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This article was published 20/8/2010 (2406 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
If you see a group of Winnipeggers behaving strangely on the Esplanade Riel in the dead of night on a September weekend, don't call 911.
Local artists Kristin Nelson and Jennifer Smith want to get enough people involved in their collaborative project, Knitting the Bridge, to create a multicoloured, multi-textured scarf that will stretch to 250 metres -- the entire span of the Esplanade Riel.
They plan to hang the stitched-together scarf, with each segment carrying a tag that credits its creator, along the bridge railing during the night of Sept. 25.
It's part of Winnipeg's inaugural Nuit Blanche -- a free, dusk-to-dawn arts event that also includes an outdoor midnight screening of My Winnipeg.
Nelson is not out to make a big statement with the yarn project, though it echoes "knit graffiti" and "guerrilla knitting" projects around the world. "It's mostly about community engagement," she says.
Nelson and Smith are holding knitting bees every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Salisbury House on the bridge. They'll even teach you to knit. If you want to participate on your own, they request pieces that are 11 stitches wide (contact them at email@example.com).
Nuit Blanche, part of a worldwide movement of all-night festivals, is just one component of Winnipeg's first annual Culture Days weekend, Sept. 24-26.
Nuit Blanche was already in the preliminary planning stage when Culture Days was launched here, and the two events teamed up.
Culture Days, a country-wide initiative, is not to be confused with Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010, or Manitoba Homecoming 2010, or the Lights on Broadway weekend.
But many Winnipeggers are getting confused about the dizzying, overlapping parade of arts events in August and September.
"I know," says Nicole Matiation, Culture Days project manager. "There's confusion in the sense that there are many different cultural activities going on, and a little bit of name mixing-up."
To help clear things up, here's an update:
Lights on Broadway/Taste of Downtown Winnipeg/Ciclovia, Sept. 10-12
-- Four lighting-design firms from Canada and the U.S. are competing to determine which will create a permanent display to showcase the elms on Broadway. Their displays are on view Sept. 11-12, hosted by Manitoba Homecoming 2010 and Manitoba Hydro.
-- Sept. 10-12, independent wine stores and Manitoba chefs present Taste of Downtown Winnipeg, a charitable wine and cheese event in Memorial Park.
-- The evening of Sept. 11, Broadway will be closed off for the Big Dance on Broadway. With two live music stages and two huge dance floors, Peggers can boogie to acts such as the Ron Paley Big Band, Papa Mambo and the Wind-Ups. This is a Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 bash.
-- Sept. 12, the second annual Ciclovia festival of eco-friendly and healthy lifestyles will also see Broadway closed off. This one's hosted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. See www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com for info.
Culture Days/Nuit Blanche, Sept. 24-26
-- Culture Days is a cross-Canada weekend to involve Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Organizations are opening their doors for free, hands-on activities that invite the public behind the scenes. For instance, Sept. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m., the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is having an open house at its Graham Avenue studios, with performances, creative movement classes, kids' activities and more. See www.culturedays.ca.
-- Nuit Blanche, Sept. 25, is a free, all-night art celebration. The Winnipeg Art Gallery has programming from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. At 7 p.m., there's the opening of a major show, Wanda Koop... on the edge of experience, including a performance work in collaboration with dance artist Jolene Bailie. After 11 p.m., there's a multimedia dance party, screenings of cult-classic films and readings by poets and playwrights.
-- The Winnipeg Film Group's Nuit Blanche offerings include a midnight screening of Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg on the outdoor screen at the foot of the TD Tower at Portage and Main. Other groups participating in Nuit Blanche include La maison des artistes and Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers.
Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010
-- The Cultural Capital folks are up to their gills in the free River Barge Festival (Aug. 25-29 at The Forks) right now. Another of their events, kicking off on the Sept. 24-26 Culture Days weekend, is called City Stories.
Local performance artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan have been engaged to create a deck of tarot cards using Winnipeg iconography and lore. Throughout October, they and their team will give tarot readings to the public. In return for a reading, you're supposed to tell them a Winnipeg story. The tales will be recorded and archived on a website. See www.artsforall.ca.