Thank you for another amazing Nocturne! We are so happy with the feedback we have received so far. We would love to hear what you thought!


What is Nocturne?

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.  

Read more about them here. 


The Nocturne Committee lends voice and agency to the Halifax arts community by facilitating collaborations and exhibition opportunities in the form of a free, nighttime contemporary arts event. The objective of the committee is to execute an annual event that highlights the existing arts community in the Halifax area that serves both the residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality and tourists. The committee acts as facilitator for galleries, artists and volunteers to provide an yearly arts event in both private and public spaces. By creating an accessible yet professional arts event for the community, the Nocturne committee aims for integrity and inclusiveness in all facets of event planning.


The Nocturne: Art at Night Society facilitates exhibition opportunities based on a high standard of curatorial integrity and collaboration. Nocturne enriches and enlivens communities through the creation and exhibition of thoughtful, well executed contemporary artworks. Nocturne engages in municipal, regional, national and international contemporary arts discourse by providing professional opportunities to artists. Nocturne operates in a fiscally sustainable and responsible manner to grow in quality and impact.


  • Present critical and relevant art event(s) of a high artistic and professional standard focused on the strengths of the Halifax/local art community and that includes regional, national, and international representation
  • Increase public attendance and encourage community engagement throughout the Nocturne experience.
  • Secure human resources to deliver Nocturne activities with the guidance of the Board of Directors. Our goal is to shift the organization’s operations from a working Board to paid staff.
  • Achieve sustainability by securing and maintaining financial resources through the development of partnerships with government organizations, businesses, and communities in the region that share Nocturne’s values.

Interested in being more than a spectator? Get Involved!