Nuit Blanche 2017: Nine music projects and events

Think Nuit Blanche is all about visual art? Here are some shows and installations you can take in with your ears


NUIT BLANCHE all over town, Saturday (September 30), sundown to sunrise. Free. nbto.com.


Nuit Blanche, the city-wide nocturnal celebration of contemporary art happening on Saturday (September 30), features over 85 installations. To save time from the long lines, and wondering whether something is or isn’t art, it’s best to plan your night ahead. 

For music fans, there are plenty of options. Here are nine Nuit Blanche events predominantly rooted in sound, all happening Saturday except for Toronto Pride’s DRAG + Party.

Toronto Pride’s DRAG + Party

Taking place the night before Nuit Blanche proper, this party is positioned to kick off the weekend in the best way possible. Various activations, a silent auction and a live art battle will transform 99 Sudbury. That’s in addition to three drag performances by Sasha Velour, Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls. DJs Ticky Ty and John Caffery spin tunes throughout the night. 

Friday (September 29) at 99 Sudbury, 10 pm-3 am. $30-$50. pridetoronto.com.

Toronto Through Sound

Toronto Through Sound is a part of Nuit Blanche’s Monument To The Century Of Revolutions program, curated by Nato Thompson. Avant electronic duo LAL are taking inspiration from Thompson’s book Culture As Weapon: The Art Of Influence In Everyday Life for their performance, “a 10-minute soundscape that speaks to Toronto’s migrant and Indigenous history through sound.” LAL’s auditory tour takes listeners through areas like Chinatown, Vaughan and Oakwood via recorded sounds and samples, exploring the city’s settled communities while also acknowledging the Indigenous keepers of the land. 

At Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen West). nbto.com.

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d’bi.young anitafrika

Lukumi Dub Opera: 150 Years Before & After

Part of the same Monument To The Century Of Revolutions project as LAL’s performance, Lukumi Dub Opera explores Canada’s legacy through a post-apocalyptic lens, looking at the city 150 years after a nuclear fallout. Local Black feminist queer multidisciplinary artist d’bi.young anitafrika leads the show with support from actors currently in residence at the Watah Theatre and a live band featuring jazz musician Waleed Abdulhamid, drum guru Sarah Thawer (a frequent participant in PRACTICE), Joseph Callender on horns and guitarist Patrick O’Reilly. 

At Nathan Phillips Square, every two hours from 8 pm-6 am. nbto.com.

Cosmic Melanin: Enter The Loop

Hardworking collective 88 Days of Fortune expand the celebration of their eight-year anniversary to Nathan Phillips Square. Named for the mixtape they released last week, the performance features Witch Prophet, Above Top Secret, Dey, Sydanie and Yasmine, plus DJs Mas Aya, Sikh Knowledge, Ace Dillinger, Sun Sun and Valeroo. Performances from 9 pm-1 am, dance party from 1-6 am and wind-down/meditation from 6-7 am.

At Nathan Phillips Square, 7 pm-7 am. Facebook event.

Nomadic Architecture

While Aga Khan Museum might seem far from the rest of the action happening downtown, its programming should not be missed. (Organizers are working out the details for shuttles to and from the museum, including stops at the Broadview Hotel and Queen’s Park.) Two on-site yurts feature performances by Doomsquad, members of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Ben Shemie of Suuns, Cris Derksen, Raag-Mala and much more. There will also be plenty to do and see around the museum’s grounds, with a bass sitar performance by Irshad Khan in the auditorium, art installations throughout, and the regular galleries open until midnight. 

At Aga Khan Museum (77 Wynford). nbto.com.

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Manitowapow, Speaking To The Moon

As a part of the Life On Neebahgeezis series, Julie Nagam’s Manitowapow, Speaking To The Moon will treatwigwam-informed geo forms situated throughout First Canadian Place as canvases on which to juxtapose projections of natural landscapes. Recordings of ambient outdoor sounds will help make this installation a trulyimmersive experience. 

At First Canadian Place (100 King West). nbto.com.

PLAYHOUSE: Invisible City

Indie pop songwriter Domanique Grant, Javid Jah and Carol Ann Apilado bring Grant’s PLAYHOUSE EP to life through an interactive play space that follows the album’s explorations of the meaning of “home.” 

At Artscape Sandbox (301 Adelaide West). nbto.com.

K&P Mart

The Gladstone Ballroom will be transformed into a mock grocery store by “digital and experiences” agency Kastor & Pollux to draw attention to current social, political and environmental concerns. The installation doubles as a dance party, raising awareness as it gets butts shaking. Who can remember the last time it was socially acceptable to do the shopping cart? Don’t waste this opportunity. 

At the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen West). 7 pm-3 am. gladstonehotel.com.

Have You Seen My Sister?

Artists of Aurora, a group of singers and artists from across the country, will sing and recite the names of Ontario’s missing and murdered women and girls for 12 hours on the street outside of 51 Grosvenor, near Women’s College Hospital. The project aims to give the deaths of these women the weight, presence and attention they deserve. 

At 51 Grosvenor (between Bay and Surrey). socialinnovation.org.

music@nowtoronto.com | @therewasnosound

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