Nuit Blanche Takes Over Toronto In September 2023

From a media release

Nuit Blanche Takes Over Toronto In September 2023

  • Apply for the 2023 Independent Project and/or Open Call Program by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 5 - INFO HERE

TORONTO - This September, the City of Toronto will host the 17th edition of Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s popular all-night art celebration. 

  • Nuit Blanche, created by the City in collaboration with Toronto’s arts community, will return this fall from 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, September 24

Toronto's City Hall lit up by a 4 digit display for the first Nuit Blanche in Toronto on 3 October 2009, 23:58 (Photo by Skeezix1000/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Toronto's City Hall lit up by a 4 digit display for the first Nuit Blanche in Toronto on 3 October 2009, 23:58 (Photo by Skeezix1000/CC BY-SA 2.0)

For one dazzling night, neighbourhoods across Toronto will experience remarkable and inspiring pop-up art installations, including major exhibition areas planned for Etobicoke, downtown and Scarborough.

Nuit Blanche is now accepting proposals for the Open Call Program and Independent Projects for this year’s festival from Canadian and international artists. Submissions are due Sunday, March 5. 

The City has announced this year’s theme, Breaking Ground, and introduced the 2023 Nuit Blanche curators.

Curatorial theme

The 2023 curatorial theme, Breaking Ground, speaks to ideas centred around the natural world and being on the vanguard of change and innovation. Defined as the preparation for building or planting, Breaking Ground invites artists to explore a diversity of themes, including but not limited to the implications of climate change, construction and development of the city’s urban landscape, the impacts on communities and collective responsibilities around land and stewardship.

This year, Nuit Blanche seeks to uncover and highlight artists whose ground-breaking practices challenge the status quo through media, form or content, to transform public spaces and inspire the public to experience Toronto in new and meaningful ways.


Nuit Blanche Toronto 2023 will feature three Toronto-based curators: Lillian O’Brien Davis who will lead the exhibition in Etobicoke, Kari Cwynar who will lead the exhibition in downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods and Noa Bronstein who will lead the exhibition in Scarborough.

Lillian O’Brien Davis is a curator and writer based in Toronto. She has curated independent projects at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Susan Hobbs Gallery, the School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba and others. Lillian is currently the Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography.

Kari Cwynar is an independent curator and writer based between Toronto and Montreal. She has held curatorial research positions at the National Gallery of Canada, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She was the inaugural curator of Evergreen’s public art program in Toronto’s Don River Valley.

Noa Bronstein is a curator and writer based in Toronto. Nora has been the Executive Director of Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography and the inaugural Senior Curator at the Small Arms Inspection Building and is currently the Executive Director of Gallery TPW. Her practice is often focused on the social production of space and thinking through how artists disrupt and subvert systems.

Life of the Earth project by artist Director X, October 4, 2019 (City of Toronto/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Call for Artists

Two opportunities are open and available for artists to participate in this year’s Nuit Blanche through an application process – Open Call Program and Independent Projects. 

Proposals for both opportunities should respond to the curatorial theme Breaking Ground, have a strong visual component and be rooted in contemporary art practice. Applications are due on March 5 at 11:59 p.m.

The Open Call Program focuses on mid-scale projects selected by this year’s curators to be presented in their respective exhibition areas, funded up to CAD $11,000 and produced by the City. 

The Open Call Program is open to Canadian and international artists and collectives of all artistic disciplines.

Independent Projects are self-produced in traditional and non-traditional spaces across the city, such as the public realm, parks, galleries, storefronts, office towers, streets and sidewalks. Toronto-based artists with a professional artistic practice looking to move beyond a traditional gallery space are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Virtual Information Sessions

Interested Independent Project and Open Call Program applicants are encouraged to join one of two virtual information sessions. 

Sessions are identical, free to join and last approximately 90 minutes each. Dates and times (all times are Eastern Standard) are as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 22, at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m.

“Nuit Blanche Toronto will help shine a light on the vibrant and robust art scene in the city’s neighbourhoods in 2023. Each year, this event provides Torontonians and visitors alike the opportunity to experience art made accessible for all. I encourage artists across Toronto to apply to have their work included in this year’s Nuit Blanche.” – Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)

Nuit Blanche 2022