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Arts

Crowdfunding campaign aims to bring Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto, forever

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  • TORONTO — The Art Gallery of Ontario wants the success of its recent Infinity Mirrors exhibit to go on, and on, and on — and so it’s turning to fans of last spring’s showcase to help it buy an Infinity Mirror Room for its permanent collection.

    An online crowdfunding campaign began Thursday and, if successful, would add an Instagram-friendly mirror-lined room to the Toronto gallery this spring.

    Stephan Jost, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner director, says fans have 30 days to help the gallery reach its target of $1.3 million for the $2-million purchase.

    He says the AGO has secured $1 million for the plan, and is asking the public to provide an extra $300,000 to help pay for ancillaries, including the campaign and setup of the immersive piece.

    The AGO extended its hours to accommodate more than 165,000 people who caught “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” last spring, when crowds lined up around the block. At the time, visitors were allowed just 20 to 30 seconds in each kaleidoscope room.

    Jost wouldn’t say how much time visitors would have at an AGO-bought room, but noted visitors would be able to return again and again. The InfinityAGO campaign is at Infinityago.ca.  

    Jost expects the unorthodox funding plan would help the AGO forge deeper ties to its youthful audience — he says 29 per cent of visitors last year were between the ages of 20 and 30.

    “We’ll have probably thousands of people giving us $25 and my hope is all those people can say to their kids or grandkids or nephews or nieces, ‘Hey, I bought that for the AGO’,” says Jost, noting that the gallery also sought the public’s help in 1958 to buy a reproduction of Jacopo Tintoretto’s “Christ Washing His Disciples’ Feet,” which cost $85,000 at the time.

    “There’s probably easier ways to raise $1.3 million, but I really feel like it’s a really important way to do that so that, really, the public is a part of the AGO.”

    Jost says the AGO is hoping to acquire the third edition of a recently designed Infinity Mirrors room that has never been exhibited in Canada.

    Details will be announced as funds are raised, but the name and image would only be revealed if the campaign is complete.

    “The only hint I can give you is that it’s larger than most of them,” says Jost, adding that it would go into a temporary exhibition space and wouldn’t displace anything currently on display.

    Jost says 18 museums around the world have an Infinity Mirror Room in their collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and The Broad in Los Angeles.

    This would be the first Infinity Mirror Room acquired by a Canadian public art museum and would likely be “the most expensive work in a decade we buy,” he says.

    While last spring’s exhibit inspired countless Instagram posts of selfie-driven visitors, Jost says he believes the enthusiastic audience also recognized the deeper power of the celebrated Japanese artist’s work, calling her “a truly great artist.”

    “She’s the only artist who links pop art, minimalism and performance art, which are three really important movements,” says Jost, expecting that will resonate with many fans.

    “When people fall in love with a work they come back and visit it, we know that. When you see a Monet and you have a connection to it, people will then go back to see that painting again.”

    And he fully expects to reach the gallery’s financial target in 30 days, especially with a targeted campaign.

    “The secret advantage we have is everybody bought their ticket online so we have the contact information of people who came and loved it. That’s not just a random thing, it’s over 100,000 people (who) bought (a) ticket.”

    Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press



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    Arts

    CentreFest welcomes food festival for a tasty boost to popular summer event

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  • It’s a fabulous idea and sure feels like a great addition to one of the best events of the summer.  The Taste of Red Deer – summer edition, is teaming up with CentreFest on Friday, July 26.

    Here’s the news straight from CentreFest and the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation (Taste of Red Deer).

    Summer Just Got More Delicious!

    CentreFest, Central Alberta’s largest street performer festival, is pleased to announce a partnership with the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation’s Taste of Red Deer.

    On Friday, July 26 from 6 to 9 pm, Taste of Red Deer will join with CentreFest to bring delicious food tastings to the already popular event.

    The partnership between the two organizations seemed a natural fit, both set on bringing young and old alike to Red Deer’s downtown core for unique entertainment, delicious food, and family fun!

    The Health Foundation’s CEO, Manon Therriault, says, “Taste of Red Deer has been a staple at Festival of Trees for years, and we decided to recreate it in the summertime. What better time to hold the event than with CentreFest, an event that’s already drawing crowds downtown. It just makes sense that two non-profit organizations would work together for the betterment of our community. We are very proud to have CentreFest as a partner.”

    Taste of Red Deer will draw between 25 and 30 local Central Alberta restaurants, each sampling some of their best menu items. Guests will purchase food vouchers to spend on whatever tantalizes their taste buds. Proceeds from the Taste of Red Deer event will go directly to purchasing equipment for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

    Jan Penney, CentreFest Board Chair, is also pleased with the partnership. “Our goal is to create an exciting family experience for Central Albertans, and our partners at Taste of Red Deer will add a new dimension to CentreFest that increases the excitement our event already creates.”

    A full slate of CentreFest performers will be on hand Friday night to provide unique & fun-filled entertainment while guests sample an array of food items from local vendors.

    Liz Taylor, Executive Director for Tourism Red Deer, says, “CentreFest is not only a signature event for Red Deer that helps define our unique personality, but they also consistently demonstrate a year round leadership and commitment within our arts and culture community. This partnership will enhance what CentreFest already offers to our community.”

     

    CentreFest and Taste of Red Deer is a family-friendly event and is free of charge to enter, with food tickets required for menu samplings.


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    Arts

    Tim Tamashiro with some advice for young people..

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  • Author, RDC alumni and former CBC Radio host Tim Tamashiro will be at Chapters Red Deer on Saturday, April 13th. He will deliver a presentation titled “After Grad: How Ikigai Will Shape Your Life”. Tim will share insights on the meaningful work of life’s purpose from his bestselling book How To Ikigai.

    Graduation is a time for celebration. But what truths do grads face after grad? Does life only consist of a series of jobs in order to make a living?

    Tim believes that there’s a difference between your “job” and your “work”. Your “job” provides you with an income, safety, security and maybe even a boost to your ego. You “work” can result in something bigger and more rewarding. Your work can result in your Ikigai or your “life’s worth”.

    Join Tim for a special presentation at Chapters Red Deer. He will be available from 11 am – 4 pm to sign books. He will deliver his presentation at 12 noon.


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