AGO to lay off 37 after receiving $7.5 million from government

AGO to lay off 37 after receiving $7.5 million from government

The new learning centre should open in 2011 (Image: Neil Ta)

The Art Gallery of Ontario has continued its trend of announcing and implementing layoffs at inopportune times this week. Around this time last year, the AGO laid off 23 full-time employees as a recessionary cost-cutting measure just hours before the gallery’s massive annual fundraiser (how’s that for getting the party going?). This week, less than a month after announcing the receipt of a $7.5-million boost from the federal government’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the AGO said it will lay off 37 employees on April 1, despite promises to expand staff when the money came in.

Most of the jobs affected will be related to classes offered at the AGO, which will have to be cancelled to make way for the construction of the new 35,000-square-foot Weston Gallery Learning Centre. Gallery spokeswoman Antonietta Mirabelli told the Globe that the AGO hopes to hire back those employees when the centre opens in 2011. “It’s short-term pain for long-term gain,” she said.

The AGO tells us that all of the 37 jobs are part-time and add up to the equivalent of five full-time jobs.

AGO laying off 37 staff despite cash injection [Globe and Mail]
AGO lays off 23 as attendance falls [Toronto Star]

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since its original posting.