A scene from a past Nuit Blanche event held in Red Deer. Organizers are planning to bring the arts-focused celebration to the City next August. photo submitted

Nuit Blanche Red Deer looking to make a comeback in 2019

Local organization is hosting a Christmas artisan market on Dec. 15th

The night-time arts and culture festival Nuit Blanche is set to make a return to Red Deer in the summer of 2019.

To that end, a Nuit Blanche Christmas Artisan Market sale fundraiser runs Dec. 15th at Sunworks downtown from noon to 6 p.m. followed by a winter carnival scheduled for February.

Both events are also geared to bolstering awareness about the family-friendly Nuit Blanche event, which features live art, music, an artisan vendor’s village, food trucks, craft beer gardens and a kids’ zone among other highlights.

Originally launched in Red Deer back in 2013, the last local rendition of Nuit Blanche, which means ‘white night’, was held in 2016.

In the meantime, at this week’s Christmas fundraiser, some of the money raised will go to support the ‘Nuit Blanche Winter Carnival’ set for Feb. 20th.

“It’s going to be a fundraising sale, so we are getting some donations of small to mid-sized items from local businesses that we can sell to raise some funds. It’s also about raising awareness of the event – it’s been a couple of years since we had our last Nuit Blanche,” said Landon Radcliffe, president of the Nuit Blanche Red Deer organizing committee.

“We will also have some artists painting at the event and a musician doing a bit of an acoustic event. We want to provide a little bit of entertainment for people who are stopping by and so they can also get a feel for what we are trying to do.”

The sale will also include unique items for sale from local artisans and businesses to help folks wrap up their Christmas shopping with style.

There will also be live entertainment plus tasty locally-made treats and drinks. Radcliffe said the committee also wants to engage and include downtown businesses as much as possible.

As mentioned, the Nuit Blanche Winter Carnival is slated to run Feb. 20th in the heart of downtown Red Deer.

“That’s going to be a full-out festival,” he said, adding that City Hall Park will be playing host to winter carnival-themed events and activities.”

The plan is to have some coffee shops and other businesses in the area play host to activities and art installations around Little Gaetz and Ross Street as well.

“We are getting some of the local little shops to host artists so they can showcase their work in there,” he said.

As for Nuit Blanche itself, Radcliffe said the likely time for the event would be late August, although no definite dates have been nailed down as of yet. But dates will be announced at the winter carnival in February.

“We’ll have a date picked by then so we can start promoting it and getting interest from vendors as well,” he said, adding Nuit Blanche is one of the most accessible arts events held in the region due to its large outdoor nature, and also because, “We always try to welcome and encourage both up and coming and more established artists.”

Radcliffe said folks have been expressing interest in bringing the event back since the last one. “We were still getting messages and there is lots of interest in the event,” he said, adding that during the last Nuit Blanche, between about 4,000 to 6,000 people turned out for the festivities.

“Anyone and everyone can come to it.”

For Radcliffe, there is plenty to look forward to about both planning and executing an all-new Nuit Blanche in the New Year.

“I look forward to giving local artists a chance to showcase their talents and their work. There is also something to be said for providing people an opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves doing something different.

“It’s an event that is completely fun and free and totally family-friendly – we would encourage everyone to come down and participate. It’s just something for people to come out to and enjoy.”

For more information about Nuit Blanche and the coming events over the next while, find them on Facebook at ‘Nuit Blanche Red Deer’.

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