This Saturday night, downtown Sydney will be electrified by the sights and sounds of some of Cape Breton’s most prominent and promising artists. Lumière: Contemporary Art . Unconventional Spaces is a night time arts event that combines all artistic disciplines in a public setting, to give audiences a taste of what the Cape Breton arts scene has to offer.
Conceived of early in 2011 by lead organizers: Laura Schneider, Director/ Curator of the CBU Art Gallery, Lori Burke from Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, and Kent Senecal from Centre Communautaire Etolie de l’Acadie, the event has attracted an impressive 37 projects in its first year.
“Our primary focus is twofold,” says Schneider. “On one hand we want to make art accessible to the general public by giving them a free event that will be fun and engaging. And, we also want to give artists a challenge by asking them showcase their talents in an unfamiliar format.” The organizers also encouraged collaboration amongst the artists, prompting artists from disciplines to work together in new ways.
Lumière brings together commerce and the arts, partnering artists, dancers, performers, musicians and craftspeople with local downtown businesses that have provided “unconventional spaces” for the participants to exhibit or perform in. The event takes place on Charlotte St. and the Esplanade, both of which are blocked to traffic and open for pedestrian use only. Projects will be hosted in venues ranging from the squash courts at the new YMCA to the underground parking garage at City Hall. Many host venues have also provided their storefront windows for the event, which promises to be visually enticing. “Downtown businesses have been encouraged to stay open late on Saturday night, and many of them will be providing special promotions for the event,” says Lori Burke.
The event, which runs from 6:57 p.m. to 12:57 a.m. on Saturday October 1, is family friendly, and includes a number of participatory projects which will give the audience a chance to interact with the artists.
“We hope that this unique cultural event becomes an annual tradition,” says Senecal. “It’s really important to promote all of the arts here in Cape Breton, and to provide the public with a chance to see something exceptional.”