Nuit Violette

Isaac Daniel Eng plays the violin and creates his own backing track at Nuit Violette. 

For many Western students, participating in events outside of their home faculty can be unfamiliar and intimidating. Events like Nuit Violette dissolve these academic barriers and allow students from all faculties to participate in a night celebrating art.

Hosted in conjunction with Reverie, Nuit Violette transformed the second and third floors of the UCC into a dynamic and interesting space to display visual art, host musical performances, and perform both a play and slam poetry.

The event, held this past Thursday, was the second of its kind after the inaugural Nuit Violette in September. Nuit Violette organizer Jared Boland, fourth-year French linguistics and biology student, estimates about 1,000 people attended the September event. 

The goal of Nuit Violette is to dissolve academic barriers, says Boland.

Nuit Violette provides an opportunity for “particular groups who don’t always necessarily have a platform to stand on to share that artistic side of themselves; So students outside of arts, FIMS and music for example who aren’t always in that showcase environment when it comes to sharing that artistic side of them,” says Boland.

Blake Zigrossi, a fourth-year English student and visual arts coordinator for Nuit Violette, says the visual art submissions came from a wide range of students across faculties.

“I got a lot of BFAs submitting their work. But I also got a lot of first-year students too, and a lot of people outside the BFA,” says Zigrossi. “I would say 40 per cent BFAs and 60 per cent people who just do it a s a hobby on the side. They are all super talented.”

The artwork itself was creatively displayed without the use of walls; pieces were clipped to black curtains that hung from the rails.  

Unfortunately, the event turnout was not a big as it was in September. Jill Smith, a third-year third year studio art student and visual arts curator, attributes the smaller turnout to the time of year and weather.

“It was a great learning opportunity. We know what went well first semester and what can be improved upon for next year,” says Smith.

John Muirhead, a second-year music administration student and performer at Nuit Violette, looks forward to the potential of expanding the musical performance component of Nuit Violette.

Muirhead, who performed covers and originals, says, “I think having a full band set up in the future or in more of a stage type setting or venue type of setting” would be something he looks forward to.

“We just hope we can reach more people next year because it’s such an awesome event and it’s a shame that it’s not reaching as many people as it should,” says Zigrossi.

Despite the small turnout of 158 people (according to Facebook), the audience was enthusiastic for all performances. Joe Meets God, a play written and directed by Erik Bajzert, explored the challenging themes of religion and family while still inciting laughter from the audience.  

Slam poets received snaps throughout their moving personal expressions of poetry while the musicians congratulated each other on their performances.

As for Boland, he is hopeful that that Nuit Violette expands across Western campus in years to come.

“I think my ultimate vision is to come back five years from now as alumni and see Nuit Violette has taken over the whole campus,” says Boland. “I think we have the capacity to do it… It’s just a question of [needing] to pull in the right people.”


Annie is a culture editor for volume 110. Previously, she was a staff writer for volume 109. She is in her fourth year studying English and political science. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @annierueter1.

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