Nuit Blanche brings all-night art to downtown Toronto and beyond
Published Friday, September 22, 2023 2:04PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 23, 2023 11:25AM EDT
The City of Toronto’s overnight art show returns this weekend, featuring 80 art projects from nearly 250 artists in a variety of disciplines.
The free exhibition, which spans from Scarborough to Etobicoke, will run from 7 p.m. on Saturday to 7 a.m. on Sunday, with projects centred around the theme of “Breaking Ground.” This year, participants were encouraged to explore nature and climate change in their work, in artworks curated by Toronto artists Lillian O’Brien Davis, Kari Cwynar and Noa Bronstein.
Jeanne Holmes, programming manager for City of Toronto cultural events, says planning for Nuit Blanche is unlike anything she’s done before.
“I thought I knew what producing was before this,” Holmes said in an interview with CP24. “But this is so different from anything else in the world, and it comes with a lot of amazing, and kind of dreamy opportunities.” Nuit Blanche brings with it complicated logistics, including the extension of TTC service overnight and added safety features to ensure people can see where they’re going as they walk between exhibits in the dark.
“These projects are all connected in a particular way,” continued Holmes, “and we want to ensure people get a sense of that. We’re working hard to communicate the details of the selection process and the curation to our audience.”
The City of Toronto’s guide to getting around during Nuit Blanche is available online.
Here’s a sampling of some of what audiences can expect at Nuit Blanche 2023.
The 52: Stories of Women Who Transformed Toronto – Downtown
Presented by Myseum of Toronto, “The 52” invites 24 established and emerging artists to tell the stories of 52 historically significant women in the city through dramatic monologues.
Featured writers include Theatre Passe Muraille artistic director Marjorie Chan, playwright and librettist Kanika Ambrose, and 22 additional ground-breaking dramatic writers in Toronto.
Something Is Awake – Etobicoke
This video installation uses the work of nine Humber College students to create a “soul-stirring” exploration of love, life and death.
A cut at an edge that was always a middle – Scarborough
Created by Mitchell Akiyama, this sound installation invites audiences to reflect on the space around them in a project that reflects on “notions of place, land-use and belonging,” creating a “sonic representation of Scarborough.”
Your Wish is Your Command and A Practical Guide – Downtown
Created by award-winning visual artist Divya Mehra, these inflatable sculptures are a sight to behold. “A Practical Guide” resembles a large grocery bag, a symbol that “speaks to the colonial history of Turtle Island.”
Letters of Haunting – Scarborough
This textile installation explores family histories in diaspora by reclaiming ancestral traditions of embroidery. According to Nuit Blanche organizers, the piece “calls attention to canonically underrepresented art practices for community building, deinstitutionalization of art spaces and sustainability.”
Caementarium – Etobicoke
This multimedia installation uses “speculative architectural gestures” to suggest the former site of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, which treated patients until 1979. According to Nuit Blanche organizers, the work “engages in a speculative conversation with the ways of living, sheltering, controlling, caring and remediating that once constituted this place.”