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October 5, 2009
Toronto's 'contemporary art thing' engages audiences from streets to tweets Audiences interacted with art and each other until dawn at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2009
From sunset last night to sunrise this morning, Toronto's fourth annual Scotiabank Nuit Blanche engaged the public in a massive participatory celebration of contemporary art.

Building on the success of past event's interactive art projects, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2009 took the concept of audience participation to a whole new level, as the public literally became the art they ventured out all night to see.

Approximately 400 people willingly placed themselves, blindfolded, in a steel cage match with Canadian pro-wrestlers at the Toronto bus terminal in a Battle Royal. A further 750 brave souls were suspended from the rafters of Brookfield Place in the Witches Cradle, cloth sacks engineered to create halucinatory experiences in sensory deprivation. Thousands rode the Wild Ride midway in the financial district, and thousands more congregated around fire barrels in Liberty Village and shared rations in the social sculpture, Fire and Sausage. Audience members were also encouraged to spraypaint the Ryerson School of Management at Bay and Dundas with lasers, march in an Audio Parade they could only hear but not see, and crawl under giant swaths of a red velvet dress in a Sultry World.

New interactive tools including the Night Navigator iPhone/BlackBerry app and the My Night itinerary planner encouraged the audience to share pictures, tweet, text and talk to each other as they explored Scotiabank Nuit Blanche into the wee hours of the night. By sunrise 16,500 people had downloaded and utilized the mobile app and over 10,500 had created a personal route to share with friends. Nearly 3,000 project recommendations were posted, with app users choosing Rabbit Balloon, Beautiful Light: 4-Letter Word Machine, and The Apology Project as their favourites. The twittersphere was inundated with over 6,000 tweets referencing 'Nuit Blanche' event highlights, media picks, and personal experiences while @sbnuitblancheTO topped over 1,000 followers over the course of the 12 hours.

"It's only fitting that an event created through such collaboration, would also engage the public as participants in so many ways," tweeted Mayor David Miller. "Scotiabank Nuit Blanche belongs to all of us and is created by all of us as we come together to celebrate art."

Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2009 brought together the exceptional talents of more than 500 artists and curators, 84 galleries, museums, cultural and educational institutions and neighbourhoods, 500 volunteers, 24 corporate sponsors, and media partners and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who ventured out in all night in the name of contemporary art.

Plans are already underway for the fifth edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, which returns to Toronto on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is an all-night celebration of contemporary art produced by the City of Toronto in collaboration with Toronto's arts community. An annual and signature event for the city, it has been honoured with the prestigious Urban Leadership Award and the Globe and Mail Business for the Arts Award.

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2008 the Bank provided about $43 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. For more information the public can visit

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Giannina Warren, Economic Development Culture and Tourism, City of Toronto, 416-395-7318,



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