Marcus Chong and Brandon Sambrano, Year 12 students and arts co-captains were part of a team that jumped into action to ensure the annual event could still take place online.
“I was pretty disappointed at first that Nuit Bleue wouldn’t be live,” Chong says, “but it turned out to be very fresh, and thinking that everyone can look back and see it afterward is great.”
Chong and Sambrano, together with Judith Macdonell, UCC’s arts chair; film teacher David Crawford; Christian Peterson '06, film studies’ teaching assistant; and the Arts Booster Club, rallied to bring Nuit Bleue to the UCC community on April 16 through an event website
that offered visitors the feel of walking into the school itself.
Once “inside,” guests could enjoy a full spectrum of arts performances and exhibits, including drama, film, music, comedy, poetry and visual art, as well as opportunities to chat live online with some of the performers.
“By creating a website, we allowed people to consume the performances in a browsing fashion, just as you might do if you were walking through the space,” Peterson says.
The online version of Nuit Bleue came together in a few weeks, keeping organizers very busy. In addition to providing logistical assistance, the student arts co-captains were involved in performing: Chong narrated the visual arts showcase and recited one of his poems, and Sambrano created and directed a snippet of his upcoming original musical, Insights.
The organizing team agrees that the result of everyone’s efforts was something they could all view with pride. Says Sambrano, “I’m very happy it turned out so well.”
“To me, it was a great miracle,” says Macdonell. “There was a feeling of community that is so much part of the school and that made all of this come together. I see it as an act of collaboration and of community will to bring about an understanding of the multi-faceted talents at the College.”
Principal Sam McKinney and Head of the Upper School Naheed Bardai were among the virtual visitors who dropped by the live chat rooms to talk with the artists.
All of those involved say that while they wouldn’t want to replace the live event permanently, perhaps there will be room for web and video components in future Nuits Bleues.
“This could be a starting point for next year,” says Sambrano. “Perhaps we could record live performances so others, like my parents who are far away, could see everything.”
However, Chong is adamant that Nuit Bleue should be as much of a live event as possible. “It’s always a great evening and everyone should definitely get out to it.”