adventures in enamelling, stories, music and travel
Nuit Blanche Toronto is a free, annual, city-wide celebration of contemporary art, produced by the City of Toronto in collaboration with Toronto’s arts community.
For one sleepless night, from sunset to sunrise, the familiar is discarded and Toronto is transformed into an artistic playground for a series of exhilarating contemporary art experiences in unexpected public spaces.
Since 2006, this award-winning event has featured nearly 1,400 art installations by approximately 4,900 artists.
My first experience with it was in 2009, which was a very memorable in many ways! I participated in two events.
The first was an all night 12 hour marathon with the Element Choir (I was only there for an hour between 1 and 2 am) The then about 90 member choir (it’s over 200 now!) took shifts throught the 12 hours, though Christine Duncan (our fearless leader!) conducted all night. It was my very first gig with the choir.
Working with the Elementals (as we call ourselves) and Christine has been amazing. The choristers are almost all serious musicians in some genre or another – the skill sets are diverse and exciting, and the people are warm and friendly. Christine is an amazing person to work with, always coming from a place of deep integrity, and always able to tap into the truth of any given moment and create for us a safe space to express it sonically. Always treating everyone with great respect – and understanding and releasing their best skills. It’s truly a privilege to work with her.
At that 2009 Nuit Blanch, I also presided at the Metal Arts Guild’s installation “10,000 Hours”. Here I worked with another amazing woman: Sarah Dougal of Made You Look. At the time she was president of the Metal Arts Guild and brought a wave of fresh vibrancy to everything we did. Her positive energy, and commitment to community are infectious, and everything she does causes tidal waves of generosity and creativity to spread out around her.
We compiled well over 2000 pieces for the exhibit by asking jewellers, metalworkers and blacksmiths to send in their trial pieces and mistakes, hoping to give people a sense of what craftsmanship means, and how many failures it takes to reach success!
I did the 2am – 3am shift there – so the crowd was a little more ‘elevated’ shall we say (-; but it was a lot of fun.
Both were really rewarding experiences!