Top Picks for 2015 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

We’ve never missed Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche. Since it started in 2006 we’ve seen and experienced some pretty cool art installations and some that made us go hmmmmmm? Who remembers the first year walking through Philosopher’s Walk in the thick fog? Or Ai Weiwei’s bicycles in Nathan Philips Square? Or the mountain of chairs stacked at the Cathedral on Queen Street East? The first year drew over 425,000 people that took to the streets with open minds and it was a huge success. Everyone was raving.  We’ve even taken part in art exhibitions and trust me at 1:00 am in the morning Nuit Blanche goes to a whole different level. Now it’s become an annual tradition for us and we’re getting ready for this year’s edition on Saturday, October 3rd. You can get the full listing here: 

So, what’s on our list of what to see this year?

Ekow Nimako. Photo courtesy of Gardiner MuseumSILENT KNIGHT: (Gardiner Museum) Visual Artist Ekow Nimako will create a sculpture of a barn owl made from more than 50,000 LEGO pieces will pay tribute to one of the Ontario’s most admired species. The stark-white, larger-than-life sculpture forges the tactile link between ceramics and LEGO while exploring the theme of animal extinction for human gain which will be taken up again in the Museum’s special exhibition Kent Monkman: The Rise and Fall of Civilization (opening Oct. 15). FYI…The sculpture will continue to be on display after Nuit Blanche until October 9, 2015.

LOVERS OF THE RIVER ALMONDA: (Bell Trinity Square, 483 Bay Street, indoors) Interactive multi-media installation designed and created by Luigi Ferrara, Dean of the Centre for Arts & Design at George Brown College, in collaboration Voitek Pendrak, Toronto-based photographer and videographer commissioned by world renowned paper brand Renova. Couples that visit this location will be invited to partake in a five minute experience by posing for a photograph by an artificial tableau of the River Almonda which is created completely of tissues. Participants submit key information about their partner, which will be used to generate a customized love poem that is combined with their photograph and projected. The experience will not only be shared with onlookers at Nuit Blanche, but online and through social media, in an effort to encourage the public to be bold and expressive in everything they do.

Photo courtesy of Renova. Nuit Blanche Toronto 2015

11666093_1142404015776523_7722066344042957587_nINSIDE OUT: (City Hall) curated by JR. This participatory art project allows people to have their portraits printed and pasted in support of an idea, project or action. Starting September 28 you can add your face to the installation at an Inside Out photo booth truck at Nathan Philips Square as you’re invited to claim space as yours in the public and political epicentre of the city. This installation will be extended until October 12. Follow the project at #IOPTORONTO to find out where the truck is located.

6e3b4c605406f1f340e9774b67133b40.dd134516430bdb97263c4dc7a73df9b2PARK HERE: (City Hall Underground Parking Garage). Artist Katy Chey is also a licensed architect and a LEED Accredited Professional specializing in Building Design and Construction. Park Here is a play on words project. In the city’s downtown core this could make one believe that there are many pockets of hidden public park spaces in the city, when the opposite is the reality. This installation aims to transform what a parking lot could be, if it was indeed publicized as an urban green space — a Park. Here.

f1336b70f6a6807239e3706fc87608a9.dd134516430bdb97263c4dc7a73df9b2THE VIRTUAL IMMIGRANT: (Royal Ontario Museum) Annu Palakunnathu Matthew. New Media Installation. Drawing on the experience of call centre workers in India who become North Americans for a workday but remain physically in India. The workers here study western culture and either neutralize their INdian accents or adopt western ones. Race, ethnicity, gender or class become more malleable for them. The installation consists of a projected photo-animation depicting each worker alternating between his or her work clothes, usually perceived as more wester, and in clothes that they would wear for a formal occasion. Voices of the call centre workers can be accessed by calling a number available on site. Their experience of living between two cultures mirror the duality of experience common to many Canadians.

HUMANTARIAN AIDE FOR THE FIRST WORLD, 2015: (Queen’s Park) Colectivo Cambalache. Social Sculpture. Bring a special object that is handmade or has spiritual value to you and exchange it for a handmade object rich in solidarity, created especially for this occasion by coops and collectives located in Western Sahara refugee camps (Argel) and Huila, Columbia. Humanitarian assistance is embedded in paternalistic relationships that replicate interactions between the colonizer and colonized subjects. Crises are used by authorities in power to distract and frighten people so that unpopular and exploitative policies can be pushed through.With the desire to overturn the concept and practice of humanitarian aid and offer a southern perspective, Colectiv0 Cambalache takes a look at the ethics crises. They believe that while economy, environment and energy crises are mostly felt in communities of the global south; the ethics crises is suffered by the poor rich of the north, where consumerism, isolation, apathy, depression, lack of spiritual grounding are egocentrism are on the rise. As a way to offer aid to this true humanitarian crisis of the north, Colectivo Cambalache invites you to a night a humanitarian bartering.

f769b96d4c59562bb6c9803013d01acd.dd134516430bdb97263c4dc7a73df9b2OWN DA MIC: A Celebration of the 5 elements of Hip Hop. (Harbourfront Community Centre). Performance Art. The Own Da Mic Project is a celebration of Hip Hop culture. The installation includes the appreciation of graffiti art. The project will demonstrate how Hip Hop culture can be utilized to bring about social change through art and culture and to transform lives within our communities. Performances will feature a diverse group of artists with roots in graffiti and street culture.

97e400af9cc54646f3b55fdbfe490f0e.dd134516430bdb97263c4dc7a73df9b2PEEP: (Tiger of Sweden). Theatre PANICK Art Project. Performance Art & Photography Installation. PEEP recalls original peep shows, when people gathered around “wonder boxes” to peer at lit-up images, both popular and forbidden. Performers will recreate ten iconic photos in drag. As you watch, a collective memory is transformed. Viewers are invited to use the private pleasure of peeping to subvert public images, to question the truth behind our public faces and to see memory as art.









Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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