For 12 hours starting this Saturday, art is taking over Whitehorse.
Nuit Blanche is back featuring artists from around the territory, the country and the rest of the world.
The all-night arts festival runs from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
There is only one underlying theme that connects all of this year’s installations: transforming the site they’re installed at through art.
That transformation is quite obvious in Helen O’Connor’s backyard on Black Street.
The artist, with the help of others, has been weaving willows into a shelter using fence-making techniques.
Shaped like an upside down U, it’s big enough for people to walk through, offering some shade from the sun while still letting light go through.
On Saturday night, participants will be able to add to the shelter: more willow and art on the shelter to decorate it.
“I like when the community can come together, contribute and create something new,” O’Connor said.
At 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. there will be a Yukon fashion show with models going through the shelter corridor.
“It’s called the felted fashion show,” O’Connor said.
“There will be a little bit of an interpretive choreography.”
O’Connor collected kilos of willow from the side of the highway.
It grows naturally in the territory and is often cut down on the side of roads.
The strong yet flexible material can easily be used to build robust structures.
“More people are interested in incorporating natural things in their home and their yards,” she said.
At Creative Lab, a co-working space on Strickland Street, visitors will be able to explore the always-intriguing world of dreams.
Five artists have been working to recreate and interpret dreams they or other people have had.
There is a stop-motion film by Vivian Belik.
With a camera set up on a tripod facing down to a desk, Belik is painstakingly photographing shapes and drawings she cut out, each time moving them a tiny bit to create the illusion of movement.
Animating just a couple seconds takes hundreds of shots.
“I kind of went with the idea how things never seem to make sense in a dream,” she said.
A seagull flies in the white sky, quickly replaced by the sight of an army on a mountain, followed by buildings.
In another room Selene Vakharia is using a projector to map her dreams.
Instead of projecting onto a flat surface, the projector is showing videos in perspective on different objects in the room.
The collective work on dreams brought interesting discussions on the nature of dreams, Vakharia said.
“For some people, it’s considered an essential form of creativity.”
In a third room visitors will see three short films by Naomi Mark and Lindsay Tyne.
Each of the films recreates a dream Mark had.
“It’s three influential dreams that inspired change in my life,” she said.
Each was very brief and she always immediately woke up after them.
But recreating dreams can be challenging, mostly because the point of view in dreams is at best illogical, if not physically impossible to replicate.
In one of the dreams, somebody’s hand is holding a tiny beating heart above Mark’s chest – but the person isn’t seen.
In another one a rabbit with a broken leg crosses a path in front of her.
“It’s all very dark,” she admits, laughing.
The performance will go from 7 p.m. to midnight.
But part of the piece also allows visitors to interact with the work showcases.
There will be a blanket fort, a fake night sky with stars and clouds, and beds.
For the organizers of Nuit Blanche, it’s about making art accessible to everyone.
“It allows audience members to view their community in a slightly different way,” said producer Anna Crawford.
For a night an alleyway can become a place to exchange poetry.
“We’re trying to encourage people interacting with downtown locations to take art out of the gallery, make it accessible and interactive so it’s just not an elite thing.”
Whitehorse’s Nuit Blanche will feature eight other pieces downtown and six off-site installations.
For more information, visit whitehorsenuitblanche.com.
Contact Pierre Chauvin at