Nuit Blanche: The fun, free all-nighter for art lovers

Toronto prepares to celebrate the art festival's 10th year

Your Eye Inside Out is featured in White Night, an exhibit curated by JR, happening at Campbell's House (160 Queen St. W.) during the all night art fest, Nuit Blanche.  Courtesy of the City of Toronto/Nuit Blanche

Toronto’s annual contemporary art festival, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, returns this Sat. October 3.

Nuit Blanche is an art festival that showcases more than 60 art projects across the downtown core.

Kristen Germann, cultural events programming manager with the City of Toronto, describes the festival as a “contemporary art festival with contemporary art work installed in civic space or the public realm.”

Germann explains that this year’s exhibits can be seen as far north as Wychwood Barns down to Harbourfront area, and as west as the Gladstone Hotel out to Allan Gardens.

The event takes place from sunset to sunrise, starting at approximately 6:55 p.m. and ending at about 7 a.m.

The fest is split into four sections for exhibits: 10 for 10th – Memory Lane curated by Che Kothari; Work of Wind curated by Christine Shaw; Black and White Night curated by JR, and HTOUS/THRON curated by Agustin Pérez Rubio.

  • 10 for 10th – Memory Lane is a celebratory exhibit focusing on the 10th edition of the festival
  • Work of Wind is a first time exhibit located by the waterfront, focusing on the wind’s impact on Earth
  • Black and White Night is the first art exhibit specifically dedicated to one artist
  • HTOUS/HTRON is a literal exhibit that Germann describes as a “visual symbol of the curators exhibit area.” The name of the exhibit is play on words — the title is the words ‘south’ and ‘north’ written backwards, as the curator plans to use his works to turn the streets of Toronto backwards

This year organizers are celebrating ten years with some fresh approaches. Germann explains that it’s the first time an artist has a entire area of the city dedicated to their work, as well as  the first time they have extended part of the exhibit down to waterfront.

The festival’s name, Nuit Blanche, translates to White Night, which is interpreted as ‘sleepless night’ or ‘all-nighter.’

For those taking transit, due to the irregular late hours of this event, the TTC and GO Transit are extending service hours to accommodate attendees.

All Night Survival Kit

Here are a few things you should keep in mind if this is your first time attending:
— Plan out your night beforehand
— Research the artists and find a few that pique your interest
— Make it a social experience. Keep an open mind and talk to people
— Dress warm and comfortable. Think layers (you may want to bring along a warm coat, gloves and a hat, as it could be a long night)

According to the TTC website, the operating hours of the Yonge-University-Spadina line and Bloor-Danforth are being extended to aid the services already offered at night.

All attendees should keep in mind that because the event takes place overnight, they should dress appropriately for the cold weather that accompanies it.

“I recommended a warm parka, good walking shoes, a hat, gloves and a bottle of water,” Germann advises.

Before making your way downtown on Saturday, be sure to visit or to plan your trip accordingly.

Here are some exhibits that first time attendees might like to check out:

About this article

By: Dannika Russell
Posted: Oct 1 2015 3:39 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Features