Artists & Sponsors Link On Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Installations

Toronto’s annual ‘Nuit Blanche’ is an atmospheric, all-night contemporary art festival that attracts more than a 1,000,000 visitors, more than 100s of artists and six special sponsor installations.


The 9th year of the event saw around 130 artworks located around the city from dusk until dawn on3 3 October.


It’s not just the one million in-person visitors that make it a great engagement opportunity, but the festival also generates serious social media activity too: this year saw 25,000 uses of the official #snbTO hashtag used on Instagram alone.


Title sponsor Scotiabank, which has backed the celebration since its first event in 2005, set the ball rolling by commissioning its own installation and several big brands have followed suit.



2014 saw he title sponsor re-visited its ‘Scotiabank – 1nspired Night’ installation for another year – this time it was double the size of previous work.


The bank commissioned digital artist Jeremy Sutton (see film here) to create several individual pieces in real-time through the festival which scrolled on the sponsor’s huge screens on Spadina Avenue.


This installation was also a visitor integrated artwork which ensured that festivalgoers themselves could become part of the live work by posting their own photos (including the official hashtag in their Twitter or Instagram posts) on order to have their own images and pictures scrolled across the huge screens alongside Sutton’s pieces.


For those few art fans without a smartphone of their own, Scotiabank street ambassadors offered to take photos on tablets to enable everyone to be part of the big digital art screen splash.


Another brand sponsoring the event was paper brand Renova – which collaborated with the students at the Centre For Arts & Design to create an installation that evoked the feeling of walking through a fantastically peculiar outdoor space – The Garden Of Renova.


Renova’s work aimed to illustrate and celebrate the creativity in everyday objects and one of the key materials used by the artists for the space and for the paper pieces within it was Renova’s new line of coloured, scented toilet paper.



Fashion retailer H&M’s ‘Coalescence’ installation revolved around promoting the brand’s CSR clothes and textiles recycling programme.


Based around dramatic, sky-high lighting, the lace-like central piece used changing lights to show how old textiles were pieced together (accompanied by supporting film exploring purpose and process).



Planner and developer Concord Adex ‘Open Mind’ project was a crazy maze designed to reflect on the human brain and aimed to offer visitors a chance to interact with the installation (and to chill out in the relaxing environment and discuss the festival’s artworks and permanent public art in Toronto too).


The designed space brought festivalgoers right into Concord CityPlace’s own presentation centre.



Subaru’s ‘Wild Air Vision Electro’ art car performance returned again – this time with two vehicles being creatibely transferred live during the event.


One car was transformed into a neon-painted model by Montreal artist Gene Pendon, while the second car was reinterpreted and reimagined with grasses and palms by Ottawa artist Marisa Gallemit.


The idea was to reinterpret the vehicles in a way that explored the dynamic between the organic and the engineered – to bring to life Subaru’s commitment to engineering and adventure.





While some see fashionable art galleries as elitist or niche, and museums as semi-sacred academic spaces, the scale of Nuit Blanche ensures it is a contemporary mainstream property.


This draws several commercial brands into art collaborations.


Of course, it also leads to debate over whether corporate sponsored installations are truly ‘art’ at all.


Of course, the issue of that true nature of ‘commissioned art’ is perhaps exactly the type of conversation the sponsors want to be part of.




Nuit Blanche Website



Nuit Blanche Facebook






Featured Showcases