As the summer festivals have come to an end, I’m very excited to tell you about my favourite (well besides Halloween) Autumn festival – Nuit Banche, which literally means white night, all nighter or sleepless night in French. Where it originated is up for debate but the current all night arts festival has roots in several cities. One being in St. Petersburg, where during the summer, because of it’s northerly position on the globe has long summer days which are broken only by a short twilight. Perfect for a “White Nights Festival” which lasts for months.
In 1997, the newly reunited Berlin had their first “Long Night of Museums” where in 2005 over 150,000 people participated. And in 2002, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe launched the official “Nuit Blanche” festival.
Currently there are 120 cities around the world that have a “White Nights” celebration.
Toronto is the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and now New York with its “Bring to Light” Nuit Blanche festival.
This is truly one of the most exciting events for me all year because it engages the whole city in an all- night contemporary arts festival for free! Even if you’re out for the evening only, you will be able to see incredible art and live performances you would normally have to pay for. And it happens all over the world on one night – October 2! It makes me tingle just thinking about the collective excitement that I’ll be participating in.
Previous years I’ve gone to the Distillery District for the evening only, because I had to put the children to sleep. But this year will different and I’m gathering a group right now. To help me decide where to go, I’ve already started my itinerary. See here to start your own.
And also this year the organizers have included a Night Navigator App for iphones and Blackberry, which is available for download now. See here.
Don’t forget to share your night! See the 5 ways here.
As part of the 5th year anniversary program, starting on Monday Sept. 20 at Scotia Plaza , 40 King St. W., a retrospective exhibition titled “Some Enchanted Evenings” will be on display.
Start getting your extra sleep now!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!