Nuit Blanche to receive funding for return performance in Edmonton

People in downtown Edmonton Sunday afternoon got a sneak peak of "Dance of the Cranes.". Global News

Nuit Blanche, the all-night visual arts festival that debuted in Edmonton in 2015, will likely get the money it needs from the city for a return performance this year.

Councillors will vote Tuesday on a funding package that will see the festival receive $185,000 in seed money. The festival director says that funding will be used to secure more money from corporate sponsors.

“We’ve really been well received by a lot of medium-sized and larger corporations in the city and we’re confident that we can pull this off,” Todd Janes said.

READ MORE: Contemporary art displays take over downtown Edmonton for Nuit Blanche 

“We’re still in a city where the understanding, even at a corporate level, is that government needs to ante up as well.

“So I think now, hopefully, by next week, we’ll have that $185,000 and we’ll be able to start signing off on those contracts with our sponsors.”

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Janes said Nuit Blanche has more than $200,000 waiting in the wings for the city’s commitment.

The city is able to provide the funding because it’s diverting money from the Tour of Alberta cycling race that was cancelled.

READ MORE: Tour of Alberta calling it quits due to economic conditions, funding concerns 

Nuit Blanche has recently grown into world-wide event.

Janes said the local debut was an overwhelming success and a recent pop-up version was also well received.

“We brought in these September seesaws that lit up and we put them in The Quarters in a gravel parking lot and 15,000 people came. That’s pretty cool.

“They stayed and they did it at night. I think that’s pretty great because it allows every person in this city to play, have fun through visual art and consider our city very differently.”

READ MORE: Arts group hopes to bring Nuit Blanche to Edmonton 

Nuit Blanche was intended to run every other year, but the 2017 version was postponed in Edmonton because of a funding technicality that was complicated by last fall’s election.

This year’s Edmonton festival is scheduled to be held on Sept. 29 and 30. Janes expects it will include 45 different art installations at four different locations.

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“Some of which will be community based, some will be international artists that we’re bringing in, some will be Alberta artists that are elevated to a new level. It’s interesting as an artist to be like: ‘So, 75,000 people will interact in a meaningful way with this project, this installation, in the middle of the night.'”

— With files from 630 CHED’s Scott Johnston

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