One of the most anticipated installations at Nuit Blanche this year will be a 7.5 metre shard of cracked ice rising out of Yonge and Dundas Square, inspiring audiences to reflect on the melting of the Earth’s glaciers and what is means for the future of humankind.

Like many of this year’s works, On Thin Ice is a commentary on the state of the planet and a call to action. It will also occupy one of the event’s prime locations, in the heart of downtown and steps from The Bond Hotel.

The Yonge-Dundas Square art installation is the work of multidisciplinary collective Ghost Atelier, a group of artists that explores human physiology and our environment through dynamic visual and sculptural forms. Members of the group met through HXOUSE – the latest brainchild of La Mar Taylor, the creative director behind record label XO (The Weeknd) and a photographer, designer and director in his own right. Taylor is behind the branding and marketing of everything The Weeknd produces, including merch and album artwork. HXOUSE is geared toward a new generation of entrepreneurs looking to develop equally creative careers, and the new Toronto facility is an incubator for creative entrepreneurship, fostering relationships between young talent and industry titans. Toronto is HXOUSE’s testing ground, and there are plans to expand the project to more cities in the future. The project partnered with Artscape to provide the space at Artscape Daniels Launchpad and seeks to empower local young artists.

Ghost Atelier will also  be speaking in the Nuit Talks series at a session called “Art – The Opportunity” (October 10, 7pm at HXOUSE) – a great chance to break through the deliberate anonymity of the artists and learn more about their otherworldly installations and creative exploration of form and material. The Nuit Talks series will be held at various locations around the city leading up to the event and provides a unique opportunity to connect directly with the artists.

On Thin Ice is just one of 16 Nuit Blanche exhibits radiating from City Hall in downtown Toronto. Other sites to check out during the all-night event include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Drake One Fifty, Metro Hall and 401 Richmond. Don’t miss Peace to the Past, Reach for the Future – a tribute to the Toronto Raptors as they turn 25, by Toronto-based artists Esmaa Mohamoud, Bryan Espiritu; or XSite, a multimedia installation by street artist and industrial designer Javid Jah that depicts the alignment of heavenly bodies via holographic projections.

Nuit Blanche has grown in popularity since its Toronto inception in 2006, and the event shows no signs of slowing down. This year, nearly 90 exhibits by over 300 local, national and international artists will bring the streets to life from dusk til dawn in one of North America’s largest contemporary art events. For a full listing of exhibits, locations and events, visit the City of Toronto website. And remember, with extended subway service through the night, you can travel safely from event to event. Prepare yourself with a nap and a coffee, and get ready for one of the most memorable nights of the year!

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