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AGO’s 20 for 20: Art Toronto

In celebration of Art Toronto’s 20th anniversary, we asked 20 artists, collectors and advocates of the art fair to share their favourite moments from over the years.   

Art Toronto aerial view of the booths

This fall, Art Toronto is celebrating 20 years of bringing together the best and brightest of the Canadian art scene for the nation’s leading international contemporary and modern art fair. This year also marks the 20th Anniversary of the Art Toronto Opening Night in support of the AGO. An important annual fundraiser, this preview helps the AGO make exciting new acquisitions to share with the AGO community for years to come.

To celebrate, the AGO reached out to 20 artists, collectors and advocates who have all supported Art Toronto over the years. Through their stories, we learned about the many ways this exciting event has uplifted the Canadian art scene, changing the cultural landscape in Toronto and Canada. Check out some highlights below.

Meryl McMaster

Meryl McMaster – Artist

“Art Toronto has always been an exciting event where you can see what the leading Canadian and international galleries are featuring and the artists they represent. I always look forward to sitting in on the fair’s lectures and panel discussion which happen throughout the weekend as you never know who you might or run into!”

Jeff Stober

Jeff Stober- Art Advocate, Founder: Drake Hotel Properties

“I feel a distinct pride in attending Art Toronto as both a Torontonian and arts patron. Seeing galleries and artists from around the world descend upon our cultured city is always a highlight in my calendar and Art Toronto is the catalyst that makes it all happen. Thank you Art Toronto and congratulations on 20 art-inspired years.”

Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman – Artist

“My best experience at Art Toronto was in 2011 when I was commissioned to create a large scale project - The Art Game. I chose to create a life-sized maze that spoofed the art world as a side show. We had several dozen volunteer performers sit in the four rooms devoted to artist, collector, curator and dealer. The team at Art Toronto was so supportive in helping us to realise this technically and logistically ambitious project in a very short time, and I was super happy with the results.”

Jessica Bradley

Jessica Bradley – Independent curator and consultant

“When I think about Art Toronto today the words transformative and transformed come to mind. Annually a sea of galleries from across the country and beyond rises miraculously out of the din of fork lifts and power drills, camaraderie flourishes among gallerists and visitors alike, and the discoveries, exchanges and acquisitions made over four intense days dedicated to art engender conversations that continue long after the fair is over.”

Esmaa Mohamoud

Esmaa Mohamoud - Artist

“One of my favourite moments was a few years back in the California focus area. Daniel Gaitor-Lomack did a series of performances over the duration of the fair that were very animated and captivated your attention. I would often hear his performances from the other side of the fair. I enjoyed this moment, because it was an unusual disruption to the pristine idea of what an art fair is and how to conduct oneself at a fair.”

With 15 more stories available on our website, read on – and find out how you can get your tickets to Art Toronto Opening Night. The event takes place on October 24 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO MembersAGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 and under. For more information, please visit the website.


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