Lighting up the East for Nuit Blanche

Earlier this fall, we lit up the east for Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s all-night art festival. What was formerly a west-centric event has found a hub on this side of the DVP at The Broadview Hotel. We didn’t do it alone, of course! We collaborated with the Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA), ERA Architects, and Project Gallery. The series of installations in and around the hotel was titled “Since Now, From Then,” and it included performances, projections, sculptures, live art and installations that were free for the community to enjoy.

Curated by The Broadview Hotel’s art partner Devan Patel of Project Gallery, our Nuit Blanche project aimed to bring the east together in a celebration of art, culture, and urbanism, and to cause reflection of the past, present, and future of the east. Featured artists included Callen Schaub, Alex McLeod, Nadine Bariteau and Rosemary Jeffares, Wiggly Artist Collection, and ERA Architects.

In the glass box of The Broadview Hotel, ERA Architects contributed a photo-based installation. Through a kaleidoscopic projection of vibrant signage from surrounding Riverside businesses, this interpretive installation brought the neighbourhood context into one of its landmark buildings.

Just below on our Lincoln Terrance, new media artist Alex McLeod projected a video animation on the west façade of the hotel. The projections explored themes of rising populations, urban over-development and climate change. These dramatic scenes could be considered a cautionary tale about ecological responsibility, technology and development.

In the laneway behind the hotel, Wiggly Collective combined sculpture, visual arts, video, dance, and audio as mediums to create environments that unite audiences and consider a future made beautiful by the community. The installation included projection mapping, sculptural installations with LED components representing futuristic urban forestry, and live audio and group dance performances. 

Just down the street at 25-60 Broadview Avenue, Nadine Bariteau and Rosemary Jeffares of Quince Flowers collaborated to light up the insides of row houses that are on their way towards transformation.  

And last but not least, just west of the hotel in the parking lot at Queen Street East and Hamilton Street, abstract artist Callen Schaub used a giant crane as a painting tool in a colourful live performance that took place every hour on the house for 20 minutes throughout the night. Visitors witnessed paintings created and destroyed in real-time. 

“Riverside is the in the midst of incredible transformation and through five talented artists, festival-goers [were] taken on a journey that reflects on the past and looks to the future of the changing east end of Toronto,” said Jennifer Lay, Executive Direct & Marketing and Public Programs Director, Riverside District BIA. We couldn’t agree more, and Streetcar Developments is proud to have participated in this year’s event. Looking forward to next year, Nuit Blanche.