NUIT BLANCHE TORONTO / 2009 REVIEW

CN Tower pulsates to electronic music on Nuit Blanche, 2009
CN Tower pulsates to electronic music on Nuit Blanche, 2009

This past Saturday, I attended Toronto’s 4th annual Nuit Blanche sponsored by Scotiabank.  A  celebration of contemporary art in the heart of the city.  This year, the event was attended by over 130,000 people!  (Some of them blotto) The event ran from 7PM Sat. to 7AM Sun.

I said to my wife, “I’m up for the challenge.  132 installations provided by 550 artist, spread out over three different sectors of downtown Toronto.  (God knows how many square miles)  Hell, we LIVE downtown!  All we need do is to step outside our door, and partake in the festivities.  Let’s do this.  Let’s pull an all-nighter!”

After seeing only a handful  exhibits, we sheepishly retired to our home at 3:00 AM.  (Someone should have had a nappy-poo.)

Frankly, I’m not sure anyone could see everything unless it were carefully planned.  Fortunately, the organizers provided an online digital guide.  A paperless brochure, filled with artist names, statements, pictures and information.

Let’s say you’re looking at a work of contemporary art, but you have no idea who the artist is, the title of the piece or what the piece represents, or even if  it’s art. WTF???  (The lines between contemporary art and reality are often blurred.) Simply take a digital snapshot of the icon next to the piece with your BlackBerry or iPhone camera, and all pertinent information will appear on screen.

If you want to locate that particular installation,  you can use the GPS function on your portable smart phone device.  Wow!  I LIVE IN THE  F@#$% FUTURE!  People were excitedly texting and tweeting each other, voting for their favorite installations.  It was very cool!

Here’s my final assessment of the evening…  WE LOVED IT!

I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of visiting Toronto next fall, to include Nuit Blanche as part of their schedule.  Hell, you’re going to see a lot of these landmarks anyway.  Why not see them with drunk people?

Aside from a few novice art critics and some amateur drinkers who left behind their own versions of Jackson Pollock, I thoroughly enjoyed this all-night contemporary art thing.

You know what the best thing about it was?  The price.  Absolutely FREE!

“Hey honey, let’s go get pissed up and look at some modern art.

I will be posting more digital pictures and videos once they’re developed.

*Hats off to all the organizers and volunteers who helped the night run smoothly.

GTA IV, Time to do some lines.

Last night, I picked up my copy of GTA IV.  I live in downtown Toronto so I took my wife for protection and my camera to capture the circus.  Here’s what I learned…

  • A lot of gamers do not bathe
  • A line up for GTA IV is not a good place to meet girls
  • Crack addicts see line ups as an economic opportunity

I picked up the special edition, which comes with a safety deposit lock box, tote bag, music cd, hard cover art book, one month subscription to xbox live, Liberty City Subway map, and GTA IV video game for the 360.  Nice package and very impressive!

The line ups had an average of 100 to 200 people in them.  

Futureshop was the most fun with free hats and a live DJ.  One kid in line at the Futureshop won a Playstation 3!  The wait, however, was considerably longer than Game Shack.  

Game Shack had one of the shortest and most efficient lines.  Game Shack patrons were coming out of the mall three minutes after twelve with their special edition GTA IV packages, and posters held high while performing a victory dance.  

The Best Buy line up had the most media coverage but appeared the most tepid in mood and creativity.  A mock Liberty City squad car with two uniformed gum-smacking models swinging night sticks?  LAME!  … and they gave away fuzzy dice.  ???

EB Gamestop had the most orderly lineup.  Situated inside the quiet, climate controlled Eaton Centre, I spotted over 100 GTA faithful sitting in a lotus position, quietly playing their Nintendo DS with ipod buds stuffed in their ears.

I found the over reaction of the local Po’ Po’ to be quite humorous.  I’ve never seen so many squad cars sitting two abreast, waiting for a bunch of nerds to start simulating their favorite M rated video game by car jacking someone, and driving off with a 4 star wanted level.  It’s a video game people!  Relax!  

 

The Debaters

Last night, I appeared on the CBC radio show, ‘The Debators.’  A show where comics debate hot topics and hot button issues with logic and a twist of humor.  The show is hosted by funny man Steve Paterson.  A good friend and one of the fastest ad-lib comics I know.  (That’s right, I name drop too.)

The debate topic was Star Wars vs Lord of the Rings.  Which one is the better franchise?  I was pro Star Wars of course and my debating partner, comedian Ron Sparks, was pro Lord of the Rings.  We both slaved through seconds of last minute prep to put forward our best arguments.  In the end, it was very close, but I prevailed.  

I won’t spoil it for you, but it was a great night!  

Simply click on the link above for more information on air times and sound bites of previous shows.  You won’t be disappointed.  

Shout outs to my fellow debaters, Al Rae, Fred MacAulay, Irwin Barker, Jonny Harris, Mark Forward, Debra DiGiovanni, Roman Danylo, Rebecca Northan, Pete Zedlacher, and Erica  Sigurdson.  Well done everybody!