I cannot believe that Nuit Blanche is celebrating its 10th year! Just like Luminato, I’ve been a fan since the very beginning. I was in high school when Nuit Blanche started, and first attended as an excuse to roam around the streets of Toronto til 3am. I’d like to say that I now partake for more sophisticated reasons, but come on! Toronto is never as lively at night as it is during Nuit Blanche.
Nuit Blanche, directly translated, means “sleepless night”. It’s an annual all-night arts and culture festival, originating in Paris. It’s grown rapidly in Toronto, with hundreds of artists now participating every year. Different installations and exhibits are set up around the city, all listed on a map. The TTC runs all night (in most places), and restaurants and bars stay open later too!
Normally, the idea of staying out past 11pm renders an instant “NO” from me. But Nuit Blanche is different. It’s a lot of fun! It brings strangers together to experience cool art! People seem to feel less inhibited, and are more likely to strike up a conversation and interact. It’s weird, but I kind of like it 🙂
One of the first Nuit Blanches: I remember ending up on a school bus, the inside of which had been completely covered in tin foil and glitter and streamers. The school bus was blasting crazy music and dropping people off/picking people up at various art installations. I remember wanting to find the public pillow fight, but never ended up there.
In 2008, there was an awesome exhibit where the public could participate in a “pretend zombie film”. There were costume tents and make up artists, for different “scenes” being shot around College Park. It wasn’t a real film being made, but it was still set up like a movie set. What was the point? Well, haven’t you ever wanted to be in a zombie movie?
Last year’s “Walk Among Worlds” was beautiful, and a favourite for many. Thousands of globe-painted beach balls were arranged in a type of structure/sculpture which could be explored. At night, with all the lights, it looked ethereal.
Unfortunately, this year I will not be in Toronto for Nuit Blanche. If you end up going, please let me know! I’d love to hear about what you saw, and what you loved!
P.S. Nuit Blanche also happens to be one of those occasions where I measure the weather. Basically, you’ll hear a lot of “I remember one Nuit Blanche where I wasn’t even wearing a JACKET! I was wearing a dress – no tights! NO TIGHTS!”
Now is the time when the weather starts to change in Toronto, so it’s a slight obsession of mine to compare the temperature patterns every year. Don’t lie, I’m sure you do it too!