Government of Canada supports the Art Gallery of Ontario’s first public art commission and the revitalization of the gallery’s outdoor space

News release

FedDev Ontario invests nearly $585,000 for AGO to create accessible community space and attract new visitors

June 20, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of investing in inclusive community sites that connect people across diverse backgrounds and support the lasting contributions these sites make to Canadian society and our nation’s economy.

Today, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment of nearly $585,000, through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) to enhance its outdoor public space and welcome new visitors.

This investment will support the creation and installation of a sculpture by internationally-renowned contemporary artist, Brian Jungen, an artist of European and Indigenous heritage (dane-zaa). Jungen’s extensive artistic practice engages both Indigenous materials and traditions as well as Western art history and popular culture. At five and a half metres long and four metres tall, Couch Monster: Sadzěʔ yaaghęhch’ill (2022) is a prominent addition to Toronto’s streetscape.  The sculpture was unveiled earlier today outside the AGO in downtown Toronto, and will be accompanied by seating and green space making it accessible to visitors of all abilities. Interpretive material located near the sculpture will be available in French, English, and Aanishinaabemowin. In the coming months, additional interpretive material accessible to visually and hearing impaired communities will be available online at ago.ca.

Today’s announcement reinforces the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting diverse and inclusive community projects that are integral to the overall well-being of our peoples, families and communities. 

Quotes

“Today’s announcement in the Art Gallery of Ontario demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to revitalize public spaces that are the heart of our communities. This Canada Community Revitalization Fund investment will not only provide a gathering space for all Canadians, but it will also promote the cultural contributions made by our artists.”
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Monumental public art has made Dundas and McCaul a Canadian landmark, and Brian Jungen’s ambitious new work reaffirms this intersection in the international art world. Brian has created a work that is truly of this place, that will shape this environment for years to come. Thank you to our partners at the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for helping make this important project a reality.”
Stephan Jost, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario

Quick facts

  • Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, attracting approximately one million visitors annually. The AGO Collection of more than 120,000 works of art ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces.

  • For more than two decades, award-winning European and Indigenous (dane-zaa) artist Brian Jungen has been lauded for his ability to transform everyday commercial products into a range of sculptures and installations. 

  • With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Canada Community Revitalization Fund supports projects that build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets, bring people back to public spaces safely and stimulate local economies. This includes $139 million for projects in southern Ontario, delivered by FedDev Ontario.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $520 million in more than 600 projects in the Toronto Region creating over 25,000 jobs and maintaining over 33,000 jobs.

Associated links

Contacts

Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
monica.granados@feddevontario.gc.ca

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
fdo.mediarel-relmedias.fdo@feddevontario.gc.ca

Stay Connected

Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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