2023 Nocturne Dartmouth Commons Call for Submissions

Melany Nugent-Noble
Posted on January 12th, 2023
by Melany Nugent-Noble

2023 Nocturne Dartmouth CommonsCALL FOR SUBMISSIONS IS NOW OPEN


Nocturne is currently seeking artists to participate in our 2023 programming by developing a family-friendly temporary public artwork that will be exhibited during daytime programming at Dartmouth Commons on Sunday, October 15, 2023.

Dartmouth Commons is a large open green space that provides a peaceful retreat for residents and visitors to enjoy. The park features lawns, gardens, and a variety of recreational amenities, including walking and bike paths, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a public pizza oven. Attractions and amenities include a large pond, gazebos, picnic shelters, public washroom facilities, parking and wheelchair-accessible paths.

For successful applicants, Nocturne pays equitable CARFAC 2023 Fees, material/production expenses, including accessibility costs, artist care, and travel.

Nocturne's Core Values

  • We encourage proposals that reflect Nocturne's core values as an independent, non-commercial, and contemporary art festival.

  • We encourage emerging artists, creatives, arts workers, and makers to apply.

  • We aim to support efforts that are exploratory, challenging, and critical in nature.

Encouraging Creatives and Artists

  • We encourage applicants to propose new work as well as projects that have been started or completed elsewhere.

  • We encourage artists in all mediums to apply.

  • We seek to view applicants from a lens of equity and aim to create space for equal opportunities.

  • We encourage proposals for interactive and engaging installations.

Commitment to Decreasing Barriers

  • We are committed to decreasing barriers at Nocturne and do our best to ensure the venues and projects at Nocturne reflect those commitments.

Details about the application process can be found below, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact our team at the contact information below. We are happy to assist applicants anytime.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 17, 2023, midnight (AST)

Watch Call for Submissions Info Session, hosted March 15, 2023.


Apply using THIS FORM.

This is a fillable Google form so keep in mind that while you can work on it as you go you cannot save the form to come back to it later.

  1. Fill out your application form and be sure to complete each section:
    1. Contact Information

    2. Artist/Collective Information

    3. Project Information

    4. Support Material
      1. BUDGET TEMPLATE - This template can be downloaded as spreadsheets usable in other platforms.

      2. IMAGE LIST TEMPLATE - This template can be downloaded as spreadsheets usable in other platforms.

      3. (Optional) Letters of support from collaborators or venues.

      4. An up-to-date artist CV + Bio (2 pages max per artist. Please include all CVs/bios in 1 PDF).

    5. Artist Declaration

We suggest working offline first and then copying and pasting your answers once you are ready to submit.

2. Submit your application and all additional materials before the deadline: April 17, 2023, midnight (AST)

In addition to the Google Form application, Nocturne will also accept proposals via phone, video, or audio file as needed by the applicant. Please get in touch via email at: [email protected] to arrange this submission type. This process will take approximately 1 hour, and it will include a recorded interview that takes place between an organizer or committee member and the applicant, where we will go through each section of the application together. The conversation will be recorded and shared with the jury via video or transcription.


  • What and when is Nocturne?

    Founded in 2008, Nocturne: Art at Night Festival (Nocturne) is a free, independent, contemporary art festival in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Annually, Nocturne brings 60,000+ people to the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth to experience art and celebrate the visual arts scene in unceded Mi'kma'ki territory (Nova Scotia).

    In 2023, Nocturne will take place from Thursday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15. Various programming will be available throughout the festival, including artist talks, performances, and our signature night-time art experience on Saturday, October 14.

    A detailed program schedule will be made available closer to the festival dates.

  • Who can apply to Nocturne? And What type of projects are you looking for?

    We are seeking artists to participate in our 2023 programming through the development of a family-friendly, daytime, temporary public artwork taking place on Sunday, October 15, 2023.

    Artists should consider Dartmouth Commons as the venue and ways that the work will be experienced. Artists should also plan for the various weather conditions that could be a factor. For more information about he amenities available at Dartmouth Commons, visit the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Parks Map, and search for 'Dartmouth Commons'.

    We encourage all applicants to consider their relationship to the land; Nocturne is an opportunity and platform to re-imagine the spaces of our city both built and natural and to interrogate the systems and institutions that govern those spaces. It is also a platform to consider the lived and experienced cultural landscapes that make up our city. The land (and waters) where Nocturne takes place is Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral, unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq Peoples first signed with the British crown in 1725. It’s important that we say unceded and unsurrendered because acts that violate these treaties are happening every day here in Mi’kma’ki and all across Turtle Island. We are all treaty people, and Nocturne strives to uphold the relationships outlined in these treaties that govern this land. We also acknowledge the significant foundations that the infrastructure and culture of Black and African Nova Scotian communities have contributed and continue to contribute to this province and country. Nocturne continues to collaborate, amplify, and connect with the many art communities that live and work here in Mi'kma'ki. To learn more about Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages, the Native Land Interactive Map is a great resource and educational tool.

    Artists are not required to respond to a specific theme.

    Artists should consider the platform and format of the Nocturne festival and imagine ways to display their work outside of a traditional setting: “Part of the point of Nocturne is to transform the city into a wondrous, meandering, artscape, and for people to experience it in a way they haven't before…for people to get swept up in it by accident.” (2022 Nocturne Artist, Steph Rybczyn)

    The projects should be enjoyable for people of all ages, including children, and broadly accessible.

    Workshops/Demonstrations/Artist talks will be scheduled on Friday, October 13. Artists can include in their application if they are interested in offering an artist talk, but it is not mandatory or guaranteed.

  • What is the complete festival schedule?

    Nocturne will take place from October 12-15, 2023, and will include various performances, workshops, artist talks/panels and opportunities for artists to connect.

    Our signature night-time art experience will take place from 6 PM-midnight on Saturday, October 14, showcasing installations, static projects, performances, and community projects. (This Call for Submissions.)

  • What support will you provide for artists?


    • Nocturne is proud to pay successful applicants an equitable CARFAC 2023 Fee Schedule, for material/production, accessibility, and artist care.

    • Artists are encouraged to consider various costs in their budget and should use the budget template provided.

    • The Nocturne Selection Committee reserves the right to ask questions about the submitted budget, provide additional funding, or suggest a different contribution amount.


    • We invite applicants to consider accessibility in their project budget. Examples of eligible costs in this category include: sign language interpretation, personal care attendant or support worker, a transcriber or specialized editor, personal project coordinator or assistant, a guide or visual describer, converting material into accessible formats, rental of specialized equipment needed for personal access or support, additional signage to make public engagement more accessible/inclusive.

    Artist Support Network:

    • To better assist early career artists during the creation and presentation of their public projects, Nocturne will support consultations, mentorships, and collaborations with Nocturne alumni and public art/production adjacent professionals.

  • Are there other ways to get involved with this year’s festival?

    Calls for Submission: We currently have our main Call for Submission for Propeller Brewing x Nocturne, Community Group and Galleries Call for Submissions, and are accepting Expressions of Interest for our 2024 Festival Curator. Each call for proposal has its specific requirements and timelines. Artists are permitted to submit to multiple calls that they are eligible for.

    Partnerships: Nocturne has broad relationships with various members of the community–artists, community partners, and sponsors–who come from a broad spectrum of sectors and perspectives, but the one thing that they have in common is their support for the arts and the Nocturne Festival to help sustain community, support artists, and create a vibrant HRM. If you are interested in partnering with Nocturne, we would love to hear from you at [email protected].

    Volunteer: Nocturne is run primarily by volunteers and would not be possible without your dedication. One of the best ways to support the festival is to come out and lend a hand! Our call for volunteers for 2023 will be made available closer to the festival dates.

    Venues: Nocturne is always seeking new and unique venues for projects. If you have a space and would like to host a project, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

  • Is there a set budget for projects?

    No. Nocturne doesn't have a set budget for projects. However, the below graph provides information about the range of budgets (inclusive of all project costs) for successful projects that took place in 2021 and 2022.

    Nocturne project Budget Graph 2021/22
    Nocturne project Budget Graph 2021/22
  • Does Nocturne provide Insurance?

    All selected projects will be insured under our Commercial General Liability policy ($5,000,000) and therefore subject to review for safety and liability concerns. Nocturne will work with artists to mitigate risks and provide any formal documentation required. This may include (but is not limited to) adding additionally insured companies/venues to our policy.

  • Can I submit more than one application?

    We understand that as an artist you have many ideas for projects you might want to pursue for Nocturne. In order to support more artists through our festival we will only be selecting one application per artist. This means you should consider focusing on one application to this call for projects rather than putting in multiple ideas with multiple collaborators. You may provide support to multiple applications within your capacity beyond your own project, however it is our intention to only have one project per artist at the festival moving forward.

  • How are projects selected?

    Staff will do an initial review of all proposals and flag anything that does not align with our festival priorities or our initial safety review or does not follow our application criteria. This list of applications will then be sent to the Nocturne Selection Committee which is composed of local artists, arts and culture workers, and community members. The Selection Committee members are paid an honorarium for their time and expertise.

    The Nocturne Selection Committee reviews the applications and makes recommendations based on the following criteria:

    1. Alignment to Nocturne’s core values

    2. Artistic Merit

    3. Impact

    4. Feasibility - We will look at your budget, timeline, and previous experience.

    5. Relevance to place/community

  • When will I hear if my project was successful?

    March 1: Call for submissions opens

    March 15: Info session REGISTER HERE

    April 15: Call for submissions close

    May 15: Successful applicants contacted

    Applicants will be informed of any adjustments to the timeline.

  • How is Nocturne funded?

    Nocturne is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Arts NS, HRM, and local community partners. Learn more about our festival partners and sponsors here.

  • Any tips for applicants?
    • Artists should consider the various weather conditions that might be a factor.

    • Take a look at examples of previous Nocturne projects from our archive.

    • Work offline first and then move all your information to the Google form.

    • Attend the info session. REGISTER HERE

  • Who do I contact if I would like application assistance or have any questions?

    Application assistance is available for anyone who faces barriers to completing an online application or any part of our application process. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Melany Nugent-Noble

    Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Morgan Bath

    Director of Artist Care & Support

    [email protected]

    Image: Arjun Lal's 'Full Moon' at Alderney Landing, Nocturne Halifax, October 13-14, 2022. Photo courtesy of the artist.