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Bowie has left the building

December 10th, 2013

David Bowie is at the AGO kicked off world tour and got visitors dancing

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.


This fall David Bowie is, a widely acclaimed exhibition of objects from the pop icon’s personal archive, came to the AGO for an extended run from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. We’re happy to announce that it was a hit with our visitors. Running from Sept. 25, 2013, to Nov. 29, 2013, the exhibition drew 146,471 visitors to the Gallery during its nine-week run, garnering praise from the likes of the Globe and Mail, which called it a “spectacular, bewildering multi-sensory collision” and NOW Magazine, which lauded it as a “multimedia extravaganza”.

To kick things off on the exhibition’s opening day, the AGO encouraged fans to don Bowie-inspired garb and be among the first 200 to experience David Bowie is at the AGO. Glammed-up visitors listened to Bowie tunes spun by a DJ on the street as they lined up at the Gallery’s entrance to receive free admission to the sold-out show.

The AGO also threw an official opening party in Walker Court on Sept. 27, 2013. Guests released their inner Bowie and danced the night away. They also enjoyed after-hours admission to the exhibition, sets from DJs Luis Jacob and Odessa Paloma Parker, GIF tributes to Bowie by Toronto new media artist Lorna Mills and a special one-night-only exhibition of memorabilia, presented by Toronto artist Andrew Zealley and others.

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

The partying didn’t stop after the exhibition’s opening. On Nov. 23, 2013, the AGO lit up again with decked-out guests after hours for the AGO’s Bowie Bash closing gala. More than 425 attendees participated in this festive and fashionable fundraiser that included a gourmet dinner designed by AGO executive chef Jeff Dueck, live musical entertainment and more, all in support of AGO programming.

Just as during its successful run at the V&A, David Bowie is was in high demand in Toronto, and so the Gallery responded. Not only did we expand the visiting hours to accommodate gallery-goers navigating their busy fall calendars, but we also extended the closing date by two days to Nov. 29 to help as many visitors as possible catch a glimpse of the exhibition that everyone had been talking about.

Bringing exhibitions of this calibre to the AGO requires a lot of support, and we would like to recognize our corporate partners Holt Renfrew and RBC; Sennheiser for the incredible sound experience; leadership gifts from La Foundation Emmanuelle Gattuso, the Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation and Rob & Cheryl McEwen; our government partner, the Government of Ontario; our hotel partner, Eaton Chelsea; and our media partners, Q107 and NOW Magazine. Thanks to each and all for making David Bowie is and its accompanying programming at the AGO possible and a big success.

Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and curated by Victoria Broakes and Geoffrey Marsh (the V&A’s curators of theatre and performance), the exhibition’s stop at the AGO was the first on its world tour. It will be on display at the São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound in the new year and at the MCA Chicago next fall.

Two more days of Bowie for AGO visitors

November 25th, 2013

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

Toronto can’t get enough of David Bowie. In response to overwhelming public demand, we’re extending the exhibition David Bowie is yet again, by two days, marking an unprecedented third round of extensions. Originally set to close this Wednesday, the exhibition will now run until Friday, Nov. 29, at 8:30 p.m.

Praised as “essential viewing for superfans” by blogTO, the smash hit exhibition from London’s acclaimed Victoria and Albert Museum was previously expanded twice to include evening hours on several weekdays and special Monday openings. Remaining hours for Bowie fans and pop-culture lovers to take in the experience include:

  • TODAY: Monday, Nov. 25 – special opening from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 26 – 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 27 – 10 a.m. to midnight
  • Thursday, Nov. 28 – 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and
  • Friday, Nov. 29 – 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale and can be booked in person, by phone at 416-979-6655 and online by visiting ago.net/david-bowie-is.

Regular-priced timed-entry tickets for David Bowie is are $21.50 for youth ages 17 and under, $26.50 for seniors and $30 for adults. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children five and under.

New late-night hours and special ticket discounts welcome visitors during final weeks of David Bowie is

November 11th, 2013

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

As the days tick down until we have to say goodbye to David Bowie is, visitors continue to show their enthusiasm for the exhibition and some time slots, particularly on weekends, are selling out. To make it easier for visitors with busy schedules who are still trying to fit in a visit, we’ve added the following extended hours:

  • Friday, Nov. 15: open to 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 22: open to 8:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 25: special opening from 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 27: open until midnight (closing day)

In addition to these hours, we’re happy to offer additional discounted tickets for weekday time slots* and exhibition’s final day, Nov. 27, when $15 Wednesday-evening admission will extend to midnight.

Don’t miss out! Click here for tickets and here for more David Bowie is visitor tips.

*$5 off weekday time slots, Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; online orders only, ends at 4:05 p.m. on Nov. 22. Use code “WEEKDAY” to access the discount when purchasing tickets.

In Photos: David Bowie’s late-’70s Pop stop in Toronto

October 21st, 2013

David Bowie, March 14, 1977, at the Seneca College Field House. Photo by Vince Carlucci.© Vince Carlucci

David Bowie, March 14, 1977, at the Seneca College Field House. Photo by Vince Carlucci.© Vince Carlucci

What does David Bowie look like in Toronto? The exhibition David Bowie is contains many images of the cultural icon in his many guises — including iconic portraits by Brian Duffy and Masayoshi Sukita — but getting to see him on stage in our hometown is a rare opportunity.

While living with Iggy Pop in Berlin, Bowie collaborated on two of Pop’s solo albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life, and also toured with him. In this guest post, photographer Vince Carlucci recalls a 1977 Pop concert at the Seneca College Field House in Toronto, when Bowie performed a rare supporting role. (Carlucci captured many stars around that time. In a post earlier this year, he shared photos from a late-’70s Patti Smith performance in the same venue.)

See more shots and Carlucci’s memories of the concert below.


Click to expand

“The photos depicted here were shot on March 14, 1977, at Seneca Field House, Toronto. This was Iggy Pop’s The Idiot tour, supporting his first album without the Stooges and the first of two albums to which David Bowie contributed songs and/or production. The following record, Lust For Life, was released in 1978.

“This is a rare moment in rock-and-roll history, where Mr. Bowie can be seen as a supporting or background musician, in a relatively small venue, compared to his own larger extravaganzas.

“There was a wild round of applause, shouting and general hooting as Bowie smiled and took his place behind the keyboards. Bowie sat with his back partially to the audience, hence snapping a good photo took some patience and manoeuvring. Two rock icons on the same stage in a small venue: a very special moment.”

All photos were taken on a Pentax SP1000 35 mm camera.
Film: Kodak Tri-X

David Bowie is: open!

September 26th, 2013

David Bowie is opening night. Photo by Dean Tomlinson/Art Gallery of Ontario.

Last night we had a little celebration outside the gallery to welcome the arrival of David Bowie is, running here until Nov. 27, 2013. Energized by tunes from DJ Brittney Townson (of duo Bangs & Blush), we welcomed visitors dressed in Bowie-inspired attire, who enjoyed free admission to the exhibition, as well as media cameras and lots of onlookers who had fun with our Bowie cutouts. Thanks to all who joined us! Read the rest of this entry »

David Bowie is almost here (and free). Celebrate with us!

September 12th, 2013

Pierrot (or "Blue Clown") costume, 1980. Designed by Natasha Korniloff for the "Ashes to Ashes" video and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album cover. Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive. Courtesy of the David Bowie Archive Image © Victoria and Albert Museum.

Pierrot (or “Blue Clown”) costume, 1980. Designed by Natasha Korniloff for the “Ashes to Ashes” video and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album
cover. Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive. Courtesy of the David Bowie Archive
Image © Victoria and Albert Museum.

On the opening day of the exhibition David Bowie is, Sept. 25, 2013, admission to the exhibition is free for the first 200 people who come dressed up as Bowie between the hours of 6 to 8:30 p.m. We’re looking for Bowie-inspired makeup, costumes, fan gear — whatever says “Bowie” loud and clear. Show up decked out, mingle with Bowie impersonators and enjoy music by DJ Brittney Townson (of Bangs and Blush) and other surprises.*

Bowie is a style chameleon and has assumed so many personas — which one inspires you?
(click to enlarge and for more info)

*Please note: public tickets for David Bowie is for the evening of Sept. 25 have sold out, so we cannot guarantee entry to the exhibition that night for everyone who dresses up (beyond the first 200).