On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, co-chairs George Barkas, Rob Drynan and Anais Granofsky will welcome an expected 1,900 party-goers to the Art Gallery of Ontario for the 11th year of Massive Party. Concurrent to the AGO exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time, this year Artistic Director TALWST will present Massive Party Hotbed.

Limited tickets are available, so don’t miss this opportunity to attend the AGO’s sensational art party.

Tickets include open bar, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, contemporary art installations and access to Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time. Funds raised through Massive Party will help the AGO continue to deliver ambitious education and exhibition programs. The AGO will issue a charitable tax receipt for the maximum allowable portion of your ticket purchase.

For the past five years Massive Party tickets have sold out in advance so purchase yours now.

Suggested Attire:
This year guests are invited to dress in an outfit only they could pull off. Be the “youest you” you can be – whether that means a beautiful suit, an eccentric costume or gorgeous gown. This is the year to take a fashion risk that embodies your personality just like the party regulars of Basquiat’s New York in the 1980’s. Be bold, after all we all end up in the same Hotbed.

“HOTBED as a new art form...HOTBED as an escape clause...HOTBED as an end to confining art terms..."

Like NYC’s avant-garde scene of the 1980s, HOTBED, is the place you want to be, the place you need to be; HOTBED is Toronto in 2015.

Featuring artists and musicians that embody the underground, HOTBED speaks through voices, which are already making ripples through the groundswell of Toronto, and are ready to spill into the ocean to penetrate culture internationally.


  • Virgil Baruchel
  • Broadbent Sisters
  • Erika DeFreitas
  • Maya Fuhr
  • Brad Tinmouth
  • Chloe Wise
  • Artist Project Patrons

    Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc.

    Société Générale


For more information on how you can support our artists by becoming an Artist Project Patron email massive@ago.net


His practice is a study in extremes. As a musical performer, TALWST (né Curtis Santiago) is larger-than-life. As a visual artist, he has spent the better part of the last six years building miniature dioramas, entire worlds that fit in the palm of your hand. TALWST creates exquisite landscapes inhabited by fantastical characters—hand-painted and reconstructed Preiser’s figurines—freezing memories and moments inside reclaimed ring boxes.

From 2007 to 2010, TALWST apprenticed under Aboriginal artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. In the past six years, TALWST has had six solo exhibitions in Toronto, New York, Edmonton and Vancouver. As a recording artist, he’s collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Illangelo to release his fourth solo album, Alien Tentacle Sex, to international acclaim in 2012.

After participating as an artist in 2014, with the crowd favorite performance piece Dynasty 10-0, TALWST is excited to be taking the lead on Massive Party 2015. Playing with the upcoming AGO exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time TALWST will bring a fresh and unique perspective to the party this year with Massive Party Hotbed.

Read moreRead less

Virgil Baruchel

Virgil Baruchel is a Paris-born visual artist currently living in Toronto, Canada. Through living and working abroad in recent years, human perspective has become a major theme in his work. With an autodidactic practice stemming from the unknown and instinctive drawings he uses multiple mediums to create movement or stillness conveying emotions, and building identities. He has exhibited works in Canada, France and the United States.

For Massive Party Hotbed, in collaboration with Benjamin Kamino and Christopher Willes, Virgil will present YOUCANTSEEUSBUTWESEEYOU, an installation based performance in which light, movement, camouflage and sound are used to usher an audience into a dreamlike world where beauty and discomfort dance. Within its own duality the installation allows spectators to build their own narratives, as well as to be led on an adventure by Benjamin. This work gives the viewer the opportunity to be both a spectator and performer in a fully immersive environment and brings forth a new level of awareness on the question of multiplicity and how we define ourselves.

Don’t miss this piece in the Weston Family Learning Centre, Seminar Room 2.

Benjamin Kamino, co-curator at Dancemakers, lives and works between Montreal and Toronto. His work as an artist has been shown in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States. Kamino is founder of do what you can, an international resource for artists providing residencies for artistic production in Montreal.

Christopher Willes is an artist, composer, and performance maker based in Toronto and Montreal. Recent collaborations include projects with Public Recordings rehearsal/performance, AGO), Small Wooden Shoe (Sound Live Tokyo, Japan), Benjamin Kamino (Tangente, Montreal), and Dancemakers. He received an MFA from Bard College.

Read moreRead less

Broadbent Sisters

Joy and Rose Broadbent are multidisciplinary artists based in Toronto. Together, the Broadbent Sisters transform the domestic into dreamlike realms where sparkles are swept and spaces are cleared. They use performance and installation to create interactive experiences that transform “lowly” everyday objects into mystical artifacts. Thematically their work is influenced by meditative practices, religious rituals and pop spirituality. Their aesthetic finds inspiration in mass-produced therapeutic objects and elemental nature, while their performance is shaped by their involvement in the fashion, film and music industry. Joy and Rose find collaboration to be a unique venue for distilling the essence of form and exploring telepathic ways of creating. The Broadbent Sisters currently work at Studio 835 and are represented by HUNTCLUB.

For Massive Party Hotbed, the Broadbent Sisters perform an art tarot reading in an intimate sauna-like space. Their installation becomes part confessional, part palm reading, with elements of the 80’s photo booth, revealing the participant’s radiant child within. In this work, the sisters navigate between different realms of material and spiritual, expectation and surprise, social spaces and intimacy.

Read moreRead less

Erika DeFreitas

Erika DeFreitas is a Toronto-based emerging artist whose interdisciplinary practice draws on both personal and cultural histories to investigate the qualities of absence and presence, which stems from her curiosity about the various forms of loss one encounters. She explores the dichotomy of absence and presence through performative actions and textile-based practices that are photographed; this places an emphasis on process, labour, gesture and documentation, and are all related to ways of affirming one’s presence. DeFreitas is a graduate of the Masters of Visual Studies Program at the University of Toronto. Recent exhibition sites include the Art Gallery of Windsor, Centre [3] for Print and Media Arts, the Houston Museum of African American Culture and the Pollock Gallery at the Southern Methodist University in Texas. Her solo exhibition The Work of Mourning, curated by Kendra Ainsworth, will be opening at the Art Gallery of Mississauga in February 2015.

In preparation for Massive Party Hotbed Erika will visit a psychic medium for a recorded session where she will request to speak with Jean-Michel Basquiat. She hopes to engage in a conversation with Basquiat as she would with her 'living' art mentors. Following the session she will listen to the recording and embroider by hand, words and fragments of dialogue from their discussion; specifically, words or phrases that have resonated with her. These text-based, embroidered works will be on display at Massive Party Hotbed.

Read moreRead less

Maya Fuhr

Maya Fuhr is a photographer based in Toronto. Her photos are a unique and honest look into contemporary culture, while capturing authentic portraits with cinematic depth and emotion. She's known for finding beauty in found objects; displaying an acute colour pallet in a slightly humorous tone. Maya's 35mm photographs have been a strong contribution to the emerging art scene today, and her work has been recognized in galleries and publications globally.

For Massive Party Hotbed, Maya will be doing an installation and photo piece recreating a party from the hotbed of Manhattan in the early 1980s. It will be an engaging experience for AGO guests that transports party-goers into the young, contemporary art scene of Toronto, while resembling Basquiat's celebrity in-crowd that has been ingrained in our history through nostalgic photographs. Maya's portraits of her carefully curated, aloof entourage will grace the walls alongside lavish decor. Her party will consist of exclusive artists caught up in the limelight of fame, representing the evocative and flamboyant energy that Studio 54 stood for. However, the party experience will be momentary. You're in or you're out!

Guests will find Maya’s installation in Walker Court.

Read moreRead less

Brad Tinmouth

Brad Tinmouth is an artist living and working in Toronto. His work deals with sustainable and efficient systems. He aims to make everyone as happy as he is. His work has been shown at Cooper Cole and Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain 221 in Montreal, Esam Caen in France, Preteen Gallery in Mexico, Dokfest in German and OhMyDays Gallery in Singapore. His work has been reviewed on Artinfo Online, Art 21 Online and Canadian Art Online.

Capability Brown, born Lancelot Brown (1716-1783), was known as England's greatest gardener. Rejecting the strong geometric forms of the popular French gardens, Capability pioneered the now ubiquitous English park model. Moving villages, digging valleys, building fake ruins, diverting streams and creating lakes were common practice. Brown strived to create minimalist "natural" landscapes around the estates of more than 170 of his patrons, many still existing in their same form to this day. The Cultivated Landscape brings a similar approach to the practice of art viewing.

On April 23rd visit the Weston Family Learning Centre, Seminar Room 1 and join in a naturalistic setting to enjoy great works and imbibe.

Read moreRead less

Chloe Wise

Chloe Wise is a Canadian multimedia artist based in New York. Wise is known for her humorous and often irreverent works, which are inspired by popular culture and explore issues of narcissism, sexuality, consumerism, Jewish identity and internet culture, amongst others. Wise merges different media, combining traditional and contemporary elements of art making with satire, self-deprecating humour, and wordplay, focusing on the intersections between politics of identity and social media and the intersection between “real” life and online life.

HOTBEDANDBREAKFAST is a video and sculpture installation that intentionally misinterprets the term “hotbed” to a campy, almost naïve end, utilizing farce, the carnivalesque and humour. Flame-print beds suggest a literalization of the phrase hotbed, paired with sculpted faux breakfast items. A bed and breakfast becomes a nucleus or hotbed in its own right, to the patrons that enter and exit, passing through the doors and leaving behind their travel experiences. HOTBEDANDBREAKFAST thus offers a visual, tactile, and participatory environment that activates a system of pleasure, from the ingestive pleasures of eating filling—and in our cultural paradigm, guilty—carbs, to the sexual and intimate symbolism of the bed, further set within the environment of Massive Party—implying the site of the party to be, in itself, a hotbed.

Read moreRead less

  • DJ Bambii
  • d.b. Buxton
  • a digital Needle
  • drew Howard
  • calvin love
  • prince innocence

DJ Bambii

Kirsten Azan, baptized Bambii, is inarguably one of the fastest rising and well-respected DJs in the industry. She’s opened for Bun B, Big Freedia, Machine Drum, Nguzunguzu and her event series JERK has been at capacity since its inception. She is part of a new generation of artists pushing back on the notion of a single genre or scene. Whether spinning at an after hour, club, D.I.Y. venue or art opening, the dance floor is charged with sets that seamlessly unite electronic, hip-hop, house, dancehall and even the odd film excerpt. She possesses a rare combination of musical vernacular coupled with raw creative instinct.

This can be credited to years of formal jazz piano training, a stint in an arts high school and witnessing Pentecostal women caught up in musical rapture when her great grandma took her to church as a kid. Plus there was actual vinyl and a leftover stereo from the seventies growing up. This early eclectic exposure to both music and also political narratives, have informed Bambii’s risk taking during and in-between sets. She’s adamant about creating inclusive queer-positive spaces, has led critical online conversations, and has been quoted in publications such as Chart Attack and Thump.

Bambii will keep guests dancing late into the night in Baillie Court.

Read moreRead less

D.B. Buxton

D.B. Buxton is a blues-rock busker and singer-songwriter based in Toronto, Canada. The child of troubled, though highly musical parents, Daniel Benjamin Buxton left home at 14 as soon as he found he could support himself by stomping and singing on the streets of his hometown, Edmonton, AB. After many years spent sweating and freezing while honing his craft, he began producing and performing with a number of projects including: Eshod Ibn Wyza, The D.B. Buxton Revue and Cadence Weapon.

In 2008, he released 2 solo records No Refund E.P. and Dirty Dance Party which he supported with a cross Canadian tour. He relocated to Vancouver in 2009 where he formed the soul/garage rock trio, The Orpheans. In 2010, they released the Ellison's Tomb 7" followed by the Turn out the lights E.P. on Neptoon records. After subsequent solo touring, Buxton felt he had accomplished as much as he could in Vancouver and pulled up roots again. Currently based in Toronto, D.B. produces records for his psych-rock project, Seraphic Lights, in addition to his active career as a solo-performer. D.B. Buxton will get the party started in the Weston Family Learning Centre.

Read moreRead less

A Digital Needle

A Digital Needle are purveyors of disco music, a style that encompasses a raw and eclectic mix of funk, soul, jazz, boogie and proto-house. The duo first began throwing parties in an Albanian dive bar in Toronto’s east end, but have gone on to grace the stage at a spectrum of the city’s establishments, from first rate to flea trap. They hold down a residency at a rotating disco jam called Beam Me Up which, while held monthly at the Piston, has taken place in a film studio, an artist commune, above a furniture store and inside the Great Hall, and has featured acclaimed international artists like John Morales, Kon, Al Kent, Psychemagik, Eddie C and Tom Noble. Beam Me Up has also recently spawned a radio show as part of the Toronto Radio Project, whose endeavours were picked up by both the Toronto Star and BlogTO.

A Digital Needle favour quality selection and sound above all else with an inclination toward playing out their own edits, several of which have been pressed to vinyl on labels in the UK and Italy. The pair have accrued a respectable online following which has led to their mixes and edits having been played and downloaded on over half a million occasions.

Guests will find A Digital Needle spinning all night in Walker Court

Read moreRead less

Drew Howard

Shakqueel Burthwright, better known by his stage name Drew Howard or 88 Camino, was born in Toronto, Canada, on June 14, 1992. Moving to Oklahoma with his mother at the age of nine and spending the remainder of his teenage years in the south, he became deeply fascinated with music and began writing songs to impress his friends. Returning to Toronto at the age of 17 and heavily influenced by the southern rap scene, he developed a unique sound that has earned him a loyal fan base and the title of Rapper/Singer. Eventually joining forces with the increasingly popular & controversial hip-hop collective 'Get Home Safe', he has since released two singles and a video while continuing work on several up and coming projects. Drew's love and dedication to his craft will continue to catch the attention of new listeners with its innovative style & sound. Drew will be performing in the Weston Family Learning Centre.

Calvin Love

Only once with every blue moon comes an artist that seems so familiar yet out of space as Calvin Love. Newly signed to Arts & Crafts, the young charmer from Edmonton, Alberta, steeps songs of psychedelic wisdom in celestial sensuality. Calvin Love arrives an enigma, a strutting, crooning contradiction: as menacing as he is magnetic, like sex and murder wrapped together in a trench coat. With coolness that defies contrivance, Love links sounds and images of science-fiction vintage with an auspicious version of the future.

Calvin does it all with convincing ease, a crooked handsomeness belying his wide-eyed honesty and the curios experimentation of these tunes. First new song "Daydream" makes landfall with near-tropical humidity: cavernous, scuttling drum lines echo Calvin's lilting vocals and stalactite guitar phrasing, exposing how nimbly he moves from sunny to gritty climes.

Guests can catch Calvin’s set in the Weston Family Learning Centre.

Read moreRead less

Prince Innocence

Prince Innocence are a minimal pop duo consisting of Vocalist Talvi Faustmann and producer Josh McIntyre. Currently residing in Toronto their music combines the sounds of house, R&B and synth pop. After releasing the ‘Lapse' EP in 2013 they performed in New York, London and Paris. They are putting the finishing touches on a new EP titled ‘Easy Life’ for spring 2015.
They have been featured in Vogue, NME, Jalouse, The Fader, I-d & V Magazine among others.

Guests will find Prince Innocence performing in the Weston Family Learning Centre.


  • George Barkas
  • Rob Drynan
  • Anais Granofsky


  • Andrea Anders
  • Justin Broadbent
  • Chris Campbell
  • Alicia DeBoer
  • David Delaney
  • Faizan Dhanani
  • Neil Follett
  • Bret Goldin
  • Vanessa Kalisz
  • Kelly Kirkpatrick
  • Adrienne Maniezzo
  • Zach Newton
  • Jennifer Nugent
  • Katie Rook
  • Kevin Seto
  • Paul Smith
  • Talwst
  • Boris Tsimerinov
  • Steven Tulman
  • Miranda Urbanski
  • Tara Wakter






Last year the AGO celebrated 10 years of Massive Party at MASSIVE 10 on April 10th, 2014. View photos and video of the event below.