AGO launches inaugural fall season of curated public programs

AGO unveils new, ideas-led seasonal approach to public programs that are inspired by art, create space for diverse voices and connect to timely local and global conversations

TORONTO – For the first time, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) launches a fall season of curated public programs. Inspired by extraordinary AGO exhibitions and global conversations led by Canadian artists, curators and innovators, the fall season features a rich array of performances, readings and talks. These dynamic programs are linked by a desire to spark dialogue, encourage creativity and connect with local and global conversations.    

“The AGO’s seasonal, ideas-led approach to programming will engage local, national and international artists, speakers, and thinkers,” said Devyani Saltzman, the AGO’s director of public programming. Prior to joining the AGO in May, Saltzman led programming for the renowned Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and was the founding curator of literary programming at Luminato. “We’re excited to kick off the AGO’s first fall season of programming with events that will connect with artists and communities, and reflect the multiplicity of voices and creativity of the city we call home.”

Highlights from the AGO’s inaugural fall season of programming include:

  • A book launch for artist and author Vivek Shraya’s, I’m Afraid of Men, on Wednesday September 5 in Baillie Court at 7 pm. In partnership with Another Story Book Shop, the launch includes readings, an onstage conversation with Canada’s Queen of R&B Soul Jully Black and an acapella performance by Shraya. Reserve your free ticket now at 

  • The launch of celebrated author Dionne Brand’s books, The Blue Clerk and Theory on Wednesday September 12 at 7 pm in Baillie Court. This interactive event will include a reading by Brand, an art installation curated by OCAD University associate professor Andrea Fatona, and short talks by artists and cultural critics Warren Crichlow, Andrea Davis, Yaniya Lee, Canisia Lubrin, and Rinaldo Walcott. Tickets are $15 for Members, $17 for the Public and $12 for students. Tickets are on sale now at

  • This September's First Thursday season opener on September 6 revisits the ‘Back to Basics’ approach of showcasing local and contemporary artists, with a main stage showcase including Anishnaabe artist Ziibiwan, known for moody genre-bending electronic music, a live set by Nigerian born producer and songwriter LA Timpa, a DJ set by TR/ST and in Galleria Italia, a performance by Classic Roots among other artists and thinkers, who are creating a new image for Toronto in art, sound and ideas. Advance tickets are $11 for Members and $13 for the Public. Tickets are on sale now at

  • As part of the October 4th First Thursday, the AGO is proud to co-present with CBC Podcasts the launch of award-winning audio producer and performance artist Kaitlin Prest’s new CBC podcast series, The Shadows – an audio fiction series about the anatomy of a relationship. The launch will include a live installation in Baillie Court. Tickets will be on sale in September.

  • In honour of the extraordinary AGO exhibition, Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental, and the newly renamed and reopened J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art, aabaakwad (it clears before the storm) is a two-day event that explores how to shift the global interest in Indigenous arts to one that is Indigenous-led. Hosted at the AGO from September 13-15, this remarkable event features keynote speakers as well as informal, in-depth conversations between Indigenous artists, curators and scholars from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. Featured keynotes are Rebecca Belmore, Wanda Nanibush, Jolene Rickard and Alanis Obomsawin. Guests include Robert Houle, Adrian Stimson, Lori Blondeau, Nadia Myre, Kent Monkman, Shelley Niro, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Brett Graham, Richard Bell and more. Find more information at

To celebrate the AGO’s major fall exhibition, Anthropocene, the AGO presents an exciting line-up of events including talks, podcasts and an immersive Nuit Blanche experience. Highlights include:

  • Launching on Sept. 28, Into the Anthropocene: Our Impact on Earth is a multi-episode podcast series hosted by storyteller and activist Sarain Fox. Featuring a diverse line up of scientists, writers, artists, poets, professors and activists, including Elizabeth Kolbert, Sheila Watt-Cloutier and Dr. Winnie Kiiru, each episode broadens the conversation sparked by the exhibition. The podcast series will be available for download on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you subscribe to podcasts.

  • The Walrus editor and author Harley Rustad, discusses his book, Big Lonely Doug: the story of one of Canada's last great trees. The book tells the story of a 226-foot tall Douglas Fir tree in B.C.'s Gordon River Valley and the logger who saved it from a clearcut. Rustad will be interviewed by Sarain Fox, the host of Rise on Viceland, on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in Baillie Court. Tickets are $15 for Members, $17 for the Public and $12 for students. Tickets are on sale now at

  • The AGO Youth Council presents an Anthropocene-inspired collaboration with artist, writer and television host Micah Donovan. Part greenhouse, part art installation, this new work will call into question how living objects fit into a museum. Stay tuned for more details.

  • On October 13th, the AGO partners with The Bentway – an innovative new public space under Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway – for a panel about water issues and climate change. This discussion is inspired by The Bentway’s art installation, Waterlicht, and Anthropocene. Tickets are free and will be available online in September.

  • Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier take the stage in Baillie Court on Wednesday Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. for a conversation about the making of Anthropocene. Tickets are $15 for Members, $17 for the Public, and $12 for students, and go on sale in September at

See the full line up of fall public programs and events here.

For more about Anthropocene-inspired programs, click here.

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’s collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art such as Untilled by Pierre Huyghe to European masterpieces such as Peter Paul Rubens’s The Massacre of The Innocents; from the vast collection by the Group of Seven to works by established and emerging Indigenous Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium with deep holdings of works by artists such as Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus; and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art. Drawing on this collection—as well as collaborations with museums around the world—the AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. A major expansion designed by Frank Gehry in 2008 with lead support from the family of Ken Thomson makes the AGO a highly-photographed architectural landmark. Visit and follow @AGOToronto to learn more.

July 12 – Oct. 21, 2018:              Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental

Sept. 28 2018 – Jan. 6 2019:      Anthropocene

Feb. 16, 2019 – May 5, 2019:     Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and More

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 hi-res images and other press inquiries, please contact:

Andrea-Jo Wilson; Public Relations Manager
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

Naomi Carniol; Associate Director, Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,

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