Each year Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche seems to outdo itself and this year's eighth edition was no exception, garnering rave reviews from fans, newbies and critics alike.
Art lovers of all ages roamed the streets of Toronto the night of October 5/6 enjoying the free, all-night celebration of indoor and outdoor contemporary art. The event once again brought in many out-of-town visitors, providing significant economic impact and placing a global spotlight on Toronto.
This year's three curated exhibitions – "Off to a flying start," "PARADE" and "Romancing the Anthropocene" – each offered something for everyone, often dazzling and inspiring the audience with their size, story and execution. Most independent projects were from Toronto and included three magical youth independent projects. Scotiabank's art installation 1nspired Night perfectly captured the feel of it all on its grand canopy of screens, allowing the audience to become part of the show. All of the installations contributed to a unique sense of community that can only come about when the city is alive at night with no barriers between art, audience and public space.
By far, one of the most buzzed about highlights was a new edition of world-renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles, specially commissioned for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. On display for an extended period at Nathan Phillips Square, this was the largest version of this project to date, as well as the first time it was installed outdoors. Featuring 3,144 bicycles, the sculpture was three stories tall and an absolute spectacle to behold.
Plans for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014 are already well underway with an announcement expected soon on the curators for next year.