Nuit Rose Toronto

10 must-see events at Pride Toronto's all night art crawl

Just alongside the behemoth, month-long festival that is Pride Toronto is a tiny but mighty sidebar festival called Nuit Rose. Think Nuit Blanche, but gay. Running from 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 to way late, this queer-focused art and performance event happens both in West Queen West and Church Wellesley Village. For the third year of the festival, the theme is Night Shift.

Here's a quickie guide of the highlights.

Barbara Hall Park exhibitions (Barbara Hall Park, 519 Church Street)
Since 1975, Barbara Hall Park Park has been an important space in queer Toronto's nightlife history as a gathering space for activism, celebration, socializing and cruising. Tonight curators place interactive works, light sculptures, textile displays and digital media in the parks's winding paths.

Artscape Youngplace exhibitions (180 Shaw St.)
Nuit Rose transforms the hallway galleries and Flex Studio Platinum of Artscape Youngplace into a queer art lover's dream-scape. This is 3,000 square feet of art space covered in works exploring queerness.

Forgotten Selves (Paul Petro Gallery, 980 Queen St W)
From 7 p.m. until whenever, step inside this west side gallery and see Canadian ceramic and drawing artist Zachari Logan's Forgotten Selves: Suite in Pink.

Akasha Exhibitions (Akasha Gallery, 511 Church St)
This intimate gallery in the heart of The Village is showing a photography show called Randy the Stripper. Photographer Gun Roze captured Randy and his process for stripping for both women and gay men in 1996. Legendary NYC club kid scene photographer John Simone will also show his photo Fashion Cares Retrospective.

Glad Day Bookshop exhibitions (Glad Day Bookshop, 598 Yonge St,)
Check out Montreal art collective Never Apart's Colour by Icons exhibit and then stay to watch the Coal from Hades: The Story of Les Mouches Fantastiques at 7 p.m.

RAID: Operation Soap (Alexander Parkette, 16 Alexander St)
Happening just off of Church Street, watch this dramatic reading that that tells the unconventional love story about two of the men that were arrested and how their horrific experience changed the course of LGBT history, marking the birth of Pride day.

That's So Gay (Gladstone Hotel,1214 Queen St W)
The west end art hub explodes with gayness during Nuit Rose with the That's So Gay exhibit, and the 10X10 photography show, which collectively take over the entire hotel.

Night Shift Stage (Corner of Church and Maitland St)
Happening during the Circus So Gay street fair, Nuit Rose takes over the main stage with a Bureau of Power and Light showcase and a DJ set from director/button pusher Bruce LaBruce starting at 10 p.m.

Through the Looking Glass: In Search for Identity (Propeller Gallery, 30 Abell St)
Yup, this is an art exhibit examining Alice, still searching for herself... but the twist is how we all identify with that crazy kid who fell through the rabbit hole.

Light Parade (Norman Jewison Parkette, 13 Isabella St)
When the sun sets, Nuit Rose really starts with the Light Parade down Church Street. At sundown (9 p.m. to be precise) meet your people at Norman Jewison Parkette, between Gloucester and Isabella Streets. Make your own lantern or carry a light-emitting object and float down the street.

Head over to the official website for more information about this year's festival.

Photo of Artscape Youngplace by Andrew Williamson.

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