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Confronting art and nationhood

March 7th, 2017

Sir David Adjaye, Christi Belcourt, Junot Díaz, and Paul Gross unite on April 21 for AGO Creative Minds at Massey Hall, our provocative speaker series.

Photos courtesy of the artists.

After a sold-out launch last fall, AGO Creative Minds at Massey Hall returns to address Art and Nationhood through the eyes of four acclaimed artists. Architect Sir David Adjaye, visual artist Christi Belcourt, author Junot Díaz, and filmmaker Paul Gross join moderator Matt Galloway, host of CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning, for an evening of inspired conversation addressing current global politics and how art shapes our understanding of place, history and progress.

The event, taking place on April 21 at 8 pm, kicks off with a performance by JUNO Award-winning Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq and will be live-streamed at and broadcast nationally on CBC Radio One.

Why Art and Nationhood? With the rapid rise of nationalist movements in the West following Brexit and the election of Donald Trump—and as we mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation—there is no better moment to ask: what makes a nation? Galloway will lead the artists in a discussion that begins with the ways each has approached this question in their practice before opening up the conversation to debate broader questions about today’s political moment, including issues of migration, colonialism, protest and how we might find connection across difference.

A landmark partnership between the Art Gallery of Ontario, Massey HallCBC and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Creative Minds aims to examine the present and imagine our futures through the eyes of some of the world’s most innovative and socially engaged artists, while celebrating the vitally important role they play in shaping our lives. Learn more about the artists participating in next month’s panel here.

Tickets will be available through the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office, and range from $19.50 to $79.50. Tickets go on sale to members of AGO Curator’s Circle, AGO Next and Massey Hall Friends First on March 8 at noon; to AGO Members on March 9 at noon; and to the public on March 10 at noon.

Creative Minds debuted in September 2016, with a sold-out crowd offering a standing ovation to speakers André Alexis, Rebecca Belmore, Deepa Mehta, and Buffy Sainte-Marie after an engaging discussion on the theme of Art and Social Justice. You can still catch it in the video below.

For more information, please visit

Creative Minds is supported by Series Presenters Jonas and Lynda Prince.

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