Oh a grand ol’night! Or, the Nuit. The tenth annual Nuit Blanche took over the city and provided a great way to not only see some top notch art, but to explore different areas of the city. With most of the exhibitions centered around the downtown core, we thought we’d highlight some of the independent projects that Bloor Street in particular had to offer, coupled with a few other events and businesses that stayed open past your bedtime. Keep in mind that the themes of memory, identity and community are overarching in this years festival. Listed west to east, this was your ‘Nuit Bloor’.
The Bloordale Index / Dyan Marie & The TSA – The Toronto School of Art (980 Dufferin Street)
Start your Bloor Street pilgrimage at the Toronto School of Art with The Bloordale Index, an illumination (literally) of Bloordale, the community, and the different stories it has to tell. Each LED light will reflect a memory or thought unique to the neighbourhood, with extensions of the project set up at various lamp posts down Bloor Street West.
In addition, world-renowned artist JR and his creative team have transformed the tennis courts at Bloor & Dufferin and the Dufferin station subway stop into a sea of faces. The wheat-pasted murals will still be up during Nuit Blanche, with a larger instalment at Nathan Philips Square. Try and find your face if you had your picture taken this week!
Tell All / Broadbent Sisters, Menalon Music & The New Beat – Studio 835 (835 Bloor Street)
Interactive video installation? Check. Live music? Check. Palm readings? Check? Tell All aims to transform the two-floor gallery that is Studio 835 into a ‘brain’ and challenge the notions of human consciousness and artificial intelligence using the three aforementioned mediums. If this doesn’t quite make sense, come try and figure it out for yourself at this all night, multi-sensory trip. The members of the studio regularly flirt with the boundaries of art, and they will definitely score with this one.
Our Voices / The Phillipine Centre of Ontario & The Magkaisa Centre – Beit Zatoun Centre (612 Markham Street)
Come face-to-face with the issues facing (sorry for the pun) the Filipino Canadian community, between settling, integrating and participating in the greater Canadian identity. A collection of portraits represents the community effectively, bringing to light issues that others may not be aware of, in attempts to highlight the past, present and future possibilities that migration to Canada could offer.
Memory Alley / Toronto Fringe – Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor Street West)
Reflecting the quirkiness of Honest Ed’s, everyone’s favourite everything-including-the-kitchen-sink discount warehouse, join Toronto Fringe for three pop-up intimate performance pieces in the alleyway, which will explore themes of ‘the precarious nature of memory’. Also featured are iconic signs from the warehouse. The historic business will close its doors forever in just over a year – pop by and make a new memory or two before that happens.
Off-Nuit – Footwork Reunion – CODA (794 Bathurst Street)
For those of you who remember Toronto’s iconic dance Mecca, Footwork, its baby sister club CODA is hosting a reunion night, paying homage to Toronto’s favourite original all-night party. Escape the inevitable cold for a bit with a drink and a dance, with a stellar lineup of locals on tune-duty including Deko-Ze and Addy. Once your energy is up, head back out to rejoin the art crawl. Free for everyone before 11:30, $20 after. 10 pm – 5 am.
Off-Nuit – BMV Bookstore (491 Bloor Street West)
Need to settle an artists debate but don’t want to use your phones data? Want to prove to your date that you are both artsy AND well-read? BMV Bookstore will be open until midnight, as usual, so pop by for a minute to escape the possible rain, probably cold, and inevitable herds of people.
Off-Nuit – Smoke’s Poutinerie (490 Bloor Street West)
Nothing says ‘Toronto’ like eating Smoke’s during Nuit Blanche at 3 am, it’s as simple as that.
Remembering the Future / UTS Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Project Team – 371 Bloor Street West
Produced by students from grades 8 to 12, Remembering the Future is a video and fibre installation that invites audiences to add their own voice, effectively shifting and changing the overall piece over the course of the night and juxtaposing the insights of teenagers with those of adults when it comes to the concept of a memory. See what the younger ones have to offer at this interactive installation.
I, Pave / Anchi Lin – Bata Shoe Museum (327 Bloor Street West)
Your feet will probably be sore by now, and it’s time for a re-up. For a night that involves a lot of walking, I personally can’t imagine a better catharsis than in the phrase words than ‘foot massage pavement’. Check out Anchi Lin’s installation at the very appropriate Bata Shoe Museum, where she will recreate this type of pavement, commonplace in her home community in Taiwan, as a minimalist sculpture.
Whether the Bloor Street exhibits are the entirety of your night or just a portion, we hope you discover something new tonight. Finally, as in past years, the TTC will be operating the entire night – hop on and off the Bloor line to avoid as many crazed art fans as possible and enjoy your Nuit Bloor!
For more information visit http://www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca.