News / Halifax

Nocturne set to inspire Halifax with tens of thousands expected for art at night festival

The theme for this year is Found and Lost and Found.

NSCAD artist Frankie Macaulay holds up one of her miniature houses from her piece Urban Paper Illuminated, which is part of Saturday's Nocturne: Art Night festival. See MetroNews

Jeff Harper/Metro

NSCAD artist Frankie Macaulay holds up one of her miniature houses from her piece Urban Paper Illuminated, which is part of Saturday's Nocturne: Art Night festival. See MetroNews

Get ready to get lost and found, and found again.

Halifax is gearing up for the eighth annual Nocturne: Art at Night festival this Saturday.

The free event, put on by volunteers, showcases the arts scene in downtown Halifax and Dartmouth. 

Last year, more than 25,000 people attended.

"It's definitely our busiest year yet," said Lindsay Ann Cory, the acting chair and program director for Nocturne.

"I think people should allow themselves to be surprised. There's so much happening this year."

People are invited to travel to fixed points throughout the city where projects will be showcased based on this year’s theme, Found and Lost and Found. 

“It’s really about rediscovery, but also lamenting the loss of things that aren’t here anymore,” Cory said.

“Halifax goes through changes constantly and where one amazing building pops up, like the library, we lose another, like the Khyber.”

Cory said Nocturne gives artists the chance to find their voice, and then share that with the community.

One such artist is Janice Wright Cheney from Fredericton, who submitted a project to Nocturne for the first time this year.

"It brings people out that may not typically come to galleries or take part in viewing contemporary art. So it presents it to the public in a fun way,” she said.

Wright Cheney, who teaches at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, said she’s amazed with how many people attended last year.

"You can hang your work up in a gallery and have it there for a few months and not have 25,000 people come see it.”

Her piece, Spectre, tells the story of a polar bear named Buddy who lived in the Banff Park Museum zoo in the early 1900s. 

"The zoo closed and they moved the animals to Calgary, and Buddy died of pneumonia a year later. So I was just thinking a lot about the bear and the life of the bear and his story.”

The piece, made of crochet snowflakes stiffened with salt, will be shown in the Anna Leonowens Gallery.

Nocturne need-to-know:

• Nocturne 2015 runs between 6 p.m. and midnight this Saturday.

• Two free Nocturne shuttle buses will run a loop in Halifax, along with a shuttle from Halifax to Dartmouth.

• Visit for complete event details.

Five pieces to notice at Nocturne:

1) Ferris Wheel, Anna Sprague

Viewers are led through the main entrance of the Halifax Citadel where they can hop on a Ferris wheel running slowly in reverse. The scene will be surrounded by carnival dancers and set to a background of eerie, backwards carnival music. 

2) Digital Shrine, Sharon Stevens

Participants can send messages to the dead at Digital Shrine, located at Camp Hill Cemetery off Summer Street. Heartfelt messages, things people wish they’d said or even just names are projected against a screen to light up the living. 

3) Cut, Members of #NSFilmJobs

Step into a film set frozen in time. Mannequins suspended mid-production reflect the film industry waiting to see what will happen after the cut to the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit. Cut can be viewed at the Pavilion on Cogswell Street.

4) Urban Paper Illuminated, Frankie Macaulay

Poke your head into the window space at Chives Canadian Bistro on Barrington Street to see the illuminated miniature paper buildings. Made of composite photographs, the piece looks at buildings as they move from neglect to reconstruction.

5) The Cat Room, Haley Kerr & Rich Aucoin

For cat lovers only: The Cat Room features around 500 cat portraits in the Artzone Gallery on Barrington Street. And if that’s not enough, the portraits are accompanied by the continuous sound of a gentle purr.

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