Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2009 program and event enhancements unveiled, Celebrate Ontario grant announced|
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Mayor David Miller, Laura Albanese, the Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Culture, and the 2009 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche curators assembled earlier today to announce new funding and event enhancements,
and to reveal the program lineup for Toronto’s all-night celebration of contemporary art - which returns on October 3, 2009.
Mayor Miller and Laura Albanese, MPP, announced that Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2009 will receive a one-time cash injection from the Ministry of Tourism‘s Celebrate Ontario program.
The funding has enabled the City to commission a monumental installation by an internationally renowned artist that capitalizes on the iconic infrastructure of Toronto City Hall, increasing the number of exhibition projects from 45 to 46. D.A. Therrien’s “Beautiful Light: Four Letter Word Machine” will suspend four giant light sculptures in the air above the council chamber between the City Hall towers, blasting an ever-changing array of four-letter word patterns - with the potential to transmit over four billion characters all night long. The project is commissioned in association with the generous support of Scottsdale Public Art.
“Through the financial support of our partners in the Ontario Government, Scottsdale, and at Scotiabank, we are significantly enhancing the experience for the nearly one million people we expect to see in the streets that night," said Mayor Miller. "Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is a wonderful and free celebration of contemporary art that is essential to the cultural vibrancy of Toronto.”
“Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is an exciting part of what makes Toronto such a great tourism destination,” the Honourable Monique Smith, Minister of Tourism, said earlier in a prepared statement. “The McGuinty government understands that events like these contribute significantly to the cultural life of our communities as well as to the economy. This is why our government invested $300,000 in Scotiabank Nuit Blanche this year. This summer, I encourage all Ontarians to experience their own ‘backyard’ and discover great festivals and events like this one.”
John Doig, Scotiabank Senior Vice-President, Marketing, Canadian Banking, commented, “Now in its fourth year, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche has earned the support of the public, the participating artists, and public and private sponsors as it continues to build on its reputation of offering innovative artistic experiences, accessibility and all-night fun. The enriching experience that this all-nighter gives its participants is unlike any other, and we are excited to join the hundreds of thousands of night-owls to once again participate in this moonlit event.”
Mayor Miller also announced that three significant enhancements are being made to the event this year in response to public feedback.
Projects will be closer together, which will make the event more walkable and will allow people to see more projects in a shorter period of time.
Three key road closures will reduce congestion and provide more space for pedestrians - closed will be the Bay Street Corridor from Gerrard Street to Front Street, McCaul Street from Grange Road to Dundas Street West, and Liberty Street from Dufferin Street to Pirandello Street.
Finally, the TTC will expand its all-night service to a larger portion of the subway line. Trains will run all night on the Bloor-Danforth line from Keele to Woodbine, and from St. Clair West to Eglinton on the Yonge/University/Spadina line. As done last year, the 509 Harbourfront streetcar will be extended overnight to shuttle audiences directly from Union station downtown to Liberty Village in the city’s west end.
The 2009 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Exhibition Curators - Gregory Elgstrand, Thom Sokoloski, Jim Drobnick, Jennifer Fisher and Makiko Hara - also announced the artists and projects they will feature.
Once again, unique spaces across Toronto will be transformed by contemporary art. Jeff Koons’ infamous Rabbit will float high above spectators in the Toronto Eaton Centre. The Toronto Bus Depot will, for one night only, be the site of a caged, blindfolded grudge match between New York performance artist and fighter Sean “El Conquistador” Leonardo and 20 other men in Battle Royal.
In the financial district, veteran conceptual artist and Order of Canada recipient Iain Baxter& will gather Toronto media personalities and celebrities to play an all-night version of the iconic real estate game, Monopoly, inside the Toronto Stock Exchange - with real money. At the Sheraton Centre, installation/performance artists Fastwurms will transform the waterfall atrium, lobby and gardens into a zone of live tableaux and divinatory encounters through iTouch technology.
Liberty Village will feature a moving sound installation by Oswaldo Macià, Surrounded in Tears 2004-2009, a composition of a symphony of hundreds of crying voices. Local contemporary performance artist Maria Legault will also perform The Apology Project with the assistance of dozens of paper-bag clad performers who congest a public walkway and personally apologize to everyone who ventures through them for the entire duration of the night.
This year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche will feature 132 projects by more than 550 artists and curators, and will require the help of over 450 volunteers and 14 corporate sponsors and media partners.
Full programming details will be available on www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca in July. The public can sign up for the e-newsletter on the site for event updates and tools to plan their night.
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is Toronto’s annual all-night celebration of contemporary art, produced by the City of Toronto in collaboration with Toronto’s arts community.
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 www.scotiabank.com.
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.
Giannina Warren, Economic Development, Culture and Tourism, 416-395-7318, firstname.lastname@example.org