This summer venture a little further north of Barrie for a day trip or overnight stay, and attend Nuit Blanche North in Huntsville, Ontario. It’s incredibly magical, and fun for your whole family. The little quaint downtown of Huntsville comes alive with artistic creativity that appeals to all your senses.
From fire eaters, poetry slams, street performers, live window displays, and illuminated sculptures floating on the pristine waters of the Narrows between Vernon and Fairy Lake, you’ll be enraptured by visual arts, music, literature, and acting.
“You won’t see anything else like it anywhere. It’s a fun free experience good for all ages and full of music, performances, installations, and hands-on art making activities. And it happens in downtown Huntsville surrounded by nature,” says Dan Watson, Executive Director of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts.
The Main Street of downtown Huntsville gets closed off during the festivities, and vendors, store merchants as well as café and restaurant owners, decorate the sidewalks and roadway with outdoor exhibits, merchandise, and tantalizing food choices.
“This year’s theme is “All Together Now.” The projects all explore ideas revolving around the collective, what connects and divides as well as the opportunities and challenges collectivity provokes,” informs Watson.
Every year artists and organizers come together to create an environment that encourages people to challenge, explore, learn, and take part in contemporary art within the setting that
Kids can take part in creating their own watercolour paintings, or try hula hooping with multi-coloured hoops of all sizes. They can do chalk drawings on the pavement, try their hand at sewing, experiment with unique brain teaser toys, and more.
The great thing about Nuit Blanche North is the intimacy of the festival compared to the larger scale Nuit Blanche held in Toronto during the fall. The concept of the event began in Paris, France in 2002.
“It’s always unique because many of the artistic works are made specifically for the event. They happen for one night only, so if you don’t come, you’re out of luck,” says Watson.
Many volunteers and organizations come together to assist the Huntsville Festival of the Arts and Edge of the Woods Theatre, so they can present an engaging and interactive evening of artistic expression that supports artists, and the local economy.
This is the 8th year for Nuit Blanche North. It takes place Saturday, July 27th from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and attracts thousands of people each year. About 7,000 visitors attended last year’s celebrations, and Watson hopes to increase that number in 2019.
Schedule in Nuit Blanche North this summer, and discover the beauty of art among nature in one of the prettiest towns in Muskoka. While there, you can enjoy a visit to a brewery, or have a cocktail and tasting platter at one of the many local waterside restaurants. It’s an evening of fascinating entertainment that highlights local artists under the canopy of the night sky.