The AGO is offering Toronto families nine days of fun this March Break, beginning Saturday, March 9. Inspired by the imaginative miniature sculptures of Kim Adams, the AGO offers children and families tons of ways to play, shop, eat and create. And all drop-in programs and activities are FREE with the price of admission.
March Break drop-in programs will run daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 9 to March 17. And because March Break only comes once a year, the AGO will remain open on Monday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering one extra day of fun for kids and parents in the Gallery. For updates on daily programming, follow the AGO on Facebook and Twitter.
This year’s theme is Itty Bitty Cities, and children and families can explore all things small from small ships to mini marvels throughout the Gallery including:
A Kim Adams kids activity guide and the miniature worlds and unbridled imagination of this acclaimed Canadian sculptor;
All-day play at the Imagination Playground in Walker Court, where kids can bend, stack and build giant blue blocks to create their own sprawling kingdoms;
All the art making supplies kids need to construct tiny additions to the AGO’s own itty bitty city, available in Walker Court;
Free family yoga classes at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. in the Weston Family Learning Centre on Monday, March 11, Wednesday, March 13, and Friday, March 15;
Kid-friendly tours of the Gallery, giving families a “kid’s eye view” of the AGO collection, leave hourly from Walker Court;
Extended hours at the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre (ages 5 and under), where the Gallery’s youngest visitors can make art, listen to stories and play dress up daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and
Screenings of art-inspired short films from the National Film Board all day long in Jackman Hall.
shopAGOkids is celebrating March Break with a variety of daily in-store events and promotions. Highlights include a book reading and signing on Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. with the Governor General’s Award–winning children’s author Cybele Young. On Thursday, March 14, visitors can participate in a hands-on demonstration with neon graffiti pens, and on March 19 families can experience hands-on fashion demonstrations with stylists from Cool and Hot Duct Tape.
What’s happening in shopAGOkids during March Break? Click to expand.
Building miniature cities and shopping is hard work, so kids five and under always eat for free at caféAGO with the purchase of an adult meal. During March Break, FRANK Restaurant is offering families a special three-course prix-fix lunch for just $25. Members will get an extra 20 per cent off. FRANK will open for brunch on Monday, March 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with plenty of kids items on the menu. For reservations call 416.979.6680.
… in action. Check out our efficient and futuristic coat rack solution. Seven hundred fifty hooks hang from a snake-like piece of stainless steel that is fixed to the ceiling, eliminating the need for dozens of coat racks and cubbys. Whenever a class full of kids arrives at our Weston Family Learning Centre, the AGO staff pulls it to the floor, stocks it up, then pulls it back to the ceiling in one space-optimization move. Famous Canadian Artist Emily Carr used to use this technique in her studio to make room for her paintings, and do away with unwanted guests. Find out more about Emily Carr
The Government of Canada recently introduced the Canadian Children’s Arts Tax Credit, giving parents the opportunity to claim the 15 per cent non-refundable Canadian Children’s Arts Tax Credit on qualifying expenses up to $500 starting in 2011 for each child who is under the age of 16 at the beginning of the tax year. The age limit is 18 for children eligible for the Disability Tax Credit and an additional amount of $500 will be provided in those instances. The credit will go towards fees paid that contribute to the development of a child’s creative skills or expertise in artistic or cultural programs.
Here at the AGO, the Children and Family Programs and Youth Studio offer an exceptional learning environment where children and youth are given the opportunity to do just that. Along with access to AGO’s galleries, collections, and new Weston Family Learning Centre, children and youth are presented with a variety of ways to learn and create.
* One-day family workshops, courses that are complimentary with admission, and programs that are part of school curriculum are not eligible for this tax credit.
To Qualify Classes Must Be:
Ongoing (either a minimum of once a week for at least eight weeks’ duration) or five consecutive days;
Suitable for children.
What Parents Need To Know
fees paid for the cost of memberships, registration, administration, instruction, and the rental of equipment is also included as an eligible expense.
Parents will receive an electronic receipt in January that will list: organization’s name and address, eligible program, fees paid and date received, full name of payer, full name of child and the child’s year of birth.
The AGO’s Gallery School was started by Group of Seven painter Arthur Lismer in the 1920s. It has been a hub of art learning for millions of adults and children ever since.
We know from our blog post ‘Were you a gallery student‘ that you have lots of fond memories of visiting the Gallery School in the past. Do you know of any prominent Canadians, celebrities or artists who taught or took courses at the Gallery School? Perhaps they attended camp as a child? Perhaps they took an evening printmaking class as an adult?
We’re developing a Gallery Hall of Fame as an exciting way of sharing our history with our visitors. If you can think of anyone who should be on the list please get in touch or leave a comment below.
The Art Gallery of Ontario has unveiled a dynamic logo to represent its new Weston Family Learning Centre, which opens in July for summer camp and officially launches to the public in September 2011.
The identity and its guiding principles are the culmination of a six-month process whereby the AGO worked with Gottschalk + Ash, an award-winning branding and communications company, to develop the final product. The logo will appear on a range of marketing and support materials.
“The Learning Centre’s identity reflects the creative process that is inherent to the AGO’s vision,” says Kelly McKinley, the AGO’s director of Education and Public Programs. “It represents a dramatic renewal of the AGO’s enduring commitment to lifelong learning and creativity.”
The graphic identity encompasses two typefaces, and acknowledges the lead funder for this visionary project. The logo will first appear in the upcoming issue of Art Matters, which lands in members’ homes this week.
“Part of the new logo is placed within three abstract lines that represent the act of creating and creative possibilities,” said Bernita Kiefte, AGO executive director, Marketing and Communications.
Watch for these day dates coming up at the Learning Centre:
July 4 – Summer camp begins
July 15 – Registration begins for fall courses
September 30 – Youth Centre Opening Party
October 1 & 2 – Members’ Open House
October 1 – Nuit Blanche at the Learning Centre
A beautiful and inviting space comprising approximately 35,000 square feet, the Weston Family Learning Centre is directly linked to the AGO’s extraordinary galleries and offers a fully integrated learning experience through innovative hands-on, online, and distance learning programs.
Among the first of its kind in North American art museums, the multi-purpose and multi-media facility combines teaching, social gathering and community activities. It enables the AGO to significantly extend the range and reach of art programs which include studio and gallery courses, workshops, lectures, talks and symposia. This new space serves as a catalyst for learning and creativity, and welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in art and with each other.
Funding for the Weston Family Learning Centre was made possible by a landmark donation from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, which committed the largest single gift in support of art education in the Gallery’s 111-year history, and the Government of Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
Plans for the Weston Family Learning Centre are moving forward. The schematic design should be complete by the end of this month, with construction beginning in June.
First and foremost the desire is to create a beautiful space to welcome the community. In addition, five goals will help to realize the centre’s vision: functionality (durability for large groups); flexibility (maximizing spaces and program opportunities); accessibility (providing a feeling of welcome); integration (offering direct connection to the galleries); and transparency (inviting visitors behind the scenes).
"The Weston Family Learning Centre heralds the potential of a social hub for community creativity and learning," said Kelly McKinley, director, Education and Public Programming. "Through direct and hands-on encounters with art, artists and the creative process in a studio setting, people from across our city and province will experience the power of art to transform how we understand ourselves and our world."
The physical space of the area will include a dedicated entrance and lobby; an education commons to house cloakroom and picnic area for schools; an artist-in-residence studio; the open-concept Gallery School, a headquarters for Teens-Behind-the-Scenes; and state-of-the-art seminar rooms.
The Weston Family Learning Centre was first announced in September 2008 following on a lead gift of $12 million from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The gift included $10 million toward capital costs for the Learning Centre and $2 million toward an endowment to be named the Weston Family Teacher Training Fund – the AGO’s first education program endowment.
The project got a second major boost last month when the Government of Canada announced a $7.5 million funding contribution to the capital expansion project from its Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The AGO will undertake a fundraising campaign to continue building endowment funds for education programming and other attributes for the Weston Family Learning Centre.
The pace is visibly quickening around the Art Gallery of Ontario’s much-anticipated Weston Family Learning Centre, with design development already underway.
The project was first announced in September 2008 following on a lead gift of $12 million from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The gift included $10 million toward capital costs for the Learning Centre and $2 million toward an endowment to be named the Weston Family Teacher Training Fund – the AGO’s first education program endowment. The project received a second major boost last month when the Government of Canada announced a $7.5 million funding contribution from its Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
To be completed within the existing footprint of the AGO, the Weston Family Learning Centre will enable the Gallery to increase participation in art education for all ages with dedicated spaces for art instruction, workshops and community-based exhibitions. It will be a fully wireless, networked facility with integrated technology throughout. State-of-the-art seminar rooms will feature broadcast and videoconferencing capabilities. The Learning Centre will reach out to students and teachers in their classrooms through online interactive technologies. The Weston Family Teacher Training Fund will support on-site and on-line workshops and professional development for teachers.
Demolition is expected to begin by late April, and construction begins in June. Substantial completion of Learning Centre is expected by mid-March 2011, with an anticipated official launch in fall 2011.
Despite the impact of the construction project, the Education department has been working hard to relocate or modify programming where possible. A large number of programs will continue:
Adult lectures, symposia and talks in various gallery locations;
Adult in-gallery courses;
Teacher events and professional development;
Public and private group tours;
Youth programs (Free after 3, Youth Council and Teens-Behind-the-Scenes programs);
School programs in gallery spaces;
Summer Camp 2010 (in partnership with OCAD);
Evening programming and public events;
Education outreach and partnerships; and
The following programs will be suspended for the duration of the project:
Gallery School winter session classes end this week and spring session classes will be cancelled. All registrants are eligible for full refunds.
School studio visits will run through the end of April, while schools booked for studio programs in May and June will be offered the opportunity to change their dates.
Off the Wall will close in July, with the anticipation that additional family-friendly activities will be developed for Gallery spaces for the duration of construction.
Feel free to contact the AGO’s Program Registration with any queries related to refunds or rescheduling of studio visits at 416.979.8806 (Monday to Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.