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October 1, 2006
Toronto loses sleep over Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Estimated attendance of 425,000 surpasses projections

Throughout last night and into the early pre-dawn hours, Torontonians left behind the comfort of their beds for an all night exploration of their city. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche promised a “sunset-to-sunrise celebration of contemporary art” and that is exactly what Toronto got.

“I'm pleased and proud to have been able to be part of the inaugural Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto," said Mayor David Miller. "For one exciting night Toronto became a city alive with culture and buzzing with excitement. Nuit Blanche really showcased Toronto's proud and vibrant arts scene and I want to thank all those who participated and attended for making it a success. I look forward to many more nights like this."

Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris, who dreamt up the idea of Nuit Blanche in 2002, travelled to Toronto to help launch the event.

“Toronto certainly loves the magic and the mysteries of the night,” said Christophe Girard. “Its people prove they love to be together to share and discover its beauties and secrets in the name of art. Now, Nuit Blanche is part of your history.”

“Toronto’s Nuit Blanche was a moveable feast of contemporary arts and culture,” said Rick Waugh, President & CEO of Scotiabank, the event’s title sponsor. “What a unique way to recognize, celebrate and experience the tremendous contribution Toronto’s creative community makes to the city’s heart and soul.”

Line ups at almost all participating venues offered a strong indication that Nuit Blanche had surpassed even the most conservative audience estimates. Streets were clogged with people experiencing everything from: a fog sculpture; to night-time swimming; to a corn roast in Yorkville; to ballroom dancing; to large-scale projections of sheep on the Planetarium Roof. There was art in car washes, art on outdoor billboards, art on street corners and art in parks.

“Toronto’s response to the first annual Nuit Blanche was beyond anything we had anticipated,” said Jaye Robinson, Director of Toronto Special Events. “Preliminary attendance figures estimated at 425,000 indicate that the event significantly surpassed the projected audience of 250,000.”

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was a Live With Culture initiative developed to demonstrate the City of Toronto’s commitment to the arts. Live With Culture is a 16-month celebration of Toronto’s extraordinary arts and cultural communities. From September 2005 to December 2006, Live With Culture showcases the vibrant and diverse cultural activities happening in the city each and every day. Events initiated by the City of Toronto and the community are united under one umbrella campaign to raise awareness of Toronto’s thriving cultural scene.

For more information about Scotiabank Nuit Blanche and other Live With Culture signature events, the public can visit or call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338.

Media contact:
Grant Ramsay, Toronto Special Events, 416-395-7318



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