Corporate Partner Collaborations

At the AGO, we believe that corporate partnerships go beyond logo badging and free tickets. Instead, we leverage unparalleled access and behind-the scenes experiences to create truly integrated partnerships that make sense. Whether it's engaging with our millennial audience, creating unique hosting experiences, or activating imaginatively, we work with our partners to elevate their brand and meet their business objectives. We help tell stories. Here's a few highlights from our partners who are doing it right:

Corporate Partner Case Studies

Curator taking the RBC reps on a tour of the Mystical Landscapes exhibition

Hosting Memorably

Lead Sponsor, Mystical Landscapes: Monet, Van Gogh & More

RBC has a longstanding history of supporting the arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Recently, RBC became the AGO’s first Signature Partner supporting groundbreaking exhibitions and key initiatives supporting emerging artists such as our Artist-in-Residence and First Thursdays programs. In 2016, RBC got behind one the AGO’s most ambitious exhibitions to date – the renowned Mystical Landscapes. The exhibition was conceived by the AGO and was over five years in the making. The exhibition originated in Toronto and then travelled to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris with the Group of Seven taking pride of place next to the Impressionists! It truly was a once-in-a-decade exhibition and attracted record-breaking audiences.

RBC recognizes that the arts play an important role in supporting vibrant communities and strong economies. That’s why the bank brought in several major lines of business to collectively support the exhibition as Lead Sponsor. With many different parties involved, there were multiple business objectives. From mass branding and PR to employee engagement and unique client hosting, the partnership delivered for RBC on many levels. Where the partnership truly blossomed: providing unique and exclusive exhibition experiences for the bank’s art passionate clients.

To truly capture this special moment, RBC and the AGO partnered to produce a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of Mystical Landscapes – led by the AGO’s Exhibition Curator and RBC’s Curators. This video was a great resource for clients and employees – who may have missed seeing the exhibition in person – to experience these amazing works in another memorable way. It also serves as a lasting memento of the strong partnership.

Watch the Video

Shiseido collaboration

Collaborating Creatively

Official Beauty Partner, AGO First Thursdays

True collaborations take a lot of work but can really take sponsorships to the next level - a concept well understood by Shiseido and used to extend the shelf life of their brand activations beyond one night.

As the Official Beauty Partner of First Thursdays, Shiseido leveraged their partnership with the AGO to access artists and continue to tell their brand story through art but in a way that engages the next generation – millennials.

When Shiseido wanted to mark Canada’s 150th by creating a special edition package for their longest-standing product, Eudermine, they asked for the AGO’s help to connect them with an emerging artist that would be the right fit for this special project. For the First Thursday program, the AGO regularly commissions artists so selecting an artist from this program was ideal and aligned with Shiseido’s sponsorship of the First Thursdays program. Shiseido went on to commission former First Thursday artist, Alexandra Mackenzie to create a beautiful package design that incorporated Shiseido’s brand values - art and nature - whilst paying homage to Canada in a way that would resonate with millennials.

Shiseido also brought this artist collaboration back to the AGO as a First Thursday summer activation, aligning with the timing of the package launch on store shelves. The creative activation brought the unique collaboration to life in an engaging way with the artist as facilitator. The activation featured a life size version of the design that guests interacted with by posting poignant messages in response to the statement “Canada is beautiful to me because…”. Guests also enjoyed a pop-up talk between the artist and the AGO’s First Thursday programmer, focusing on Mackenzie’s practice and the inspiration behind the work she created for Shiseido to bring the story of the collaboration full circle.

Absolut unicorns at First Thursdays

Activating Artfully

Official Vodka Partner, AGO First Thursdays

Activating with authenticity is a challenge, but a creative one that Absolut and its agency partners take on with pride.

As the Official Vodka Partner of AGO First Thursdays (a monthly art party that starts after we close), Absolut worked in concert with the AGO to engage the 25 to 34 year old demographic. As a brand, Absolut has genuine art heritage (think of their artist-designed bottles) but they understand that conversing with millennials requires more than a branded bottle on a bar.

For each month of the First Thursdays season, Absolut’s mixologists concocted a special cocktail for each themed event. This was of course complemented by the requisite branded napkins, barware, and bottles. However, a few times during the season Absolut really invested in engaging the audience with artful activations.

When the AGO exhibited the paintings of Lawren Harris in an exhibition entitled The Idea of North, Absolut responded with an activation that involved an artist painting a mural of icebergs live on the night! Visitors could also take the controls and projection-map overtop of the mural, and be true participants in creating the art.

Similarly, Absolut launched their #absolutunicorns at the AGO’s Pride-themed First Thursday and brought the unicorns back for a second year due to popular demand. Absolut worked with local artists to bring the unicorns to life so the installation became much more than a brand photo opp. The Absolut Unicorns were stationed outside of the Gallery, catching people coming in and out of First Thursdays and also passersby on the street, extending the First Thursday experience to a busy street corner.

Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.