Nocturne is a free visual art festival held each autumn in downtown Halifax. This year the event takes place on October 15, from 6pm – 12am. Recently AE spoke with the festival’s chairperson Rose Zack about the happening and its impact on the local community.

SPC: How does the event work?
RZ: Nocturne achieves its mandate by working collaboratively with artists and arts organization as well as with the individuals who manage and run their respective locations/venues/sites. To date, event organizers are delighted to have the committed support of numerous community groups, cultural organizations, non-profits, businesses and more. Furthermore, public museums and galleries have committed to waiving their admission fees on October 15, ensuring access to everyone. Temporary exhibits and installations transform store fronts, walls, abandoned lots and other public and private spaces transforming perceptions of where art exists and encouraging the viewer to reconsider spaces they pass by every day.

SPC: How important is Nocturne for local visual artists?
RZ: Nocturne creates a forum for artists to explore new ideas, work collaboratively with other artists, musicians and performers. The collective experience provides artists with an audience and reach they might not otherwise have on their own.

SPC: What are some of the events and exhibits we can look forward to this year?
RZ: Participants can experience Nocturne by foot, bike, boat and bus. Tours will focus on facilitating dialogue and opportunities for engagement. This year, several of the projects are much more collaborative and as a result, larger in scope. I’m excited to see some of the musical features, one a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Trial by Jury’, with performances by Halifax Judges, youth and a chorus. The second is a “Lounge Act”, by Lisa Lipton, all taking place at the lounge of the Hotel Atlantica. I will be taking the ferry to listen to some music and make my way over to Dartmouth to see the transformation at Alderney Landing. There are themes around water, with a project at Centennial Pool and a carwash experience you can walk through. Several projects explore light and civic works, as well as interactive and participatory installations. I’m also hoping to run into the half dozen mobile projects and experience galleries filled to the brim with people! I can’t forget about the exhibits and galleries and museums, plus the anchor projects. There is a lot to experience.

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