There’s that one night a year when Vancouverites don all white and troop out en masse for a pricey group picnic and an evening of photo-ops, and then there’s Ce Soir Noir.
The self-proclaimed “barely-organized” free family-friendly community picnic returns for its fifth year, asking locals to don all black and enjoy a simple al fresco meal in the park.
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I didn't know most of the people in this photo but that was kind of the beauty of Ce Soir Noir – just the friendliest new friend people hanging out in the same park, quoting future episodes of Portlandia. #cesoirnoir #debvan2016 #notallkombuchaiscreatesequal #crabpark #vscocam
Launched in 2014 by Vancouverites and visual artists Graeme Berglund and George Vergette, Ce Soir Noir touts a basic concept: “wear all black clothing, bring food and drinks, a blanket to sit on and some friends. Enjoy music, good conversation, maybe meet a few new people and revel in the peaceful resplendence of East Vancouver.”
The event takes place, not by coincidence, at the same time as Diner en Blanc. This year that’s Thursday August 8, from 6 to 11 p.m.
Ce Soir Noir was born as a “tongue in cheek response” to the popular ticketed Diner en Blanc, and was only thought of as a one-off. That first year, over 1,500 people showed up, so the tradition has continued.
“As artists, we are interested in the cultural community of Vancouver,” says Berglund. “This is an easy way to contribute to allied accessibility, in a city renowned for its high cost of living, where even entertainment can be cost-prohibitive. For five years, it has been free to the public.”
Additionally, there is a charitable component to this clapback event, which furthers its community sensibilities: Organizers have once again partnered with Backpack Buddies this year to bring in non-perishable food and money donations for children of the DTES.
So gear up in all-black, grab some picnic eats and a blanket and head to Creekside Park. Keep your dogs at home, and remember there are no open flames permitted. “And if it rains, it is most definitely canceled,” add organizers.
When: Thursday, August 8 from 6-11 p.m.
Where: Creekside Park – 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver