Ame Henderson’s experimental choreography keeps AGO on its toes for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014

Voting booths open all night in AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize 2014 Exhibition

TORONTO – The Art Gallery of Ontario’s latest artist-in-residence, Ame Henderson, digs deep into the AGO archives this fall to present a new work entitled rehearsal/performance in collaboration with Public Recordings for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014. A celebration of past performances held at the Gallery, this 12-hour performative rehearsal will feature 12 artists simultaneously rehearsing and performing throughout the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre (WFLC) on Oct. 4, 2014, starting at 6:53 p.m., and running through to sunrise (7 a.m.) on Oct. 5.

Drawing upon a variety of archival materials, anecdotes and interviews with artists and AGO staff members past and present, rehearsal/performance is the culmination of an intensive investigation into a series of live performances that occurred at the AGO between 1977 and 1981. These performances featured several well known Canadian artists including Margaret Dragu, Jennifer Mascall, Louise Garfield, Johanna Householder, Elizabeth Chitty and more.

“As an AGO artist-in-residence I feel it is imperative to investigate my performance practice in relation to the institution and its history of presenting performance work,” said Henderson, who is a Dora Mavor Moore Award–winning artist working in performance and choreography. “Rehearsal/performance aims to provoke a conversation between the past work of these artists and the present contemporary milieu of performance-making reflected by the participation of the collaborating artists.”

In researching and rehearsing these works, of which few tangible records remain, Henderson seeks to understand how performances can be remembered and how archives might be re-imagined to accommodate such ephemeral materials. Using the floors and walls of the AGO’s WFLC, Henderson and her performers will work with a collection of archival footage, floor plans, images and existing AGO furniture to reveal key moments and spaces in the history of performance at the Gallery.  

Visitors to the Gallery during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014 are also invited to visit the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2014 Exhibition and to vote for their favourite artist. The exhibition — which features photographic, sound and installation works by four Prize finalists — will be open all night long. The winner of the $50,000 prize, which is chosen by public vote, will be announced on Oct. 29, 2014. For more information visit

This is the ninth year the AGO has participated in Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.

The AGO launched its artist-in-residence program in fall 2011. The program is the first of its kind at a major Canadian art museum, hosting as many as four artists each year for periods of up to 10 weeks each. For more information about the artist-in-residence program, please visit

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of RBC Emerging Artists Project, Signature Partner, AGO Artists Projects.

The AGO gratefully acknowledges Aimia, Founding Partner of the Aimia I AGO Photography Prize.

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.


Ame Henderson is a Toronto-based artist from Vancouver Island. She is the Artistic Director of Public Recordings, an atelier committed to experimental choreographic practices. Public Recordings’ commitment to a collaborative methodologies is both a political and an aesthetic engagement resulting in a range of projects including publications, performances, and exhibitions. Henderson’s recent works – Henderson/Castle: voyager (2014) a commission for Toronto Dance Theatre, and Public Recordings’ what we are saying (2013) – were both nominated for 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, with what we are saying winning Best Ensemble and Best Production in the Dance division.


With a collection of more than 80,000 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 find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

Aug. 23, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015: Alex Colville

Oct. 18, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015: Michelangelo: Quest for Genius

Feb. 7, 2015 – May 10, 2015: Basquiat

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and receives 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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Media inquiries may be directed to: 

Laura Banks; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 504, [email protected] 
Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications 
416-979-6660, ext. 403, [email protected]

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