The First Nuit Blanche in Ottawa
22nd September 2012
by Mary Ann Varley
OOH What a Saturday Night and Arteast was there!! Despite some local sceptics, Josie De Meo was instrumental is getting our Arteast project into the program of the first ever Nuit Blanche on Saturday September 22. The project was simple – to give young artists a chance to do some painting and be part of the night for artists.
A bold group of Arteast volunteers came out to support our project. Thankfully the skies cleared and our little set up in the park behind the Parkdale Market turned out to be an ideal setting as there were children playing their already. Josie De Meo had the tables set up with protective covering and even a small tent in case of rain. Lighting was a problem but Marc Meloche worked the phone until someone from the city came to turn the switch. There was a small parade into the park at 7:00 with drummers drumming and many costumed children and adults.
Lisa Johnston, Pari Zati, Maureen Rooney Mitchell, Helen Rosseau, Claudine Page, Joanne Larose, Mary Ann Varley all had a great time helping the children try out painting on the big canvas with acrylic paint or making little watercolours – with a shake of salt for special effects! Proud parents enjoyed watching their children and taking tons of photographs. Mari Brown dropped by with friends and family, too. Arteast volunteers took plenty of photos, check our web site.
We finished up by 9:00 and then we headed off to join the festivities in all sorts of venues in both the west end and in the Byward Market area. The general feeling of joy and celebration pervaded every venue. The St Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, The Rectory, Planet Coffee and the thousand elephants project, Galleries, the OSA and all the installations were stimulating and engaging for all. WHAT A SATURDAY NIGHT! Thank you Josie and all the organizers of NUIT BLANCHE . We can hardly wait ’til next year. Start planning your own ways to celebrate the night for artists.
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