Nuit Blanche at the WAG Attracts Thousands

“After this past Saturday’s event, it’s clear that the success of last year’s inaugural Nuit Blanche was no fluke – the WAG’s second Nuit Blanche, held on Saturday, October 1 and continuing through the night, was a huge success with close to 4,500 attending and hundreds more wanting to get in," says Stephen Borys, WAG Director. “This year we were prepared for the rush of the crowds, and we stayed open right until 6am. With a cap of 1,100 in the building at any one time, we hit our capacity by 10:30pm, and from that point onward the line-ups started. Some people spent an hour or more waiting to get into the building, and some walked away when they saw a line-up that stretched around the block. But for those who stayed, it was definitely worth the wait! And the best part – it was all free!”

“It’s fabulous to see people of all ages and backgrounds taking in the event, but I was most impressed with the huge numbers of our youth and university crowd taking in the cutting edge art, music, and dance,” Borys notes. “And with this kind of crush from the community we want to make next year’s event even better. But we need some help in order to do that. Without any corporate or government support for this all-night arts party, the WAG foots the entire bill for the event, including increased security and gallery staff, program development, performances, and equipment. I would like to see the business community and our arts councils step up and help us keep this going. It’s great for our downtown, and I can think of a dozen corporations who would jump at the chance to connect with this hot demographic, so here’s hoping we can make some sponsorship deals for next year.”

The Nuit Blanche event began with the opening of the William Kurelek: The Messenger exhibition. Hundreds crowded the galleries to view the art and to meet members of Kurelek’s family, who were in town for the event. And the evening picked up speed from there with art and music on four levels. The hot spot of the night events was the rooftop. The warm weather had everyone jockeying for spot in the rooftop sculpture garden, which featured a 1am performance by Mariachi Ghost. Artcadia offered a dozen video games on the main floor with mr ghosty as VJ. Groundwell and a Uniter Film Festival filled the Muriel Richardson Auditorium while members of the WSO performed in the galleries. And the hour spent in the line-up was not without it’s perks. Contemporary dance guru, Jolene Bailie and dancers turned the front of the WAG into a dance floor using the front ramp to feature her newest composition. Inside – outside – it was a blast.

Nuit Blanche at the WAG was a part of Culture Days, a national weekend celebrating the arts in Canada.



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