Last weekend, on a rainy Saturday night, the second annual Nuit Blanche took place here in Ottawa and Gatineau. From sunset to sunrise, the arts festival opened up galleries, arts spaces, museums, and more for visitors to come in and take in the evening's activities. It's a concept that has been growing in cities around the world for years now, and our local site for the evening can be found right here. If your city doesn't do this, show that site to your chamber of commerce, because it is a tremendously effective way to get to see another side of the city you might otherwise overlook. It was a very successful evening, with thousands of people strolling through various locations, taking in art, music, performance pieces, multimedia installations, and more. Over the next few posts, I'll be showing some of the evening's locales and events.
Before the evening got underway, I went up to Nepean Point, which overlooks the Ottawa River, and both cities. A statue of the French explorer Samuel de Champlain stands there, looking west over the river he came up four hundred years ago this year (check out the blog I wrote for Lyn Fuchs on Champlain's journey if you haven't seen it). For Nuit Blanche, a scaffolding was erected around the statue, complete with lighting, for a dramatic light show that was one of the centerpieces of the evening. You'll see pics of that to come. During the daytime, it was possible to go up top and get closer to Champlain than one is usually allowed to. Even on a grey, rainy day, it was impressive to get that close to the great man.