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Nuit Blanche Toronto goes virtual from October 3 -12

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North America’s largest free contemporary art event goes virtual with 5 streams of programming including AR and VR artworks as well as Nuit History archive

TORONTO, ON., Sept. 28, 2020 — In light of COVID-19 concerns the 15th annual Nuit Blanche Toronto will be reimagined for a virtual experience on Saturday, October 3 starting at 7 p.m. until October 12.

This year, North America’s largest free contemporary art event with annual attendance in excess of 1.2 million, will be delivered in a special digital format to ensure the safety of attendees and artists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nuit Blanche has always been about making a wide spectrum of contemporary art accessible and enjoyable for everyone, it is as much a celebration of our diversity as it is a showcase for the creativity of talented artists,” said Mayor John Tory. “This year, the virtual edition of Nuit Blanche brings the art directly into your home. I encourage Toronto residents from across the city to take part in this virtual celebration of art,” added Tory.

Nuit Blanche going virtual comes as no surprise, considering the City of Toronto announcement on September 23 about the extension of the cancellation of City-led major events at least until until December 31.

In fact, the event going online was announced in late July as most of Toronto’s major festivals changed course to alternative delivery models.

This year’s online event will present five streams of programming that will include talks, podcasts, a release of the 14-year archive called Nuit History, live streams, and artworks in augmented and virtual reality.

Artistic Director Dr. Julie Nagam’s curatorial theme, ‘The Space Between Us,’ features art installations and interactions that focus on the connections across urban, polar and pacific landscapes. These connections reveal the space between us as a potential site for sharing knowledge.

Nuit Blanche Online is funded by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

Full program details are available below as well as online at toronto.ca/nuitblanche.

Nuit in Your Neighbourhood
Experience Nuit Blanche artworks through Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) created by more than 20 commissioned artists. Nuit in Your Neighbourhood brings the playful exchange of public art and discovery through twenty-three AR/VR experiences.

Artists include: Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Maureen Gruben, Johnson Witehira, Whyishnave Suthagar, Kereama Taepa, Couzyn van Heuvelen, Rah, Shelley Niro, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Jordan Stranger, Yung Yemi, Tsēma Igharas, Joi Arcand, Caroline Monnet, Mark Stoddart, KC Adams, Kaaterina Kerekere, Jean Marshall, Culturans and Jerry Evans.

Some highlights from last year’s in-person Nuit Blanche.

Nuit Live
Nuit Live is a 12-hour live stream of screen-based artworks and archival images created by the Data Visualization Studio (Patricio Davila, Dave Colangelo, Immony Men) accompanied with soundscapes provided by special guests DJ Fizza, DJ Kookum, Odario and Ofield Williams, and DJ KillaKels. Nuit Live will feature 20 commissions and existing artworks created by close to 50 national and international artists.

Artworks will be featured by Amrita Hepi, Johnson Witehira, Rah, Shelley Niro, Culturans, Sage Paul, Caroline Monnet, (Natalie Robertson, Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith), (Aparita Bhandari, Mai Nguyen and James Harbeck), Hannah Brontë, Kaaterina Kerekere, Camille Turner, Racheal Rakena, (Dr. Karlo Mila and Michael Bridgman), Kereama Taepa, (Kura Puke, Stuart Foster and Kurt Komene), and Louise Pōtiki Bryant.

Participating major institutions in the Nuit Live stream are: 401 Richmond, the Aga Khan Museum, Bata Shoe Museum, East End Arts, Gardiner Museum, Humber College, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, MOCA – Toronto, North York Arts in partnership with Cinematoscape, and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Nuit Talks
Nuit Talks examine and showcase the art and artists involved in Nuit Blanche alongside broader conversations about public space and art within the new social order with key arts leaders and creatives from Canada and abroad.

The Nuit Talks program will include these live online presentations:

  • Public Engagement with Outdoor Festivals, September 29 at 8 p.m.
  • Exhibitions, Galleries and Social Distancing, October 1 at 8 p.m.
  • Nuit’s Virtual 2020 with the Mayor, October 3 at 8 p.m.
  • Community Organizers and Engagement with the Public, October 8 at 8 p.m.
  • Digital Pivoting Overuse of the Screen, October 15 at 8 p.m.

The virtual Nuit Talks series is hosted by the University of Winnipeg, with on-going support provided by premier partners the Doris McCarthy Gallery and the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Previously recorded talks are available on-demand.

Nuit History
Over its 14-year history, Nuit Blanche has had a great impact on Toronto and grown into one of the largest public art exhibitions in North America. Following this year’s event, online access to images, videos, curatorial text and artist information from the inaugural 2006 event through to 2019 will be available online. More than 1,600 art projects will be represented in the archive, and new content from Nuit Blanche alumni artists and curators will be added.

Nuit Podcasts – Belonging to Place
Conversations with artists, elders, arts leaders and scholars from around the globe will uncover the stories and connections between cultures, communities and the environment, to transform the future of public art in this series of ten 40-minute curated podcasts.

Nuit Podcasts will be available October 3:

  • Episode 1 A Home for Our Migrations: Explore concepts of home and history with artists Duke Redbird, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Shelley Niro and Michael Belmore.
  • Episode 2 Unsettling Place: Unpack ideas of colonialism and slavery as the grounding foundation of the creation of cities with critical thinkers Dr. Ngarino Ellis, Dr. Jolene Rickard, Odario Williams, and Natasha Henry.
  • Episode 3 Memory and Belonging: Explore the waves of people connecting to new homes and the creative interventions that allow for people to communicate their own sense of place. With artists Caroline Monnet, Yung Yemi (Adeyemi Adegbesan), Director X, Amrita Hepi, and Rah.

Future episodes will be released monthly through 2021.

The City of Toronto is committed to providing an accessible event. Closed captioning will be available on all Nuit Blanche 2020 streaming services. The complete Nuit Blanche program is available at toronto.ca/nuitblanche.

SOURCE City of Toronto

Read more top stories at TOtimes.ca and MTLtimes.ca

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