Art Gallery of Ontario reopens with other museums to follow this month

Visitors to the Art Gallery of Ontario wear masks as a health precaution

After several months closure due to the coronavirus crisis, three of Canadas biggest art institutions in Ontario have either re-opened or will do so in the very near future.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), in downtown Toronto, was the first to take the plunge, welcoming members and annual pass-holders on 2 July, with the general public able to visit from 23 July. The museums CEO Stephan Jost was delighted to welcome gallery-goers again after a much longer delay than anticipated. “I hate being a museum director with no public,” he said.

As with the other institutions, the AGO is open from Thursday to Sunday only, with a number of health and safety measures taken in the galleries. The gallery closed its doors on 13 March, “faster than the airlines did,” Jost noted, with hopes of reopening early April. “A week into it, we knew it wasnt a short-term thing,” he confessed.

But even now that the museum has reopened, it is still a long way from operating at pre-Covid levels, Jost notes, adding that all museums “face huge challenges”. The AGO was helped by a couple of generous donations, Jost added, as well as everyone on staff taking a 25% pay cut, effective until mid-September.

The museums members and annual pass-holders showed their appreciation this past week, with around 90% of the available 30min timed entry tickets sold in advance, and 600-700 visitors arriving on the AGOs opening day, most already wearing masks. “You could sense some aRead More – Source