Nuit Blanche to feature more than 90 art shows, installations

The final preparations for the seventh-annual Nuit Blanche are underway in Winnipeg.

Annual contemporary art festival underway in Winnipeg from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday

Nuit Blanche in Winnipeg runs Saturday from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Sunday. The festival is an accessible way for people to get exposed to contemporary art, organizers say. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

The final preparations for the seventh-annual Nuit Blanche are underway in Winnipeg.

The contemporary art romp runs from 6 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday and includes at least 92 art expositions and installations in St. Boniface, downtown and in the Exchange District.

This year the festival expects 25,000 people to come out.

Kurt Tittlemier, an event coordinator with Manitoba Culture Days and one of the organizers of Nuit Blanche in Winnipeg and Gimli, said there may be even more than 92 stops as artists tend to put on "unofficial" Nuit Blanche exhibits.

"To really, properly Nuit Blanche I think you have to tour," he said.

One of the best parts of Nuit Blanche is discovering something new along the way between the bigger events, Tittlemier added.

"Don't give yourself too strict of a schedule."

He highlighted three events at this year's Nuit Blanche he thinks people should check out:

  • In the Exchange, he recommends people check out Red, Green and Blue, a sculptural installation that features a 'walk on water' element. The installation is in the parking lot at Rorie Street and Bannatyne Avenue.
  • Downtown, Tittlemier suggests people check out Moths to a Flame which features glass art and projection lights. It is located at the Travel Manitoba building at the Forks.
  • In St. Boniface, at 219 Provencher Blvd., ÉZÈ Studio is featuring the works of African-Canadian artists.

Many of the events involve some kind of audience participation or interaction with the artwork.

Tia Watson, is one of the creators behind PEG, an artwork that actually provides viewers with a memento of the piece, a small peg they can take from a map of Winnipeg.

In return, Winnipeggers are asked to leave a note or object behind by tying it to a string provided.

"We were just kind of excited to create almost a canvas for the city to come out and just build on it," Watson said. Her piece is located at 120 King St. in the Exchange. 

Participants at Nuit Blanche should consider leaving the car at home if they can and opt for transportation on foot or by bike, said Tittlemier.

"We really like the idea of bike traffic and pedestrian traffic. It's part of taking in the city," he said.

Nuit Blanche also provides free trolleys at eight locations in Winnipeg.