WAG’s 100 Masters Smashes Attendance Records
The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s 100 Masters: Only in Canada exhibition has smashed all previous attendance records for WAG exhibitions, with over 17,000 people visiting the Gallery since the show’s opening on May 11.
“This exhibition was a tremendously ambitious project for the WAG to undertake, and we couldn’t be happier with the response from the community,” says WAG Director & CEO Stephen Borys. “Visitors are just amazed at seeing so many great artists—Rembrandt, Renoir, van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Rodin, Picasso, and others—all in one space. A lot of people find they can’t take it all in at once, and make plans to return again this summer. The buzz has been fantastic and we have every indication that it will continue to the show’s conclusion.”
Borys adds that, “Beyond the sheer magnitude of the artwork in terms of scope and importance, the key to the success of the exhibition has been the variety of programs and events organized in support of the show. For instance, the school tours sold out even before the exhibition opened. Our Art Eats program, which combines dinner at Storm Bistro with an exhibition tour, also sold out very quickly, requiring us to add another event.”
Anna Wiebe, Head of Education, believes the distinct programs created just for kids have been a huge draw for families. “Many of the works have special kid-friendly labels that encourage them to view and discuss the work. The mini-tour booklets guide families on their own thematic adventures. The Family Interactive Zone is proving really popular—parents and kids can read books and learn more about the artists. They can create their own works of art. Kids particularly love the life-sized cut-outs where they can pose as the face of the Rembrandt and Sweerts paintings.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday the WAG presents One Master at a Time, where curators present 15-minute insights into individual works of art in the exhibition. Exhibition tours are held at 2pm on selected Saturdays and Sundays.
Admission to 100 Masters: Only in Canada includes a free audio tour narrated by Jeff Douglas, host of CBC’s As It Happens, and souvenir booklet.
The exhibition has attracted several notable visitors. Vice-regal visitors have included Governor-General David Johnston and Lieutenant-Governor Philip S. Lee. Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and the Honourable Stephen Fletcher, Minister of State for Transport, spoke at an invitation-only Centennial celebration on May 10th. The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Culture and Official Languages, and Senators Janis Johnson and Maria Chaput, and MP Joyce Bateman have also toured the show
BMO is the Presenting Sponsor for 100 Masters: Only in Canada.
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