2024 LOW-SENSORY HALIFAX PUBLIC GARDENS PROJECT: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Signy Holm
Posted on January 11th, 2024
by Signy Holm

Low-Sensory Halifax Public Gardens Project: Call for Submissions

Founded in 2008, Nocturne: Art at Night Festival (Nocturne) is a free, independent, contemporary art festival in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Annually, Nocturne brings 65,000+ people to the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth to experience art and celebrate the visual arts scene in Mi'kma'ki (Nova Scotia). This year Nocturne will take place from October 17-20, 2024.

This year, Nocturne’s 2024 curator, Shuvanjan Karmaker, has selected the theme of Microcosm as a platform for artists to consider and share stories and to create connections around shared love, experiences, tragedies, and/or responsibilities. To read more about Shuvanjan and this year’s theme, click here and here.

Nocturne acknowledges that the majority of our festival programming is often not sensory-friendly. For instance, projects often include bright lights, loud noises, and large crowds. This low-sensory call was designed to provide sensory-friendly programming as part of the festival, during daytime hours at the Halifax Public Gardens on Sunday, October 20, 2024.

Nocturne encourages applicants to consider the multitude of sensory differences and sensitivities that individuals may experience such as sensitivities to sound, bright or flashing lights, crowded spaces, etc. Proposals should consider a variety of sensory-friendly elements within their proposal.

Halifax Public Gardens comprise an entire block of the downtown core, bordered by Spring Garden Road, Summer Street, South Park Street, and Sackville Street (See map). The gardens were founded by the Nova Scotia Horticultural Society in 1836 and were recognized as a National Historic Site in 1984. The Halifax Public Gardens is also part of Canada’s Garden Route.

This project will take place on the Family Lawn area by the South-East Gate (Spring Garden Road at Summer Street). Visitors are able to walk on the grass in this area only. The project must not extend beyond the Family Lawn and must not block any pathways or prevent the public from visiting the rest of the gardens.

For the successful applicant, Nocturne pays up to $8,500 for material/production expenses, artist care, and travel, with a minimum artist fee of $2,500. Accessibility-related expenses for this project will also be covered by Nocturne, as required.

Nocturne's Programming 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.

  • We strive to create spaces that are welcoming, accessible, and safe for artists and visitors.

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 working 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.

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

DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 2, 2024, 11:59 PM (ADT)

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

Signy Holm (she/her)

Programming Coordinator

[email protected]

Melany Nugent-Noble (she/her)

Executive Director

[email protected]

Morgan Bath (she/they)

Director of Artist Care and Support

[email protected]


HOW TO APPLY

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 complete each section:

a. Contact Information

b. Artist/Collective Information

c. Project Information

d. Support Material

BUDGET TEMPLATE - This template can be downloaded as spreadsheets usable in other platforms.

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

Letters of support from collaborators or venues. (Optional)

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

e. Artist Declaration


We suggest working offline first and then copying and pasting your answers once you are ready to submit. Low-Sensory Public Gardens Project: Call for Submissions (PDF)


2. Submit your application and all additional materials before the deadline: April 2, 2024, 11:59 PM (ADT)

Please note, for accessibility purposes, 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 one hour, and it will include a recorded interview that takes place between an organizer or committee member and the applicant to go through each section of the application together. The conversation will be recorded and shared with the jury via video or transcription.


ATTEND THE INFO SESSION: Watch the info session for details about the application process and tips to support your application.


APPLICATION TIMELINE

  • January 15: Call for submissions opens

  • January 25: Info session REGISTER HERE

  • April 2: Call for submissions close. The selection committee will review and deliberate

  • April 15: The top 3 successful submissions will be contacted to present their ideas to the selection committee. One month will be given to prepare for these presentations
    • The three artists selected to present their project concepts will each receive an honorarium of $500.00.

  • May 15: Up to 3 candidates will present their ideas to the selection committee

  • June 1: Successful applicants contacted

  • August 1: Marketing materials due

  • October 17-20: Nocturne 2024

  • Dec 31, 2024: Deadline for final reports from artists


Applicants will be informed of any adjustments to this timeline.


ARTIST SELECTION, FEES & PROJECT BUDGET

This call includes a two-step selection process, with the jury selecting the three artists to present their concepts.

Step 1: The selection committee will choose up to 3 artists to present their ideas. The three artists selected to present their project concepts will each receive an honorarium of $500.00.

Step 2: Following these presentations, the selection committee will choose one successful submission.

For the successful applicant, Nocturne will pay a minimum artist fee of $2,500.00. The minimum CARFAC 2024 Fees can be found in section A.1.6: Exhibitions in Other Public Places. material/production

expenses, artist care, and travel, up to $8,500 CAD. Accessibility-related expenses for this project will also be covered by Nocturne, as required.


This project is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


FAQS

  • 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 65,000+ people to the streets of Halifax and Punamu'kwati'jk (Dartmouth) to experience art and celebrate the visual arts scene in unceded Mi'kma'ki territory (Nova Scotia).

    Nocturne will take place from October 17-20, 2024, and will include various performances, workshops, artist talks/panels and opportunities for artists to connect. A detailed festival schedule will be available closer to the festival dates.

  • Who can apply? Do artists need to experience sensory sensitivity or identify as neurodivergent to be considered?

    Artists working in any discipline and at any stage of their careers are encouraged to apply.

    Artists do not need to directly experience sensory sensitivities in order to apply for this call. We encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with low-sensory accessibility.

  • What type of projects are you looking for?

    The project should incorporate Sensory-Friendly and Accessible elements and respond to the Halifax Public Gardens.

    Low Sensory:

    Examples of sensory-friendly elements may include, but are not limited to:

    • Little or no competing noise (Music is turned down or off, fewer sudden noises, or announcements)

    • Lighting changes (No bright spotlights, flickering lights, or flashing lights)

    • Scent-free (materials, etc)

    • Inclusion of Sensory-friendly tools or sensory and fidget toys, Noise-canceling headphones/earplugs or Sunglasses

    • A variety of seating options with clear, wide paths for wheelchairs and those with mobility or balance issues, or low-vision.

    An access guide will also be required. An access guide is a document designed to provide information on the accessibility of a venue or event, including relevant sensory details. This will be developed by the successful artist in consultation with the festival staff.

    Example: QUIET PARADE access guide

    Site-Specific:

    Artists should consider the Public Gardens 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.

    Please see the Public Gardens map here.

    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. The Native Land Interactive Map is a great resource and educational tool for learning more about Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages.

  • Has Nocturne done Sunday programming before?

    In 2022 Nocturne hosted QUIET PARADE, by Aislinn Thomas et al. In 2023, we hosted Collect/ive Grief, Collect/ive Joy by Corrie Peters.

  • Are there opportunities for Artist Talks & Workshops

    Workshops/Demonstrations/Artist Talks will be scheduled on Friday, October 18. Artists can

    include in their application if they are interested in offering an artist talk, but it is not mandatory

    or guaranteed. If selected, additional CARFAC fees will be allocated for these activities.

  • What support will you provide for artists? Is there a set budget for projects?

    Compensation:

    • Temporary Public Art Component: Nocturne is proud to pay successful applicants an equitable CARFAC 2024 Fee Schedule, and 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.

    Accessibility:

    • 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.

    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 from 2021-2023.

  • 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.

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

    • Calls for Submission: We are also currently accepting applications to our call for Saturday night programming for Submissions. Artists are permitted to submit to multiple calls that they are eligible for.

    • Community Group and Galleries Call for Submission: Nocturne works with local Community Groups and Galleries each year for the festival. This call will be open in late Spring 2024.

    • 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 2024 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].

  • 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. All applications will 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:

    • Alignment to Nocturne’s core values and 2024 Theme

    • Artistic Merit

    • Low-Sensory Accessibility

    • Impact

    • Experience/Planning to execute project successfully

    • Budget

    • Relevance to place/community

  • When will I hear if my project was successful?


    • January 15: Call for submissions opens

    • January 25: Info session REGISTER HERE

    • April 2: Call for submissions close. The selection committee will review and deliberate

    • April 15: The top 3 successful submissions will be contacted to present their ideas to the selection committee. One month will be given to prepare for these presentations
      • The three artists selected to present their project concepts will each receive an honorarium of $500.00.

    • May 15: Up to 3 candidates will present their ideas to the selection committee.

    • June 1: Successful applicants contacted

    • August 1: Marketing materials due

    • October 17-20: Nocturne 2024

    • Dec 31, 2024: Deadline for final reports from artists

    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 to apply using an alternative format or have any questions?

    We are happy to answer any questions you may have and to accommodate applicants facing barriers to completing an online application or any part of our application process.

    Please note, for accessibility purposes, 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 one hour, and it will include a recorded interview that takes place between an organizer or committee member and the applicant to go through each section of the application together. The conversation will be recorded and shared with the jury via video or transcription.


    Signy Holm (she/her)

    Programming Coordinator

    [email protected]


    Melany Nugent-Noble (she/her)

    Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Morgan Bath (she/they)

    Director of Artist Care and Support

    [email protected]

  • Do you have any other advice for artists interested in applying?

    At the end of each festival season, we ask participating artists what advice they would give other artists applying to Nocturne. Here’s what the 2023 Nocturne cohort had to share:

    • Application
      • “Pitch hard! Don't soften the pitch.”

      • “Go even bolder! I would have loved to have attempted something even more challenging and more interactive.”

      • “I think I might tell me and other artists who apply to be persistent. Each round of applications is different from the last, the theme changes, and the jury changes. If you're confident in your idea/project just keep trying.”

      • “Advocate for your work and your name”

    • Funding, Planning, and Resources
      • “Be very clear about costs! My first time doing Nocturne as an independent artist (many years ago), I undervalued nearly everything and was well out of pocket for the project, thinking that it would be better to appear as "cheap" as possible.”

      • “Definitely make use of all resources the festival offers to support the artists and plan ahead so you can have flexibility during the night of the festival, be it for last-minute adjustments (they are always needed) or for enjoying other projects as the night progresses.”

      • “Applying for a project grant for additional funding alongside the Nocturne funding would have been great. I wish I would have sought that out. I also wish I was organized enough to know what I needed for help, and then maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to install. I'm really glad I came 5 days early though and I'm also glad I built the piece at home first and shipped it rather than try to get it all printed and cut there. That planning helped me in the long run.”

      • “Be aware of other grant application deadlines and their timing with respect to Nocturne. If you're out of province consider all the ways you can plan your work before actually arriving there”

      • “To research travel costs a bit more and book hotels a lot earlier.”

      • “Learn how to ask for accommodations. Have self-awareness around what your needs are for your project. Connect and talk with other Nocturne and past participants to get a sense of their experience.”

    • During the Festival
      • “Consider the audience as part of your project!”

      • “Consider how you will pace yourself through the length of the evening, remembering that you can set a schedule of performance times, or plan to have a volunteer team to help you balance the durational element of the event.”

      • “Think carefully about what you will need to complete the festival night. Imagine the night progressing and try to think of things that could come up.”

  • Are there any other resources and information available to me?