Summer at the AGO is an all-inclusive trip through the Americas


Plan an artful staycation in Toronto with free talks, dance lessons, walking tours, cuisine and scenic landscapes

TORONTO—This summer the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) invites Toronto to explore the Americas without ever having to leave the city! Open now until Sept. 20, 2015, Picturing the Americas offers visitors an exciting opportunity to see more than 100 of the most iconic landscape paintings from the Arctic to Argentina. To celebrate this landmark exhibition, the Gallery is presenting an immersive series of events, including a free talk by celebrated Canadian author Joseph Boyden and dance lessons every Saturday in Walker Court. To book timed-entry tickets and for more information about the exhibition and summer programming at the AGO, click here.

The AGO also offers a spectrum of programs and events related to other exhibitions and features this summer, including summer camps, special menus in FRANK Restaurant and ongoing free Wednesday evenings.

Highlights for Summer 2015 include:

AGO Summer Art and Design Camps
June 29 – Sept. 4, 2015 (5, 9 and 10-day sessions available)
$330 – $660 (check website for details)
This summer the AGO is doing what it does best: making art, playing and having fun! Join us for a fun-filled, creative summer with variety of day camps exploring a range of themes, ideas and art-making. For campers aged 6 to 13. 

July First Thursdays: Land Rights Now [SOLD OUT]
July 2, 2015
7 – 11:30 p.m.
Guest-curated by Ombaasin, the Indigenous artist collective of Wanda Nanibush, Elwood Jimmy and Brian Norton, July’s First Thursday features artists of colour and Indigenous artists calling attention to the complex meanings and histories depicted in Picturing the Americas. Headlining the event is Polaris Music Prize–winning Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, who will perform her searing live soundtrack for the 1922 film Nanook of the North in Walker Court at 10 p.m. The night will feature artist projects by Lori Blondeau and Adrian Stimson, Josh Vettivelu, and painter Travis Shilling, who will undertake a live painting experiment in conversation with works in the AGO's Canadian galleries. This event is sold out.

Summerlicious at FRANK
July 3 to July 19, 2015
Toronto’s premier summer dining event Summerlicious returns to FRANK restaurant on July 3, 2015. Created by FRANK restaurant Chef de Cuisine Ryan Wilson-Lall, this year’s Summerlicious 2015 prix fixe lunch and dinner menus are priced at $20 and $35 respectively, and come with the diner’s choice of an appetizer and a dessert. Summerlicious reservations can be made online or via phone at 416-979-6688 until July 19, 2015. FRANK is open to the public until 10 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

Dancing the Americas
Saturdays beginning July 4, 2015 through August 29
2 – 2:45 p.m. and 3 – 3:45 p.m.
Walker Court
Free with admission
In collaboration with Toronto’s Lula Music and Arts Centre, the AGO is offering visitors the chance to learn the dances of the Americas every Saturday at 2 p.m. beginning July 4 and running through Aug. 29, 2015. These hour-long lessons take place in Walker Court and are free with general admission. No partner is required. Jessica Semeda will lead an intro to Brazilian Samba basics on July 4, 11 and 18. On July 25 and August 1, Miko Sobreira will take visitors through the history and steps of street Salsa. Cuban-born Dayeln Martinez will be joined by two live percussionists on August 8 and 15 for lessons in Afro Cuban Rumba. And on August 22 and 29, Alec Dempster will kick off a family friendly Mexican Day of the Dead street parade.

Walking Tours with First Story Toronto
July 4 or July 25, 2015
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Members $40 | Public $50
Join us for a tour through Picturing the Americas, followed by a three-hour walking tour of pre-contact and historical landmarks near the AGO that will explore Indigenous presence in Toronto. In collaboration with First Story Toronto, these walking tours will explore the cultural geography and indigenous history of our neighbourhood. Presented in partnership with First Story Toronto; tickets available online at

Curator Talk: John O’Brian on Camera Atomica
July 8, 2015
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Camera Atomica is the first substantial exhibition of nuclear photography to encompass the entire postwar period from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011. Join guest curator, writer and art historian John O'Brian for an illustrated discussion of the exhibition and his research. Please note that the tickets for the talk are free but should be reserved in advance on our website. Following the talk, visitors are invited to a free public opening in Walker Court.

Landscape Painting
July 9 – 30, 2015
7 – 10 p.m.
Weston Family Learning Centre
Members $200 | Public $265
Special instructors at the AGO will host a series of workshops influenced by the works featured in Picturing the Americas. Beginning July 9, Toronto artist Michael Toke will lead a four-week introduction to landscape painting. Working from examples in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s collection, students will learn to capture light, atmosphere and mood in nature, working from both photographic references and direct observation. This workshop is suitable for students with some painting experience. The class takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. every Thursday until July 30, 2015. Visit for a complete list of summer courses and workshops or to register – spaces are limited.

Music of the Americas: Dvorak
July 17, 2015
2 p.m.
Walker Court
Free with Admission
Young artists from the Chamber Music Institute of Toronto Summer Music Academy arrive at the AGO on July 17 to perform Dvorak’s ‘American’ String Quartet Op. 96 and the ‘American' String Quintet l for two violas, Op.97. Dvorak based these two pieces upon folk melodies he heard during his time in the United States. The concert, presented in cooperation with the Toronto Summer Music Festival, will be performed in Walker Court and is free with admission.

Joseph Boyden: My Americas
July 29, 2015
7 pm – 8: 30 p.m.
Baillie Court
Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author Joseph Boyden discusses the importance of place in his novels. The historical moment captured in Picturing the Americas saw the large-scale appropriation of Indigenous land, the suppression of Indigenous languages and cultures and the death of many Indigenous people by violence and disease. Boyden has explored this history in his writing, acknowledging not two but three solitudes in Canada – the English, the French and the aboriginal. Boyden divides his time between Northern Ontario and Louisiana. Sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art, this talk is free, but tickets should be reserved in advance at

Picturing the Americas is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Terra Foundation for American Art, which is also recognized for its generous support.

Lead Sponsor: Yamana Gold Inc.

Generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art

Supported by the Government of Canada / Avec l'appui du gouvernement du Canada

Government Partner: Government of Ontario

Official Hotel Partner: Chelsea Hotel

Camera Atomica is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

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 find out more.

April 11 – Aug. 9, 2015: From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia

June 20 – Sept. 20, 2015: Picturing the Americas

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

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; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403, [email protected]

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

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