I went to Nuit Blanche at the end of September 2007 and, along with Canadian Thanksgiving, it is one of my favourite experiences of Canada. The overall atmosphere was quite relaxed and everyone so calm. It felt very different from large crowds at large events that I have been to in the UK or US. There were no large and unruly crowds of young men getting drunk and there were many families out and about. Oh yeah, its an arts festival, not a football match.
Nuit Blanche is not a banal arts showcase with pretentious people sipping free wine. It’s an all night, outdoor art festival with a great variety of art exhibitions, music, digital displays and plays. Two events I really liked were a recital by the Greek Diaspora in Toronto and what I think was a simulation of a military engagement in Iraq. There were soldiers, crashed planes and reporters. Later I discovered that it was supposed to be an alien crash landing. I said to one of the mock soldiers that if it were an alien crash landing, the public and reporters would never be allowed to get this close to the ‘vehicle.’ She smiled.