On Saturday, September 30, the Aga Khan Museum presents an immersive evening of unforgettable programming during Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s annual all-night art event.

From 7 pm Saturday to 6 am Sunday in the Aga Khan Park, experience the Canadian premiere of a monumental multimedia installation by acclaimed New York-based artist Shahzia Sikander. The dazzling Disruption as Rapture features animated miniature illustrations from an 18th-century manuscript of the Gulshan-i ’Ishq ("Rose Garden of Love").*

At 7 pm in the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, across from the Aga Khan Museum, Sikander discusses her Nuit Blanche installation and her practice as a contemporary artist from Pakistan.

From 8 pm Saturday to 6 am Sunday, enjoy free performances by award-winning indie bands and renowned international artists, including:

  • Doomsquad
  • Members of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
  • Ben Shemie from Suuns
  • Sufi music and whirling in celebration of the 810th anniversary of Rumi’s birthday

Plus, the rare chance to experience sunrise raags, and more.

Performances take place in the Aga Khan Museum courtyard and auditorium, as well as in the communal spaces of two Mongolian yurts, traditional nomadic structures, installed for Nuit Blanche in the Aga Khan Park. For performance venues, times, and details, see schedule below.

On Nuit Blanche, from 7 pm to midnight, admission to the Aga Khan Museum galleries is by contribution.

*A scene from a 17th-century version of the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, the story interpreted in Disruption as Rapture, will be on display in the Museum’s first-floor gallery.

All performances are subject to change.


7–10:30 pm

8–8:45 pm Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Cris Derksen
Details »

The JUNO-nominated cellist brings her classical training and Indigenous ancestry to electronics-based music.
8:30–10:30 pm Auditorium, Aga Khan Museum  
Irshad Khan
Details »

Raags with sitar maestro Khan playing the surbahar (bass sitar), an instrument rarely seen on stage, accompanied by Kolkata-based Pandit Samar Saha on tabla.
In partnership with Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto.
8:30–9:30 pm Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
Amadou Kienou
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The Burkina Faso-born griot (hereditary storyteller) performs solo on ngoni (lute), kora (harp), and other percussion instruments as well as leads a drum group.

9 pm–12:30 am

9–9:45 pm Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Details »

Kamancheh player Shahriyar Jamshidi and cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne blur musical genres in a captivating improvised performance.
9:45–10:30 pm Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
Kathryn Merriam
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The harpist and vocalist blends her diverse experience in jazz and songwriting into a mesmerizing musical event.
10:15–11:15 pm Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Kat Estacio and Friends
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Pantayo’s founding member expresses her Filipina heritage through kulintang (gong) music with punk, electronic, and other elements, alongside interdisciplinary artists Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh and Kristina Guison.
10:45–11:30 pm Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
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The band’s founding members — siblings Trevor, Jaclyn, and Allie Blumas — improvise trance and electronic beats.
11 pm–12:30 am Courtyard, Aga Khan Museum  
Details »

Iraqi-Canadian artist Jabbar Al-Janabi directs musicians, dancers, and other artists in an immersive multi-disciplinary performance.
11:30 pm–12:30 am Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Pandit Samar Saha
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The Kolkata-based musician showcases the immense percussive and tonal range of the tabla.
In partnership with Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto.

Midnight–3:30 am

Midnight–2 am Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
Inner Journey III: M. Rumi's Birthday
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Celebrate the 810th anniversary of the birthday of Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi with whirling dervishes and music.
In partnership with Rumi Canada.
12:45–1:30 am Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Justin Gray
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The inventor of the "bass veena" presents a cross-cultural blend of jazz, Indian classical, and electronic music.
1:45–2:30 am Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Members of Yamatanaka // Sonic Titan
Details »

JUNO- and Polaris Prize-nominated "noh-wavers" blend noise, metal, pop, folk, and more, fusing and transcending East and West in a new way.
2:15–3 am Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
Members of Nishtiman
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Acclaimed musicians from Iraq, Iran, and Turkey celebrate the unity of the Kurdish people with lively folk songs reimagined for contemporary audiences.
2:45–3:30 am Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Ben Shemie (Suuns)
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The frontman of the Montreal art-rock band Suuns, creates experimental electronic music.

3–5:30 am

3:15–4:15 am Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
The Balkan Electro Experiment
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Ukranian jazz-rock-fusion band DoVira collaborates with Polish folk outfit Polky Village Band, Balkan vocal group Mokosh, and flamenco dancer, vocalist, and Sephardic song specialist Tamar Ilana.
4–5:30 am Yurt One, Aga Khan Park  
Sunrise Raags
Details »

Enjoy refreshing and rare morning raags with vocalist Pritam Bhattacharjee, Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee on tabla, and Sanatan Goswami on harmonium.
In partnership with Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto.
4:30–5:15 am Yurt Two, Aga Khan Park  
Details »

Hatiyo ("Good Voices") create an expressive and contemporary sound rooted in the singers' Indigenous culture. Featuring Semiah Smith, Benay Elijah Oneida, and Quinna Hamby.


A complimentary shuttle bus will run all night between Queen’s Park, Broadview Hotel, and Aga Khan Museum (approx. 30 minute trip between stops). For departure times and locations, see table below. Please note departure and travel times are subject to traffic.

Getting to the Aga Khan Museum

From Broadview Hotel
(106 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4M 1G9)
From Queen’s Park
(Queen's Park and Charles Street, Toronto)
7 pm 8 pm
8:30 pm 9:30 pm
10 pm 11 pm
11:30 pm 12:30 pm
1 am 2 am
2:30 am 3:30 am
4 am 5 am
5:30 am 6:30 am

Departing the Aga Khan Museum

To Broadview Hotel
(106 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4M 1G9)
To Queen’s Park
(Queen's Park and Charles Street, Toronto)
7 pm 7:30 pm
8:30 pm 9 pm
10 pm 10:30 pm
11:30 pm 12 am
1 am 1:30 am
2:30 am 3 am
4 am 4:30 am
5:30 am 6 am

Shahzia Sikander installation supported by

Hal Jackman Foundation; The Kololian Foundation

Presented in partnership with

Ontario 150; Ontario; Ontario Arts Council; Modern Niagara Building Services; Ismaili Centre, Toronto; Rumi Canada; Raag-Mala Toronto

Image courtesy of Guggenheim Museum Bilabao

Nuit Blanche 2017