Festival Curator: Nocturne 2025 - Request for Expressions of Interest

Signy Holm
Posted on June 14th, 2024
by Signy Holm

Festival Curator: Nocturne 2025 - Request for Expressions of Interest

Founded in 2008, Nocturne: Art at Night Festival (Nocturne) is a free, independent, contemporary art festival in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) that brings art and energy to the streets of our city, showcasing and celebrating the visual arts scene in Mi'kma'ki (Nova Scotia).

Annually, Nocturne brings 65,000+ people to the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth. At the core, Nocturne’s mandate is to provide equal opportunities to artists from all over to show their work to new audiences. Nocturne is pleased to announce this call for curator or curatorial team to organize Anchor Projects to be presented at Nocturne 2025. In 2025, Nocturne will take place from October 16th-19th, 2025.

The opportunity:

Curator(s) will develop a vision/theme for the 2025 festival and will curate the Anchor Project program. Nocturne’s Anchor Project program consists of site-specific installations and performance art activations at sites across Halifax and Dartmouth.

Nocturne highly encourages curator-selected projects that are site-specific in nature, are conceptually experimental or innovative, further ongoing efforts to be a barrier-free festival and introduce new artists to Nocturne’s audiences. The selected curator (or curatorial team) will work directly with Nocturne and Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) staff to secure the siting of the Anchor Projects.

Budgets for Anchor Projects including artist fees for Anchor Project artists will be developed by the curator (and collaborators, where applicable). The curator will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive Anchor Project proposal to include confirmed artist participants, detailed project descriptions, individual project budgets, project schedules, and site confirmations. Funds for the Anchor Projects are administered directly by the HRM at their sole discretion. Nocturne will further support the curator(s) and Anchor Projects with promotion, marketing, installation assistance, and documentation.

Selected curators will also be expected to:

  • Participate on the Nocturne Programming Committee, including assisting with the jury of Beacon Projects.

  • Promote the festival through their network.

  • Attend artist information sessions.

  • Be available to present updates to the Nocturne Board of Directors and staff members.

  • Take interviews with local and national media.

  • Host 1-2 public presentations regarding the curatorial vision leading up to the festival.

  • Work with project partners, as required.


The selected applicant(s) will receive a curatorial fee of $10,000 CAD for development of the theme, selection of artists, and administration of the curator-selected Anchor Project program. Should the selected applicant wish to partner with an organization (or collaborator) the allocation of these funds are left to the discretion of the selected applicant and their partners, and should be reflected in the application.

Application materials:

  • Brief letter of intent including a curatorial direction for the festival. This vision can be further fleshed out after selection, we just want to know the general direction you plan to take the festival. In this letter you can also let us know if you plan to work with a collaborator or partner organization(s), and should include written indication from the named partner(s) reflecting support for the application.

  • Biographies of curator(s) (max 300 words) and CVs (max 3 pages).

  • Images/links to completed exhibitions/projects (max 5 total) that convey an impression of your curatorial approaches, achievements, and interests.

  • Experience in curating large festivals is considered an asset but is not required.

Submission process:

  1. Please compile your materials into a single PDF (max file size 20MB) and email the PDF to [email protected] and [email protected]. Please use the subject heading: NOCTURNE CURATOR PROPOSAL 2025 when you submit. A jury comprising Nocturne and HRM members will review all complete proposals received by the submission deadline. Submission deadline: July 26, 2024.

  2. The jury will invite up to three shortlisted curators to an interview and present details of their proposed theme and experience. Nocturne will provide an honorarium of $250 for the shortlisted curators/candidates, for their time to prepare and for the interview.


Submissions open: June 14, 2024

Submissions close: July 26, 2024

Shortlisted curators notified: early August 2024

Shortlisted curator presentations: early September 2024

Successful curator notified: September 15, 2024

Contract Start: November 1, 2024

Photo by Narbir Sharma

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