Nuit Blanche is an annual nighttime arts festival that takes place in cities around the world; during Nuit Blanche festivals, museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions open their doors late at night for free, and the city center becomes an art gallery with installations and performances. The first Nuit Blanche event in Saskatoon was held in 2014 in Riversdale and has moved around to different areas each September. Nuit Blanche Saskatoon (NBYXE) is a non-profit organization led by a board of dedicated volunteers and one part-time curator. They work to secure grants and sponsorship to fund the event, with most of the funding going back into the arts community. This team of passionate volunteers aspires to create warm and welcoming environments that encourage people from all walks of life to come together and explore Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods while immersing themselves in the vibrant local arts and culture scene.
A key feature of Nuit Blanche Saskatoon is to provide a platform for artists, dancers, and poets to share their work with a large audience. The team strives to showcase emerging artists alongside well-established artists to achieve a richer picture of what Saskatoon has to offer. This works well as established artists often need less support, allowing the NBYXE team to provide additional logistical and programming support for emerging artists. The curator and board work to connect artists with venues, help them adapt their plans based on unique environments, and offer technical support. By providing additional resources and assistance, Nuit Blanche Saskatoon hopes to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for artists to showcase their work. The goal is to reduce barriers that may discourage emerging artists and help them succeed in the ever-evolving art world.
An essential aspect of our planning process is to ensure that our programming is well-balanced and inclusive. We strive to feature a diverse range of artistic styles and voices and consider this during our juried selection process each spring. Our annual call welcomes national and international artists to showcase their work to our community. As planning progresses, we carefully consider the placement of each project and performance within the overall programming. Our goal is to provide an exciting and engaging experience for our audience while also promoting the work of all artists equally. We aim to craft content that inspires, engages, and brings people together. We’re all about providing new experiences and creating a sense of community through showcasing a wide variety of contemporary artwork.
NBYXE offers artists the exciting opportunity to showcase artwork outside of a formal gallery setting. The unique locations present artists with fresh opportunities to experiment and create inspiring and dynamic works of art. Although this can provide additional challenges, the need to adjust and innovate often leads to projects reaching new heights. Our one-day event offers an unparalleled opportunity for artists to showcase their work to a diverse audience of over 11,000 attendees. We provide the artists with promotional and marketing support to ensure each project has excellent attendance. Removing art from a traditional formal setting allows new ways of interacting with the work, enabling everyone to experience and appreciate it in a more relaxed environment. We aim to engage intentional attendees and accidental passersby by situating the festival in core neighbourhoods. The festival remains free of charge, predominantly outdoors and in easy-to-navigate locations to reduce barriers to accessing it. We want to not only attract art lovers but also showcase art in a way that promotes cultural appreciation and inspires everyone to engage with it.
Nuit Blanche Saskatoon is always looking to connect and broaden its reach with different areas of the Saskatoon community. As a non-profit, the festival is generously supported by countless local businesses and organizations. Maintaining relationships with local arts organizations and initiatives is essential to NBYXE’s success. Saskatoon has many outstanding arts & culture-based organizations that showcase meaningful work year-round. We want to help new people discover these spaces and inspire them to seek them out more often.
The 10th annual Nuit Blanche Saskatoon festival will take place on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023, from 7 pm – 12 am in the Broadway, Downtown, and Riversdale BIDs, with over 40 artists, dance groups, partnering organizations, and more showcasing their hard work late into the night! We have worked hard to condense the projects with more road closures to increase safety and navigation and enhance the overall experience. NBYXE is a family-friendly event; we welcome everyone to a night of exploration, creation and entertainment. A precursor event will occur on the University of Saskatchewan Campus on Friday, September 22nd. This partnership with the U of S, the 525, and VASU (Visual Arts Student Union) aims to showcase students’ work and some unique spaces around the U of S campus.
Check out our website for more information about this year’s festival and the featured artists. feel free to plan your evening in depth or show up and head out on an evening of discovery. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with everything NBYXE!
Jane Reväe McWhirter can also be heard on SAA’s podcast Arts Everywhere: Em Ironstar is joined by Jane Reväe McWhirter the curator of Nuit Blanche Saskatoon (NBYXE), which takes place on Treaty 6 Territory. It’s the 10th anniversary of the festival and in this episode you’ll hear how much it has grown.
This year’s festival will feature works by the following artists:
Ada Denil – Allison Moore – Alysse Bowd – Anastasia Ferguson – Andrei Feheregyhazi – Anna Setyo – Chris Morin – Community Dance Stage – Cosmic Beat Chefs – Dennis Summers – Edith Skeard – Emily & Autumn Collins – Emily Conlon & Narges Porsandekhia – Fly Studio – Global Biotech Week – Jenna Kachur – Jenny Ly & Jacob Semko – Jess Richter – Jesse Fulcher Gagnon – Joseph Naytowhow & Tony Stallard – Kamille Cyr – Karlie King – Kyuubi Culture Artist Collective – Matthew Ripplinger & Ian Campbell – Monique Martin – Nano Slow & Factor Eight – Negar Devine-Tajgardan – Colin Grant Quartet ft. Dash Reimer – Richard Miller & Darryl Dennis – SK Printmakers – Spoken Word Stage – Stephanie Dirpaul & Kirk Ford – Trevor Waurechen – Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra presents Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram
This year’s festival is partnering with the following galleries and art groups:
AKA Artist-Run – Bridges Art Movement (BAM) – PAVED Arts – Persephone Theatre – Remai Modern – Saskatchewan Craft Council – Saskatoon Makerspace – Ukrainian Museum of Canada – Video Pool Media Arts Center