The energy was electric and the buzz palpable as Humber College welcomed the Toronto community to Lakeshore Campus to experience the popular contemporary art event Nuit Blanche.
Lakeshore was awash with visitors as thousands of people were at the campus for Nuit Blanche, which started at sunset on October 1 and continued until sunrise the following morning.
“Being the host of Nuit Blanche’s Etobicoke hub really shone a light on how Humber is supporting and championing the arts community,” said Humber President and CEO Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan. “It was an absolutely wonderful experience being there and I enjoyed some truly amazing art created by local, national, and international artists as well as our own students.”
There was a variety of media on display including textile, dance, multimedia, sound, video, sculpture, projection and more. Many of the 20 art installations on campus were interactive.
This year, Lakeshore hosted Nuit Blanche’s first-ever Etobicoke neighbourhood hub.
Casey Norris, project lead with Humber Galleries and Centre for Creative Business Innovation (CCBI), said one of the prevailing sentiments both on social media and among visitors to the campus was how excited they were to be able to experience Nuit Blanche closer to home in Etobicoke without having to head into the city.
Norris had several conversations with visitors who felt that way and added that the event was a great opportunity to showcase Lakeshore to the wider community as many visitors had questions about the college, its facilities and its arts programs.
Humber offers several fellowships that have students work with industry partners on projects. Two of these – the Nuit Blanche Fellowship and the Indigenous Transmedia Fellowship – had Humber students create projects that were part of this year’s event.
Guillermo Acosta, senior dean, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts at Humber, was in attendance and was excited about several projects, including Native Enough. It’s a seven-minute art film that presents the struggles Indigenous youth face in the modern world where they are confronted by offensive stereotypes, blood quantum laws, and family expectations and was created as part of the Indigenous Transmedia Fellowship.
“Nuit Blanche is an incredible opportunity for our students to have their work showcased,” said Acosta. “The Indigenous Transmedia Fellowship was established as a way for our Indigenous students to tell their stories in their own voices and their own terms. Native Enough, along with Tawitihiwin and Stolen, are strong and beautiful films that are impactful and must watch expressions of Indigenous youth storytelling.”
Nuit Blanche also had the Humber community eagerly looking forward to the completion of the Humber Cultural Hub, which is currently under construction. Once finished, it will have technology-rich teaching and performing spaces including a 500-seat performance hall, a 140-seat recital hall and professional-quality music, film, television, multimedia, and training facilities.
“It was wonderful to welcome the community to Lakeshore Campus to enjoy Nuit Blanche but it was also an opportunity for people to see what a tremendous campus this is and what the Humber Cultural Hub will bring, not just to Lakeshore Campus but to the region, with respect to the arts,” said President Vaughan.
Etobicoke-based artist John Notten’s installation Tug was at Lakeshore and he was thrilled to see how engaged visitors to the campus were.
“It’s such an exciting event and look at all these people out here in Etobicoke taking in contemporary art – it’s great,” said Notten. “What I like about Nuit Blanche is it allows people who maybe aren’t inclined to go to a gallery to still experience art because it’s in their backyard.”
He thanked Humber College for opening its campus to host.
Meanwhile, Norris said hosting Nuit Blanche reinforced how committed Humber is to the arts. He was also thrilled that some of the college’s students had their art featured at it.
“It’s really exciting to give students an opportunity to showcase their work to so many people,” he said.
He added that they had tremendous support from the entire Humber community and he was appreciative of how the college pulled together to ensure Nuit Blanche was a success.
Find out more by visiting the Humber Galleries webpage.