OCAD U takes over March #AGO1st with hip hop and art history from the 6ix

Tickets on sale now for March First Thursday featuring Toronto hip hop artists Phoenix Pagliacci and Shan Vincent de Paul

TORONTO — OCAD University takes back the block on March 3, 2016 to transform the Art Gallery of Ontario’s First Thursdays with an exciting mash-up of music, performances, talks, food, drinks and art making. An annual tradition, the OCAD U guest-curated #AGO1st is one of the year’s most anticipated installments of the popular art party series, and this year’s Criticism and Curatorial Practice students don’t disappoint with a hotline of emerging and established artists reflecting on Toronto’s artistic past, present and future. Tickets for this 19+ event are on sale now. Regular-priced tickets are $12 for the public and $10 for members. Advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended, as First Thursdays regularly sell out and tickets are not held back for at-the-door sales.

March’s musical headliner is a double-bill of emerging Toronto hip hop talent. Taking the stage in Walker Court at 9 p.m. is Phoenix Pagliacci, fresh from the release of her latest album Ars Amatoria. At 10 p.m. it’s rapper, director and member of the sideways collective Shan Vincent de PaulBut the music doesn’t stop there: First Thursday alumnus DJ Bambii returns to spin beats all night long along with DJ BOYRICH.

Artist projects include an interactive master class with experimental choreographer Lily Eng, a dub poetry slam hosted by Lillian Allen in Irina Moore Gallery and a performance by members of The Artist Newsstand collective.

Throughout the evening, curators and artists will present a series of pop-up talks on the subject of Toronto's institutional art history. Looking back, documentary filmmaker Lana Lovell will screen footage from protests in the 90s. Hip hop scholar Dr. Mark Campbell will discuss the history and impact of the genre on Toronto today. And looking into the future, the AGO's Curator of Canadian Art Andrew Hunter will discuss the upcoming exhibition Toronto: Tributes and Tributaries 1971-1989 and CUE's Creative Director Jason Samilski will talk about their hunt for Toronto's next generation of artists.

Art-making activities include a Toronto-themed colouring station where visitors can customize postcards designed by artist Jaclyn Gunton. In Galleria Italia, visitors can make their mark on the city by contributing to an expansive streetscape designed by muralist Colin Turner Bloom.

Plus, don’t miss all the regular First Thursday favourites, including the monthly Out of the Vaults exhibition and fabulous Night Market featuring delectable snacks prepared by AGO chefs.

For the latest details on First Thursdays programming and tickets, visit www.ago.ca, 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. Visit ago.ca to learn more.

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

July 1 – Sept. 11, 2016:            The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris

Oct. 22, 2016 – Jan. 29, 2017:  Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh 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 all media inquiries about AGO First Thursdays, including interview requests and high-resolution images, please contact:

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

Caitlin Coull; Communications Manager
416-979-6660, ext. 364, [email protected]

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