 million will support the AGO’s $25 million campaign to significantly enhance its art education program — $18 million for reconstruction and refurbishment of the Gallery’s existing education and public programming facilities and $7 million to create the AGO’s first-ever education program endowment fund.

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation will commit $10 million to the reconstruction project, to be named the Weston Family Learning Centre. The foundation will also commit $2 million toward the endowment, to be named the Weston Foundation Teacher Training Fund.

“The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has a long and celebrated history of support for innovation in education,” says A. Charles Baillie, president of the AGO’s Board of Trustees. “Highly successful in business and deeply committed to art and artistic expression, the Weston family is testament to the power of imagination and creativity.”

AGO Partners with The Bay to Live Artfully

September 15th, 2008

By Sarah Harris, Public Affairs Intern


Photo courtesy The Doug Agency

Throughout September, the AGO is partnering with the Bay to promote the launch of the transformed AGO. The national promotion, Live Artfully, encourages Bay shoppers to bring art into their lives. The AGO’s Marketing Department worked closely with Bay representatives to develop this promotion, which is valued at $200,000 and was of no cost to the Gallery.

The campaign launched on September 4 at the Bay’s flagship store at Queen and Yonge. Staff from the AGO’s Gallery School conducted a hands-on fabric printing demonstration to educate Bay shoppers on how they can bring creative activities into their everyday lives.

The Gallery’s new animated logo is featured in the Bay’s window at the corner of Queen and Yonge, along with the model of the transformed AGO, and various marketing campaign elements.

"The timing of this partnership is ideal for the AGO," says AGO marketing manager Andrea Seaborn. "With Toronto International Film Festival events in the immediate area and back-to-school shopping underway, traffic past the Queen and Yonge window is tremendously high this month."

A number of in store promotions are also taking place, including bag stuffers with AGO flyers, ticket giveaways, and signage in Bay stores. The AGO’s involvement in Live Artfully is also being promoted by flyers distributed in-store and to 200,000 Bay cardholders.

Come by and take part in additional demonstrations by Gallery School instructors on September 18 and 25, from 12 to 2:30 pm, at the top of the escalators on the second floor of the Bay, Queen Street.


Photo courtesy The Doug Agency

Construction Update: Off the Wall

September 8th, 2008

Off the Wall. Photo courtesy AGO photographer Craig Boyko. © 2008 Art Gallery of Ontario.

The AGO’s Off the Wall space for kids and families in the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands On Centre has been redesigned to enable families to work together and create connections between their own experiences and art.

Off the Wall, which spans 1800 square feet of play space, focuses on creativity that can be interpreted in a variety of ways inside and outside of the Gallery. The AGO worked with Reich + Petch Design International in association with Holman Exhibits, to create the new design for Off the Wall, which features five creative discovery zones: Make Your Mark, The Observatory, Body Canvas Constructivist Costumes, The Big Build + DIY Junktion, and Memory Maker.

Make sure to include Off the Wall in your visit to the the transformed AGO. It will be included in general admission.

Construction Update: Off the Wall

September 8th, 2008

Off the Wall. Photo courtesy AGO photographer Craig Boyko. 2008 Art Gallery of Ontario.

The AGO’s Off the Wall space for kids and families in the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands On Centre has been redesigned to enable families to work together and create connections between their own experiences and art.

Off the Wall, which spans 1800 square feet of play space, focuses on creativity that can be interpreted in a variety of ways inside and outside of the Gallery. The AGO worked with Reich + Petch Design International in association with Holman Exhibits, to create the new design for Off the Wall, which features five creative discovery zones: Make Your Mark, The Observatory, Body Canvas Constructivist Costumes, The Big Build + DIY Junktion, and Memory Maker.

Make sure to include Off the Wall in your visit to the the transformed AGO. It will be included in general admission.

AGO Shop Features Gehry Lighting Collection

September 4th, 2008

by Amanda Gabriele

Photo courtesy BELUX, Switzerland

When we reopen in November, the AGO Shop will carry the Frank Gehry Cloud Collection. Designed by the renowned architect and manufactured by BELUX in Switzerland, a selection of this unique contemporary lighting collection will be sold exclusively at the AGO.

"The Cloud light fixtures are both sculptural and interactive," says Joanne Russell, product development & buying manager. "The user is co-designer, as the flexible material allows the user to configure the ‘cloud’ to a particular shape."

Lamps are available in a variety of sizes, models and price points; everything from standing floor lamps to large sculptural ceiling pieces. The largest in the collection is the Cloud Mama, which measures two metres in lengths and is supported by an internal metal structure.

Each lamp has a voluminous yet delicate paper-like shade, with an invisible light source in the centre. Its irregular sculptural shape, marked by countless folds, crimps, bulges and dents, truly suggests a light fleecy Cloud.

The new AGO shop will be home to some of the most unique merchandise in Canada. The Gehry-designed space spans some 7,000 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows that infuse natural light over an array of products. As the AGO continues its transformation, patrons can continue to shop online at shop.ago.net.