Nuit Blanche is divided up into three themed zones each with its own individual information hub. Zone A, curated by Rhonda Corvese, is titled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. The information hub is at Queen’s Park, just south of Bloor. Zone B, with its information hub located in Butterfield Park, right next to the Ontario College of Art and Design [OCAD], is titled At the Corner of Time and Place (curator, Michelle Jacques). The hub for Zone C, or Supernatural City curated by Camilla Singh, can be found in Trinity Bellwoods Park just north of Queen.
Most galleries and Scotiabank outlets have guidebooks on hand. They’re pretty straightforward with descriptions short enough and sweet enough to be tempting. For a fairly monstrous event, flipping through the guide is relatively painless. Only the very masochistic will attempt to see everything. Pick one or two target events and explore from there. Here are a few starter suggestions.
According to Toronto City Hall last year’s Toronto premiere of Nuit Blanche was attended by somewhere around 425,000 people. With this year’s expansion Nuit Blanche is sure to be huge. Just gigantic. This will no doubt translate into plenty of lineups and a severe lack of parking, so try not to be too rigid about where you want to be throughout the night. Plan to take advantage of the TTC’s extended hours or travel by bike. If you are in for the long haul you’ll want to arm yourself with sturdy footwear and information on where to find food at 4:30am. Of course, a playful attitude and an open mind will go a long way as well.
In Zone A take a jaunt over to the University of Toronto. If spectacle is your thing try to get in on Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins’ Event Horizon. There’s tons of stuff to explore on campus.
Consider taking some downtime over at the Steam Whistle Brewery (225 Bremner Blvd) in Zone B. The Kino Festival of Russian film and art is setting up a Steam Banya, or Russian sauna, and playing short videos, throughout the night. So bring a swimsuit, sandals and towel. Alternately, if you want to speed things up head over to the Grange Park (behind the AGO) for Iconoclash, Melissa Shiff’s interactive dance party where images of audience members will be superimposed onto video screens playing iconic religious movies. Next door at OCAD is Testbed with new media works by Noam Gonnick, Robert Houle, Judith Doyle and more.
Get your yah-yahs out in Zone C at Mercer Union (37 Lisgar St) where you’ll be able to attend The Misha Glouberman School of Learning and create Terrible Noises for Beautiful People. Terrible Noises is a “participatory noise choir.” It’s all about process and joining in. Exercise those vocal chords, it’s sure to refresh and/or freak you out!
Overall Nuit Blanche doesn’t seem to have a great deal of overtly queer content, especially compared to last year. As an art event, however, it’s queer by default. Aside from the Nightless City events in the village, a fun way to start the evening is by checking out the sexy, loud and queer Kids on TV set at the Works and Emergency Services Building (1116 King St W) from 7pm to 8:30pm. The Kids along with other Toronto bands will play throughout the night.
Once you’ve taken off all your clothes with KOTV you’ll need to figure out what to do with them, so head over to the Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue) for Allyson Mitchell’s Hungry Purse: Vagina Dentata in Late Capitalism, and her Swap till You Drop clothing swap (see page 23). It’s opening night of the Toronto artist’s latest installation. At the swap not only will you be able to trade clothes, but style counsellors will also be on hand to address fashion crises and help modify newfound treasures.