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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Opening Party | Thank You Maxine | The Crystal Palace | Brian Jungen | Georgia O'Keeffe Talk

Last chance! AGOinsider will disappear from your inbox forever unless you click here. Don't miss out on your art news!

We're celebrating, and you're invited!

Join us for an opening party next week for three Canadian exhibitions: Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood; Rita Letendre: Light & Fire; and Mark Lewis: Canada.

Thank you, Maxine

We celebrate AGO President Maxine Granovsky Gluskin's inspiring leadership.

Imagine you've never seen a photograph before…

...And take a journey back to 1851, to the world's first photography exhibition.

Artist Spotlight: Brian Jungen

The Canadian artist is best known for turning everyday objects into intricate sculptures inspired by his Dane-Zaa First Nation heritage. Find out what he's up to.

O'Keeffe, the trailblazer

Did you know Georgia O'Keeffe chafed at being defined as a woman artist? We invited three artists to discuss the gender divide in the art world today.  


PHOTO CREDITS: [1] Meryl McMaster. Edge of a Moment, 2017. Inkjet print, 152.4 × 239.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Katzman Contemporary. © Meryl McMaster. [2] Photo courtesy of the AGO. [3] 2007/1940.3.1 - Claude-Marie Ferrier, View of the Eastern Nave, salted paper print. [4] Photo courtesy of the AGO/Dean Tomlinson. [5] Vivek Shraya by Tanja-Tiziana; Lori Blondeau by Rebecca Belmore; Eileen Myles by Peggy O'Brien.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

World Life Experience - Travel, Discover and Share with the World

World Life Experience – Travel, Discover and Share with the World

The Founders

A unique one year travelling experience, discovering and sharing combined with motivating and unparalleled team work linked to a good form of supporting social and humanitarian causes: this was the perfect scenario for the two founders of World Life Experience to turn an idea into a project filled with potential.

Both Portuguese, both entrepreneurs, Pedro Tinoco and António Coelho Dias represent the private company TOP EXPERIENCE, lda., headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, and responsible for promoting and organizing the event in connection with the World Life Experience project.

Also executive directors of the program, they believed that it would be possible to develop a sustainable project which would allow for linking the commercial side of a project with an impactful theme to a social responsibility project with a very active social role.

It all begins with an idea by António Coelho Dias.

"I was searching for an idea that would have a truly positive impact on society," explains António Coelho Dias

"It was an idea that still needed to be matured and an enterprise that would not have made any sense without my friend Pedro Tinoco," adds António Coelho Dias.

"When António first discussed the idea with me, I knew right away that it had enormous potential for engaging people and that it would have the desired impact on society. I immediately told him that together we could develop and implement this great idea," explains Pedro Tinoco.

"We launched the project in April 2017 and although we knew there would be public interest, we were not expecting the international media attention it is getting right now. There has been tremendous interest in participating in the project, both from candidates and prospective partners, and we are ready for the strong involvement. But as with most things in life, we have had to adapt to this escalation and public acceptance, so we apologize to the public for the delay in some of our responses," adds Pedro Tinoco.

"We´re very happy, we are bringing to life a great event and a truly global project," explains António Coelho Dias.

"In addition to the experience in-and-of-itself, we also want to help and we want to show that it can be done with support from the public. We could make all of this happen without the element of social responsibility, but that would not have made any sense to us". The project will surely leave its mark in all of the destinations where World Life Experience will travel too," the founders add.

"The whole process was only possible because of the support we received from our operational partners who came into the project so openly and willing to help. We created a professional and exempt selection process, content that reflected our DNA and a communications process that allowed us to communicate and present the project to the public. We chose great companies and people to help us," added the founders.

The World Life Experience team is prepared to provide a real experience to the group of participants and to fulfil all of the objectives set out.

"Public response has been huge and very positive. We are very grateful to everyone," added the founders.

PhotoPedro Tinoco and António Coelho Dias – Founders and executive directors of the project World Life Experience.


"As with all projects, there are also criticisms. We acknowledge this criticism, and to those who have questioned – yes this is a real project and we can only answer that the projects are implemented by people and materialized by a team who will ensure that the group has a great experience and bringing to the people an unparalleled event. A real project that will come to fruition," added the founders.

"We have received millions of emails and messages and there has been much interaction on our social media, and that's very positive. But there some questions regarding the project, its existence and objectives and the relationship with partners and NGOs, leading many to contact our partners with questions."

"So we had to make some decisions with our operational partners, specifically to avoid their being contacted by hundreds of people with questions regarding the organization of the event, as has been happening, which is why we have omitted 3 of our operational partners from our site," explains Pedro Tinoco. 

"This project is open to the world, with clear objectives and our operational partners are embodied by people and naturally, forged with the Portuguese branches of the companies and brands that are involved, which is why we acknowledge some of the criticism on social media."

"To be absolutely clear, despite the media attention the project has garnered, some of our partner's branches in other countries have no knowledge of the partnerships which have been created and therefore, in one instance or another, they may mislead some of the public."

Transcriptions of email responses given by some of our partners headquartered in Portugal, naturally confirming our relationship, have been provided to the press. 

The founders also explain that their relationship with NGOs have arise from the fact that they selected them as recipients of a donation totalling approximately 30% of the revenue from the event's registration fee.

 "We chose NGOs which we thought were interesting choices in view of their areas of action and mission and because we want to help. The best way to do this was to involve those who wanted to join the project, and it made sense to do it this way. The companies which promote local experiences and the brands connected to the project's activities are creating partnerships with us using interesting partnership models which also include social engagement. The donations we receive are given to the NGOs we have selected, on a weekly basis, and in accordance to the registrations we receive. We will be publishing all of this soon, all of this soon including all of the donations we have made" explains Pedro Tinoco.

Find out more about World Life Experience: www.worldlifeexperience.com - www.facebook.com/worldlifeexperience.oficial

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Performers announced:



CELTIC KITCHEN PARTY feat. Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy and Friends



LUNCH AT ALLEN'S feat. Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas, Marc Jordan & Cindy Church





[May 29, 2017 – Hamilton/GTA ON]    With a fresh rebranding, support from the Ontario & Canadian governments, and several high profile private sponsorships, ArtsFest Waterdown is taking the free street festival to a new level with the announcement of eight high profile music headline performers.   


"The Canadian Brass, Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, Susan Aglukark, The Good Brothers, and the members of Lunch At Allen's have collectively sold millions of recordings, and won countless Juno Awards", said the Chair of festival's board of directors Geoff Kulawick. "The Once from Newfoundland and The Shuffle Demons have toured the world over the last year performing at some of the biggest festivals in Europe and Japan - we're ecstatic to have them at ArtsFest this year.  Returning in 2017 is the Mozart Effect Chamber Ensemble, from the orchestra that closed the festival last year to such a positive response we had to have them back.   We will be announcing even more performers, and some very special guests closer to the event."


The festival is unique in that it presents world-class music in classical, world, folk & jazz genres, alongside theatrical, dance and visual arts presentations, and interactive arts activities for youth and children, all in a family friendly, free and open to all community environment in a historic setting.   


Last year ArtsFest Waterdown drew over 20,000 to the picturesque town that sits at the top of the Niagara escarpment on the border of Burlington.  This year over 35,000 are expected to attend the free festival that celebrates the arts in all its forms.   Musicians perform on two separate stages in different areas of the festival, bordered by Dundas Street, Main St South, Mill Street and Griffin Streets in downtown Waterdown.  A dedicated family zone with dance & theatrical performances, storytelling, and interactive art activities for children & youth has a featured space within the free festival.  The festival is currently curating a select group of artisans and craftspeople for a vendor marketplace. Vendors and businesses interested in participating in the festival, and anyone looking for more information, should visit ArtsFest.ca.


ArtsFest Waterdown is produced by Historic Waterdown Arts & Events, a non-profit corporation located at Griffin House - Arts Culture & Innovation Business Center 23 Griffin Street, Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0.



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Shab-e She'r (Poetry Night) LII

Shab-e She'r (Poetry Night) LII

Toronto's most diverse poetry reading and open mic

Featured poets: Bunny Iskov & Takatsu  

Host: Bänoo Zan

Time: Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Church of St. Stephen in-the-Fields, 365 College St, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2N8

Doors open               6:15 p.m.
Open-mic sign-up     6:30 p.m.
Show                         7 p.m.

Admission: $5


I.B. (Bunny) Iskov  founder of The Ontario Poetry Society, with several poetry collections,  recipient of the Absolutely Fabulous Woman Award, Arts & Culture category, 2017


Takatsu poet, novelist, publisher, multimedia designer, event coordinator, founder of Inspiritus Press, Bring the Noise Street Poetry Tour, Crossroads Literary Festival, the Literary Fiction Network, and the Cell Phone Novel movement

St-Stephen-in-the Fields accessibility information:

The venue has a wheelchair ramp entrance and is all on one level; however, the wheelchair ramp door does not yet have a pushbutton, so someone needs to hold the door open. There is one fully barrier-free washroom.

All washrooms are gender-neutral.





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The Son Rises in Toronto - Richard Pryor Jr - son of the legendary comedian - brings his intimate cabaret show to the city June 30.

The Son Rises in Toronto - Richard Pryor Jr - son of the legendary comedian - brings his intimate cabaret show to the city June 30t

(Toronto, June 6) "I'm very excited to be coming to Toronto to perform for the first time in Canada," says Pryor, "I've never had the opportunity to do my show in front of a Canadian audience before. It's going to be a fabulous show!"  He adds that he is looking forward to be coming in time to enjoy Toronto's PRIDE parade. Pryor expects to join the city's LGBTQ community in celebration in advance of his first ever Canadian performance, June 30th at Toronto's MOD CLUB THEATRE. Pryor works within the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community using his voice as an African American gay man. In 2015, Richard was selected as the  My True Colors Festival (MTCF) celebrity ambassador. 

Son of the late comic genius, Richard Pryor Jr. got his start in show business introducing his dad's comedy shows. Pryor relaunched his career in 2006 in New York City as a tribute to his late father . A talented singer and actor, Pryor Jr. has performed with gospel groups throughout the Midwest and recently finished up several film projects, in addition to portraying his father in American Gangster. He has performed around the world at famous venues and cabarets, and will soon release a book and movie about his life as the son of the comedic icon Richard Pryor
His first ever Canadian show takes place June 30th.  Presented by Toronto's own Herbie FABULUS, a rising reggae artist who will be opening for Pryor, this one night only event is sure to thrill Canadian audiences.  "When I heard that Richard had never performed in Canada before, I thought our celebration of Canada's 150th birthday would be the perfect time for him to bring his show here.  I'm very happy that I was able to make this happen!  Richard takes the stage as the special featured performer in the early part of the evening, followed by a second Herbie FABULUS and Friends concert at the same venue, showcasing some of the cities' finest musicians.  This is going to be one FABULUS night, that's for sure!" 

 Pryor will be presenting the best of his critically acclaimed cabaret, "Life, Love, and a Little Laughter," (for which he was nominated for a MAC award for "Outstanding Performance In A Musical Comedy").

"The Son rises at night!...Between the songs, Pryor incorporated some priceless stories about his own colorful life...Pure camp fun...This may be a "one man show", but Richard Pryor Jr.  has enough energy for ten men.  Now, THAT'S entertainment!" 

"In his always sold out show, "Life, Love, and a Little Laughter," Richard brings heartfelt moments, and stories combined with great music and comedy. Who knows, he might even tell you the story about his re-enactment of the bed-shaking scene from the Exorcist. Richard will RAISE THE ROOF"Here you can view a teaser from his MAC nominated cabaret : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkMsPKDFTZw

Tickets $45 in advance, $50 at door.  The media is invited to attend.

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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Natural Stone Surfaces

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning
Natural Stone Surfaces

By Stephanie Vozza

Wipe up spills as quickly as possible to avoid staining or etching.

Natural stone surfaces are a wonderful investment that deserve and require proper care. If you make a mistake or overlook maintenance, you could risk damaging your beautiful material.

While it's true that natural stone is extremely durable and made to last, it is not indestructible. "There is a chemistry to natural stone, and making mistakes can harm it," notes Tim Lesnar, owner of Classic Marble Restoration in Blaine, Minnesota.

Natural stone thrives under proper maintenance, says Brian Kornet, owner of Fabra-Cleen Stone & Tile Care in Plainview, New York. "You have to take precautions," he says. "If you avoid cleaning mistakes, you'll need our [restoration] services less often."

Here are five common practices "to skip" when maintaining and protecting your natural stone surfaces.

1.    Cleaning with Vinegar

"Only use cleaners that are suited for natural stone. If you use an outside cleaning service, make sure they do the same," says Lesnar.


Use a cutting board, especially when cutting citrus or other acidic foods.

Pictured here: Madreperola quartzite.
Photo courtesy of M S International.

Lesnar adds that many people are unfamiliar with the chemistry of cleaners and of stone, and thus will inadvertently use the wrong cleaner. "You need a cleaner that has the right pH level, which is seven (neutral). Some stones such as marble, travertine or limestone react adversely with vinegar because it is acidic."

"Vinegar and bleach are harsh," adds Gregg Laviolette, owner of Stone Restoration Services in Troy, Michigan. "They will etch or burn the surface of your stone."

While some chemicals may not noticeably damage durable stones such as granite, they can break down any sealers that have been applied to the stone. "That means you would need to have your stone resealed more frequently," says Kornet.

2.    Choosing an Abrasive Tool

Some homeowners think they can remove etches or stains with a scrubbing pad. Realistically, this often only makes the problem worse. Lesnar points out that scrubbing pads "act like abrasives on stone, especially when you put elbow grease into it."

For daily cleaning, use a soft cloth and don't attempt to "buff out" stains or scratches. Instead, call a professional. "The only way to fix a stone that has been etched is to have it honed and restored," says Kornet.

Use a dust mop regularly to maintain natural stone flooring.

Pictured here: Bardiglio marble. Photo courtesy of Arizona Tile.

3.    Skipping the Dust Mop

"Minor dust particles and sand that you might not be able to see will act like an abrasive under your feet and cause wear patterns over time," notes Laviolette. He recommends using a dry dust mop on floors daily or at least every other day.

"Grit will scratch floors and give them an appearance of being dull," says Kornet. "A polished surface is a smooth surface, and light will reflect off it," he says. "Scratches refract light. Your floors might be clean, but it has the appearance of being dull or scuffed."

Remove dust and debris with a dust mop or vacuum, and wash your floor with a neutral cleaner each week.

4.    Leaving High-Traffic Areas Unprotected

"Rugs can help protect the areas of your stone floors that will get worn down due to high traffic," says Laviolette.

"Walk off matting helps keep dust and debris that can scratch your floors to a minimum," he says. "Place a mat inside and outside of doors, and use runners and rugs in areas that get a lot of use, such as mudrooms, hallways and kitchens."

5.    Not Sealing Your Stone Regularly

For many stones, sealing is part of a recommended general maintenance plan. While it is possible for homeowners to seal their own stone, experts agree that a professional will deliver the best results.

"I tell customers to expect to see me once every three to five years," says Lesnar. "Sometimes if it's a high-profile area with a lot of windows, you'll want to call me every year."

If you do seal your stone yourself, make sure you use a solvent-based impregnating sealer, recommends Laviolette. "It's preventative maintenance, but it's not a be-all, end-all cure," he says. "It's like applying stain and water repellant to your carpet; it can help prevent your stone from etching, but you still need to perform regular cleaning."

With proper care and maintenance, natural stone surfaces will stay beautiful for years to come. Every stone is one-of-a-kind—and for many homeowners, little imperfections and etches in the stone's surface become part of the stone's unique story. To learn more about choosing natural stone surfaces, visit www.usenaturalstone.co

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