On the first Thursday of every month, you don’t have to tiptoe quietly through Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario. Tonight, you and your date are here to party among the masterpieces, along with an eclectic crowd of fellow non-tiptoers. With cocktails, hors d’oeuvre, a live band and some conversation-starting performances, the AGO serves up a pretty solid event — and an excellent date night option.
Grab a drink before staking out a spot for the live music show in Walker Court. This is no bland background music, either. First Thursdays hosts rock, punk, pop, folk, and anything else you can think of. The next First Thursday, on Nov. 6, hosts indie band Majical Cloudz, so you can let the electro-pop fill your head as you watch late-arriving attendees filter in. People from all walks of life show up for this event: A quick glance at everyone’s shoes reveals high heels, sneakers, and a few pairs of combat boots.
Elsewhere around the museum, there’s always buzzworthy, interactive art projects to see. In September, an artist and 12 volunteers shaved their heads in a show of solidarity with political prisoners around the world. In October, visitors could get their personal fortune messages told. You never know what to expect, but it’s an opportunity to engage with art in a new way (and slurp down an oyster or two).
For November’s event, grab a glass of wine and try not to drop it when you see the haunting, fairy-tale-based Diamonds and Toads installation/performances by UK artists The Girls. The artists are part of the tableaux, inhabiting some downright creepy folktale scenes — creepy, yet compelling.
For something completely different, see Suzy Lake’s legendary print series Choreographed Puppets being brought to life with choreography…and puppets? You’ll have to come to find out. The whole night will involve all kinds of artists presenting their takes on Lake’s work, and you’re very much invited to participate. Chat with artists and curators at pop-up talks around the gallery, or get up and do some karaoke – music is a huge influence on Lake. After you and your date roam the Art Gallery of Ontario all night, you’ll never look at the place the same again.