Nuit Blanche is coming to Whitehorse for the first time.

The concept behind the all night art project is to showcase live art installations throughout downtown Whitehorse, turning the city into a single art exhibition.

The first Nuit Blanche took place in Nantes, France in 1984. Helsinki became the second city to host one, in 1989. Since then, many different global cities have created their own versions.

Typically the festival runs for about 12 hours, from dusk until dawn, and includes hundreds of artists and thousands of viewers.

Yukon-based dancer and artist Aimee Dawn Robinson alongside dancer/choreographer Monique Romeiko, will be producing our Nuit Blanche in downtown Whitehorse on July 5 to 6, from 7 p.m. until 7 am.

“Monique and I were just brainstorming ideas for projects one day, and that’s how we came up with it,” Robinson says. “I think in the Yukon there are many people who have the desire, creative will, and autonomy to create art.”

Typically Nuit Blanche events take place in the fall, but Robinson and Romeiko decided to take advantage of our long hours of daylight.

For the event, five contemporary artists will be selected to showcase their installations.

For five days prior to the festival – between June 30 and July 4 – those five artists will host interactive presentations to give viewers an up-close look into their artistic process. They will also be offering workshops, open studios, and other events.

“This year we will be featuring Yukon-based artists only, but we hope to make this an annual event and in the future include international artists,” Robinson says.

The artists will choose their own installation space, and will use their locations to tie in with their artwork. In addition to the main attractions there will also be smaller artistic showcases throughout the city.

Nuit Blanche is not a typical art viewing — paintings hung on walls, for example. The artists must use their surroundings and atmospheres to enhance their projects, and to alter the viewer’s perception of space.

Selecting the five artists is no easy task for Robinson and Romeiko.

“We had a really great response,” Robinson says. “But due to funding we were only able to select five, otherwise I would have chosen everyone.”

Robinson and Romeiko are awaiting confirmation from the artists before announcing who will be participating in this inaugural event.

A grant from the Yukon Arts Fund is making it possible for Robinson and Romeiko to launch Nuit Blanche, and to host it as a free event.

Food is also going to be a component of the all-night event.

“The event celebrates food and art together,” Robinson says.

She and Romeiko are seeking people who would like to showcase feasts and snacks made with fresh, local summer ingredients.

Nuit Blanche will take place outdoors in downtown Whitehorse on the night of Saturday, July 5 from 7 p.m. until dawn.

For more information or to enquire about other opportunities for artists and volunteering contact Aimee Dawn Robinson and Monique Romeiko by email at WhitehorseNuitBlanche@hotmail.com.