I went to Nuit Blanche, an annual arts festival in downtown Toronto, for the first time this year. I’ve previously heard a lot about the all-night event (“Nuit Blanche” is literally “white night” in French, but actually means “all-nighter”), which happens one day in October from dusk till dawn, where various forms of art displays (sculptures, live performances, light installations, etc.) are scattered all around downtown Toronto and open for audiences to see. Yet, I’ve never had a chance to experience it (well, it would have been hard to go to the one in Toronto since I was in Europe for the past three Octobers).
This year, the event began in the evening on October 4 and continued until sunrise on October 5, and I went for the first time. Actually, it was completely unplanned, but somehow on the afternoon of October 4, my sister talked me into going downtown for food and walking around for Nuit Blanche for a few hours afterwards. Why not, I thought, take advantage of the chance when I’m still in Toronto?
I really ought to have planned better for the event, as it was pretty cold that night and both my sister and I did not dress warmly enough. If we were aware of how cold it would have been and prepared for it, we definitely would have stayed longer. As a result we ended up only attending the actual event for three hours, which wasn’t all that bad. I had been skeptical about Nuit Blanche because I’ve never known how to properly appreciate art, so I treated this first time as an experiment, just to know what to expect for the next time. With a map and a pamphlet in our hands, we set off from City Hall and made our way through Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue, ending the night down by the lakeshore at Fort York. There were quite a few works that I had wanted to see but missed because of the bad planning, but the ones that I did get to see were rather interesting, to say the least.
The sky was still bright when we finished dinner at 7pm, and people were just starting to rush into the downtown core for the beginning of the event (the official start time was 6:53pm). From City Hall, my sister and I walked along Queen Street West towards the west, encountering this installation named “Gap Ecology”. Featuring several cherry pickers filled with palm trees, this installation explored the urban and environmental issues present in our society.