AGO First Thursdays artfully welcomes winter with Terra Lightfoot and Long Winter

The AGO’s Year of Photography inspires lens-focused sold out November art party; December tickets on sale November 12.

TORONTO – Winter is coming, but First Thursdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) are heating up! Toronto’s favourite after-dark art party returns this November and December with an exciting lineup of art making, live music, talks and cutting edge installations and performances. Tickets for November’s event, featuring musical headliner Terra Lightfoot, have already sold out. Tickets for December’s First Thursday go on sale Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 at

Kicking off after the Gallery closes, AGO First Thursdays are 19+ events and run from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $12 for the public and $10 for members. Tickets for AGO First Thursdays consistently sell out. Be sure to follow #AGO1st on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Offering the perfect warm-up for a winter First Thursday, FRANK restaurant is now hosting Cinq-à-Sept from Tuesday through Friday between 4 and 7 p.m. A range of unique cocktails starting at $4 and a new tapas menu features dishes starting at $7. AGO Members enjoy a 10 per cent discount on food items.

First Thursdays this winter:

Nov. 5, 2015 – Photography NOW ***SOLD OUT***

The AGO’s Year of Photography is in full swing. To celebrate, November First Thursday exposes an exciting group of Toronto artists who are pushing the limits of the medium. Featuring projects by Nadia Belerique, Bambitchell and Lee Henderson, the night spotlights contemporary photography and offers free entry to the AGO’s current exhibitions Anne CollierCamera Atomica and the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize Exhibition.

Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Terra Lightfoot, whose voice brought the house down at the September First Thursday’s tribute to Rheostatics, takes the stage in Walker Court at 10 p.m. Lightfoot released her sophomore album Every Time My Mind Runs Wild on Sonic Unyon Records earlier this year and has already shared a stage with notables Emmylou Harris, Ron Sexsmith, Basia Bulat and Daniel Lanois. Beats will be spun by DJ Jonah Falco, a member of the legendary Toronto band Fucked Up, and DJ Das Hussy of Hotnuts party fame.

Several artist projects will be on view, including the video installation Empire Symbol, or A Man and His Mule (2015), based on the true story of a Canadian veterinarian who transported mules to Karachi during the Second World War, courtesy of Toronto artist duo Bambitchell. Nadia Belerique, a recent Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Prize winner, will produce a special one-night-only installation — an oversized version of Memory Game — and Lee Henderson, a lens-based conceptual artist, will present a tableau vivant (or a living picture) of the first selfie.

Visitors are invited to shoot portraits of friends and strangers, vote for the winner of this year’s AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize and hear AGO staff discuss current exhibitions in an exciting series of pop-up talks. 


Long Winter’s takeover of First Thursdays has become a highly anticipated annual event. The popular inter-arts festival reimagines the AGO as a broadcasting centre, with artists stationed throughout the Gallery to produce mockumentaries, reality-style programs and music and variety shows, all of which will be recorded live in front of a studio audience of First Thursday-goers.

For those who prefer a more traditional TV viewing experience, the AGO’s Baillie Court will be transformed into a living room, complete with comfy couches and remote controls, where party-goers can kick back, relax and watch the night’s mayhem from the comfort of their home-away-from-home.

Participating artists include Joële WalingaAmy WongACC Collective, transmedia storytelling artist Henri FabergéMaggie MacDonald, Vtape artist Chris Boni, the Heretical Objects Collective and Maria Bui. Stay tuned for more programming announcements including the musical headliner.

December First Thursday attendees can purchase $22 advance combo-ticket packages for access to the AGO’s special exhibition J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free. The exhibition will be open until 10 p.m., with the last entry at 9:30 p.m. AGO members enter the exhibition free, and are encouraged to book tickets in advance.

January – HIATUS 
First Thursdays is hibernating in January but returns on Feb. 4, 2016, with an incredible musical lineup to celebrate Chinese artist Song Dong’s Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard.

For the latest details on First Thursdays programming and tickets, visit, and follow #AGO1st on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Official Beer Partner: Grolsch Premium Lager

Official Vodka Partner: Absolut Vodka

Signature Partner, AGO Artist Projects: RBC Emerging Artists Project

Media Partner: NOW Magazine

With a collection of more than 90,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002, Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to learn more.

Oct. 31, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016:  J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free

Mar. 12 – May 29, 2016:           Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s-1980s

July 2 – Sept. 11, 2016:            The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 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.


For all media inquiries about AGO First Thursdays, including high-resolution images and interview requests, please contact:

Jumol Royes, Communications Officer
416-9797-6660, ext. 504, [email protected]

Andrea-Jo Wilson, Senior Communications Officer
416-979-6660, ext. 403, [email protected]

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