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Nuit Blanche Toronto goes virtual and expands to multiple days with online streams

EnvisionTO at the Mackenzie House is one of the art projects at Nuit Blanche 2017 in Toronto. Photo credit: Summer Leigh

Nuit Blanche Toronto has revealed plans for a virtual event that will be spread out over 10 days.

Organizers have shifted the free, one-night art celebration into five online streams, running this Saturday evening until Oct. 12, to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programming will include talks, podcasts, livestreams, and artworks in augmented and virtual reality.

Nuit Blanche, which translates literally as “white night,” started in Paris in October 2002 and usually sees revellers taking in contemporary art installations spread out in a city from dusk to dawn.

Canada has several versions of Nuit Blanche, including one in Montreal held at the end of February, and one in Regina that took place late last month with COVID-19 guidelines.

The pandemic has forced Winnipeg’s fall version of Nuit Blanche to be rescheduled, and cancelled Nuit Blanche Saskatoon.

Halifax has a similar event called Nocturne: Art at Night festival, which is slated to be a mix of online and in-person experiences with COVID-19 guidelines from Oct. 12-17.

The 15th annual Toronto instalment has the theme “The Space Between Us,” with a focus “on the connections across urban, polar and pacific landscapes.”

It will include a 12-hour livestream of screen-based artworks, as well as soundscapes provided by several DJs.

Participants will also have access to the 14-year Nuit Blanche Toronto archive of more than 1,600 art projects as well as new content from alumni artists and curators.