Nuit Blanche in the Exchange!

Karen Kornelsen Blog

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The countdown is on for the largest free arts festival in Winnipeg. Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, a special project of Culture Days Manitoba, features over 80 events organized by businesses, organizations, independent artists, galleries, artisans, and more this Saturday, October 1, from 6pm to 4am.

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg attracts thousands of people to three main communities– St. Boniface, Downtown and the Exchange District, the latter having the highest concentration of activity. Three world-renowned installations are coming to Winnipeg for the first time: CLOUD, Quadriga and The Deep Dark.

“I think this is a year of growth for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg. For the first time ever, we have an art project’s coordinator, and there are three massive installations that have been all over the world coming to Winnipeg,” says Raegan Hedley, outreach and communications coordinator for Culture Days Manitoba and Nuit Blanche Winnipeg.

CLOUD, one of the centrepieces of the night, is an installation of 6,000 incandescent light bulbs suspended by a metal frame by Calgary artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett. This interactive installation encourages audience participation with the pull-strings hanging from the sculpture. CLOUD will be at the foot of the Esplanade Riel on The Forks side.

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Photo courtesy of Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett

The same artists also bring you, The Deep Dark, which features twelve illuminated door frames which stand as gates through which viewers pass. Venture through Stephen Juba Park in the Exchange and check out this incredible installation.

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Photo courtesy of Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett

Toronto-based sculptor and artist, Max Streicher will present Quadriga, which features four 7-metre tall inflated horses charging a-top the roof of a building in the Exchange.

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Photo by artist Max Streicher

These engaging projects are all funded and organized by Nuit Blanche Winnipeg/Culture Days. The organizations also received a record number of projects submitted through their Open Call process and seventeen were selected by a jury of artists and arts administrators.

“This is a transformative year for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg. In keeping with its grassroots feel of the past six years, 2016 will delight art lovers of all ages by highlighting extraordinary creative talent and Winnipeg’s unique contemporary art scene”, says Alex Keim, Curator and Project Coordinator for Nuit Blanche.

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With over 35 events and installations in the Exchange alone, the Exchange BIZ is so excited to welcome everyone to our creative district.

Some highlights in the Exchange, besides the three main installations, are:

(For full descriptions and complete list of events in the Exchange, go to nuitblanchewinnipeg.ca and download your own free copy of the program guide)

• Lucky Girl Pop-Up at Old Market square which will feature a creative collection of inspired local vendors from 12 pm to 12am.
Lights Unlimited will be transforming the Cube and Old Market Square with a light canopy and installation, brought to you by the Exchange BIZ.
• Forging by Night: experience the ancient art of blacksmithing demonstrated by Matt Jenkins of Cloverdale Forge at Old Market Square.
• Open pop-up hip hop class in Bijoux (space beside Paterson GlobalFoods Institute at Old Market Square) at 8pm. The class will be put on by Genie Baffoe, who has an infectious energy for dance and helping even the most un-trained, inexperienced dreamers feel AMAZING learning and busting out some new moves.
• WNDX and Gurevich Fine Art present: Two Days at the Falls
• ArtHive at ArtsJunktion
• Lennard Taylor’s Living Mannequins will feature the designer hand painting his unique clothing on models.
• Parlour Coffee Stays up Late
• Make a Mural at King + Bannatyne
• Music and Art at The Amsterdam Tea Room
• Live Window Mural Painting at Chosabi
• Electric Almond Quest for Better Returns features live art, music on a roof and lights at Deer + Almond.
• Print a postcard with LetterPeddler Press outside of The Amsterdam Tea Room
• Bodegoes Patio Party presented by Big Rock Brewery.
• Fusion Advertising Group presents: “The Factory”.
• And sooooo much more!!!

“The blueprint of Nuit Blanche is changing this year — it’s a lot more focused in the Exchange District, along Waterfront Dr. and Stephen Juba Park, the East Exchange, and Saint Boniface. It’s our seventh year, so we are starting to adapt and make changes to make the event as immersive as possible,” says Melissa Courcelles, project manager for Culture Days Manitoba and Nuit Blanche Winnipeg.

Please try to “leave no trace” so we can keep our historical district as clean as possible. For transportation, ride the free trolley (check out the schedule here) or join in on the Bike Jam organized by Natural Cycle and the folks at Rainbow Trout Music Festival.

The Exchange BIZ hopes you have a super inspiring, transformative and enjoyable night as you explore all that Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and Culture Days has to offer.