Nuit Blanche at the WAG a Roaring Success

“The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s first Nuit Blanche, held on Saturday, September 25, was successful well beyond expectations. It was the kind of turn-out that event organizers can generally only dream of having," says Alanna Keefe, Director of Development. “As a new event, we weren’t sure how many people to expect, perhaps five to six hundred. We capped it over 4,600! People came, saw everything that was going on—the art, the films, the music—then texted, messaged, or called their friends to tell them to get down to where the action was. It grew from there.”

Attracting the crowds was a combination of late-night party and the public opening of Wanda Koop…On the Edge of Experience. WAG Director Stephen Borys comments, “As a nationally recognized artist, Koop’s exhibition drew large numbers of friends, family, and supporters from all over Canada and some from overseas, as well as hundreds of Winnipeggers who came out to celebrate her life’s work.”

In the end though, the party ended early, a victim of its own success. “We were pushing capacity so quickly that we were forced to shut the doors to newcomers by 1:30am. Originally scheduled to go to 6am, the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances saw us closing down completely by 3am,” says Keefe. “We were sorry to have to shut out so many eager art-party-goers, but we just didn’t have the space or the manpower to deal with them all.”

While there wasn’t a single incident or mishap with the revelers, out of consideration for public safety and the WAG’s internal protocols around crowd control, Keefe notes that the event will be carefully studied with a view to making changes for next year.

For those shut out of Nuit Blanche at the WAG, another opportunity presents itself this Saturday, October 2. For the first time, the WAG is offering After-Party tickets for their annual gala fundraiser; enjoy the stylings of DJ mr nemo from 11pm to 2am. Tickets are $50.

To experience the full Gallery Ball dinner or the After-Party, buy your tickets at wag.ca.

Nuit Blanche was a part of Culture Days, a national weekend celebrating the arts in Canada.
 

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