AGO intensifies fundraising campaign with almost $ 1 million needed in one week | Live


TORONTO – The Ontario Art Gallery is stepping up efforts to raise money for an Infinity Mirror Room in the final week of a fundraising campaign.

The Toronto gallery was nearly $ 1 million below the $ 1.3 million target on Thursday, shortly before announcing a fresh push for resources this morning.

It is now partnered with a global campaign known as Giving Tuesday, which encourages charity on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the Cyber ​​Monday and Black Friday shopping holidays.

The gallery also revealed that the room it will buy is a replica of a larger-than-average piece of artist Yayoi Kusama currently in a pop-up museum in Chicago. Entitled "Let's Survive Forever," it includes reflective steel balls and a mirrored column containing a small Infinity Mirror room.

Communication director Lisa Clements said the gallery is in an agreement to buy the room, regardless of how the one-month fund-raising campaign ends on November 30.

She admits it could involve having an 11-hour donor to cover a possible shortfall.

"There is a commitment to get the job, so let's make sure the work is done independently," Clements said.

"If anyone introduces themselves, we'll certainly say," Yes, of course. "But we're exploring all our angles," she added, noting that there is a renewed push from social media for donations as well as more ads expected . next week.

A little more than 3,000 people had donated nearly $ 370,000 on Thursday afternoon and Clements had no doubt the gallery would confirm the purchase in a week.

"We know that the supporters who know us well have actually monitored and paid attention to the campaign (and) I really think we will have that support later in the day."

She hopes the partnership with the Giving Tuesday movement, which also partners with the Royal Ontario Museum and the Hamilton Art Gallery, will broaden the reach of the campaign and remind people that the AGO is a registered charity.

Still, it was hard to ignore how far to go.

The Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibition last spring drew more than 169,000 visitors, which Clements is confident of reflecting the intense interest in Kusama's work.

Initially, the gallery would reveal the room after the goal was achieved. She says disclosure now should "make it more real to people."

"It's an unusual room that four or five people can come in at a time. It's great," she said.

The AGO Foundation has already allocated US $ 1 million to cover half of the purchase price. The gallery also made donations by offering matching donations three times, including one backed by the Schulich Foundation that expires Friday at noon, limited to $ 20,000.

But Clements declined to say if the gallery is where they thought it would be at this stage of the campaign.

"There is no rule book. We are discovering this and we are not sure where we would be, but we are Canada's first art museum to do that," she said.

"We're going to have, I'm sure, a lot of learning from that."


Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press


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