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October 4th - "nuit blanche" comes to Roundhouse Park - Part 1

From the Toronto Nuit Blanche website:

"Nuit Blanche was originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces. Now universally translated as 'Sleepless Night', Nuit Blanche brings more than a million people to the streets of Paris every year. In 2005, Paris organizers contacted the City of Toronto's Special Events office with an invitation to join the ranks of approximately six other European cities producing similar all-night events. The international success of Nuit Blanche continues to build each year and has expanded its reach beyond Paris to more than 25 cities across the globe - each offering its own version of the all-night art extravaganza.

Toronto was the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model (in 2006), and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago.

At its core, Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour event with a mandate to make contemporary art accessible to large audiences, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space. Nuit Blanche is both a "high art" event and a free populous event that encourages celebration and community engagement. From sunset to sunrise city spaces and neighbourhoods are transformed into temporary exhibitions. Unusual or forbidden spaces become sites of contemporary art open for all-night discovery and rediscovery. Cultural institutions, from museums to galleries to artist run centres, open their doors and offer free access to contemporary art. The everyday is suspended as the city's landscape is changed to welcome a variety of artistic experiences.

Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche has wholeheartedly embraced these principals, and has become a cultural phenomenon the likes of which the city has never seen."

We at the Toronto Railway Museum are bringing this to your attention because this year, there will be five art events either within Roundhouse Park or just across the street from us.  We will highlight these in our next postings.

Across Toronto there will be hundreds of such events.  The organizers have produced an excellent Nuit Blanche website where all of the events are featured.  They have also built another "mobile friendly" event  website for easy access through your smartphone as you travel from event to event.  You can even register with them and then plan your own itinerary and keep it accessible.

In the 30 second video above, you can really get the feel of the event. In the 2 minute video below, you can preview the experience by watching highlights of last year's Nuit Blanche event.

Click here to read Part 2 in this series of postings.

Posting by Russ Milland

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