SEPT. 26 – What began in Paris in 2002 finally arrives in Edmonton this fall. Nuit Blanche—or “sleepless night”—transforms cities with all-night contemporary visual arts festivals that arrive at dusk and disappear by dawn, each time with an exhibition unique to its host. “With Edmonton,” explains chair Ruth Burns, “we really wanted to focus on engaging with urban spaces, looking at our city in a new light and celebrating that newfound perspective.”
Edmonton’s free exhibition, Half-Lit Moon, will transform the downtown core from 7 pm to 4 am. Curated by Toronto-based artist and writer Dave Dyment, it features over 30 fun, interactive and stunning installations from local and international artists, including Yoko Ono. It’s all ages and all free, but if that’s not enough here are four more reasons to lose sleep over Nuit Blanche.
1. Yoko Ono’s largest installation piece yet.
Expect the largest iteration of Ono’s famous Wishing Tree, an acclaimed installation that has brought hope and inspired peace for hundreds of thousands of people over the course of 20 years. Find these 121 trees with intact roots throughout Winston Churchill Square, then record your wishes and attach them to the branches. Every desire is collected and stored at the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. Best of all, the trees are planted throughout Edmonton communities afterward.
2. Take back downtown
After bars close and the donair vendors serve their last wraps, downtown streets can be overtaken by deadness and a sense of insecurity. But instead of dreading the darkness of the streets, Burns wants us to celebrate it. “We tend to avoid urban spaces at night so we really want the community to engage with their city when it’s dark and gain a different perspective from it.”
3. An unexpected and newfound respect for potholes
The local irritants we love to hate are reclaimed and embraced by Sarah Amato and Monique McFarlane. The artists behind Pothole Possibilities will decorate these nuisances to create amusing illustrations. You’re invited to help out by composing letters, poems and other pothole-related reflections.
4. Experience the community coming together
Burns hopes Edmontonians will feel a sense of community pride and collaboration when they experience Half-Lit Moon. She already has, simply from the overwhelming community support from surrounding businesses and organizations who pitched in to make it happen. “The community effort is truly heartwarming.”