Entertainment

AGO attendance set record in 2009-10

Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario had record attendance of 878,478 visitors in 2009-10, the first full year since it reopened with a renovation by architect Frank Gehry.

Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario had record attendance of 878,478 visitors in 2009-10, the first full year since it reopened with a renovation by architect Frank Gehry.

About half that total — 404,364 people — attended the blockbuster show King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, which was held over into May of this year because of its popularity.

The AGO also reported strong financial performance at its annual general meeting Wednesday, with a surplus of $1.5 million at the March 31 year end. King Tut alone brought in profit of $1 million.

Memberships were at a record 74,500 but the AGO attributed much of its improved financial position to a boost in support from the province.

In April 2009, Ontario increased the gallery's annual operating support by $10 million. Admission revenues grew to $8.3 million.

The past year saw the layoff of more than 60 workers at the AGO and controversial news about CEO Matthew Teitelbaum's 2009 compensation, released in April. Teitelbaum collected $981,000 in salary and taxable benefits last year, including a $665,000 bonus for shepherding the AGO's renovation and expansion.