On the night of September 29th, 2012, visitors ventured out onto the Toronto city’s streets for an all-night adventure and engagement with the arts. The all-night (12 hours to be exact) event was overflowed with visitors. This year’s event brought together a wide range of sectors and talents of more than 500 artists and curators, logistical staff, volunteers, galleries, museums, art institutions, corporate sponsors, media partners, and the public.
As an overview, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is a free all-night contemporary art event that draws crowds of thousands in a massive participatory celebration of contemporary art–all in one night. The year of its inception, 2006, Nuit Blanche had 450,000 visitors now more than a million people attend annually. Toronto was the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model, and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago. From dusk-to-dawn, Toronto gets transformed by hundreds of artists to celebrate the arts. Atypical spaces become sites of contemporary art open for all those ready to savour and embrace a night with the artists and their work. Cultural establishments, from museums to galleries to artist run centres, open their doors and offer free access to contemporary art. Noteworthy, this art event makes a significant economic impact on the city. In 2011, Nuit Blanche generated a substantial $37.2 million in the local economy and $4.5 million spillover impact for the Province of Ontario.
This year’s event was visually stimulating, exciting and incredibly entertaining. It brought a range of styles and mediums, from sculptures, to mixed media installations, music, and performers to the streets of Toronto. Live music and performances offered by the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts delighted the crowds. The University of Toronto’s sculptures of grass at St. George campus were clever. However, Toronto City Hall exhibited the most cheered and the most popular media installation such as “Civilization,” a multi-layered video installation interconnecting images that explores concepts of eternal punishment and celestial reward; audiences lay down on the floor of the facilities for a better view of this high ceiling spectacle. Some of our superheroes were in attendance as well. Gladly, I ran into Batman, Cat Women, Flash and Wonder Woman! The walk through the streets in search for art was exhilarating, ‘magnifico’ and breath-taking (literally). I enjoyed it! Below are some sneak peeks of the night.
Thanks for reading!