The Zine Inspo
My very initial experience with Nuit Blanche was the first year it happened in Riversdale. As a former art student, I was super curious to see what the festival had in store. One of the memories that stuck with me through the years was when a stranger approached me from behind a darkened doorway and offered me a photocopied zine. It was about ten pages long, and it had all kinds of collaged art, photography and poetry printed on multicoloured pages. I'm pretty sure this had nothing to do with the organized festival, but it set the tone for an immersive experience. It prepared me to be on the lookout for unusual and exciting events, fleeting moments of brilliance. The city I knew, for one night, would offer me new and vibrant experiences.
The zine aesthetic became one of the core visual directions that I pitched to the communications committee. I was glad that most of the board was old enough to remember what a zine was, and the rest caught on quickly with a few visual references.
One of the main challenges we face with event-based campaigns is that the previous years are often not always consistently documented. Thankfully we had some great photos from @jaekimphotography to use in our collage art for the pre-promotion of the festival. We also did some interview-style videos with a few board members and the curator to add depth to the online presence. We focused on a few key areas, including volunteering and the history/purpose of the festival.
This year, one of the committee's main goals was to grow the festival beyond the core group of supporters who had come to love NBYXE. This required moving back to some 100 level conversations and getting into the fundamental DNA of the event. When we look at the barrier to entry for people new to the festival, it's always a question of how we can remove anxiety and guesswork. The goal is to create a sense of empowerment, safety and comfort. Video was the best way to do this.
One of the big wins this year was the introduction of curated experiences. The committee developed five routes that were based on how people may want to experience the festival. Each route included an approximated time frame and a stop-by-stop guide. Beyond being a practical tool for many attendees, it was also a way to express the festival's values. For example, the Family route mapped out the most interactive kid-friendly exhibits and the Emerging Artists route, highlighting the newest artists joining Nuit Blanche.
We also worked with a few of the artists to create short pieces about their work. We made a series of video portraits using footage we created and photos/videos provided to us. Check out Monique Martin's video talking about her installation.
In The Blink of an Eye
Through our coaching sessions with NBYXE, we discussed and developed many tactics to capture the fleeting nature of the festival. There was a lot of talk about how at Nuit Blanche, people felt if they blinked, then they might miss something. So education was vital to preparing attendees with the tools they needed to enjoy their experience. And with the addition of the 33rd Street district and bus service, the festival really became city-wide.
We filmed the entire festival with two videographers to capture all the exhibits. Documenting the event was important for many reasons, including creating assets to speak to future sponsors, artists and community partners.
Overall the experience of coaching the communications committee and managing their social media for the event was an absolute pleasure. As a long-time fan of Nuit Blanche, this project was really a dream come true for all of us at T Squared. Thank you.
Nuit Blanche Saskatoon is a free, night-time arts festival that showcases and celebrates art and culture. The festival gives attendees of all ages a chance to enjoy and engage with Saskatoon’s thriving arts scene. It offers the unique experience of exploring Saskatoon's public spaces late into the night in a safe and fun environment. For more information about Nuit Blanche visit www.nuitblanchesaskatoon.ca.
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.