Nuit Blanche has come and gone and proved once again to be a wonderful evening for thousands of participants. And once again, the event has triggered debates about the level of corporate sponsorship that accompany the many performances and installations scattered across the downtown.
Nuit Blanche events happen all over the world and almost all of these events have corporate sponsorships, yet Toronto is the only city I could find that has sold the naming rights. I received a publicly funded newsletter from the Deputy Mayor this week that contained the word â€œScotiabankâ€ nine times because his staff felt obliged to use the full, branded, name of the event. Press releases from the Mayor’s office have done the same.
Here is a collage of logos from Nuit Blanche events all over the world:
Only Toronto’s logo has a corporatised name. The Scotiabank logo was also plastered on tents, brochures, stuck to people’s clothing and prominently displayed on all event signage. Our Nuit Blanche need not be so branded. If the city is going to accept corporate sponsorships, they have a responsibility to negotiate terms that are appropriate and attempt to protect the nature of the event. Why are we the black sheep of the White Nights? Why do we give away so much? Let’s take the lead of other cities and reduce the branding at Nuit Blanche to an appropriate level. It’s an unnecessary blemish on a wonderful evening.