News / Edmonton

Into the night: Nuit Blanche festival coming to Edmonton

Edmontonians will be asked to embrace the night next year, as a homegrown version of the Nuit Blanche festival comes to the city.

An all night arts festival, Nuit Blanche events have been held in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, as well as many other international cities.

The festival runs overnight in public places and the Edmonton organizers are planning to follow the same formula when they bring it to the capital city in 2015.

“We see tremendous potential in having awe-inspiring installations in the street that every Edmontonian can experience,” said Ruth Burns, one of the event’s organizers.

She said their early plans involve having the festival downtown in areas around Churchill Square and along 95 Avenue, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Photos from Nuit Blanche around the world

Photo Gallery

  • Supplied: City of Toronto

    Forever Bicycles, by Ai Weiwei was part of the 2013 Toronto Nuit Blanche festival.

  • Doug Wong photo

    This photo of ‘Cloud’ was taken during Nuit Blanche in Calgary in 2012.

  • Torstar News Service

    "Forever Bicycles" by artist Ai Weiwei at Nathan Phillips Square during Nuit Blanche in Toronto on October 5, 2013.

  • Metro/Screenshot/Vimeo

    For one night, Toronto was transformed into a playground of art and creativity for Nuit Blanche.

  • Dacey, Elisha

  • Torstar News Service

    One of the three of elements of "Barricades 2011" on Yonge Street, a three metre tall Caution tape wall that was part of Nuit Blanche 2011 in Toronto.

  • Nuit Blanche 2009 in Toronto.

Burns said part of the event’s appeal is it encourages people to engage in the city at night.

“As a city, we spend so much of our (winter) time in the dark and this sort of event embraces our dark night,” she said.

The group is planning to run the festival every other year, starting in 2015,  with Burns saying they want to make sure it’s something the group can manage.

“We think that's a sustainable plan for us and we want to keep Edmontonians wanting, I guess,” she said.

She said the team is confident people will support the idea.

“If you look at Edmontonian's support for arts and support for festivals, this is exactly their sort of event,” she said.

Burns added that right now they're in the early stages of planning and don’t know what support they might need from the city.

Coun. Scott McKeen said he likes the idea of a big arts event in public spaces.

“I like the fact that they're going to bring public art and public display into the public realm,” he said.

He said he doesn’t know if the city will be able to participate in funding, but stressed the event is still in the early days.

“We're going to be open to it, but I can’t speak for council on funding,” he said.

Night festival

  • Nuit Blanche Calgary in 2012 brought in 10,000 attendees and more than one million came out to the 2013 Toronto event.
  • Nuit Blanche in French means white night and the event is meant to celebrate night culture.

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