Art Gallery of Ontario offers free admission to frontline workers


Museums in Ontario reopened this month as part of stage 2 in the provincial reopening plan.

That progress would not have been possible without frontline workers who continued on the job during the early months of the pandemic.

To thank those workers, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is giving them a chance to visit the gallery for free for one year.

Ontario residents employed in health care, emergency services, grocery stores, sanitation or public transit have until August 16 to sign up for a free annual pass that’s valid up to one year.

The AGO Annual Pass will allow the workers to book timed-entry tickets at any time. Eligible people must show proof of employment. (The full list of eligible workers is here.)

“The restorative power of art should not be underestimated – it can lift our spirits and support our wellbeing,” Art Gallery of Ontario CEO Stephan Jost said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we are excited to welcome our community back to the gallery to recharge with art.”

The AGO reopened to the public on July 2 with health and safety protocols in place. Visitors must wear a face mask and practise physical distancing. Limited tickets are sold for 30-minute slots to control the flow of people.

The gallery’s upcoming programming includes several big exhibitions.

Diane Arbus, Photographs: 1956-1971 and Illusions: The Art Of Magic, which closed in mid-March due to lockdown measures, will now run until November 8.

The first North American survey of South Korean artist Haegue Yang’s work, Emergence, is opening in September. A major show on Picasso will open in the fall and a Warhol retrospective opens next spring.




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