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Gift Cards: Gift-giving just got more beautiful!

December 23rd, 2009

An AGO gift card is the perfect way to give lots of options to the people on your list – from inspiring visits to the Gallery to stimulating courses, a delicious meal, or that unique item waiting at shopAGO.

You may use the gift card for the purchase of merchandise in shopAGO, toward the purchase/rental fee at the Art Rental + Sales Gallery, or for a meal at FRANK Restaurant or Cafe AGO.

It can also be used for admission to the AGO, to enroll in Gallery School education programs or when purchasing a Membership.

Purchase AGO Gift Cards online or visit us in person at shopAGO.

AGO Members share their reactions to King Tut (Video)

December 22nd, 2009

“My favorite part of the exhibition was probably the jewelry and the remnants from the tombs — they’re interesting,” … “My favorite was the cat coffin,” … “I really enjoyed the last part of the exhibition where they talked about the uncovering of the grave and the tomb and the gold,” …

Update Jan 6:

Here’s some images from King Tut Crowds

A Warm “Thank You” From Anubis

December 15th, 2009

Anubis is very thankful to the wonderful people who have helped dress him so far this fall and provided him with some incredibly stylish winter ensembles. Over the past few months he has also seen some wonderful places like Niagara Falls, Casa Loma, City Hall and Northern Ontario. He even tried out snowmobiling up in Collingwood (and got some strange looks from local dogsledders)!

While in town he’s also been working part time to get to know in the city – so far he’s been mime, a professional model, A spokesman for the Canadian Olympics, a Godzilla double and local basketball player and is eager to try out some other lines of work.

Anubis’ having trouble finding a dry cleaner do to his unusual size and needs some more outfits. He hopes it wouldn’t be to rude of him to ask you if you could continue to outfit him? He also would love to see more places that you suggest!

So please keep sending in your photos! Everyone who submits a photo will be entered into a draw to win two tickets to see King Tut!

You can submit your picture three ways:

1) Post it to the AGO’s FACEBOOK fan page
2) Post it in the AGO Anubis Flickr pool
3) Email it to

When you submit your photo, please indicate how you’d like to be credited for your work. And remember by submitting you are giving the AGO permission to display your work on and all other promotional/PR vehicles.

Ross King Modern Spirits: The European Adventures of the Group of Seven (Audio)

December 11th, 2009

Ross King

The secrets and symbolism of Canada’s most famous art group come to light in a lecture by bestselling author Ross King. King’s forthcoming book Modern Spirits: The European Adventures of the Group of Seven exposes how, despite their professed nationalism, the Group of Seven was clearly indebted to a number of international trends. A.Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris, for instance, studied and travelled extensively in Germany and France, while F.H. Varley worked for the Canadian War Memorials Fund in London. Speaking in person, Ross King will reveal the effects that these European experiences had on the Group’s iconic, much-loved artworks.

Recorded: December 9, 2009
Duration: 1:22:06

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download 28.2 MB MP3

John Ralston Saul: The Images of A Fair Country (Audio)

December 11th, 2009


Photo: Don Denton

17th Annual McCready Lecture

In his latest book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, John Ralston Saul argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas. Egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Ralston Saul argues that it is critical that we recognize these aspects of Canada in order to rethink its future. His talk explores these issues and develops them in the context of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s reinstalled collection of Canadian Art.

Award-winning essayist and novelist, John Ralston Saul has had a growing impact on political and economic thought in many countries. Declared a “prophet” by TIME magazine, he is included in the prestigious Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Recorded: Wednesday October 28, 2009
Duration: 1:39:52

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download 45.7 MB MP3

King Tut: Listening to our visitors

December 11th, 2009

Public response to King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs has been overwhelmingly positive, with nearly 100,000 tickets sold thus far. Among the highlights according to visitors, King Tut’s funerary objects – the golden sandals and finger and toe coverings – as well as the golden jewelry (a particular favourite of young women). Visitors also like the tomb-like layout of the exhibition, the extensive historical information and the easily visible labels.

Some of our visitors who saw the 1979 King Tut exhibition at the AGO would have liked a return visit of King Tut’s golden death mask, which no longer leaves Egypt. However, the golden mask of Psusennes I in the current exhibition is an incredible example of a death mask. It is among the most valuable pieces in the exhibition and was discovered in the midst of World War II.

Some visitors are also asking about King Tut’s mummy, which, for preservation reasons, also never travels. While the National Geographic CT scan of the mummy provides a fascinating dimensional perspective, visitors can also get their “mummies’ worth” by catching the special 3-D movie, EGYPT 3D: Secrets of the Mummies, presented with Dolby 3D Digital Cinema technology. Part historic journey and part adventure, the film (a favourite with kids) follows explorers and researchers as they piece together archeological and genetic clues of the Egyptian mummies, including one of the greatest mummy finds in modern history. The film runs every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the AGO’s Jackman Hall and is $5 for members, $6 for general public.

Visitors are also joining or creating their own communities around things Tut. As an example, check out Heritage Key, a new website (it first appeared last May) that’s focused on ancient civilizations and archaeology. One member of this interactive community visited the AGO exhibition and blogged about a virtual tour of other ancient artifacts that don’t leave Egypt.

Perfect Snow Book Signing

December 2nd, 2009

Join us in shop AGO on December 5th at 2pm. Plasticine artist/children’s author Barbara Reid will be reading and signing copies of her delightful new book Perfect Snow.
Barbara Reid is an acclaimed Canadian author and illustrator, who won the CBA Libris Award’s Children’s Author and Illustrator of the year in 2007. Creator of such favourites as: Sing a Song of Mother Goose, Read Me a Book, and The Subway Mouse, Barbara Reid is adored by children, parents and teachers alike.

Matthew Teitelbaum Receives Award from Canadian Centre for Diversity

November 23rd, 2009

Matthew Teitelbaum with Aruind Sharma and family at a Citizenship Ceremony in 2007.
File Image: Matthew Teitelbaum with Aruind Sharma and family at a Citizenship Ceremony in 2007.

Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner director, and CEO, stood before some 700 people at the 62nd annual awards gala of the Canadian Centre for Diversity on Thursday night, and cited the work of AGO staff and volunteers as he received the Centre’s Human Relations Awards.

“It hardly seems right to be standing here acknowledged for achievement for a project that was realized by so many. Indeed, simply put, I stand here in the name of ambition and realization of dreams on behalf of staff members in this room with us tonight and with many other staff and volunteers here in spirit,” he said. I want to thank them for working together to make dreams come true, for being part of a project of discipline, focus and creativity, a project with no compromise to vision. Together we built a building, a welcoming building which weaves journeys of discovery for all visitors.”

Matthew was cited for his leadership on the Transformation AGO project and the numerous initiatives the AGO has embraced to make the AGO more accessible. These include Citizen AGO – a program that enables new citizens to learn about their new home country through art, the AGO’s foundational role in the Toronto Public Library’s MAP program that enables library users to borrow an AGO family pass as they would a book; Free After 3 – the free-after-school access program for high school students, and the Community Membership and Neighbourhood Access programs, which bring challenged communities to the Gallery.

Matthew and his team created one of the world’s most accessible institutions,” said AGO President Tony Gagliano in introducing Matthew, “one that celebrates our diversity.” A video shown at the event also noted that Matthew’s vision is that an art experience is about having choice, that there should be no barriers, and that “within the walls of the new AGO, we are all the same.”

Sunday Concert: GGS Bassoons

November 20th, 2009

Talented RCM students present Sunday afternoon performances in the AGO’s Walker Court. The AGO has partnered with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) to host these concerts, which will continue through spring 2010.

This Sunday’s concert, November 22, features the The GGS Bassoons. This quartet of bassoonists is a collection of musicians from The Glenn Gould School (GGS) of The Royal Conservatory. Ranging in age from 20-27, they represent the full range of programs offered at the school.

  • Newfoundlander, Neil Bishop, is currently in his second year of study at GGS. He began playing bassoon four years ago, and can be heard in Toronto playing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral bassoonist.
  • Susan Durnin is in her second year of her Artist Diploma at GGS. She moved to Toronto from Winnipeg two years ago, and has since played in numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles.
  • Ondrej Golias has performed locally in various chamber ensembles and as a member of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra. Best known for his arrangements of chamber music, visually aesthetic manuscripts and his great Contrabassoon playing, Ondrej is in his final year at GGS.
  • Kevin Harris began playing bassoon at age 17 in his hometown of Edmonton. In his first year at GGS, he has played in his local youth orchestra and wind ensemble, as well as other ensembles and chamber groups.

Concerts at the AGO are held in Walker Court Sundays from 1:30 to 2:15 pm, and are free with admission. Watch for these upcoming Sunday concerts:

  • November 29: Members of the Murnival String Quartet
  • December 6: Grace Kim, pianist

Holiday Toys for Tuts!

November 13th, 2009

Tutty Bear

When you come to the AGO¹s King Tut exhibition, or just when you come to the AGO, visit shopAGO and meet Tutty Bear. Drop off a new, unwrapped gift for needy kids (or buy one at the shop to donate) and get 10% off your shopAGO purchase that day. In partnership with CTV¹s Toy Mountain, all toys will be distributed by the Salvation Army.