Humber College students can spend a day at the museum – for free. And they can view the grand masters of art for free as well.
The Royal Ontario Museum opens its doors to more than 30 galleries and exhibits for full time students with valid identification on Tuesdays. The Art Gallery of Ontario swings open its doors Wednesday evenings.
While the institutions have offered the free access to students for years, many on campus are unaware of the opportunity.
“It shows you history from all over the world, from major events to the smallest piece of pottery,” said Brett Belcourt, 20, a second-year Humber College culinary management student, of the ROM. “You’ll always find something that will pique your interest.”
Belcourt has visited the ROM four times, but never managed to use free entry due to class time conflicts. The student rate ranges from $15.50 to $20.50, depending on the experience, as touring exhibits add to the standard fee.
The AGO currently offers free admission to its galleries between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, but starting Nov. 3, they are extending their hours to 9 p.m.
Saundra Dobroski, director, membership and visitor services at the Art Gallery of Ontario, said the popular initiative has been going on for 35 years.
“While the appeal is wide ranging, free Wednesday nights present a great opportunity for students to visit the gallery and enjoy the AGO collection free of charge at a time that’s convenient for them,” said Dobroski.
Dr. Michael Curran, a Humber College liberal arts and science professor, said he thinks the AGO free night is a great opportunity since attendees get the qualitative experience that viewing it second hand in a book or on the Internet doesn’t offer.
“Experiencing the wonders of art in-person remains an experience that is not readily duplicated,” said Curran. “There is something about seeing works of art up close and personally in a gallery that simply is not the same as looking at images of them.”