Arts enthusiasts can rejoice as Nuit Blanche returns in 2021 for an extended month-long run. Hosted by Culture Days Manitoba, Nuit Blanche will have everything from exhibitions to concerts to culture events spread out over 31 days.
Extending throughout the downtown area and reaching across the city, Nuit Blanche boasts something for everyone, especially for those who may already have become stir-crazy with another online-dominant semester having kicked off.
U of M fine arts students’ artwork will be featured at athletic apparel brand Zueike’s storefront. Like a Manitoban version of a Making the Cut competition, the event culminates with a fine arts student design contest, the winner earning a collaboration with the brand. Zueike is also hosting a contest for students of all ages to create a design for a shirt.
Downtown, Nuit Blanche @ WAG-Qaumajuq is a one-night only, timed-ticket event, emulating Nuit Blanche’s past. Advance registration to the outing guarantees safe distancing during the event while visitors admire the inaugural Inuit art exhibition at the Qaumajuq Inuit art centre before bopping to some DJ beats on the rooftop patio, complete with the usual rooftop cash bar.
If strolling through the streets is preferable, “Light in the Shadows” is a project by independent artist Penny Kovacs. Her large paintings and mixed media drawings will be displayed along the windows of Freshcut Downtown florist in an art-meets-cityscape reverie.
For the folks into music, Project Jazz is a two-night immersive multimedia experience. With visuals from local filmmakers and multimedia artists Mike Maryniuk, Leslie Supnet and Hugh Conacher, the installation takes place in four locations — on the Red River College campus, the Cube at Old Market Square, on the exterior of the Rachel Browne Theatre and the exterior of the King and Bannatyne junction — with projections of jazz music livening up the ever-crisper Winnipeg nights.
Across Main Street, the Native Prairie Mural will spring to life on Amy Street from Sept. 24 to 26. The collaborative and interactive art mural uses wildflowers and grasses to create a prairie landscape over the event’s three nights and offers attendees a chance to add their own flower or poem to the mural.
Over the Esplanade Riel to St. Boniface, Beading on the Land takes place at Théâtre Cercle Molière for the duration of Nuit Blanche. Métis beadworker Charlene Van Buekenhout will go largescale by beading lanterns, instead of beads, into a large flower.
In a comedic twist of timing, the Secret Standup Shows will be featured throughout Nuit Blanche sporadically around the Exchange District and the Forks. The spontaneous pop-up shows will feature Canadian comedians from around the great white north.
The celebration of LGBTTQ* artists will be highlighted in the Reel Pride Art Show and 36th annual Reel Pride Film Festival, held at the same time during Nuit Blanche though dates are not yet finalized. Artwork can be purchased during the Reel Pride Art Show, and the event is free to attend.
In more LGBTTQ* pride, Bannock Babes x ArtsJunktion is a one-night-only “indigidrag” show featuring drag performances from the Bannock Babes with the stage adorned by Moneca Sinclaire and other Treaty 1 community members’ dreamcatcher works.
For students wishing for some beauty treatments, but who are forced to be frugal with their tight budgets, the Aveda Institute is hosting a complimentary Braid and Brow Bar every Thursday and Friday through the entire run of Nuit Blanche. Get there early to guarantee some much-deserved salon time.
With many more events listed on the Nuit Blanche website, including virtual events, there is something for everyone. Most importantly, this year’s Nuit Blanche allows a great opportunity for a free, fun night out of the dorm, apartment or house and offers more time to spend with exhibits that may have been missed in the time crunch of years past.
Nuit Blanche runs from Sept. 24 to Oct. 24. Event information can be found at nuitblanchewinnipeg.ca