Event-Planning, Venues

Art-spectacular Events

The extremely versatile Baillie Court, the AGO's main private event space, dresses easily for any occasion, theme and purposeThe extremely versatile Baillie Court, the AGO’s main private event space, dresses easily for any occasion, theme and purpose

Put your holiday celebration on the must-attend list of the season by setting the occasion against the stunning backdrop of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Dramatic and exquisite art-filled spaces make for gorgeous gatherings, whether it’s a festive fête for many or an intimate soirée for a few.

Here’s a look at several wonderful event-hosting rooms at the AGO that make for sublime holiday party spots no matter the theme, purpose, crowd or age group:

Extraordinary Settings

Picture-perfect Architecture: A masterpiece of modernity with classic roots, the Frank Gehry-transformed AGO has a place of honour among world-renowned galleries with its distinctive honeyed beauty of Douglas fir warming the foundations of the art it houses. Sensational spiraling staircases, vast expanses of windows, soaring glass ceilings and light-filled atriums and galleries all make for a spectacular event backdrop FX.

Walker Court is a stunning space for large eventsWalker Court is a stunning space for large events

A Grand Space: Whether hosting in, or just passing through, Walker Court sets the scene with a masterful blend of old and new. Located directly behind the AGO’s contemporary front lobby, the historic space, for 20 to 400 guests, is embraced by marble archways, soaring 40-ft. atrium ceiling and glassed-in mezzanine arcades. During off-peak hours, host a full event here or start one with a cocktail reception.

Private Hosting: Baillie Court is on full-time AGO event duty. Overlooking Walker Court, the exclusive, versatile third-floor space offers panoramic city skyline views from a south-facing window wall (black-outs available). With full reception-style capacity for 450 guests, air walls split the room in three. An ingenious 18-ft. ceiling grid provides sturdy overhead trusses and built-in pinspots for countless design and staging options. A handy freight elevator makes move in easy.

Stage events in the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture AtriumStage events in the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium

Atrium Beauty: With European art galleries on one side, the marvelous elegance of the glass-enclosed Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium slices along the AGO’s south side to overlook the historic ivy-covered The Grange mansion. Depending on current sculpture exhibition, the atrium typically fits 60 seated under its two-storey ceiling. Walk through to additional event space in the Grange’s Norma Ridley Member’s Lounge (Capacity: 40).

Galleria Italia is architecturally stunningGalleria Italia is architecturally stunning

Modern Grace: Opened to event use just last year, the block-long second-floor Galleria Italia overhangs Dundas Street. View spectacular sunsets through the 40-ft. wood and glass ceiling wall that curves up and over the long promenade like the ribbing of a canoe. Repurpose the onsite furnishings and espresso-gelato bar for event duty (Capacity: 250).

Stage Struck: Put keynote presentations, annual general meetings, product kick offs, film premieres and more into Jackman Hall. The 200-seat auditorium has its own private foyer, and is equipped with a 10-ft. x 18-ft. screen, 16 mm and 35 mm film projector, digital projector, DVD and Blu-Ray players. Pre-start events with meet-and-greet refreshments in the adjacent CaféAGO.

Paint In The Details

Include fun art activities in your event's agendaInclude fun art activities in your event’s agenda

Artful Teambuilding: On the concourse level, the Weston Family Learning Centre, which includes the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School and three seminar rooms, is a fabulous blank canvas for special events and meetings. Hook your team up with curators, artists and art historians for hands-on creativity and learning.

Décor Masterpieces: Work with the AGO’s event-planning and Art Rental & Sales departments to give your event décor “the look” with fantastic Canadian art statement pieces. Choose from over 500 contemporary works including mixed media, photography and paintings.

Gifted Favours: Team up with shopAGO for unique and imaginative items for speaker thank yous, corporate gifts or to fill event goodie bags. Collections offer holiday-themed gifts along with art- and exhibition-inspired items, stationery, jewelry, prints, books and more. Customization available.

Not Just A Pretty Space

In-house Planning Gurus: A full one-stop-shopping event department is staffed by a team of resourceful specialists able to make magic happen on a moment’s notice. Every event enjoys its own designated coordinator ensuring seamless execution, preferred caterer-supplier connections, plus a wealth of creative ideas that add value.

The Tech Set: AusCan, the gallery’s on-site audio-visual team, are sound-and-lighting wizards who love a creative challenge. For the recent launch of a new sports apparel line, the team used skipping ropes to design an enormous, ingeniously creative chandelier that dropped down from Walker Court’s ceiling.

For more information on hosting events at the AGO contact events@ago.net.

   ETC. AGO Special Edition