Nocturne: Art at Night is a fall festival that brings art and energy to the streets of Halifax between 6 p.m.-midnight. The completely free annual event showcases and celebrates the visual arts scene in Halifax. Nocturne, designed and planned largely by volunteers, is an opportunity for everyone to experience the art of Halifax in a whole new light. The Nocturne program and map guide residents and visitors alike to a variety of exhibitions in galleries and public spaces throughout the city.
Nocturne is a not-for-profit organization. We work on building partnerships with the city and area businesses and government organizations to bring the city access to art and wonder with no barriers.
Geographically, Nocturne takes place within the Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.
Every year Nocturne works with a new curator to present a theme and anchor artists. These projects echo the year’s theme and create gathering spots to which to explore the festival from.
2017 Curatorial Theme: VANISH
Nocturne: Art at Night invites artists and organizations to submit proposals responding to the theme VANISH.
As a curatorial premise, the term Vanish alludes to both the ephemeral nature of the Nocturne experience and the shifting focus that occurs as new or forgotten memories are transposed over prevalent narratives and pasts. Vanish is not erasure or removal, but an act of distancing or blurring. Vanish is slow magic — a camera lens slowly adjusting its focus. In 2017, as we usher in a year punctuated with celebrations of significant moments in Canadian history, it is important to take time to reflect on the complex nature of cultural remembrance. As a means to creatively disrupt the dominant narratives that have come to define the city’s complex history, Vanish seeks to re-envision familiar public spaces throughout Halifax / Dartmouth as phantasmagoric alternative realities.
Read more about the theme here.
Every year Nocturne engages a curator or curatorial team to present a theme from which to position the festival. This years curatorial team is anna sprague and Emily Lawrence.