event history

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006

Throughout the night on Saturday, September 30, 2006, and into the early pre-dawn hours, an estimated 425,000 revellers left behind the comfort of their beds for the premiere edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, a free all-night exploration of Toronto through contemporary art. Unlike any event ever produced in North America, Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was completely distinctive and a transformative celebration of creativity. The overwhelmingly positive post-event response from the public, media, art community, attractions, government and corporate Canada was unprecedented.

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was a uniquely Toronto adaptation of the highly successful Paris event first created by the City of Paris in 2002. Paris organizers contacted the City of Toronto's Special Events office with an invitation to join the ranks of approximately six other international cities producing similar all-night events. The international success of Nuit Blanche continues to build each year, with celebrations now held in Paris, Rome, Brussels, Naples, Riga, Malta, Montreal, Madrid and, of course, Toronto.

In 2006, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was positioned as a major event of Toronto's Live With Culture campaign, a 16-month celebration of Toronto's arts and cultural communities. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche brought together a wide range of sectors and the exceptional talents of more than 400 artists and curators, 300 onsite logistical staff, 200 docents and volunteers, 87 galleries, museums and art institutions, and 13 corporate sponsors and media partners.

As remarkable and distinctive as the art was, the magic came from the audience response and interaction. A sense of excitement spread across the city and buzzed right through to the wee hours. Most importantly, through this event, a new audience was introduced to contemporary art by making it fun, engaging and accessible.

Within hours of the sun rising on October 1, hundreds of enthusiastic e-mails, letters and phone calls poured in from artists, participants, volunteers, councillors and event attendees. The inaugural edition of this event received widespread acclaim and accolades.

Toronto's Mayor David Miller recognized the importance of bringing this event back as an annual celebration and included it in his political platform when running for a successful re-election.

Last year's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was an incredible event that served to showcase Toronto's vibrant arts scene and this city's cultural communities," said Mayor David Miller. "Our artists, curators and artistic institutions are the real stars of this remarkable event that was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people in its inaugural year. I'm thrilled that Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is returning, and I'm committed to making it an annual event for the City of Toronto."

In honour of the 2006 event, a legacy project was created by the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art The Canadian Art Database Project, where the full event is archived and celebrated.

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 web archive

Urban Leadership Award

The Canadian Urban Institute awarded Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 with the prestigious Urban Leadership Award (City Initiatives category). The Urban Leadership Awards program honours those who have made a profound and lasting impact on the quality of urban life.