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Nuit Blanche hits Shatner tonight

[Correction appended]

Nuit Blanche comes to the Shatner building tonight, with the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS)’s Fine Arts Council promising four floors of live mural-painting, design workshops, and an all-night dance party.

Modelled after the all-night Nuit Blanche events that occur around the world, tonight’s art party will run from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., free of charge.

According to AUS President and SSMU presidential candidate RJ Kelford, this Nuit Blanche will aim for participation and easy access.

“Anyone can go see a show or a play, but we’re offering something more,” he said.

Kelford said that the events will go beyond simple performance to encourage students to let their creative side loose. Participants can attend dance workshops, get messy with a finger-painting mural, decorate their own cookies, participate in a poetry open-mic, or learn the art of newspaper design.

This is the first time AUS has organized such a large-scale event, and the first event on campus to include so many art forms and over 30 groups and individual artists.

“This is one of the coolest things we’ve done all year,” Kelford said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for students and for the clubs.”

As well as providing exposure for artists who otherwise may not receive it, Nuit Blanche will help fill the fine-arts void that AUS Fine Arts Council (FAC) Commissioner Stephanie Latendresse sees at McGill.

“We don’t have a fine arts curriculum per se [at McGill],” Latendresse said, pointing out that many students take fine arts courses at Concordia. “There’s a need for this…people are craving it, and there is such a lack of activities and opportunities for fine arts groups.”

Every floor and room of the Shatner building will be filled with activities. The Daily will provide a hands-on Photoshop and InDesign workshop, as well as create a collaborative Microsoft Paint mural. The International Students Lounge will provide a gallery space, while a capella choirs Soulstice and Effusion will perform in the cafeteria, followed by the McGill Improv team.

Gert’s Bar will host three different bands, followed by a DJ from CKUT Radio. Spice Trade – a “laid back and funky” band, according to musician Jason Stein – performs first at 10:30. The as-yet-unnamed next band will play improvised jazz-funk, and hip hop/rock band The One and Only will go on at 12:30 a.m. Arts and crafts supplies will be available in Gert’s, inspired by Montreal bar Cock ‘n’ Bull’s Arts and Crafts night.

The SSMU Ballroom will transform into a bar and all-night dance hall. Four different dance troupes, ranging from hip-hop to belly dancing to Scottish highland dancing, will perform as well as host dance workshops.

Players’ Theatre is hosting an open house rehearsal of What’s Important?, a philosophical play written and directed by student Britney Tangedal. The McGill University Photography Society will also offer a darkroom workshop and a studio headshots workshop.

The Department of English Students Association will host poetry readings in the SSMU lounge, including poetry by Daily Culture editor Claire Caldwell, and students Klara du Plessis, David Paluch, and Blake Gregory.

SSMU VP Internal and presidential candidate Kay Turner, who helped organize the event, said she was happy to work with AUS on the event.

“It’s really cool to see Arts taking the initiative to do this,” Turner said.

The Daily invites you to our workshop tonight, in room B-24. Email for more info.

with files from Kelly Ebbels

The original article implied that the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) led the organization of Nuit Blanche. In fact, the AUS Fine Arts Council led the planning of the event. The Daily regrets the error.