Nuit Blanche draws criticism -- all answerable. Some say that the event has strayed too far from its original focus on art -- others say that there's too much corporate involvement and focus on cultural tourism. The payback to Toronto is meaningful. I take these concerns seriously. Its impact since 2006 has grown from $1 million to $40.5 million last year, a lot of money flowing into Toronto's economy for just one night.
So for those salivating for a Toronto reset, I suggest a more modest brand refresh -- one where an asterisk is added to our otherwise great city. Here we can note our city's mind-numbing congestion, condo lined waterfront, failed Olympic bids, overpriced housing and political mismanagement. All this without clouding the overwhelmingly positive attributes this city has to offer.
With events on all six habitable continents and 24 cities participating in Nuit Blanche events across 2013, Toronto's edition is North America's largest, boasting over one million visitors in 2012. That number is expected to continue growing in 2013 and beyond as the event gains more traction with Toronto and its neighbouring cities.
The City of Toronto's adventure with the all night contemporary art event, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, came about when, at the invitation of the City of Paris, we decided to present a one-off edition in 2006. The event has been repeated each fall. What a true joy it is to continuously change the way we all look at this city, even if it happens to be just for one night.
Teleporting Chinese tourists. Masturbating astronauts. Death by duct tape. Semen-filled puppets. Possible time travel. That one guy from Corner Gas. I was at a loss for words, and kept looking around to see if someone, anyone, was as confused and enraged as I was, but they were speechless in the face of True Art. I call bullshit.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Calgary 2012 grow from even before its official inception.. As the project comes to a close in March of 2013, I took a moment to consider what my favourite event was. From the Sweet City Lip Dub to the Artist in Residence program, the projects implemented this year have all been unique. However, my absolute favourite event was Nuit Blanche.