POP Montreal & CCA Team Up For Nuit Blanche

Graphic Eric Bent & Clement Liu

POP Montreal and the Canadian Centre for Architecture are collaborating for the second year in a row for a night combining the best both organizations have to offer—and in true Nuit Blanche spirit, it’s offered for free.

The CCA is opening up its two running exhibits, Alturas de Macchu Picchu and Imperfect Health, to be explored throughout the night.

The former places the sketchwork of Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza beside photos by Martín Chambi, whose art aimed to reclaim the appropriated imagery of Machu Picchu.

Imperfect Health examines the relationship fitness and health anxiety has with architecture and urban planning.

“It’s a great building. I’ve been to parties there over the years and it’s a really great place to go and explore,” said POP co-founder Dan Seligman. “And most of the people who go to indie-rock shows aren’t used to museums or the CCA, so it’s nice to go outside the comfort zone.”

With bands, DJs and projectionists, this Nuit Blanche event is basically a big free party in a downtown museum. The event was a huge success last year, so much that some lined up at the door to catch the night’s set by local synthstress Grimes, among others, and all signs point to the same kind of energy for next Saturday.

The partnership seems to come naturally, with the two groups having a similar work ethic and audience.

“[Last year] came about discussions of us wanting to become closer to an event that we felt was akin to the CCA in a curatorial approach,” said CCA Associate Director of Communications John MacDonald. “We’re very specific in who we want to target, and we felt POP was a natural fit to the audiences that we are trying to speak to.”

“We love what POP are doing in terms of how they curate their content, and the bands that they sort of nurture and bring through their own programming,” he said.

With the multidisciplinary annual festival always looking for new interesting spaces and collaborators, POP Montreal has found a good home for Nuit Blanche in the CCA: a creative space where people can let loose on a dark winter night.

“[We chose] good party bands; the idea is to have fun and get people dancing, nothing too complicated,” said Seligman. POP selected locals Goose Hut and UN to take the stage this year, preceded by sets from DJ K-Lord and VJ Mathieu Jacques.

“What we’re doing this year is really compounding on the success of last year’s event,” said MacDonald. “We want to showcase emerging new talent in a way that reflects the existing programs that the CCA are producing. The Nuit Blanche comes as an opportunity to have a bit of fun, and step out of our normal programming.”

Inspired by the work-in-progress theme of Alturas de Macchu Picchu, the CCA is holding activities for visitors to create their own works. Earlier in the day there are family activities like Lego building, and later a Drink and Draw, an event put on with drawing groups En Masse and Urban Sketchers.

The events go on all day and all night, and the only thing that costs money is the CCA’s architecture bus tour. They’ll also be serving free hot chocolate to fuel your adventures around the city. But no matter what time you drop in, there will be music and visuals ready for you to engage in.

“[POP] provides a lovely backdrop to the CCA content, and vice-versa really, so it’s a nice partnership,” said MacDonald.

POP Montreal & CCA Nuit Blanche / Feb. 25 / Canadian Centre for Architecture (1920 Baile St.)