Be a placehacker \\ volunteer for Night\Shift


Night\Shift Placehacking Festival is downtown Kitchener’s free, walkable celebration of pop-up art, performance and participatory creativity, featuring contributions by local creators, entrepreneurs, organizations and citizens. The festival organization is now planning for a fourth annual instalment from November 2nd to 5th, 2016.

Night\Shift if seeking to fill a series of newly created VOLUNTEER positions as it begins ramping up for the 2016 festival:

DIGITAL MEDIA STRATEGISTS who will be responsible for:

– refreshing and managing the festival’s social media personality

– developing and implementing a social media strategy to promote festival fundraising, programming, contributors and opportunities for citizen participation

– producing digital content and pursuing self-guided digital projects

– collecting and analyzing data for audience development, helping prepare a post-festival report about festival attendees and local cultural impact

DotDns14MARKETING NINJAS who will be responsible for:

– helping to develop, strategically distribute and promote marketing materials for the festival, including flyers, posters, press releases, online campaigns and other special projects

– profiling a selection of 2016 contributing artists to highlight in festival programming promo

– producing online content to encourage festival support, participation and programming exploration

– planning and managing a festival lineup launch event in September 2016, including producing and supporting an interactive art piece

FESTIVAL SPARK PLUGS who will be responsible for:

– promoting Night\Shift, the festival’s partners and volunteering or contribution opportunities at events and festivals in and around Kitchener-Waterloo in the summer and early fall of 2016

– helping with setups and teardown of a variety of installations and activity areas

– assisting with the physical distribution of marketing materials

– satisfying the needs of festival programming in whatever random ways take shape

10422030_1702885053278886_3005578518077624045_nVOLUNTEERS will work with both the festival director and volunteer coordinator, casually but based around a mutually agreeable hours per month commitment. Volunteers will work remotely and manage their own schedules, supported by orientation and direction, and will be given production, project management and problem solving challenges. Volunteers will be rewarded with appropriate letters of recommendation (upon request) and invited to festival development events. You’ll also be joining a burgeoning community of folks who care deeply about reimagining their built environment as a diverse multidimensional canvas.

volunteer [at] nightshiftwr [dot] ca

The Making of a Sound-Activated Infiniti Mirror

How a four-foot-square mirror by Mike Robertson and Bernie Rohde’s sound-activated LEDs were forged to make a dancing, endless drop into the abyss at #NightShift15

Charlena Russell + Infinity Mirror = !!!The fabulous Charlena Russell pours her voice into the dancing abyss of Bernie Rohde & Mike Robertson’s Infinity Mirror, made in Kitchener at kwartzlab: \\ Shot by Laura McBridePour yourself in too at #NightShift15, where YOU\I will be making it move: Only 24 hours left to get tickets to the post-fest wrap-up brunch: \\

Posted by NIGHT\SHIFT on Wednesday, October 28, 2015

(as told by Bernie)

Besides decorating a dark spot somewhere downtown, we’d like to see what could be done by collaborating in a makerspace. So it’s a process as much as a product – a study of Kwartzlab‘s incubator environment. Results can be radical because we all come from different planets.


Read More…

Help Night\Shift Pay Artists to Placehack

Give to the 2015 festival’s crowdfund & take home fantastic perks!

NIGHT\SHIFT Placehacking Festival celebrates local community, creativity, ingenuity and exploration. Thousands bundle up to wander downtown Kitchener after dark on the evening of the autumn time change, searching for surprises in its nooks and crannies, cultural touchstones, commercial hubs and heritage buildings. It’s a rare moment that hinges on people bundling up and coming out in uncharacteristic droves to reimagine the possibilities of their public spaces and to seek out the emotional sparks that define the core of their city.

23_MattSmith_Creatures of the Gyre 6smAfter just two years of forming Kitchener’s answer to nuit blanche, Night\Shift is now hailed as juicy evidence of downtown’s cultural rejuvenation. The festival’s underlying goal is to get locals to experience the hefty collaborative potential that is embedded where they live and work – via individuals’ creative visions, smart technological solutions, hidden treasures or uses of the built environment, and the magic of unplanned moments of interaction. The annual, walkable multidisciplinary event also makes productive and inspiring use of downtown’s so-called dead zones and underused indoor spaces, allowing festival explorers to see unappreciated areas of their community and become better connected with their surroundings and neighbours.

groovy targes_groupingNIGHT\SHIFT is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. Most of the money raised from successful grant applications as well as private donors and partnerships goes into paying festival contributors for their materials, time and energy, so they can concentrate on embedding fabulous ideas in the free programming landscape. The festival’s volunteer director has already raised more than 80% of the funds needed to support more than 30 pieces of programming for Night\Shift Halloween as we #CostumeTheCore on Saturday, October 31st, 2015.

Now we’re asking for help from local festival-goers, downtown Kitchener stakeholders and community builders, and patrons of contemporary art and creativity in Waterloo Region. Whatever money is raised by this campaign will support more than 100 contributors to the 2015 festival by topping up honoraria, helping cover administrative costs and paying for essential services like security, cleanup and promotional creative. It’ll also ensure the festival enough budget breathing room to begin getting plans for Night\Shift 2016 off the ground.

The #NightShift15 crowdfunding campaign also features a range of fabulous perks provided by a range of great downtown Kitchener businesses, including Walper Hotel, Thalmic Labs, The Yeti & Kwartzlab. Supporting the festival’s crowdfund is the only way to get into our exclusive post-fest wrap-up brunch on Sunday, November 1st at noon. Ticket holders will enjoy a scrumptious brunch buffet at Mercury Cafe, live music by Devarrow & Run Coyote and a matinee screening of Frank Oz’s director’s cut of Little Shop of Horrors at the Apollo Cinema (right next door to the Mercury) as we toast another year of nocturnal adventure in the Kitchener core. 

Help Night\Shift pay artists to placehack downtown Kitchener!


Bright Whispers: Tales of Homecoming

DSC_0143Many of us who are proud to call ourselves Canadians come from different backgrounds, speak different languages, and have our own traditions. However, as immigrants, we all have something in common: a story to tell.

Our stories represent a series of experiences that brought each of us to the place we now call our home. Immigrant experiences also helped to define Canada as a country whose core is based on the diversity of its people.

Inspired by their own stories and Canadian culture, artists Haneen Dalla-Ali and Paniz Moayeri are developing a project that uses of light and sound to showcase the homecoming tales of people from Waterloo Region.

They are two of the dozens of talented artists and organizations whose contributions will create Night\Shift: Halloween on Saturday, October 31st, 2015.


Bright Whispers will collect a total of 29 homecoming stories and inscribe them into narrow cylindrical structures, each a few feet long and made out of laser-cut card stock. Each immigrant’s story will be cut in the storyteller’s native tongue, and the cylinders – 30 in total, including one blank cylinder to speak for lost immigrant experiences – will hang from a ceiling, at a height representing how long each storyteller has spent in Canada (closer to the ground equals less time here).

A small, battery-powered light bulb will be placed in the middle of each cylinder so that each story also has a physical presence as a lantern. Once this maze of 30 lanterns is turned on, the homecoming stories will overlap and cast refracted patterns of illuminated writing on the ground, making new shapes.

Inside_the_columnTo give each story its own voice, speakers will amplify audio recordings of the storytellers speaking in their many mother tongues. As festival explorers approach the Bright Whispers installation, the cacophony of voices will form a buzz of conversation. As people get closer to each structure, each voice and inscription will emerge as its own recognizable story.

The main idea behind their project, as Haneen and Paniz explain, is to “emphasize that at the core of each immigrant’s homecoming story, the identity of the storyteller remains intact as a driving force, even with the shift in their circumstances.”

The final result of their multimedia assemblage will be a maze of light and sound created from the otherwise quiet stories of people who now call the region home.

Haneen_and_PanizTHE ARTISTS

Haneen and Paniz are both recent graduates of the University of Waterloo’s Bachelor of Architectural Studies program. “Attending the School of Architecture [UWSA] for the last five years, we have been raised as designers in a close-knit community of creative minds from diverse backgrounds,” they explain. “Not only have we shared countless unique experiences together, but also, talking amongst each other over countless potluck dinners and late-night, passion-driven conversations, we have shared many stories about our lives and the series of events that have led us to this highly selective and stimulating program. It has always been very interesting to see how each year around 70 people – all with many different backgrounds – are selected to start this highly intense journey together at UWSA, forming this community. For many of us, our immigrations to Canada have been some of the most life-defining experiences of our lives, leading us to this point.”

Previously, Haneen has lived in more than 10 different cities around the world, all of which have played a very significant role in shaping who she is today. Even though she’s very proud to have called so many different places home, moving so often is never easy. Art and family are her sanctuary – the two things that have been constant throughout her life.

DSC_0125Paniz moved to Toronto from Tehran, Iran, when she was 15. Through books and other people’s stories she has been able to find her own way to escape from reality by immersing herself in the experiences of others. Her imaginary trips have also inspired many of her most successful artistic endeavours. She’s passionate about exploring memories and different perceptions and how both change with the passage of time and through different authors and means of storytelling. 

Night\Shift is immensely proud to be showcasing the amazing work of these two talented young women. The spot where you’ll find Bright Whispers in the Night\Shift landscape will be revealed in October – stay tuned for lineup announcements.

Profile written by Cindy Aponte; photos provided by Haneen & Paniz, as well as Eric Rumble.

2015 Festival \\ Call for Contributors


The NIGHT\SHIFT 2015 call for proposals is now closed.

We are no longer accepting proposals for performances & installations at NIGHT\SHIFT 2015, which will take place over Halloween weekend this fall – October 30th, 31st & Nov 1st! Details about the application process are outlined below – the submission deadline was on Monday, July 20th.

Myriad members of the Region of Waterloo community are collaborating with the NIGHT\SHIFT \\ Halloween organizing team to produce downtown Kitchener’s third annual nuit blanche-style festival of art, culture and nocturnal adventure.

Our mission is to expand on successful 2013 & 2014 festivals and attract another diverse local audience to explore a free, provocative and walkable showcase of visual artistry, performance, participatory creativity, technological leaps, bright ideas, delicious food and warm drinks on Saturday, October 31st, 2015 – the evening that the clocks roll back. In 2015, selected festival programming will also be unveiled and/or presented earlier in the month of October, and potentially be featured in fundraising events that will take place on October 30th and November 1st.

NIGHT\SHIFT \\ Halloween will be spread throughout various indoor and outdoor locations downtown, threaded together by four event hubs: the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener City Hall, The Walper Hotel and the Kitchener Market. Wherever possible, the festival makes use of laneways, parks, intriguing buildings and overlooked outdoor gems – please consult the 2013 & 2014 explorer’s map and take yourself on an evening walking tour of the programming landscape to get a sense of which spaces might potentially be occupied by your proposed ideas or production. It’s ideal if you can suggest possible indoor or outdoor spaces that seem appropriate for your vision, or that could potentially link together other established festival venues in an interesting way.

The curation committee seeks to assemble projects and creations by a range of (primarily local) visual artists, media makers, students, social groups, entertainers, entrepreneurs, community leaders and builders, cultural organizations and other random individuals. We already have the support of a number of downtown businesses and local cultural institutions, and a green light from the City of Kitchener to produce a third version of NIGHT\SHIFT.

If you need a refresher, check out last year’s festival lineup and the social media storm it created.


Proposals for NIGHT\SHIFT \\ Halloween should be designed to explore a theme of “Costuming the Core.” Generally speaking, proposals should be written in plain language, and the programming you want to produce should be adaptable to a range of potential spaces and scenarios (until we’re discussing things more concretely) and described in simple, non-technical terms. The festival intends to be a sort of social intervention supported by Kitchener’s creative and communal forces, aimed at drawing out hidden possibilities of downtown’s built environment. In 2015 we’ll support a range of collaborative installations, performances, digital and mixed media pieces, decorations, experiences and interactive activities that will attract the festival’s audience as follows:

  • the content of all proposed projects should challenge NIGHT\SHIFT 2015 explorers to reconsider the typical usage, dimensions, appearance or purpose of participating indoor and outdoor venues in downtown Kitchener;
  • proposed projects can obviously celebrate Halloween, but it’s more important that they use set decor, illusion, imagination and storytelling to urge festival attendees to open their minds and engage with their surroundings;
  • physical and social accessibility for all event participants should be considered in your project plan.

We are currently inviting individual artists, performers, entrepreneurs, student groups and cultural organizations to submit short written proposals for installations or exhibits, technology demonstrations, performance pieces and other participatory public events under this broad theme. The deadline for proposal submissions is Monday, July 20th, 2015, at 4pm (Kitchener time).

NIGHT\SHIFT contributions must:

  • Be prepared to take place on the October 30th to November 1st, 2015, weekend, in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, between the hours of 7pm and 2am (or a pre-determined portion of that time period, and/or potentially starting earlier or running later as required);
  • Provide a high-quality, unconventional cultural experience that aims to include and engage a wide, diverse audience without jeopardizing their safety and/or that of event volunteers, organizers and other artistic contributors;
  • Explore or strongly incorporate the 2015 festival theme, “Costuming the Core”;
  • Be created within a budget of approximately $500 to $1000, including all production expenses.
  • Be chosen by the curators committee after a group evaluation of how well each proposal fits the curatorial theme, budget and basic logistical criteria for inclusion in the festival;
  • Provide free admission to NIGHT\SHIFT attendees;
  • Be installed or presented in a careful and considerate manner that abides to all by-laws, laws and safety regulations or requirements, as assessed by the City of Kitchener.

Space-specific proposal needs:

  • We are seeking multiple contributions that present video, animation or other moving pictures projected on exterior walls and at indoor venues;
  • An outdoor installation, performance or presentation that could illuminate and/or occupy space in Civic Centre Square (aka Fireman’s Memorial Park, at Queen & Otto streets, across from the Centre in the Square\KW|AG facility), Vogelsang Green (Queen & Duke), or Market Green (Duke & Scott);
  • An outdoor installation, performance or participatory activity that could occupy an enclosed patio space (such as Gaol Garden);
  • An installation, performance or experiential activity to be presented in either Halls Lane or Goudies Lane (without limiting foot traffic through those areas);
  • Visual and/or sound installations or performance acts that could be located in smaller interior rooms, or a portion of them;
  • An installation to occupy the front window at Matter of Taste (115 King St. West.);
  • Interactive or participatory ideas that could “roam” around the downtown area, or that do not require a bricks-and-mortar space to present;
  • Wonderfully strange ideas that do not fit any of the spaces described above, yet they would undoubtedly enhance the theme of “intervention” or “hidden stories” in a meaningful way.

Please include a list of the bullet points above as potentially appropriate venues for your proposal, or feel free to suggest other indoor and/or outdoor space ideas that fall within the established festival landscape. 

NIGHT\SHIFT artist proposals must:

  • Include all names of individual artists (or members of a collective, organization or community group) that will participate in producing the proposed event, and include contact information (phone numbers and emails) for the artist(s) who will bear responsibility for ensuring full delivery of the project as proposed;
  • Include an itemization of all expenses and requirements related to the production and/or construction of an installation or event, including supplies, equipment rentals, power needs, transportation costs, etc.;
  • Agree to create a site-specific exhibit, installation or performance project that would be located in a designated NIGHT\SHIFT festival location, as determined by the curators committee and participating business owners and venue managers;
  • Explain or describe how the proposed event, exhibit or activity relates to the theme of “Costuming the Core” in clear, succinct language;
  • Attempt to clearly describe the physical presence that proposed projects will have during NIGHT\SHIFT by providing an artists’ rendering or mock-up image (or other media such as videos, press materials, etc);
  • Include all details requested above, a proposal description in writing (no more than 500 words or so please), and submit no more than three pieces of support material as attachments via email or snail mail (this includes images, videos or audio works that you wish to have the curators committee include in their evaluation);
  • Be received by before 4pm on Monday, July 20th, 2015, addressed to the “Night\Shift curators committee” and sent to either, or mailed or hand-delivered to 195 King St. W., Suite 202, Kitchener, Ont., N2G 1B1.

NIGHT\SHIFT curators committee will:

  • Be composed of five members, including one NIGHT\SHIFT \\ Halloween organizing team member and one representative of the City of Kitchener;
  • Assess all proposed projects that meet the above criteria in a fair and judicious manner, both individually and as a group;
  • Judge all proposals based on their artistic merit, thematic appropriateness, logistical and physical feasibility, support materials provided, budgetary demands, relative production costs to other proposals, the history of the applicant as a professional artist and other criteria determined to be crucial to the decision-making process during committee deliberations;
  • Collaborate with the authors of successful project proposals and our roster of downtown venue providers to choose an appropriate event location;
  • Encourage artists (and provide logistical or intellectual support where possible) to apply for individual grants to fund their participation in NIGHT\SHIFT (but we also advise that artists should not rely on receiving third party funding to fulfill their proposed project).

The Fine Print

  • Selected artists will be given a modest stipend to account for expenses and compensate for their participation in NIGHT\SHIFT. Appropriate payments will be negotiated with the festival director. A\J has secured a small operating budget for the festival that allows us to pay for some production expenses and provide a sliding scale of participating artist fees that currently ranges from $500 to $1000 per programming project;
  • Artists do not need to provide their own insurance for this event;
  • Artists who are approved to participate in NIGHT\SHIFT can solicit their own sponsorship or corporate donations, but they must first obtain written endorsement from the curators committee before doing so – we will be securing overall corporate sponsorship and funding for this event, and we must ensure that there are no conflicts of interest with the festival’s title sponsors;
  • NIGHT\SHIFT organizers and curators cannot assist artists from locations outside of Waterloo Region with travel or materials transportation expenses;
  • The organizing team is currently negotiating commitments from downtown business owners and city officials related to individual indoor and outdoor venues for NIGHT\SHIFT programming, and we cannot guarantee specific spaces for particular events, so proposals should not be absolutely bound to one space;
  • For any digital attachments that are submitted with a proposal, please use the following naming convention for your files: [number]_[artist name]_[proposal title] (For example: 01_Smith_LighteningStorm.jpg);
  • Please submit written proposals as a .doc or .pdf file only;
  • Please submit video files as attachments to proposals in .mov, .mpeg or .avi file formats, and audio files should be .mp3 or .wav files only;
  • Emailed proposals should not exceed 10 MB in size, including all attachments and required documents;
  • If sending your application by snail mail, please ensure that all proposal submission materials (including the application form) are burned onto a single CD or DVD-R.