An opera in an alley and other Nuit Blanche things you should see

Starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dundas Street and its sidewalks, alleys and laneways will come alive with art, activities, interactive installations, theatre and music.

For one night, Dundas Street comes alive with contemporary art and interactive installations

Organizer Christine Gruenbauer says moving Nuit Blanche outside of the Fringe Festival this year will allow the event to 'stand on its own.' (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

Get ready for a culture and art-filled weekend, London. 

Culture Days takes over Dundas Street on Friday and Saturday, with Nuit Blanche capping off the Saturday festivities with a night of contemporary and interactive art exhibits. 

Culture Days features London's poet laureate, artists in temporary art galleries making photography, sculpture, painting, as well as dance performances. 

Starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nuit Blanche will be a feast for the senses with Dundas Street between Clarence and Ridout closed to traffic.

Since starting in 2010, London's Nuit Blanche used to happen as part of the Fringe Festival in late May, early June. 

Organizer Christine Gruenbauer said moving Nuit Blanche to late September allows the event to stand on its own. 

"We can focus all of our time and energy specifically on this event," she told CBC. "And also it gets darker earlier, which is really important. It will be dark for the whole time of Nuit Blanche."

Here are some of the things to check it out if you go. 

PDA At Nuit Blanche

Public Displays of Art will create a living art gallery, with dancers becoming living artwork and statues, and the music of Koine creating an evolving soundscape. The exhibit will take place in Market Lane. 

Ask Me

A typewriter will be set up, allowing visitors to type their stories, their thoughts, their dreams. There is no backspace button, no Facebook sign-in, no Google. Just words. The resulting conversation will be turned into a short zine. 

Core People

Students from Fanshawe's photography program will be taking pictures of Nuit Blanche participants and making prints of them. A website will be created so people can see the portraits at the end of the festival. 

Elemental Femininity

Four statues representing four different women's body shapes will be painted. Throughout the night, for an hour at a time, one statue will be lit up and people can put on headphones to listen to each woman tell her tale. For the last two hours, all four of the women's tales will be told. 

Light-up bikes will break up the darkness at London's Nuit Blanche. The ride starts at 7 p.m. in Covent Garden Market and end at the London Bicycle Cafe at 355 Clarence St. (Facebook)

London Glow Ride

A family-friendly glow-in-the-dark bicycle ride through Nuit Blanche. Meet at Market Square at 6:30 to leave at 7 p.m. The half-hour ride is family friendly and will end at London Bicycle Cafe. A mix of glow sticks, flashlights and other miracles of illumination make the bikes light up. 

Another Nuit Blanche note for cyclists: The London Bicycle Cafe at 355 Clarence Street is hosting a bike valet — they'll take your bicycle and park it for you while you enjoy the night. 

Hand of Bridge

Please tell us where else can you see a 10-minute opera ... in an alley ... about a hand of bridge? Performances by London Little Community Opera happen every hour starting at 7:30 p.m. in the alley off Clarence Street near the old Bud Gowan building. 


An interactive statue of a jilted bride who responds to passers by and sobs into her veils, telling her tale of heartbreak to anyone who will listen. 

Word(s) on the Street

Hear from poetry slam artists and bring your own poems to share at an open mike. Featured poets will perform from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. 


Kate Dubinski


Kate Dubinski is a radio and digital reporter with CBC News in London, Ont. You can email her at

With files from CBC's Andrew Lupton