Photographed by: Daniella Guzzo
Vancouver was buzzing on Tuesday night. On the West side of the city, folks were dressed to the nines, en blanc, as they wined and dined the night away at Canada Place. While on the East end of the city, it was all noir, as people of all ages gathered together to break bread and celebrate summer at Crab Park. It’s interesting, I was invited to both events, and seeing as I had attended the Diner en Blanc event last year, I was very intrigued and curious about Ce Soir Noir…
The FaceBook invitation reads: “This is no chic-picnic. It’s actually not fancy whatsoever. It’s also free. We are here to invite you to a democratic gathering in CRAB Park on Tuesday, the 25th of August. The task at hand is simple – dress head-to-toe in your blackest clothes, grab some friends, some food and beverages, a big blanket and set yourself down for the evening for peaceful resplendence in one of Vancouver’s finest parks”.
I liked what I was reading, and was especially touched when I read: *We ask that you also bring an item of non-perishable food to donate. We have partnered with Backpack Buddies and they will be on site in a clearly marked area accepting food donations. There are some children that go hungry every week that could use some extra help, so why don’t we help?
So I pulled myself together and made my way down to the park to have a look-see and meet with event organizers to learn more about this night black.
Here’s the the “hi” and “low” of my outfit. My slip dress is from Value Village. I love this little number, especially the criss-cross back detail AND because, A) it’s black, and everything looks good in black; B) it’s so effortless and easy to wear; and C) it was only $10 – SCORE! My wedge sandals are from Winners. They’re Steve Madden and I scooped them up for $29 – LOVE! My bag is Alexander Wang and you’ve seen me wearing this one many time. It’s a splurge item I purchased 5 years ago and it’s still going strong!
I had the opportunity to meet Graeme Berglund and George Vergette, the “Men in Black” behind this event, and here’s what they had to say…
How did Ce Soir Noir come to be?
We wanted to do something that was tongue and cheek in response to Diner en Blanc. We’re both artist and liked this idea of having a instillation of a large gathering of people in the park wearing all black. In this day and age, it’s as simple as posting a FaceBook page and gaging peoples’ response. Within 24 hours, it struck a cord, and a nerve, with people and the online response was incredible. Primarily because it caused a discussion between the interest at both the “white” and the “black” parties. The reality is that both events can exist together and their are people that like aspects of each event. We wanted to create an event for those who felt like they were not interested in going to Diner en Blanc.
Why Crab Park?
It’s our favorite park. It’s centralized, secluded and in an industrial area with no worries about noise restriction for neighbors. Very few people know about it but this park has a lot of history behind it. It was originally named Portside Park in 1986. In 2004, a neighbourhood park committee known as “Create a Real Available Beach” (CRAB) championed their support behind this recreational area, and officially renamed it Crab Park at Portside. It’s so accessible because you walk right off of Main Street and over the bridge, and there it is!
Meet the organizers…
Will their be a Second Annual Ce Soir Noir?
This may be the first ever, one-off event. We’ve been contacted by other people in other cities to create an event like this; cities that are hosting Dine en Blanc that want to take on a simlar concept under the same name. We’ll have to digress to see where we go from here. There’s definitely room for growth!
What a lovely evening! I’m so glad I came out, and I look forward to next year’s event. Thank you Graeme and George, for taking the time to chat with me. Congrats on a fantastic community gathering!