Nuit Blanche lights up Ottawa Saturday night

On Saturday night artists again turned the City of Ottawa into their playground as the all-night Nuit Blanche made its return.

2nd annual artist showcase began at 6:21 p.m. and ended at 4:22 a.m.

Nuit Blanche goes Sarurday night

9 years ago
Duration 2:23
All-night arts festival returns to Ottawa with more than 100 exhibits.

On Saturday night artists again turned the City of Ottawa into their playground as the all-night Nuit Blanche made its return.

The second annual event featured installations from some 200 artists scattered throughout the city.

Some installations, like Britta Evans-Fenton's 99 Red Beacons, won't be at a set location but will roam through the city.

Evans-Fenton has been slipping LED lights attached to a battery and micro-chip into balloons.

Britta Evans-Fenton holds two of the 99 balloons that will be part of her roaming exhibit at Ottawa's Nuit Blanche. (Kate Porter/CBC)

The lights blink Morse code and each of her 99 balloons have a different message contributed anonymously by a Canadian soldier.

Roaming exhibit tracked by GPS

"Some are very nice loving messages like, 'I love my wife and kids,' or 'Go, Packers, go.' But others are much more political, one goes, 'RMC it was many things but it wasn't free,'" said Evans-Fenton.

Ninety-nine volunteers, many recruited from high school art classes, will walk with each of the balloons. Their movements will be tracked by GPS and shown on a big screen at the Arts Court building on Nicholas Street.

The goal, she said, is to link people back to the idea that many communication tools were developed and funded by military.

"Digital photography, GPS, the internet were all created during the Cold War, which is why I chose 99 Luftballoons, which is a Cold War protest song," she said.

Artist to spend 10 hours in a box

Another exhibit will feature an artist known as “heARTbeatgal” sitting in a big box with a wooden frame and special plastic walls she will not be able to see through.

Ottawa artist, heARTbeatgal, will sit inside a box with special plastic walls and she hopes people will reach inside to touch her through the circular hole shown in this photo. (Kate Porter/CBC)

She will sit there for 10 hours on the patio of the ByWard Market restaurant, Social, and hope people will reach through a hole to touch her.

“I think human connection and touch is an important element we shouldn’t lose sight of in society,” said heARTbeatgal.

“We're so connected online and in a crowd … having both is important.”

The artist also hopes people connect with her though her Twitter account, of the same name.

Other exhibits include an artist turning an old Chevy Nova into a sculpture and maps of Ottawa being projected on balloons floating over the ByWard Market.

The exhibits excite not only onlookers, but fellow artists, as well.

“It's the energy. I'm addicted to this energy I get from these creative events … everybody's so excited to be there,” said heARTbeatgal.

Nuit Blanche begins at sunset at 6:21 p.m. ET and continues through to 4:22 a.m. Sunday.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?