nuit blanche survival tips (and yes, with a criticism or two)

Tonight is the big night in Toronto for the “all-night art thing” that supposedly goes from 7pm to 7am with art installations across the city.

I say “supposedly” because many galleries and other venues participating seem to close well before sunrise. And that leads into my first tip:

Arrive earlier at nuit blanche rather than later.

Crowds are bad around some of the more popular exhibits before midnight, but lining up behind families is far preferable to dealing with drunken yahoos at 4 am outside of a closed installation. Often, temporary work has been destroyed by that time as well.

Pick an area and stick with it

There is too much to see – too much! Relax and accept you will see only a little of what is on display this night.

Bike, walk or bus it to and around Nuit Blanche

Planning to bring your car? I hate you. You ruin everything for everyone else. Nuit Blanche is no fun in gridlock.

Never, ever say “[insert corporate sponsor] Nuit Blanche”.

Ok, this one is political, I know. But it is such an ordeal as an artist to officially get into this festival because Canadian curators LOVE paperwork, corporate sponsorship, international artists and, well, curating things. This means the vast majority of deserving Toronto contemporary artists and galleries are not officially part of this night but some half-ass work from afar with a famous name attached to it will be highlighted in all the promotion materials.

Make sure you stop into unlisted, unofficial art venues along your way

This is more of a how an all night art party should be – discovery, community and endless possibilities around every corner and through every door. More of an anarchist and organically growing entity than a bureaucratic structure.