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Gardiner Museum is reopening July 21 with free admission

1 year ago

New exhibitions, free outdoor art activities, dining, shopping, and more

Toronto—The Gardiner Museum is excited to announce that admission will be free all summer when our doors reopen to the public on July 21. The Gardiner will also continue to offer free outdoor programming, including hands-on clay workshops and family activities on the Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Plaza.

“We are thrilled to finally welcome the public back through our doors and can’t wait for our visitors to discover exciting changes and be reunited with beloved objects,” said Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO. “We believe that art experiences are key to reconnecting and finding joy as we emerge from isolation and, most importantly, that everyone should have access to these opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer free admission and programming all summer—something truly special and unique in the city.”

Discover new exhibition and artworks

When the galleries reopen from Wednesday to Sunday, visitors will be greeted by new exhibitions and artworks animating the Museum.

HEAVY SHINE, part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, is a collaboration between Toronto-based ceramic artist Dianne Lee and New Orleans-based visual artist Robyn LeRoy-Evans. The work is presented as a collaborative, multimedia installation of collage, drawing, ceramic vessels, portraiture, still lifes, and arranged tableaus.

Sheridan Graduate Show: Audax 8, supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, features exciting new work by students in the Bachelor of Craft and Design program at Sheridan College, ranging from Mimi He’s minimalist aromatherapy bottles by Asli Inan’s fantastical vessels inspired by old colouring books.

Garniture Remix is a stunning vertical installation of vases and vessels in the Joan Courtois Gallery, spanning three levels of the Gardiner’s soaring staircase. Objects from all areas of the collection come together in unexpected pairings, united by shape, colour, ornament, and texture.

Beyond the museum walls

Launched in June, Gardiner Goes Outside will continue to run on the plaza, with pop-up window exhibitions, an audio tour, public art projects, and hands-on clay activities. A mini exhibition by emerging Hamilton-based artist Marissa Y Alexander is currently on display in the Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney Window Gallery.

The Museum’s street level light box signs are also animated by art commissioned from prominent and emerging BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ identifying artists, in partnership with No.9 Contemporary Art + Environment.

Reactivating our creativity

The Gardiner has launched three free outdoor programming streams, running from Wednesday to Sunday and open to adults and children of all ages and abilities:

Play Date
Sponsored by the Weston Family Foundation
Wednesday – Saturday, 10 am – 12 pm
Join us for a kid-friendly colouring activity inspired by our collaboration with No.9 Contemporary Art + Environment.

Clay Bird Making

Sponsored by David Staines & Noreen Taylor
Wednesday – Friday, 1 – 3:30 pm
Experiment with clay as part of David Constantino Salazar’s public art project Forever (Bird-Botanicals).

Family Days
Sponsored by  Mary Janigan & Tom Kierans
Sundays, 11 am – 3 pm
Get the family together for new activities each week, inspired by the Museum’s permanent collection.

See the full schedule of free activities

Firing up the kilns

Drop In Clay Classes are back, with a twist. On Saturdays from 1 – 3 pm, hand-building workshops will be held on the outdoor plaza. Tickets go on sale at 10 am the morning of the class and space is limited to 10 participants. Tickets: General: $18; Students and Gardiner Friends: $14.50

When the building reopens, the Gardiner will also start offering a series of four-week studio classes. Registration opens to Gardiner Friends on July 13 at 10 am and to the general public on July 15 at 10 am.
Classes will be limited to 10 participants to allow for safe physical distancing. Masking and other health and safety protocols will be in effect.

Dine and shop

No trip to the Gardiner is complete without lunch at Clay Restaurant, which is currently featuring a new summer menu on the patio, and a visit to the Gardiner Shop. In-person shopping will be limited to two people at a time.

Check our website for more information on how the Gardiner is welcoming visitors back safely to the Museum: https://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/welcome-back/.

Thank you to our visionary supporters for helping us build community with clay.

Presenting Partners
David Staines & Noreen Taylor
Kim Spencer McPhee Barrister PC
Mary Janigan & Tom Kierans

Supporting Partners
Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney
Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski
Weston Family Foundation

Thanks To
The Citrine Foundation
HUB International
Margaret McCain
Andre Morriseau
Rosemary Phelan
The Raphael Yu Centre of Canadian Ceramics
Diana Reitberger


The Gardiner Museum brings together people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared values of creativity, wonder, and community that clay and ceramic traditions inspire.

The Gardiner Museum’s collection of ceramics comprises approximately 4,000 objects, and focuses on specific areas which have been collected in depth. These include a world-renowned collection of European porcelain, with particular strengths in Meissen, Vienna, and Hausmaler decorated porcelain, as well as a comprehensive collection of figures inspired by the commedia dell’arte. It holds the preeminent collection of Italian Renaissance maiolica in Canada, and a superb collection of English tin-glazed pottery. The Gardiner preserves highly significant collections of ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary Canadian ceramics. It also houses a research library and archives, clay studios, award-winning Shop, and a restaurant.

The Gardiner Museum is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the world’s most notable specialty museums. For more information, please visit: gardinermuseum.com.


Media Contact:
Rachel Weiner
Senior Manager, Marketing
Gardiner Museum

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