Welcome to Nocturne

Founded in 2008, Nocturne Art at Night Society (Nocturne) is a non-profit organization based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) that gives voice and agency to the local arts community by facilitating collaborations and exhibition opportunities.

Nocturne’s mandate is to present critical and relevant art events of a high artistic and professional standard that focuses on the strengths of the local art community and features regional, national, and international representation.

We want to change the way you see art, change the way you see your city.

Nocturne’s keystone event is the annual Art-at-Night public art festival, which takes place over four days during the third week in October. The festival began in 2008 as a conversation between representatives of art galleries and cultural institutions interested in provoking broader public interest in the visual arts sector. Looking at ‘Nuit Blanche’ events and other nighttime-based models taking place within Canada and internationally, the consensus approach of that initial group was to develop something similar in support of Halifax’s artists and cultural communities.

In addition to the Art-at-Night festival, Nocturne also hosts year-round programming that provides access to the arts, community engagement through the arts and artist support:

Nocturne's Mandate

The objective of the organization is to present critical and relevant art event(s) of a high artistic and professional standard that focuses on the strengths of the local art community which includes a regional, national and international representation.

Our Mission, Vision & Values

  • Mission

    Nocturne: Art at Night celebrates contemporary professional art in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. Through our festival and additional programming, we use art as a catalyst for connection.

  • Vision

    Nocturne: Art at Night is the premier art experience in a thriving community.

  • Values
    • Artist-Centered Approach: In everything we do, we strive to provide a strong foundation of artist care and outreach, centering the artists in our processes and decision-making.
    • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: We know that the arts help build community capacity for reconciliation, conversation, interaction, and a sense of vibrancy and belonging to one's community. Nocturne prioritizes the presentation of work created by Black and Indigenous artists, Newcomer artists, 2SLGBTQIA+ artists, and artists living with disabilities and across language boundaries.
    • Empowerment through arts: Nocturne aims to provide space and time to consider the issues facing us today. Nocturne's programming considers the local, global, and artistic contexts in which it exists. We continue to provide opportunities for artists to create something they don't have to sell and to explore new work with the financial resources and logistical support to ensure success. We recognize a gap in the sector that demands artists to self-promote, self-advocate, self-market, and constantly generate new works for sale and make a profit while doing it. We address this by taking the pressure off monetizing experimental artwork and new collaborations to allow artists the space to build a practice reflective of the full spectrum of their artistic capabilities.

Reconciliation in the Arts

We believe that reconciliation is the responsibility of all Canadians. We acknowledge that Nocturne and most of our activities take place within Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. As an organization, we are always looking for and finding ways to bring reconciliation into our practices and planning. We wanted to take a moment to outline some of our efforts.

Some of our work has included hiring Indigenous curators and prioritizing Indigenous artists in our programming. We also include BIPOC representation on our selection committees, which is a paid role for the festival based on CARFAC artist fees. In terms of hiring, we created a hiring policy that values lived experiences as well as education and work credits. For example, the soft skills and equity lens of the candidate are always valued within this process. In our call for projects we encourage artists of all backgrounds to consider the land and Treaties in place when they submit their applications to the festival. We introduce our events and festival with a land acknowledgement that does the same and encourage our artists hosting events to do so. Building caring partnerships with Indigenous artists and organizations in Kjipuktuk is also key to our reconciliation efforts.

These efforts help us to push the needle forward in decolonizing our sector. We will continue to add to these efforts whenever possible. If you have ways you think we could do more, please reach out to [email protected]