9 Nuit Blanche Exhibitions in Toronto You Should Know About

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 | No Comments

Every year, Toronto (Canada) holds an all night art festival: Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. Across the city, both local and international artists showcase their work for citizens and tourists to see – all for free for the whole 12 hours. Intersected with sponsored/comissioned exhibitions are those put on by the art community at large. Previous years have seen downtown boutique hotels with massive balloon installations on the outside, bands performing in the window of closed stores, and two locals dress up and re-enact a famous tennis match.

Sound interesting? It certainly will be. With more than 150 projects available to see, it’s nearly impossible to see everything. Year seven brings a whole new game; 2011 brought 120,000 people out to see the work created by these talented people, and the attendance this year is expected to be even higher. We bring you some of our top picks from each zone of Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche. Have fun!

Zone A

Water Will Be Here

This video installation takes a hard look at what sea levels would look like if cities were to become underwater metropolises. Created by Eric Corriel (New York), this installation has been shown in Atlanta and Brooklyn and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. (There is also an interactive element. Click above link for more info).

Location: 25 King St. W.


A translucent object floating in the CBC atrium, Skylum changes its illumination based on pedestrian/viewers’ movements. Sounds pretty cool to us. Andrew Kearney (London, UK) is toying with the movement of visitors and the actions of everyday life to literally light up a part of Toronto.

Location: 250 Front St. W.  (CBC Building, Barbara Frum Atrium)

One Hundred Pounds of Glitter

For 12 hours, glitter and confetti will fall from the sky as Nuit Blanche-ers move around Parkdale. Brette Gabel took the lead on this one, and it is being supported by the Parkdale Business Improvement Assosciation.

Location: Queen St. W and Noble St.

Zone B

All Together Now

Three words: Free. Dance. Class. Every hour of Nuit Blanche, festival goers can attend (or watch) a different style of dance lesson every hour on the hour.  Organized by Jeanne Holmes (image above) of Canada Dance Festival fame, All Together Now will offer some of the best teachers this city has to offer. All styles vary to represent the cultural differences of Toronto’s residences. From Bhangra to Krumping (and everything in between), there’s something for everyone.

Location: 111 Richmond St. (Richmond Adelaide Centre)

Persona Grata

This multi-layered installation features 3 main parts: 1 facet is an open, bare artist studio in which visitors are invited to add to. The second part of the installation allows visitors to be drawn by artists and amateurs. Lastly, The Confessional Booth attendant will listen to your most embarrassing moments, first kisses and other light humored topics.

Location: 410 Adelaide St. W. (3rd Floor)


Looking deeper into what it’s like being a stranger in Toronto, this cross-city installation is definitely the most interactive of most happening. A number of paste “Outsiders” will be in the Eaton Centre’s Urban Eatery at the start of the night. They will then set out upon the town in various locations throughout the event. Festival goers are invited to take them to an event with them, snap a pic and post it via social media on Facebook or using #Outsiders2012 on Twitter. Organized by the collective Seeingred, this is set to be one for the record books. Click here for more information about sharing your images of Outsiders.

Starting Location: 220 Yonge St. (Toronto Eaton Centre, Urban Eatery)

Zone C

Smells Like Spirit

This sound and light installation will see Kurt Cobain back from the dead for one night only. Hadley+Maxwell are a dynamic collective who met 15 years ago in Vancouver and have been collaborating ever since.

Location: 160 Victoria St. (Elgin Theatre Loading Dock)

The Evening News (small craft warnings)

The dynamic duo who call themselves Emergency Exit are putting on a show to remember. Their performance art piece will feature them as radio broadcasters discussing topics both serious and not so serious. Visitors can call in to be featured on their show and join the discussion. Do you dare?

Dada Reboot

The Swiss cultural movement of the early 20th century is being brought back to Canada for Nuit Blanche. Curated by Thom Sokoloski, the main purpose of the exhibit is to investigate how Dadaist works can be reinterpreted in more modern times. With over 30 artists involved in the exhibit, visitors will be involved in the discussion of the political and cultural changes from then to now.

Location: 55 Mill St.


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