I am no stranger to the all-night art festival rodeo. I’ve been to three of them, in two different cities — using all different methods of transportation. I’ve marvelled at and participated in hundreds of exhibits and meandered home in the early hours of the morning fitting in late night snacks and riverside coffees along the way.
Whitehorse Nuit Blanche, a 12- hour festival, is happening this Saturday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Sunday. Performances, exhibits and installations will transform downtown Whitehorse into an arts-lovers’ playground. To make sure you maximize the amount of art, and fully enjoy the night, you need to get ready and be prepared.
1. Get a Map
The exhibits will be in downtown, but downtown is still a big place. Download and print an official map at whitehorsenuitblanche.com before you head out for the night to make sure you don’t miss any of the amazing art action.
2. Go back for seconds — and thirds
The exhibits at Whitehorse Nuit Blanche are by no means static. They are designed to change and evolve throughout the night. Revisit them often to see what’s new. “Plan to really immerse yourself in each piece,” says Jordy Walker, a returning artist and the mind behind this year’s Cluster Resonance. “If one piece seems a bit overpopulated at a given moment, come back to it later when you have more time to fully get into it.”
Check the schedule for events to make sure you’re not missing key moments that are set for specifi c times of the night.
3. Know where to get coffee and snacks
“Being prepared… well rested, well fed, looking forward with joy to what is about to happen [and] coffee,” offers Annie Avery of Two Piano Tornado.
If you can’t make it through a whole day without loading up on coffee and eating, don’t assume you’re going to be able to do it all night. The Watershed will be serving food and caffeine until 3 a.m., and the exhibit Re-mapping the Whiskey Flats will have late night marshmallows to keep your blood sugar up. Pack snacks and water to stay hydrated and happy for the rest of the night.
4. Don’t miss the free breakfast
There’s no better way to end a full night of art-revelling than with a free breakfast. Visit L’AFY at 6 a.m. to meet up with the other sleep-deprived Nuit Blanchers and chat about all the amazing sights you saw.
5. Try everything
Whitehorse Nuit Blanche is about creating, interacting, and having fun. The magic of it is that you don’t have to be an artist to make art. Join in the exhibits that offer participatory activities and know that no one is judging your contribution.
6. Enjoy the indie exhibits
In addition to the eight curated art performances this year, there will also be a number of independent exhibits, including:
Chalk Art Central by Yukon Educational Theatre. Visit the NVD Building to see colourful masterpieces created by local artists.
Skip Club by Hazel Venzon runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., stop by The Watershed to show off your double-dutch and enjoy skipping with friends.
Installations and screening by Yukon Film Society. The YFS, their residency artist, and Yukon Queer Film Alliance team up to turn Shipyard’s Park into a film lovers’ paradise.
7. Don’t forget to take photos
Show off and share all the spectacles and activities throughout the night with your friends near and far.