The streets of Downtown Toronto came alive this past Saturday night and on into Sunday morning, with hordes of people calling an all-nighter to take in the sights and sounds of the 11th annual Nuit Blanche. Over 90 different art projects by more than 300 artists—including 30 public art projects by local, national and international artists—were on display around the city, with festival-goers contending with large crowds and cool, damp weather to view the many installations. In its first year back without former sponsor ScotiaBank, the installations appeared to have been scaled back somewhat along with the budget, though this year's celebration succeeded in building on the event's longstanding theme of artistic innovation.
At Old City Hall, Luzinterruptus' "Literature vs. Traffic" featured 10,000 books—donated by The Salvation Army Thrift Store—spilling out from the 1899-built structure's front steps. This installation draws attention to the rapid decline of print, offering what the artists describe as "sentimental nostalgia in our increasing digitized world." People were free to take the books.
A couple blocks to the south on Bay Streeet, the highly-photogenic Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place housed "Fallen Water" by Kevin Cooley. The installation features a stack of video display screens displaying over 24 hours of footage of the Niagara Escarpment, capturing the history of the natural landform that dictates flow into Lake Ontario.
While photos from the weekend event illustrate what the installations look like after dark, those who were unable to see it on October 1-2 will still have the chance to see three of this year's best installations, on display through October 10. (Thos planning on going should check on the City's webpage to check if any events might interrupt the showings, which are otherwise on until midnight each night this week.)
Similar to the past few years, Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall were focal points of the event. The centrepiece of the public square during the event was "Death of the Sun" by Director X, (pictured above). The installation consists of a 45-foot diameter sun displaying a spherical projection of the star's life and death. Another major feature in Nathan Phillips Square is "Pneuma" by Floria Sigismondi, consisting of a water screen projection underneath the fountain's Freedom Arches.
Located in the City Hall rotunda, Philip Beesley's "Ocean" uses a canopy of approximately 1,700 streamers made from recycled textiles in conjunction with light and sound to simulate the experience of life below the surface of the waves.
2016's Nuit Blanche adds to the cumulative 1,300 art installations and 4,600 artists who have participated in the event since its 2006 inception. Following another successful year, 2017's Nuit Blanche celebration is already being planned, with the 12th annual iteration of the festival scheduled to take place on September 30, 2017. You can share your Nuit Blanche photos in the associated Forum thread, or by submitting images to our Instagram or the UrbanToronto Flickr Pool.