OCAD U celebrates Grange Park opening

People lining up to cut a yellow ribbon
Monday, July 10, 2017

After 15 months of construction, historic Grange Park officially reopened Saturday, July 8, with an afternoon of musical performances, magic, croquet and other free activities. Two hundred people cut a 600-foot ribbon, including OCAD U President Sara Diamond, MP Adam Vaughan, MPP Han Dong and City Councillor Joe Cressy.

Flanked by the AGO to the North and OCAD U’s central campus to the East, Grange Park has long been a space for students to relax and socialize. New furnishings and an improved layout will make it even more inviting for the entire neighbourhood. Two new playgrounds, a splash pad and an off-leash dog area are among the improvements, and the Henry Moore sculpture, Large Two Forms, has been moved from its Dundas and McCaul Street corner to the park, where it can be appreciated from all angles.

OCAD University has had a place at the Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC) table since discussion of the renewal began. It’s estimated 150,000 people live within walking distance of the park.




Child seated at a table colouring, photo Adam Wiendels
Sara Diamond, Gillian Siddall and Robert Luke in Grange Park with Sharp Centre in the background, photo Adam Wiendels
Sharp Centre viewed from Grange Park, photo Adam Wiendels

First Thursday: Still Nasty - Curated by CCP Graduate Students

image of AGO interior with party-goers
Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:30pm

The Art Gallery of Ontario's First Thursday: Still Nasty is guest curated by first-year Criticism & Curatorial Practice Graduate Students, with programming that features current students and alumni from the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program.

Thursday, March 2 from 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm

"The night’s program aims to explore, through a feminist lens, a future that imagines possibilities for diversity of representation and experiences—a future that is more open, more free, more feminist, and non-deterministic. Headlining, with a live performance on the mainstage in Walker Court, is the celebrated queer Black feminist artist—and Toronto legend—d’bi.young anitafrika with her band The 333.

The program features installations and performances by Toronto-based artists Hazel Meyer (MFA, IAMD 2010), whose work explores relationships between sport, sexuality and feminism; Mariam Magsi (MFA candidate, IAMD 2017) an interdisciplinary artist working across installation, performance, fashion and photography; and Zahra Saleki an Iranian-born emerging photographer and installation artist whose work tells stories of unique locales and the people who inhabit them. Artists Golboo Amani and Coco Guzman will also present projects of the hands-on, interactive variety, including Amani’s Unsettling Settlers of Catan, an expansion pack that acts as an intervention into the board game Settlers of Catan, unsettling the colonial narrative of the game.

Plus, don’t miss pop-up talks by artist Aylan Couchie (MFA candidate, IAMD 2018), curator and writer Genevieve Flavelle and Robin McDonald, and a special collection of artwork on display in our monthly Out of the Vaults installation. And as always, dine on the delicious food and drinks featured in our Night Market, and pick up a artist-designed program edition on your way in."

Curators: Hannah Hubicki, Karina Iskandarsjah, Veronika Ivanova, Julia Laweh, Diane Mikhael, Lida Shanehchiyan, Christian Siroyt, Jesse Wardell, Elizaveta Zhurkovskaya

More info on First Thursday: Still Nasty: http://www.ago.net/the-march-first-thursday-still-nasty

More on the Criticism & Curatorial Practice graduate program: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/criticism-and-curatorial-practice.htm

More on the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/art-media-design-masters.htm

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street W
ticketed, $11-$16

Losing Site

Losing Site Graphic Image
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Losing Site: Public Art Space-Place-Site within Toronto’s Rapidly Developing Urban Geography

OCAD U & AGO Public Art Forum


Session 1: Wednesday March 1, 2017, 7:00pm 100 McCaul Auditorium, OCAD University

Session 2: Tuesday March 7, 2017, 7:00pm Jackman Hall, AGO


OCAD University and Art Gallery of Ontario host two consecutive public forums to discuss the opportunities and implications of Toronto’s construction boom on public art by collectively imagining new social and economic models that support long term ambitions for a diversified and unique approach to art within public spaces.


These discussions will frame new imaginaries and possible trajectories to sustain ‘sites’ that allow for the existence of art and public art spaces within the downtown core. We seek visions that can help articulate policies towards maintaining diversity and texture in Toronto’s rapidly changing urban program. 

Inviting a creative and engaged circle to collectively imagine, the panel will survey new social and economic models that could support long term ambitions for public art space and site in Toronto.

The questions and discussions are informed by the Redefining Public Art collaborative research group from OCAD University & University of Toronto. 


Session 1: Wednesday March 1, 2017, 7:00pm 100 McCaul Auditorium, OCAD University

Session 1 will explore various perspectives, visions and criteria of value for the future of public art in Toronto, considering relevance, inclusivity, site specificity and cultural difference and observing notions of site in relation to colonialism, immigration, and generational differences. What will the public art landscape in Toronto look like in 20 years, what kind of narrative will we choose to be our legacy? What does sustained public engagement really look like?  

Introduction President Sara Diamond

Overview of OCAD U/ UofT Public Art Research Prof. Marie-Josee Therrien & Prof. Dan Silver  


1. Rebecca Carbin

2. Aisha Sasha John

3. Kari Cwynar

4. Catherine Dean

5. Ben Mills

Moderated by Jacob Zimmer 

Organized by Ala Roushan & Xenia Benivolski



Session 2: Tuesday March 7, 2017, 7:00pm Jackman Hall, AGO

Session 2 will draw conclusions from the first session with a focused panel articulating possible trajectories moving forth. This session will address how we can mobilize some of the creative and socially conscious ambitions for the future of Toronto’s public art. Looking to the future, strategies will be discussed to make meaningful change in policy and practice that complement the City’s growth in diversity and geography, addressing the new mediums and conversations taking place. Together we will discuss where Toronto goes next.

Introduction President Sara Diamond

Overview of The Artful City Ilana Altman



Moderated by Jacob Zimmer 

Organized by Ala Roushan & Xenia Benivolski


Special thank you to Paola Poletto and Kathleen Mclean for their support.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University100 McCaul St Auditorium

Speaking volumes: Lillian Allen guest-curates AGO series

Internationally acclaimed writer, dub poet and a professor in OCAD U’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Lillian Allen, has guest-curated a four-week series of poetry, music and spoken word at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  As part of Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989, the landmark ‘celebration of the voice’ exhibition showcases an array of established and budding local artists, featuring some of Toronto’s most dynamic spoken word talent.

The AGO Friday Nights in October series offers an opportunity to experience artists who worked during the period the exhibition covers. The final Friday in the series features a performance by Allen, herself, on October 28 (Lillian Allen & the Revolutionary Tea Party with Janet Rogers and Amani). Allen and her band will be re-creating the activism and cultural revolution of her groundbreaking, Juno award-winning album, Revolutionary Tea Party, along with some new content.

Allen describes the 1971-1989 timeframe as a period of “a lot of creativity, a lot of inter-connection from cultural collaboration — a time when people, obviously, were not comfortable with old traditions and some of the dialogue and debates around race and equality.” As she describes it, “the world was opening up; music around the world, and cultures, were coming together to embrace a larger family.”

Allen has been teaching creative writing at OCAD University since 1992.  Inspired by “anything that is energetic, progressive, beautiful and forward-looking,” she credits her OCAD U students for inspiring her with “that kind of creativity, cutting-edge positioning.”

As a writer, vocalist and social activist, she has recorded several albums, including Revolutionary Tea Party (1986) and Conditions Critical (1988), for which she received Juno Awards for best reggae/calypso album.  As one of the originators of dub poetry, she is the founder of the DubPoets Collective in Toronto and has led such programs as Fresh Arts, Native Women in the Arts and Black Arts Service Organizations.

In addition to the performances, visitors can hear Allen’s Revolutionary Tea Party album on the AGO’s fourth floor. 

The exhibition is included in general admission.


Natalie Pavlenko

Métis artist Christi Belcourt honoured with Premier’s Award

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 4:00am

Premier Kathleen Wynne celebrated the winners of the 10th annual Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts at an event at the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 5.

Christi Belcourt, a visual artist from Espanola, Ontario, won the Individual Artist Award. The majority of her work explores the beauty of the natural world. Her large-scale paintings are inspired by the traditional beadwork patterns of Métis and First Nation women.

Belcourt’s paintings are found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall, among other prestigious institututions.

Administered by the Ontario Arts Council, the Premier’s Awards are open to artists and arts organizations engaged in professional practice in the province.

The winning artist receives a $35,000 prize and selects an emerging artist who receives a $15,000 prize. The winning arts organization is awarded $50,000.

Christian Chapman, an Anishinaabe visual artist and filmmaker from Fort William First Nation, was honoured as Emerging Artist of the Year. 

A Different Booklist, an independent bookstore and literary cultural destination in Toronto, won the Arts Organization Award. 

After receiving the award, Belcourt stated she would be donating the prize money to Onaman Collective, an “Indigenous grassroots land-based art initiative sharing traditional knowledge and language with youth.” Belcourt co-founded the collective in 2014 with Isaac Murdoch and Erin Konsmo.

Belcourt’s father, Tony Belcourt, is the founding president of the Métis Nation of Ontario and was appointed to OCAD U’s Board of Governors in 2012.  

Christi Belcourt


Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 5:00am to Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 11:00pm

Curated by Pam Patterson with Serena Lee
Co-sponsored by Women in Action (CWSE/OISE/UT),
XPACE Cultural Centre, and the AGO Youth Council
(presenting ShiftChange) with Toronto video, film, and
new media artists Loree Erickson, Spy Dénommé-Welch,
Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Alexandra Hazisavvas, fibre
artist, Frances Mahon, with a performance by Claudia
Gender bend, gender blend - Oh ! Have we got trouble! The fun,
sexxy, hot, meets “voguing” - What a “drag”! Get rid of those bina-
ries! Engage with life-sized on the wall grls/gys and video & film
by native-tranny-poly-queer-gimp-homo-gender-
b(l)enders. “Perform” (or critique) a new persona at the gallery site,
see a performance and a portable gender-abled potty, and work-
shop, in conversation, with the artists on site. Play with where you
stand (or pass?).... anything is dizzyingly possible.

Venue & Address: 
XPACE Cultural Centre 58 Ossington Ave., Toronto, Ontario

AGO Visit and Secret Santa

secret santa
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 5:45pm

The OCADoesTO student group gets OCAD students together to enjoy the culture that Toronto has to offer.

A trip to the new Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is being planned. To make it fun and festive, participate in Secret Santa and bring a small gift with you (under $5.00) to exchange with someone else in the group! This item should not be food.

OCAD Students get into the AGO for free so be sure to bring your OCAD ID card!

Please RSVP by e-mail ASAP.

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario: Daytime Drop-In Life Drawing

Friday, October 3, 2008 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Drop in for the AGO's new weekly life drawing sessions with a professional model. Learn and explore at your own pace without instruction in a great studio space.

No experience required - everyone is welcome. Bring your own drawing materials.

Venue & Address: 
AGO Gallery School 60 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario
$10/session or 5 sessions for $40, payable at the door

Faculty of Art faculty represented in Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989

Black and White image showing a woman inside a chest of drawers
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 4:00am to Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 4:00am

PUBLIC OPENING: Wednesday, September 28  6 – 9 pm  Walker Court/AGO

Exploring the experimental energy of an era, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 brings together more than 100 works by 65 artists and collectives to highlight an innovative period in Toronto art history. Amidst the social and political upheavals of their time, the generation of artists that emerged in Toronto during the 1970s and 1980s pushed the boundaries of conventional painting, sculpture and photography, exploring new ways of art making including video, installation and performance. Drawing heavily from the AGO collection Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 opens on September 29, 2016, filling the entire fourth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower. The exhibition, which runs until May, 2017, will be accompanied by a live performance series, a film and video festival, as well as satellite installations throughout the Gallery.

Organized thematically and punctuated by references to Toronto and its cityscape, the exhibition highlights the era’s preoccupation with ideas of performance, the body, the image, self portraiture, storytelling, and representation. Featured artists include Michael Snow, Joanne Tod, the Clichettes, Duke Redbird, Barbara Astman, Robin Collyer, Robert Houle, Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge, as well as highly influential artists like photographer June Clarke, illustrator Ato Seitu, and dub poet Lillian Allen. This is the first time since the AGO’s reopening in 2008 that many of these seminal works have been on display.

Curated by Wanda Nanibush, assistant curator of Canadian and Indigenous art, the title of the exhibition—a reference to the city’s many buried waterways—serves as a visual metaphor for the diversity of the cities art scene and its similarly buried histories. Intended as an evolving display, many of the works in the exhibition are scheduled to be rotated in January 2017.

Toronto:Tributes + Tributaries List of Artists

Rhonda Abrams, Shelagh Alexander, Lillian Allen, Stephen Andrews, Barbara Astman, Rebecca Belmore, Raphael Bendahan,Ron Benner, Karl Beveridge + Carol Condé, David Bolduc, Susan Britton, Brian Burnett, Colin Campbell, Ian Carr-Harris, Elizabeth Chitty, June Clark, The Clichettes, Robin Collyer, Keith Cole, Stephen Cruise, Greg Curnoe, Dennis Day, Martha Davis, Tom Dean, Lily Eng, Bruce Elder, Andy Fabo, FASTWÜRMS, Murray Favro, Robert Flack, Robert Fones, Vera Frenkel, Richard Fung, General Idea, Ron Giii, Oliver Girling, Will Gorlitz, K.M. Graham, John Greyson, Janice Gurney, Noel Harding, Jamelie Hassan, Ame Henderson & Evan Webber, Phil Hoffman, Robert Houle, Johanna Householder, Hummer Sisters, Tim Jocelyn, Nancy Johnson, Brian Kipping, Nobuo Kubota, Suzy Lake, Glace W. Lawrence, Rita Letendre, Louise Liliefeldt, Jorge Lozano, Catharine MacTavish, Arnaud Maggs, Annette Mangaard, Robert Nelson Markle, Tanya Mars, John Massey, Derek May, John McEwen, Deepa Mehta, Kim Moodie, Norval Morrisseau, Kazuo Nakamura, Shelley Niro, Louise Noguchi, Midi Onodera, Susan Oxtoby, Andy Patton, Randy & Berenicci, David Rasmus, Gordon Rayner, Duke Redbird, Clive Robertson, Patricia Rozema, Su Rynard, Jayce Salloum, Ato Seitu, Arthur Shilling, Tom Sherman, Walter Scott, John Scott, Michael Snow, Lisa Steele & Kim Tomczak, Joanne Tod, Jeff Thomas, Tony Urquhart, Carol Wainio, Douglas Walker, Rodney Werden, Shirley Wiitasalo, Winsom Winsom, Colette Whiten, Tim Whiten, Joyce Wieland, David Zapparolli

EXHIBITION DATES:  September 29, 2016 – May 2017 

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Adam David Brown's work included in exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario

carved gysum with text: 29 July 1822, Looking East, 10 O'clock in the morning.  Silvery Clouds
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 5:00am to Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 4:00am

Many things brought from one climate to another

NOW – JUNE 2016

The art on the fifth floor is a selection of the AGO's recent acquisitions of contemporary art. The title is taken from a 1981 work by American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. Like many other artists from the 1960s to the present, Weiner creates art using language, resulting in artworks that have no physical form but appear instead on gallery walls, in spoken word and in printed matter. In this context, Weiner's statement offers a framework for this display, connecting artworks from across vast distances to provide a snapshot of current artistic thinking. The works of art on view reveal how these international artists navigate the complexities of contemporary life, while also asking us to consider the diverse textures of present-day experience, the lingering effects of the past and the challenges we face in creating more equitable societies.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario

Venue & Address: 
The Art Gallery of Ontario
Included in AGO General Admission