B&B has generated more than $320 million in local economic spin-offs, plus donated $1.8 million to various AIDS and LGBT groups (All photos courtesy BBCM)
The BBCM is revamping its Black & Blue Festival with its upcoming move to the cutting-edge L’Arsenal space in Montreal’s historical Griffintown neighbourhood, for the famed circuit party’s 23rd edition this October.
Who can forget the entire field
At Olympic Stadium covered in
candles with a walkway to the dance
floor in the shape of an AIDS
ribbon, at B&B in 2000?
Some 5,000 people danced the night away on three dance floors in Montreal’s Palais des Congrès last year. The all-night circuit party’s attendance peaked in 1999 when 17,000 partygoers packed B&B’s dancefloor in the outfield of Olympic Stadium.
“We are excited to begin a new era of events with the selection of L’Arsenal as a major innovative space,” says Black & Blue president and co-founder Robert Vezina, “a great way for BBCM to increase the success of the Foundation and the generated proceeds in order to help community groups.”
The Black & Blue Festival this week also announced its new major partnership with the Priape group as a Principal Title Sponsor, which follows the recent announcement of its major partnership with New York’s Saint at Large. “Our new partnerships with Priape and The Saint will help us reach our goals,” says Vezina, pointing out the event will be re-geared towards the gay tourist jet setters from all over the world, with a focus on the U.S.A.
Vezina says the choice of L’Arsenal as the new venue will also bring some freshness to the main Black & Blue event. During the mid-19th century, this industrial space served as a shipyard, constructing and servicing commercial sea-vessels. Today, the converted shipyard complex is home to contemporary art.
While the building’s interior and exterior architectural features have been preserved, L’Arsenal embraces the present by showcasing Canadian and international contemporary art and special events. The 41,000 sq.ft. space includes art galleries, an artist studio, a multimedia room and two enormous halls that can be subdivided and transformed to fit any type and size of event, where the Black & Blue Party will be held. Black & Blue organizers want to recapture a cool “warehouse” feel with plans to convert the large space into a big underground club for thousands of people.
After drawing 800 revellers to their first party in 1991 — raising $3,500 for AIDS Community Care Montreal — B&B has become the single most successful all-night dance party on the planet. Over the past two decades, Vezina says, B&B has generated more than $320 million in local economic spin-offs, plus donated $1.8 million to various AIDS and LGBT organizations.
This year’s 23rd annual Black & Blue Festival will take place from October 9 -15 during the Canadian Thanksgiving and U.S. Columbus Day Weekend. Click here for the official BBCM website.