Art Now. Sleep Later.
The tag line for Nocturne, Halifax's free night-time art experience. An event I would have never heard about (because I live under a rock) be it not for facebook and my arty friend Ashton.
Let me take you back to the beginning. Arty friends Ashton, Kristen and I have been meeting on a somewhat regular basis, to explore different art forms, have worldly chats, and indulge in luscious lattes (we only did that once, but that's besides the point). At our last meeting, teaching me to knit was on the agenda. I came prepared with yarn donated by my husband's 100 year old Grandmother (years of knitting wisdom not included, unfortunately). We arrived to find that our regular meeting place had changed to it's fall/winter hours of operation, and was closing for the evening. We were left to find a new place that stayed opened late and had space for our crafty endeavours. I digress.
When last we met, we decided to plan some field trips. Check out local consignment shops, craft markets, art galleries, that sort of thing. Ashton, being closer to the pulse of cool things invited us to come along with her and her friends to Nocturne, a free art at night event. All I knew was that a few galleries would be opened late and you walked around the city finding them. Boy was I in for a surprise!
Our Nocturne adventure began at 1313 Hollis Street, a non-profit music/art space, offering live Jazz music by Denma Peisinger, five minute portraits, an art exhibit, and a screening room for a series of video shorts. It was here we received our forty plus page brochure/guide and I realized we were in for far more than just a few galleries, opening up for free, really late at night. Nocturne consisted of 32 art galleries, 34 independent projects, 6 spot light listings, two bus routes (with rotating on board entertainment, featuring 10 different acts) and a ferry ride. Holy crap, we were giddy... you know in an artsy kinda, we're really cool kinda way.
We visited Circus Extravaganza by Circus Circle, Studio Revolved by Mocean Dance, Scenes May Contain Violins at the Hydrostone Park, Stairway to Heaven and Khyber ICA at Khyber, ART 1274 Hollis, and many many more attractions and exhibits.
My personal favorite of the exhibits we visited was called "Storybook" by Tanya Davis. "An entrancing journey into the fantastical tales of Tanya Davis." Short stories read by the author with illustrations, and a live choir of sound effects. Dressed in a wedding gown complete with a Princess Di-esk head piece for no apparent reason, Tanya was enchanting and endearing as she read relevant children's stories about topics hitting close to home.
The highlight of my night was when Kristen and I hopped on the Brown ~ northbound bus. We had no idea the route of the bus, what we were in for or where we'd end up, we were, however ready for an adventure. As we boarded one entertainer was packing up and another was trying to figure out the logistics of how their five person group was going to play a gig on a moving bus with frequent stops. (Sounds like a gig Murray would book on Flight of the Concords). We were treated to the sounds of Mishra's Dream, A Gypsy Jazz group from Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
A magical night indeed, one of which I have never experienced before. Nocturne attracted the most diverse group of people I have ever seen walk the streets of Halifax on a Saturday night. To the city of Halifax Regional Municipality, our Mayor Peter Kelly, our Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage Percy Paris, the Nocturne Executive Committee, Volunteers, Sponsors and artists, I thank you for an amazing night.