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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  

    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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    2019 Canada Winter Games

    Walk Off the Earth and Busty and the Bass Sun. Feb. 17th at Celebration Plaza



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  • It’s been a tough start to 2019 for Juno Award winning band Walk Off the Earth.

    The band announced the passing of its “brother and band member” Mike Taylor on December 31st.

     “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor. Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means. He passed peacefully from natural causes last night in his sleep. Our deepest sympathies are with his two children, whom he adored more than anything else in the world. We ask for privacy for his family in this trying time.”

    This video, from the song 5th Avenue was released on January 22nd and as noted on the band’s Facebook page.

    “… it’s a bittersweet release for us as it was the last major video we shot with Beard Guy before his passing, he was very excited to share it with you all. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it…”

    In the band’s own words:

    “…We often get asked what the meaning behind our band name is. What does Walk Off the Earth mean? More than anything else, it’s a state of mind. When you’re deeply entranced by a collection of musical compositions and your day-to-day stresses become a lot less bothersome, you’ve walked off the earth. You forget that your boss is a dick-weed, that your neighbour is a racist…or even that your girlfriend has been spending a little too much time with your best friend! You let the pulsing rhythm, the soaring melodies and the lush harmonies take you away to a place where nothing can affect you. Walk Off the Earth with us!…”

    The band’s stop at the Dome on Sunday February 17th at 7:30 will be a performance not to miss!

    A blend of “Canadian electro-soul and hip hop” is what Montreal’s Busty and the Bass is all about.

    The group met at McGill University and released their first full length album, Uncommon Good, in 2017.  They earned the title of Canada’s Top University Band [5] Since then, the band has toured extensively across Canada, the United States, and Europe, and performed at festivals that include the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

    Here’s a video of the band with the Macy Gray cover “I Try”.  Catch them on Feb. 17th at 7:30 at the Celebration Plaza.

    Click here for the complete event guide.

    Click here for a story about Brett Kissel and Frannie Klein, performing Saturday, Feb. 17th in the Dome.


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    Province names first ever “Artist in Residence”



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  • Minister Miranda and Alberta’s first Artist in Residence, Lauren Crazybull, in her studio.

    From the Province of Alberta

    Alberta’s 1st Artist in Residence revealed

    Edmonton’s Lauren Crazybull has been named the province’s and Canada’s first Artist in Residence.

    Crazybull is a Blackfoot Dene painter, illustrator and documentarian. Recently, her focus has been working with youth through art. Crazybull’s work is informed by several years of justice- and Indigenous-related advocacy.

    “Congratulations to Lauren on being selected as Alberta’s first Artist in Residence. Lauren is an excellent choice to act as representative and advocate for Alberta’s artists this year. I am very excited to see the results of her work, both in the studio and in Alberta’s communities.”

    Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

    Over the next year, Crazybull will:

    • travel to communities across Alberta to promote the importance of artists and the arts;
    • attend cultural events like Alberta Culture Days and the Lieutenant Governor’s Art Awards; and
    • create a painted collage of Alberta using portraits and Indigenous languages to highlight Indigenous stories across the province,

    “My practice is heavily informed by volunteering in community radio for years and working with youth in Edmonton’s inner city. I look forward to beginning this residency and meeting artists across Alberta to paint a portrait that threads stories and history together. Being given the opportunity to further pursue and broaden my practice in this way is a great honour and I can’t wait to share the journey and process with everyone.”

    Lauren Crazybull, Alberta’s artist in residence

    Nearly 100 applications were received in 2018 for the first Artist in Residence position.

    The Artist in Residence program is a Canadian first. It was created in response to stakeholder engagement on how the government can support artists.

    The position is open to all artists who live in Alberta. Each year, a new artist will be selected through a competitive process.

    The position comes with a grant of $45,000 and up to $30,000 in additional funding to help cover travel and material costs. The Artist in Residence term runs from January to the end of December.

    This announcement marks the official end of Alberta’s first-ever Month of the Artist, which began January 1. The month recognizes the significant cultural and economic contribution that Alberta artists make to this province.

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    february, 2019

    fri15feb - 3marfeb 151:00 ammar 32019 Canada Winter Games1:00 am - (march 3) 1:00 am Red Deer

    sat23feb1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sun24feb11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    wed27feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm