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Nuit? Free? Oui, oui!

Annual art event brings out night owls to enjoy installations, galleries, parties, powwows and more

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/9/2019 (251 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If Culture Days were a music festival (and in some corners it is), Nuit Blanche would be the headline act. The all-night party starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, and private galleries and public spaces will be open for bleary-eyed art lovers until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Event preview

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Nuit Blanche
Various locations
Saturday, Sept. 28
6 p.m.
Free
Visit nuitblanche winnipeg.ca for a full list of events.

There are dozens of free activities happening in St. Boniface, the Exchange District, The Forks, the North End, downtown and the West End.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a perennial favourite for Nuit Blanche partygoers. This year, the gallery has a host of activities that play with the theme of time travelling through art — including an authentic DeLorean, à la Back to the Future.

Culture Days rolls out welcome mat for casual art fans

If there were any doubt, Manitoba’s Culture Days participation has solidified our reputation as a national hot spot for arts and culture. For six of the past 10 years, Winnipeg has offered the most activities in the country during the three-day festival (Sept. 27-29) and the event has gained popularity outside the Perimeter as well — in 2018, Flin Flon came in second, surpassing Toronto’s numbers.

"It just shows that there is a real appetite for accessible approaches to art; sometimes people can feel a little intimidated by participating in the arts," says David Pensato, Culture Days Manitoba co-chairman. "Culture Days serves to bridge that gap and it’s doing so very successfully."

There are 301 registered events happening in Manitoba this year, with more than 160 taking place in Winnipeg. 

The Winnipeg Design Festival is running in conjunction with Culture Days and has a series of design-themed events running throughout the weekend. 

Student Day at The Forks takes place on Friday and includes hands-on arts, craft, film, theatre, sport, historical and cultural activities for school-aged kids. 

You can find all the events at culturedays.ca, but here’s a sample to get you started: 

Kids and Youth: Eyes On Us! Make & Take Critter Creations
Forum Art Centre, 120 Eugenie St.

Amateur sculptors age five and up are invited to make their own clay critter to take home at the Forum Art Centre. Winnipeg artist Bob Dann will be leading two hands-on workshops at 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

If there were any doubt, Manitoba’s Culture Days participation has solidified our reputation as a national hot spot for arts and culture. For six of the past 10 years, Winnipeg has offered the most activities in the country during the three-day festival (Sept. 27-29) and the event has gained popularity outside the Perimeter as well — in 2018, Flin Flon came in second, surpassing Toronto’s numbers.

"It just shows that there is a real appetite for accessible approaches to art; sometimes people can feel a little intimidated by participating in the arts," says David Pensato, Culture Days Manitoba co-chairman. "Culture Days serves to bridge that gap and it’s doing so very successfully."

There are 301 registered events happening in Manitoba this year, with more than 160 taking place in Winnipeg. 

The Winnipeg Design Festival is running in conjunction with Culture Days and has a series of design-themed events running throughout the weekend. 

Student Day at The Forks takes place on Friday and includes hands-on arts, craft, film, theatre, sport, historical and cultural activities for school-aged kids. 

You can find all the events at culturedays.ca, but here’s a sample to get you started: 

Kids and Youth: Eyes On Us! Make & Take Critter Creations
Forum Art Centre, 120 Eugenie St.

Amateur sculptors age five and up are invited to make their own clay critter to take home at the Forum Art Centre. Winnipeg artist Bob Dann will be leading two hands-on workshops at 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

Hands-on: Art Journaling
WHEAT Institute, 70 Arthur St. 

Spruce up the pages of your diary while finding new ways to express yourself. This art journaling session at the WHEAT (Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Art Therapy) Institute runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Art supplies will be provided. 

Indigenous: Superhero Stories
Gallery 1C03, 515 Portage Ave.

The exhibit When Raven Became Spider at the University of Winnipeg’s on-campus gallery features the work of six Indigenous artists who combine traditional stories with comic-book imagery. Visitors are invited to make their own superhero story or character on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Historical: Ethnic Dance Open House
Churchill Park United Church, 525 Beresford Ave.

Grab a comfy pair of shoes and get ready to dance your way around the world on Friday from 8:15 to 11 p.m. Teachers will lead students of every level in traditional dances from Albania, Tahiti, Bolivia, Romania, Israel, Greece and more. Dance partner not required.  

Visual art: Roots & Tendrils: MAWA member show + sale
MAWA, 611 Main St.

Botanicals and connections are the running themes in this group show and sale by members of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. All sale proceeds go to the artists.

Dance: Landscape Dancers
St. Boniface Hospital, 409 Taché Ave.

Dancers with Artists in Healthcare will perform for patients and the public in the hospital’s atrium on Friday afternoon. The noon show will be accompanied by flutist Laura McDougall and cellist Caitlin Broms-Jacobs, followed by a 1:30 p.m. show with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra outreach group Fiddlers on the Loose.

Music: Mass Appeal
Gas Station Arts Centre, River Avenue and Osborne Street

Guitarists of any skill level are invited to join the ensemble in this by-the-public, for-the-public concert. The event runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Each 30-minute concert is led by a music director and participants can download the music ahead of time at massappealwinnipeg.ca.

Food: Chocolatier Constance Popp Open House & Demonstrations
Chocolatier Constance Popp, 180 Provencher Blvd.

Find out what it takes to make artisanal chocolates during this open house on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. There will be live entertainment, a kitchen tour, chocolate-making demonstrations and, of course, samples. 

eva.wasney@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @evawasney

Take a walk through Canada’s pre-confederation history with Kent Monkman’s new exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience; check out time travel-themed short films by Sisler High School students; and dance away the night to DJ Miz Shutterfly on the gallery’s rooftop. There will also be snacks, a maker station and a video game arcade.

There’s something happening on almost every street corner in the Exchange, including an outdoor market hosted by Luckygirl at Arthur Street and Bannatyne Avenue; a black artist showcase organized by Black Space Wpg at Aceartinc. gallery at 290 McDermot Ave.; and a wine, cheese and collage party/screening at Clementine Café on 123 Princess St.

A short walk north of the district, Urban Shaman Gallery, Wall-to-Wall Mural Festival and Sakihiwe Festival are hosting a pop-up powwow block party in front of 211 Pacific Ave. This family-friendly event starts at 8 p.m. and will include non-competitive dancing and drumming by Sons of Drum and a DJ set by Boogey the Beat.

Events are within walking or biking distance from each other, and Nuit Blanche’s flashy pop-up public art installations help bridge the gaps between participating neighbourhoods.

Here’s where to find this year’s featured structures on Saturday night:

Loop

Old Market Square
Created by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix

Humans become movie-making machines in these interactive sculptures at the Exchange District park. Loop is a series of larger-than-life zoetropes, vintage animation devices, that turn still images into animated fairy tales with the push of a lever.

Loop is one of the featured pop-up public art installations at this year’s Nuit Blanche event. It will be on display in Old Market Square. (Ulysse Lemerise)

Loop is one of the featured pop-up public art installations at this year’s Nuit Blanche event. It will be on display in Old Market Square. (Ulysse Lemerise)

 


 

Inflatable Eyes

Stephen Juba Park
Created by Filthy Luker and Pedro Estellas

Googly eyes make everything sillier, especially giant inflatable ones set in trees or atop buildings. The foliage in Stephen Juba Park on Waterfront Drive will come alive Saturday night with some blow-up peepers via Inflatable Eyes.

 


 

Infinity Cube

Stephen Juba Park
Created by Tyler Batik

There are plenty of photo-ops to be had at Infinity Cube. The 2.7-metre-tall structure is made of a continuous tube of aluminum with inlaid LED lighting. Its geometric form creates an optical illusion that changes depending how you look at it.

 


 

Passage

The Forks
Created by Serge Maheu

Who knows where you’ll end up on the other side of Passage, an immersive light and sound tunnel that will be set up on the walking path near the Red River. The installation is made up of 20 circles of light that represent the moment between life and death.

Passage is a pop-up art installation that will be on display in The Forks. (Serge Maheu)

Passage is a pop-up art installation that will be on display in The Forks. (Serge Maheu)

 

TENSE

ArtsJunktion, 312 William Ave.
Created by Helga Jakobson and Matea Radic

Most corners are pretty uneventful places. Not so in this animation and projection mapping installation that explores the point where two walls meet and the idea of tension, in all its forms. Animations collide, ignore and tease one another when they meet in the corners of ArtsJunktion, the community-based art hub.

 


 

Allez Hop

129 Market Ave.
Created by Sasha Amaya and Thea Pedersen

Allez Hop will make all your Fresh Prince of Bel Air dreams come true. This glow-in-the-dark pop-up basketball court is designed with the ‘90s in mind, neon colours and classic tunes included. Shoot hoops, start a pickup game and chat with guests from the Manitoba Wheelchair Sports Association.

 


 

Dancing with Trees

168 Bannatyne Ave.
Created by Reanna Niceforo and Phil Sutherland

Tree huggers are turned into tree dancers in this environmentally themed art piece. Using motion sensors, a giant projection of a tree will follow the movements of participants in real time.

 


 

Cycle

Old Market Square
Created by Serge Maheu

Cycle is a glowing ring that reacts to the movements of passersby with colour and intensity shifts. The piece is inspired by the revolutions of the sun and moon and is paired with ambient music, so don’t be afraid to get your groove on.

Cycle is one of the featured pop-up public art installations at this year’s Nuit Blanche event that can be found at Old Market Square. (Serge Maheu)

Cycle is one of the featured pop-up public art installations at this year’s Nuit Blanche event that can be found at Old Market Square. (Serge Maheu)

 


 

Come Down

Little Brown Jug, 336 William Ave.
Created by Jade Shynkaruk

Reality is twisted and distorted in this series of crystalline surfaces and never-ending mirrored tunnels. This installation is inspired by human desire to explore and push the boundaries of science and spirituality.

 

eva.wasney@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @evawasney

Eva Wasney

Eva Wasney
Arts Reporter

Eva Wasney reports on arts, culture and life for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Read full biography

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