Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay

The Lovers

The Lovers is a spatialized sound installation broadcast through a series of speakers distributed throughout Calgary’s downtown Civic Plaza Parkade Park. Designed to act as an ambiguous, temporary monument, The Lovers combines the sounds of bells and human voices and will transmit a message for the listener to slowly and carefully decode. The composition was recorded in both Berlin and Calgary, with members of the Calgary Boys’ Choir (which once counted Nemerofsky as a member) lending their voices to the project. The Lovers has been produced for Nuit Blanche with support from Esker Foundation, Calgary.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is a Montréal-born artist and diarist currently based in Berlin. His creative gestures in video, sound, and text contemplate the history of song, the rendering of love and emotion into language, and the resurrection and manipulation of voices – sung, spoken, or screamed. Nemerofsky’s work has been exhibited in diverse contexts across Canada, Europe, and Asia and has won prizes at festivals in Canada, Germany, Poland, and Portugal. His work is part of numerous private collections as well as the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Diane Borsato

20,000 Snowdrops

For the duration of Nuit Blanche, performers will give away 20,000 snowdrop bulbs to Calgary residents and community organizations. Snowdrops are planted in the fall and are the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter. Since they naturalize well and spread readily, the massive quantity of white flowers will create a dispersed urban snowdrop garden. The flowers are expected to return every year, marking time and changing temperatures indefinitely. The public is encouraged to take as many bulbs as they are willing to plant – in private or public spaces.

Diane Borsato has established a significant national reputation for works in various media, including social and interventionist practices, performance, video, photography, and sculpture. She has worked with beekeepers, astronomers, tango dancers, mushroom hunters, and other groups in projects in Canada and internationally. She is Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of Guelph, and her work can be seen at her online portfolio.

Lucy + Jorge Orta

Symphony for Absent Wildlife

A peculiar line of Red-Cross stretcher-beds marks a pathway to a clearing, in a forest of weathered tree trunks. The path is raised above the ground by the means of simple wooden trestles, the kind constructed for chopping wood.

In the middle of a clearing, we encounter a masked orchestra of Spirits. The orchestra Spirits are wearing the iconic tailcoats made from dark brown reclaimed felt blankets, bearing the inscriptions of past warriors and homeless wanderers. Each musician wears a different masked-face, a creature representing the once abundant diversity of wildlife across the Albertan and northern plains. Elks, Bison, Beavers, Moose, Wolves, Bears, Eagles…

The orchestra conductor taps his lectern, the music stands illuminate the graphic score, and the concert begins.

A symphony of avian chatter — birdcalls — that amplify and resonate across the city.

Man or beast? Just simple hand-crafted bird whistles that replicate the remarkable sounds of nature.

Symphony for Absent Wildlife brings a fragment of the disappearing natural environment, its sounds and the diversity of its fauna, closer to the city.

Symphony for Absent Wildlife has developed as a result of an engaging workshop with graduates and alumni from the University of the Arts London and Alberta College of Art and Design Calgary.

With special thanks to:

Nicolas Blas (Intern) and Rachel Owen (CSM MA Design for Performance) – Costume assistance

Gareth Mitchell (LCC MA Sound Arts) – Soundscape Nuit Blanche

Sylvia Law (LCC MA Sound Arts)– Sound workshop

Gareth Johnson (LCC MA Film) – Workshop documentation

Camilla Palestra (LCF, CSF) – Curatorial coordination

Lucy Orta + Jorge Orta founded Studio Orta in 1991. Lucy + Jorge Orta’s collaborative practice focuses on the social and ecological factors of environmental sustainability to realize major bodies of work employing drawing, sculpture, installation, object making, couture, painting, silkscreen printing, as well staging workshops, ephemeral interventions and performances. Orat’s artwork has been the focus of major solo exhibitions, including: The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2005); Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice (2005); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006); Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia, Antarctic Peninsula (2007); Hangar Bicocca spazio d’arte, Milan (2008); Natural History Museum, London (2010); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome (2012); and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2013). Image courtesy the artists.

Mara Marxt Lewis & Tyler Lewis

sum total

“sum total” is a collaborative performance/installation that explores art creation. From inspiration, to the working artist, to the audience, this artwork maps out a three-dimensional, life-size diagram through which viewers may wander and wonder. The installation shows at once the interdependent elements of artwork, and the result of their cooperation: the performance/installation itself. A four-channel sound performance reflects these themes of art creation and lets the viewers hear as well as see the connection between each. As an essential part of the structure, the viewers are encouraged to delve into the work, making connections between idea-generation, pattern-making, intention, and realization.

Mara Marxt Lewis is a curator driven by transforming concepts into realization, drawing on her background as both artist and designer. Her work focuses on the creative mediation between the artwork, the artist and the audience. She holds a MFA in curatorial studies from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and a certificate in program exhibition design and management at Danube University, Krems, Austria.

Tyler Lewis began studying piano at the age of six, and from there he used his fundamental knowledge to teach himself guitar, drums, and develop his own singing techniques. His musical compositions have been used to support visual artists, provide accompaniment to dance routines, sound installations, commercial use, and even a soundtrack for a documentary. Tyler’s current music features rich vocal harmonies laced into soundscapes that create alternate spaces and feelings.



Come one, come all, and experience feats of daring psychic do! Let M.E.D.I.U.M. entertain you with metaphysical sleights of hand, cryptic messages from beyond, and possible, but not probable, neurological enhancements.

Our talent roster includes:

  • Madame Symona, a gypsy princess who has travelled extensively through Siberia studying Zhouyi and dream interpretation.
  • Frater Tham, a defrocked academic who has since turned to the ancient sciences of divination, mythozooloogy, mediumship, sin eating, and congress with all manner of strange beings.
  • Char Latan, a trailer park psychic who provides atonal country-western prophecies and divulges the secrets of the future utilizing the mysterious and mystifying Mojo box.
  • Dr. I. M. Auftenhauzie, a psychic researcher extraordinaire, secured
    his medical diploma through a mail-in offer using 5 cereal box tops and
    a self-addressed stamped envelope. (His fearless assistant Dr. F. Elda Hyde will accompany him.)

Visit M.E.D.I.U.M. and walk the line between faith and incredulity. Suspend your disbelief and release yourself from the shackles of a rational, disillusioned mind.

M.E.D.I.U.M. (Metaphysical Explorations, Divination, and Investigations Utilizing Magic) is a Lethbridge-based trio comprised of Frater Tham (Darcy Logan), Madame Symona (Maria Madacky), Char Latan (Leila Armstrong), and Dr. I. M. Auftenhauzie (Rick Gillis). They offer a broad range of “services” to physically needy, including – but not limited to – fortune telling, dream interpretation, séances, sin eating, and country-western prophecies. M.E.D.I.U.M. has been performing together since December 2011, when they organized their first piece Phantasma Gloris on Winter Solstice. During this occasion Frater Tham consumed people’s sins, Madame Symona defined the future through I Ching, and Char Lata sung Country Western classics to fortell fortunes. Frater Tham, Madame Symona, and Char Latan explore the fine line between belief and disbelief, rational thought and mysticism, skepticism and faith.

Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan

AstroArt Space Corps

As the space race has drawn to a quiet close and shuttles gather dust in museums, outer space is virtually unmanned. Taking advantage of this singular moment of reflection, a new space program has been born. Astroart Space Corps (ASC) will launch themselves into the great unknown, building rockets and spacesuits, experimenting in anti-gravity and preparing for missions to explore the vastness of space. Other space programs brilliantly concern themselves with the burdens of land acquisition, rock collection and national pride, freeing ASC to consider other implications of space. Using expertise outside the realm of scientists, ASC brings a fresh, complementary skill set to space exploration gleaned from decades of art making. As we prepare for our maiden space flight, PANDORA I, Space Commanders Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan will take time from their intensive training schedule to discuss the mission and sign commemorative photos. Join them as they prepare to make herstory!

Based in Winnipeg and working collaboratively throughout Canada and internationally, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Milan have produced a significant body of artistic work in the related areas of performance, video, printed matter and new genre social activist art over the last twenty years. They have investigated the body politics of prescribed female identity in Western society, mining historical references to produce monologues with a humorous edge. They use any available artistic strategy to undermine current misconceptions about feminist identity and offer to bring a wealth of knowledge to Calgary audiences. Image copyright 2010 Katsuhiko TOKUNAGA/DACT,INC.

Sarah Smalik

Mating Ritual of the Great Supernal Spiders

Sarah Smalik is a Calgary-based multidisciplinary artist and traveller working in sculpture, installation and performance art. She is allured by the unknown and dark cobwebbed corners of the world, and frequently dissects the riddled sphere of the “divine,” finding new ways to reinterpret ecstatic experience through a metaphorical play of mirrors and light. This performance revives her NBC pilot project Predator Prayer into a new unusual “mating” ritual, echoing recent travels to her ancestral homeland, the ancient veiled city of Lahore, Pakistan, paying homage to the clandestine underground cultural webs that connect us all. With a discreet nod to Heera Mandi, the taboo red-light district within the beautifully cryptic Old Walled City that translates to “diamond market,” this new interpretation falls somewhere between informative nature documentary and absurd Bollywood dance music video, shining an inquisitive flashlight in the shady corners where no one and everyone really wants to sneak a look.

Performance & development in collaboration with Jamie Tognazzini
Audio & music in collaboration with Ryan Scott
Lighting consultant: Cimmeron Meyer
Performance assistant: Lucy Koshan
Special thanks to Dean Bareham & Shelley Carroll of Green Fools Theatre, the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Judith Mendelsohn, and Eve Middleton-Meyer
Loving thanks to Evelyne & Aijaz Malik, Berkley Brady, and Keith Carlsen

Nuit Blanche Calgary & Contemporary Calgary Present


All Night Breakfast

Hungry for something special? Craving a cut-loose-and-let-it-all-hang-out-but-only-if-you-want-to experience? Playing upon the classic “All Day Breakfast” a series of booths will offer up an unconventional menu of gastronomically tasty activities (and yes, a few food items too).

In a festive atmosphere of barely controlled chaos, this collective spur-of-the-moment creation proposes actions that are about exploring desire; how we give and receive simultaneously and are fed by the occurrence of joyful experiences within a spontaneous encounter. And although absurd and festive, these playful tasks are also meant to be reflective – not just entertainment for entertainment’s sake, but something that provides a meaningful interpolation into a “simple encounter.” We want to open up a space of unexpected discoveries that impart “food for thought,” while producing a kind of “contagion” – a collective experience that is fueled by interdependent contact, where we let ourselves fully invest ourselves in the present moment.

To celebrate our event at Nuit Blanche we will also have five special guest-artists from Calgary: Jessie Altura, Julianna Barabas, Jack Bride, Tomas Jonsson, and Holly Timpener.

Wednesday Lupypciw

The Feminist Supremacy

THE FEMINIST SUPREMACY is a roaming, restless pack of women rock & roll drummers that periodically erupts into spectacular, choreographed noise. I act as the emcee, timekeeper, and bandleader as we yell and drum out a place for ourselves in the world. We are a force to be reckoned with. Beginning with a sunset procession from the West, each set/movement is performed in a different orientation and at a different location throughout the Olympic and Municipal Plazas. TFS culminates in a dramatic midnight/Witching Hour installment. The setup, takedown, and relocation of drum kits is a part of the viewer experience; in between active performances our mountain of instruments and belongings is our green room/crash pad/hangout/photo op, easily viewed from many points in the Plaza.

It is my intention that the voices of each drummer and the energy of this collective activity will seep into the earth and echo in the streets of Calgary for some time.

Wednesday Lupypciw is from Calgary, Alberta, where she pursues chaotically overlapping, noisy video and performance art practices. To make money and stay grounded she is a part-time maid and physical labourer. She is a Fibre Programme graduate from ACAD (2006), and incorporates weaving, machine knitting, embroidery and crochet into most of her work. She is 1/3 of the purposefully lazy Feminist art and activist collective LIDS–the Ladies Invitational Deadbeat Society, and has shown work throughout Canada and the US.

Natasha Alphonse


Interdisciplinary artist Natasha Alphonse//ACAD graduate//based in Seattle, Washington.

Her large scale sculpture “Farewell” creates a reflective space to indulge ourselves on ideas of truth, connections, balance, miscommunication and our perceptions of relationships.

A failed connection, so close yet so far from reaching one another. Directories that seemed to head towards each other, at the last moment they reveal that they would have never arrived at the same place. They appear strong, equal and balanced depending on where//how you choose to look.

Anna Halprin/Audrey Gaussirin

Blank Placard Dance

What matters to Calgary? A Re-enactment of Anna Halprin’s ‘Blank Placard Dance’

‘Blank Placard Dance’ was conceived in the 1970’s by dance pioneer Anna Halprin as an arts-based demonstration against the Vietnam War. In 2014 the piece has been re-scored by Halprin for Nuit Blanche Calgary and is once again a way to provoke audience participation in the issues that matter to people on a personal and collective level.

Two workshops, on Sept. 18 and 20th, are offered by Rosario Sammartino in preparation for the durational performance of ‘Blank Placard Dance’ at Nuit Blanche Calgary. No previous performance or dance experience is required to participate.

Participants are encouraged to wear white on the night of the event

Rosario Sammartino is an artist and psychologist, and a core caculty member of the Tamalpa Institute, a movement-based expressive arts educational center near San Francisco, co-founded by Anna and Daria Halprin in 1978.

Scott Schwager


WALK TALK is an ephemeral, live sculpture that explores the nature of temporary sculpture and performative, social art. Cast in Calgary, artists and participants co-create talking, morphing three-dimensional forms, using their bodies and voice, that weave through the surrounding public and space. People meet and walk about one hour together, at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00PM, and may join or leave any time. WALK TALK creates an unusual situation: one where artists and participants get to know others, co-produce, and develop ideas through experiential knowledge. Walking while talking instigates a particular dialogue between people and place. Tweeting photographs produces a parallel ether-based dialogue: #WALKTALKNBC. Everyone experiences a city and festival differently. We are interested to collectively negotiate our way through Calgary during festival time. Local knowledge provides rich insight and enthusiasm fuels us down unexpected paths.

Conceived as an ephemeral off-site project, WALK TALK has been collective from its early conception in a Lucy + Jorge Orta workshop, through e-mails and Skype calls between Canada and UK-based artists, to its structure as a three-part, time-based series with artists from Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) and University of the Arts London.

Scott Schwager is a New York-born artist based in London. His multi-disciplinary practice uses painting, drawing, workshops, and walking while talking. His artwork explores urban anonymity, relationships with artists’ legacy, privacy and public space and presents reductive observations of his experience and environment. He is interested in the contribution walking while talking makes to other work over time.

This artwork is also part of his research on two-person co-authored collaboration, as a graduate student at CCW, University of the Arts London. He has organized walking and talking art projects with others in the UK, Spain, and Switzerland and exhibited internationally.

Image courtesy Metod Blejec and Scott Schwager.

Presenting Partners

Nuit Blanche Calgary is excited to include some amazing projects and performances produced and supported by local community organizations, artists and partners in this year’s program.

The Calgary Public Art Program Presents

Limelight: Saturday Night

By Sans Façon

Limelight: Saturday night is an international light installation and film project created by artists Sans façon. The installation replaces two streetlights with theatre spotlights, creating an invitation to transform the street into a stage. This intentionally subtle alteration of street lighting suggests the latent potential of public realm as places of interaction and celebration and offers an alternative approach to city’s lighting as more than securitarian.

Limelight: Saturday night has been to 14 cities around the world between 2010 and 2014, with over 10,000 public interactions. The resulting footage is shared through social media and a documentary film.



Gerry Morita & Patrick Arès-Pilon

Fermentation is an interactive media art installation, which begins in research and extends into a period of procrastination that includes thought, time, avoidance, and stimulation by an array of activities and sensory elements.

The public is invited to explore the JJ Young room of the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, which is intended to over-stimulate, while inducing a sense of play and disorder. With multiple 16mm projections, live performance, cassette players, slide projections, record players, View-Masters, microphones, fermented food, a jukebox, and a 5-cent dance carpet, viewers will experience a cacophony of the senses.