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A Magical Nuit Blanche at The Royal Conservatory

Nuit Blanche at The Royal Conservatory

Beginning at 7pm on Saturday, September 29 and lasting until 7am the next day, Toronto hosted its seventh annual Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, and The Royal Conservatory was among the night’s highlights.

Over 6,000 art-lovers filed through The Conservatory’s historic Bloor Street building for its third foray into Nuit Blanche. Koerner Hall hosted a diverse line-up of artists and performers, while audience members also engaged in a visual art project spanning the length of the building. The event was free and open to everyone.

The Koerner Hall portion of the evening kicked off with a full house for French harpist Sylvain Blassel playing the complete Goldberg Variations, followed by a spotlight on the talented students of the Young Artists Performance Academy and The Glenn Gould School. The roof was nearly torn off when a raucous performance by Toronto’s 14-piece "Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Punk-Super-Party-Band” Lemon Bucket Orkestra saw the group roaming off stage and into the seats, offering folk dancing lessons to surprised audience members when they weren’t busy dancing on stage. They finished their set by leading attendees into the lobby and outside the building like pied pipers. Small Wooden Shoe Theatre Company “Reads Difficult Plays and Sings Simple Songs” closed out the evening with a series of readings and performances.

Accompanying all the musicians on stage in Koerner Hall throughout all the performances were acclaimed Canadian visual artists John Coburn, Cybèle Young, Travis Shilling, and others. Their live-painting corresponded with the music filling the hall to create visual works of art, projected onto a large screen and available for sale at a future date.

Our Learning Through The Arts® (LTTA) team created a wonderfully inclusive art project lining the Koerner lobby, encouraging participants to cut and paste various shapes onto a lit background, creating a shadow puppet effect when viewed from outside. Students of The Academy and The Glenn Gould School, as well as other visual artists, were scattered throughout the building, performing and painting. Nuit Blanche visitors were delighted with unexpected encounters with music and art around every corner.  

The Royal Conservatory was a hub of activity all night long and into the early morning, as hordes of visitors young and old took part in all The Conservatory had to offer. We are looking forward to future participation in Nuit Blanche, and hope you will join us next time!

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