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OCADU teaches AGO All Hours a lesson in the art of being cozy

AGO All Hours returns Jan. 25; All-day, all-ages event features intimate performances by Toronto’s SlowPitchSound and a l l i e


 These days the Danish art of hygge is a popular way to cope with the winter blues, and it fittingly provides the inspiration for the next installment of AGO All Hours on Jan. 25, 2020. Guest curated by OCADU MFA Criticism and Curatorial Practice students, this special mid-winter edition of the AGO’s all-day, all-ages event presents an exciting lineup of young and emerging artists to help Torontonians of all ages get cozy through storytelling, live music, dance, poetry, artmaking and conversation. Taking over the museum from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., AGO All Hours is FREE for Annual Passholders, AGO Members and all visitors 25 and under, with in-and-out privileges throughout the duration of the event.

Generously supported by RBC, January’s All Hours features a free songwriting workshop with Polaris Music Prize-nominated R&B musician a l l i e beginning in Baillie Court at 5 p.m., followed by a live performance in Walker Court at 7 p.m. Both the workshop and the performance are free with admission with spots offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We are thrilled to continue bringing AGO All Hours to Canadian audiences,” said Andrew Federer, Vice Chairman, RBC Capital Markets and Vice President, AGO Board of Trustees. “Through events like this, we can continue to support emerging artists with networking opportunities, mentorship, training, exposure to new audiences – and ultimately help them bridge the gap from “emerging” to “established.”

Sign up for your Annual Pass or Membership now, and be ready to walk right in. Single tickets are $25. More information can be found at or by following #AGOAllHours.

January 25 program:

First stop? Warm yourself up at the Daydreamer’s Campsite, set up all day long in Walker Court. Furnished with floor cushions, furry pillows and a stage for songs and storytelling, this imagined Campsite invites visitors to snuggle up together, and acts as the epicentre for several activities throughout the day:

  • Feeling crafty? Join a flurry of snowflake making and help blanket Walker Court in a glittering layer of freshly created snow.
  • Toronto’s favourite drag performers Fay and Fluffy will lead queer story time at the Campsite, reading stories of acceptance beginning at 11 a.m.
  • Also at 11 a.m., a Deaf Culture Tour of the AGO Collection will depart from the Community Gallery on the Concourse level. Led by a member of the Toronto deaf community, this tour is open to everyone fluent in American Sign Language
  • At 3 p.m., the Campsite will host local Toronto musician Cheldon, a.k.a. SlowPitchSoundHeralded by critics for his singular, sophisticated and playful brand of experimental electronic music, Cheldon’s ambient sounds incorporate scratching, heavily altered samples, field recordings, visual effects and improvised dance moves.
  • The lights come down at the Campsite at 7 p.m. for an intimate performance by Toronto R&B musician a l l i e. Singing messages of self-love and healing, her unique sound blends meditative electronica and soulful R&B. A rising star, a l l i e’s independently produced 2018 album Nightshade earned her a Polaris Music Prize nomination.

On Level 1 beginning at 11 a.m. and running throughout the afternoon in the Marvin Gelber Prints and Drawings Study Centre, Toronto artists Brittany Brooks and Sid Barron present their whimsical shadow puppet show Fireside Book of Fictitious Folk Songs. Featuring live music, the show features a 15 minute performance, each hour.  

Upstairs on Level 2, Toronto’s Tea Base Collective brings their teashop from The Chinatown Center to Galleria Italia for one day only. Visitors are invited to sample traditional teas and to join in a game of mah-jong.

Down the hall, Nova Scotia’s Lindsay Dobbin transforms the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre with her sound and video installation Arrival (2019). Inspired by a performance staged in the tides of the Bay of Fundy, her mesmerizing soundscape transports visitors to the ocean floor as they experience the sonic crescendo of waves crashing, over and over again. 

Throughout the afternoon, at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., performers from Toronto’s Nostos Dance Collective will animate the AGO’s Thomson Collection of European Art with original and innovative choreography.

Toronto criminal lawyer Kate Robertson leads an informal conversation at 2 p.m. in Hito Steyerl: This is the future, on Level 5 of the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art. The third and final installment of the Mixed Methods talk series, Robertson will discuss cyber security, stalkerware, and the impact of technological change on the law.

Under the tutelage of legendary Toronto poet and activist Lillian Allen, OCADU students show off their own dub poetry skills, with a series of spoken word performances responding to works in the AGO Collection. Performances happen at 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Families with children aged five and under can drop by the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre for art making activities and other forms of creative play from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The roving Art Cart will be inciting creative play throughout the museum, and don’t forget the Mindful Maker Space in the Concourse level, where visitors of all ages can experiment and build with free materials to their hearts content.

During AGO All Hours, CaféAGO will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Looking for something heartier? Don’t miss the artful lunch, dinner and happy hour menus available at AGO Bistro, or check out one of the satellite bars located throughout Level 1. shopAGO will remain open with artful gifting ideas for the whole family from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

AGO All Hours is proudly supported by Emerging Artist Partner, RBC.


Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO Collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. Its 585,000 square foot building was most recently expanded in 2008 by Frank Gehry, and attracts approximately one million visits per year. A new pricing model, launched May 25, 2019, offers all visitors 25 and under free, unlimited admission; a $35 Annual Pass includes entry for an entire year. Visit to learn more.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.

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