Nocturne 2021 Call For Community Projects

Posted on June 29th, 2021
by Nocturne


Nocturne welcomes proposals to our 14th annual contemporary art festival from Community Groups, Galleries, and Local Businesses looking to make a creative impact at Nocturne this October 13-16. We encourage proposals to respond to the curatorial vision of the festival and are happy to provide assistance to applicants anytime.

This blog post should give you all the information you need to know before you apply but if you have any questions at all feel free to reach out to our team at the contacts below.

DEADLINE: August 25
2021 CURATOR: Liliona Quarmyne
2021 THEME: Liminal

NEED HELP? Application assistance is available! Contact our staff:

I’thandi Munro, Programming Coordinator
[email protected]

Ready to apply?


Keep reading for the rest of our submission guidelines.


Nocturne: Art at Night (Nocturne) is a fall festival that brings art and energy to the streets of Kjipuktuk (Halifax & Dartmouth). The completely free annual event showcases and celebrates the visual arts scene in Mi'kma'ki (Nova Scotia). Nocturne 2021 will take place from October 13-16, 2021.

Established in 2008, Nocturne holds space for new experiences and meaningful exchange through the exhibition of temporary public artworks in downtown Kjipuktuk (Halifax & Dartmouth) and online. We aim to present critical and relevant art event(s) of a high artistic and professional standard that focus on the strengths of many diverse local art communities that exist here in Mi'kma'ki. In 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nocturne expanded to weeklong timeline as well as the type of work we were able to showcase. We now include digital and virtual art including animations, short films, interactive online experiences, live coding, virtual performances, and more.

Nocturne will continue to move forward in this hybrid manner for the foreseeable future due to public health restrictions and in 2021 our festival will pan 4 days from October 13-16.

Every year when we do this call for projects 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.

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 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.


  • We encourage proposals that reflect Nocturne's core values
  • We encourage emerging artists, creatives, arts workers, makers, to apply
  • We aim to support efforts that are exploratory, challenging, and critical in nature.
  • We encourage applicants to propose new work as well as projects that have been started or completed elsewhere.
  • We seek to view applicants from a lens of equity and aim to create space for equal opportunities.


Community Projects are self-funded and self-executed. We are happy to provide in-kind support through promotion through inclusion in our official guide, dedicated project page on our website and through our social media.

Nocturne is also committed to Accessibility, Inclusion, and Artistic Care and encourages Community Groups, Galleries, and Local Businesses to work with artists to create their projects for Nocturne. Payment of those artists will be the responsibility of the submitting group unless otherwise organized through a Nocturne community partnership.


Every year we work with a new curator to bring to life a curatorial concept or theme for our artists to respond to at our art at night festival. This year we have selected Liliona Quarmyne as our curator who has chosen the theme: Liminal.

To be liminal is to be in between. To be suspended between realities. It is to see both past and future, to know where we have been and see where we have to go, to have left one way behind without yet being able to live what is ahead. It is transition, threshold, possibility, ambiguity.

In this time when we struggle to release previous ways and look to new realities of justice and care, how can creativity enliven the liminal space in which we live? How can our experiences of being both here and there enable us to acknowledge our complexity and contradiction? For those living experiences of marginalization and oppression, how can art bring power to the liminal experience?

This is an invitation to step into the portal that hangs between. This portal is multi-dimensional, able to turn and rotate, to be seen from many angles and perspectives. It is both complex and piercingly clear. It is liminal.

As we step into this liminality, can we begin to imagine that which cannot yet be imagined?

New this year we hired an artist to work with our curator to visualize the theme and give artists more indication of where the curator is going. We were very excited to work with designer Kadeem Hinch.

LIMINAL visualized theme by Kadeem Hinch


In 2021, Nocturne will continue to happen both physically and virtually. We encourage proposals of all kinds: radio, video, installation, performance, community engagement and using whatever physical or virtual platform you can come up with as long as it does not require large social gathering. Proposals for Nocturne 2021 must comply with the Nova Scotia government's COVID-19 Recovery Plan and all public health restrictions related to events.

This means that:

  • Applicants must be in Nova Scotia or have the ability to travel to Nova Scotia.
  • Nocturne installations can be up for viewing for the duration of the festival, October 13-16, or on a specific day during the duration of the festival. The schedule will be viewable from our website and we will do our best to communicate this to the public as well.
  • All public health regulations must be followed as they pertain to your business. Nocturne will support by providing signage if necessary.
  • Projects are not stuck to only happen at night time. If you would like your project to be open to visitors during the day, let us know. This is a change to spread the crowds over a longer period of time and prevent businesses from having to open after hours if that isn't feasible for them.

If you have any questions, please get in touch via email or give us a call.


Applicants are encouraged to apply via our online form (linked at the APPLY NOW button below). 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.

We suggest working offline first and copy & paste your answers once you are ready to submit. If you have any issues with the form please contact us at [email protected].


Nocturne takes place across 5 unique zones:

  1. North End (Hydrostone to Cogswell Including Quinpool and surrounding side streets)
  2. Downtown Halifax (Hollis to Brunswick including all side streets)
  3. Downtown Dartmouth (Including all of Downtown Dartmouth)
  4. Waterfront (Along the waterfront and up to Hollis)
  5. Spring Garden Area (Including Universities and surrounding side streets)

As a Community Group, Gallery, or Local Business, your venue is usually your place of business and a site you already operate from. However, if you are looking to secure a different site please keep the following in mind:

  • Most venues and sites have permissions you need to gain in order to access them. Please investigate before applying.
  • If you operate from a shared space consider partnering on a project to utilize more space.


Nocturne is here to provide assistance at any step of your application journey. Feel free to send us an email, set up a call to chat all about the process, meet the curator, learn about the theme and discuss any questions or concerns.