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Nocturne 2015: how to party arty 

This year's theme for artists is Found and Lost and Found. But for the city, it’s all about transformation.

click to enlarge Past Nocturne lovers - MICHELLE DOUCETTE
  • Past Nocturne lovers
  • Michelle Doucette

“We love for people to experience Nocturne and see what the artists in their community are actually doing,” says Nocturne coordinator Kim Farmer. “They’re creating projects specifically for the night, and most are creating them specifically for this year’s theme, Found and Lost and Found. It’s about our changing city, about the changes that happen or are about to happen and supporting the arts."

Since 2008, like Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Nocturne has turned Halifax and Dartmouth into a large-scale night-time spectacle of free art galleries and installations with the participation of local artists, curators and volunteers who attempt to awe and inspire. From 6pm to midnight on Saturday, everyone is invited to Nocturne, from the north, south, east and west to the Dartmouth Common. 

Thousands of people annually take part in Nocturne in an attempt to see all of the projects across the city. Indeed, that’s the challenge. And Nocturne’s vistors can plan a route or roam spontaneously.  “It really depends on your personality,” says Farmer. “I would suggest picking two or three projects that you really want to see and explore along the way. You’ll come across things you wouldn’t expect to see. You can also pick areas that have large groupings of projects, like spokes on a wheel.” 

This year, for the first time, Nocturne will host a central hub in the parking lot of the Museum of Natural History. There, you can pick up a guide, plan out your route, grab a snack or have a chat.  “We thought it would be a great chance for the public to have a gathering spot to get info on the projects,” Farmer says. “There’s also going to be The Pop-Up Professor, a group of Saint Mary’s University art professors who will chat with anyone about the projects, in more depth, if they’d like.” 

Then you’re free to roam and experience how each of artists and groups interpreted this year’s theme. From Sobey Art Award nominee Lisa Lipton’s basketball game at Citadel High (#305) and karaoke on the ferry (Ferry-Oke!) to a remix of Spider-Man cartoons (#114) and Jeremy Tsang’s talking lighthouse (#200), Nocturne is wondrous in imagination, innovation and contemplation. 

“There are many different ways to touch on the theme,” Farmer says. “It’s a broad theme and it can be conceptual, and most artists did try and fit within that realm.”

Projects might touch on ideas about population, urban development, gentrification, the city’s history and the city’s future, as well as the more light-hearted and the more technical installations that focus on Halifax’s community spirit. “We are thrilled with the different and huge variety of projects this year,” says Farmer. “It’s a free event so why not check it out and support the arts in Halifax.”

As you roam about the city, make sure to Tweet and Instagram your Nocturne experience with #NocHfx2015. See you out there!

Click here for our Nocturne 2015 coverage.


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