Thank you for placehacking DTK!

Whew. What a ride. And whether you strapped in for all of Night\Shift 2016 or just caught a whiff of its vapour trails, I hope you saw or heard or happened upon an experience that helped you to peel back a fresh layer of downtown Kitchener.

ns16mapThis year marked the fourth Night\Shift Placehacking Festival. It reimagined 18 downtown spaces with 23 original pieces of programming, some with many moving parts, and featured contributions by more than 40 multidisciplinary artists. A buffet of 20 musical acts played, led by 5 nights of live sounds under the same roof as the interactive INFINITY TUNNEL installation. And – finally blessed with good weather – it brought a wide range of people out in droves on an otherwise hibernation-prone Saturday night, exploring the core on foot to find connection, intrigue, inspiration and something unknown.

Applying Night\Shift’s fort-building mentality to a 12-block slice of big/small/indoor/outdoor/public/private spaces again in 2016 was only possible because of the festival’s support network. The rest of this post is mostly about them. But first and foremost: Thanks to everyone who came out this year and supported Night\Shift with your ears, eyes, feelings and feet. 

Night\Shift’s largest, longest standing and most dedicated partner, the City of Kitchener, played a handful of essential roles over the last eight months or so. The City’s Tier 2 community grant (2017 due dates are Dec 2nd!) provided the seed funding that sparked 2016 festival planning, and the in-kind portion of that contribution would supply vital pieces of the production puzzle, from promo printing services to custodial, security, crew and sound tech support. Supervisors and employees of the City’s parking, operations, facilities, bylaw, security, risk management, arts & creative industries, special events and downtown development departments worked with the festival to reimagine spaces while ensuring the safety, easy flow and amusement of festival-goers. Most importantly, the City continually proves that it believes in the festival’s placehacking mission and has given it both the boost and breathing room it has needed to thrive since 2013.

And because the project that took over Kitchener City Hall’s rotunda at the 2016 festival offers a neat illustration of the City’s willingness and ability to foster strangely beautiful artistic disruption, a huge thank you needs to be beamed at Dylan Reibling and the crew he assembled to present 24-Hour Dolly. The Toronto-based filmmaker’s day-long single-take shot of a minimalist stage that is open to anyone captured the overlapping poetry of that iconic public space and so many of the faces and presences that have a stake in it. Its gorgeous, slow-burn profoundness is all over this early cut:

#NightShift16’s other marquee placehack completely transformed a 20’ stretch of a 2nd floor hallway at 44 Gaukel St. – the former Canada Post building across from the bus station, which currently houses a mix of Accelerator Centre-sponsored hardware startups with local art-making and culture-igniting organizations. The INFINITY TUNNEL was hatched as a guided collaboration between two highly skilled Kitchener artists (and long-time contributors to the festival), sculptor/clockmaker/technologist/tinkerer Bernie Rohde and painter/designer/optical illusion enthusiast nik harron (who is also responsible for creating Night\Shift’s visual identity). The result was a spectacularly simple otherworld of distorted mirror reflections and sound-triggered light strips that could morph into an abyss of immeasurable hallucinations when lit up by music. The INFINITY TUNNEL recast a plain institutional hallway as something weird, lovely and a little intoxicating.

Thank you to nik and Bernie for your vivid imaginations, your sweat equity, your time and wisdom, and for layering in a bunch of amazing sound-responsive video projections into the live music shows during the week leading up to Saturday, Nov 5th, 2016. Thank you to the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund for being intrigued and compelled enough by the potential of this idea on paper to grant Night\Shift the money to pay for materials, space usage and the artists’ wages – your mandate to make art happen is deeply appreciated, not least by the festival-goers who were spellbound by the INFINITY TUNNEL. Thank you as well to ArtsBuild Ontario and the Accelerator Centre (and all of their tenants) for allowing your office space to be turned into a super trippy music venue for a week – and please have as much fun as you can in the tunnel while it remains installed!

@nimkiiwitch + @nikharron = !!!

A video posted by NIGHT\SHIFT placehacking fest (@nightshiftwr) on

Perhaps the most obvious programming change in 2016 was the inclusion of much more live music in the Night\Shift landscape. In part this was steered by the INFINITY TUNNEL project; in part it flowed from my personal interest in experimental sounds, and in particular the idea of pairing them with other artists’ experimental visuals; and in part it hinged on a sponsorship agreement with the Downtown Kitchener BIA, which turned out to be a pillar in this year’s production plan. So many thanks to the BIA for investing in the festival’s offbeat vision for downtown spaces, and for trusting that the musical lineup would be unlike any other (in a good way).

Trace(r)s of Eiyn Sof #swooning the #InfinityTunnel tonight \\ just two chances left to see it being played… A video posted by NIGHT\SHIFT placehacking fest (@nightshiftwr) on

And it’s true, it was. I’m incredibly proud of the bands and individual performers who were talked into playing the festival (and thankfully some needed no convincing). To the acts who poured or ploughed their songs into the INFINITY TUNNEL, thank you for being so adaptable and daring. Thank you to Friendzone Collective and Admission of Guilt concert series for plugging even more intrigue and range into 44 Gaukel’s performance roster, and in particular thanks to Misha Marks and Nick Storring for being first to take on that seizing psychedelic beast – I couldn’t have asked for a more perfectly weird and dynamic duo to do the christening. And because everyone else did rad things with that space too, a round of thank yous to Jsun Collective, Man Made Bear, New Zebra Kid, Ziibiwan, Eiyn Sof, Badminton Racquet, WHOOP-Szo, Charlena Russell, Blunt Chunks, Bjorn Borg Collective, Versa, IC/JC/VC, Spooloops & ZumOne!

There is one more fabulous person whose gargantuan contribution to the festival needs some keystrokes before moving past the INFINITY TUNNEL… Greg Osborne spent four straight nights at 44 Gaukel turning an awkward stretch of office corridor into an awkward, immersive trip elsewhere that sounded absolutely great. Greg nailed sound production for an array of setups and musical styles, and looked after all the musicians like a champ, as he always does. He also went out of his way to make sure I didn’t lose my shit during a couple of make-or-break moments behind the scenes. You rule, Greg – I couldn’t have pulled any of this off without you there.

Up next: another fresh crop of thank yous to the other musical performers! Soren and Roan, I’m so grateful for the snippet above of you two drone-zoning a room full of mind-boggling Burtynskys, as my Nov 5th ass-hauling brought me back through KWAG’s doors at the exact moment Mooons‘ lovely gloom was dissipating in the main gallery. And I also got sidetracked on my way to catch Meg Harder and Dan Root’s The Bloody Theatre in The Guild’s already spine-tingly basement, but I heard the show was killer (and packed for all five 10-minute runs).

The noisemakers I did get to see slayed me. Jennifer Castle and Aaron Mangle, thank you for braving the bright lights of the stacks and letting your sparks fly. Annie, Becky and Sarah of GlassEYElashes, thanks for giving a lift to another Hamiltonian musician on your way to charming that same heart-stopping room of Burtynskys. And thanks to Ted Harms and Neil Ballantyne for reanimating the old county jail yard with a mystical sound experience – and for bringing the amazing Misha Marks to Kitchener to kick off the festival!  

@_c_o_u_s_i_n_s_ wraps the #KPL stage with a stunner…

A video posted by NIGHT\SHIFT placehacking fest (@nightshiftwr) on

There are too many more contributing artists and performers to thank individually for the ideas they brought to Night\Shift 2016, but I do want to recognize a few particular folks who made gestures that went well beyond sharing their creativity with a random crowd of festival-goers.

Green Light Arts: thank you for your consistent flexibility and self-sufficiency, and for trusting that everything would land where it needed to when it did.

Mobile Art Studio: thank you for taking on a timely local issue in a playful way, and for self-funding a solid piece of programming in a tricky spot.

Allie Brenner: thank you for literally going extra miles to help promote the festival on the idiot box, and for guiding a collaborative project (with Ellie Anglin & Alex Lobraico) that kept the festival’s streak of recreating Goudies Lane alive and well!

Kate Cox: thanks for opening up The Guild’s basement for The Bloody Theatre, a project that I was still trying to find a venue for until mid-October, and an ask that I sprung on you with pretty much no time to consider it.

Trevor Waurechen: thanks for showing up twice a week for the whole month leading up to the festival to build your life-sized comic strip on the windows of the Mercury Cafe – and for being the person who responded to the exciting possibilities of that unconventional canvas in the call for proposals.

…and the wide view! @nightshiftwr #nightshift16 A video posted by Downtown Kitchener ‘DTK’ (@dtkitchener) on

As much as Night\Shift relies on a range of artistic tangents to come to life, it also needs venue providers who are willing to get out of their comfort zones. Thanks to the owners of Mercury Cafe (and Apollo Cinema) for letting Trevor take over your windows. Thanks to both KPL and KWAG for letting your large, iconic gathering spaces be filled with live music. Thanks to Cafe Pyrus and Matter of Taste for bringing your own programming ideas to the table and for continuing to include your businesses in the festival landscape year over year. Thanks to the Walper for accommodating ideas that may or may not disrupt your guests for the sake of supporting artistic expression! And thanks to Craig Beattie of Perimeter Development for again letting your carport hold a weird installation made by local postsecondary students.

And while the festival’s bread and butter may be creative contributions and the spaces to make them in, a few local businesses also gave financial support to cover the festival’s invisible, inescapable and administrative costs. A special thanks to Zehr Group, Communitech, Scotiabank’s downtown branch (and Brad Farrows in particular) and Erb & Erb for putting money on the table to pay for things like volunteer appreciation, insurance coverage, accounting fees and hot drinks for festival-goers. Likewise, thanks to Community CarShare for making wheels available when things couldn’t be done on foot. 

Just a few more doses of appreciation to go… Thanks to the nine local tech companies who jumped at the opportunity to reimagine an old acoustic guitar as a team-building exercise. The DTKreAXE project seemed like a smart and multi-layered idea in theory, but it wasn’t until picking up the remade guitars that there was proof in the pudding. And thanks as well to Bob Egan for supplying all of the otherwise unsalvageable guitars.

There are other volunteer contributors who also need shout-outs, although typing their names doesn’t nearly capture the boost provided by their efforts. Emily Shelton, thanks so much for reaching out to me and spending a extra hours staring into a computer screen trying to describe the DTKreAXE project for the festival blog, and for cranking out first drafts of the bulk of 2016 programming blurbs – I’d have been even more disheveled without your wordsmithing. Allie Gingrich, you did an amazing job of amping up two of the festival’s social media channels on a daily basis for nearly two months, and thanks for anticipating so many promotional needs and for being the most consistently reliable volunteer involved in this year’s festival. David Harmes, thanks for doing so much to try and involve Conestoga College students in promoting the festival, and for trying to make me believe that meeting for beer is the same thing as actually getting things done (it’s not). Kayla Landry, Jackey Ouellette, Émily Traichel & Tiffany Danko, thank you for helping me herd all of the other volunteers – and thanks to all of the other folks who donated a few hours of their time to making the 2016 festival a success!

And I also need to mention the Night\Shift Placehacking Festival’s board of directors, who’ve been generous with their expertise and confidence since joining the organization in summer 2015. Shirley Madill, thank you for always responding on a dime with brilliant input – the challenging choices that an upstart needs to make would be so much trickier without being able to draw on your deep experience. Marc LeCompte, thank you for helping to shape this year’s most excellent musical lineup (even while you’re already preoccupied with bringing incredible entertainers to uptown pretty much all the time). Victoria Kent, thank you for filling in whatever gaps you could with gusto, from billeting a touring musician to providing hot drinks for festival volunteers to offering up your van for whatever running around was needed – and even more thanks for lighting a fire under this year’s festival crowdfunding campaign.

Speaking of which, one more huge thank you to everyone who reached into their own pocket to make a donation to this year’s festival (so far):

The Yeti \ Graham Whitefish \ Adeel Khan \ Princess Café \ Emily Robson \ Inspirations Dancewear \ Shirley Madill \ Nathan Vexler \ Jason Stotesbury \ Sarah Goldrup \ Frank Seglenieks \ Michelle Purchase \ Kayla Zawiski \ Dan McCormick \ StylFrugal \ Dana Decent \ Lauren Weinberg \ Catherine Bischoff \ Tony Salomone \ Wendy Weinberg \ Andrew Korell \ Mary Chevreau \ Janice Lee + 4 more anonymous donors

The festival’s GoFundMe is also still active, so please PWYC if you had a blast at #NightShift16: www.gofundme.com/nightshift16

Also, almost lastly, if you’ve already read this far, please take a few more minutes to let us know how this year’s festival grabbed you! goo.gl/forms/xN1C1aOYwPGjOepr2

Eric Rumble, Night\Shift festival director & founder

PS: thanks again to everyone who came out from Nov 1st-5th to HELP #Placehack #DTK!


Experimental music lover’s guide to #NightShift16

Although 2016 is the first time Night\Shift was produced without a guiding theme, strange songsmiths are certainly a recurring layer of this week’s festival landscape. Here’s what to pour into your ears over the coming five evenings (& when/where), plus a selected soundtrack to get them primed.

NOV 1st-4th \\ 44 Gaukel

There’s really no reason to not spend the start of this November exploring how different musical styles make the 2016 festival’s sound-triggered INFINITY TUNNEL behave. Each night from Tuesday to Friday between 7 and 10pm, the space where the tunnel lives will also host PWYC live music shows by a sprawling range of artists.

2nd act of tonight’s #InfinityTunnel show presented by #AdmissionOfGuilt is @nickstorring… #psychedelic #cello #mindboggler

A video posted by NIGHT\SHIFT placehacking fest (@nightshiftwr) on

Tuesday \\

embellished cello shreddery + improvised guitar wizardry = facebook.com/events/199212643850793

Wednesday \\

roots-reggae + synth pop + subterranean existential disco = facebook.com/events/1871150523108686

Thursday \\

deep ambient & textural beats + post-folk weirdo pop = facebook.com/events/1074045139380184

Friday \\

shuttlecock rock + heavy psychedelic sludge = facebook.com/events/339723609703898

NOV 5th @7:30 \\ KWAG

Start your #Placehacking crawl off with the biting harmonies and oddball melodies of G l a s s E Y E l a s h e s as their songs take on a gallery already teeming with Ed Burtynsky’s toxic allure.

NOV 5th @8 \\ County Gaol

Join prolific local noisemakers/weird show promoters Ballantyne/Harms in the old county jail yard (now a parking lot behind Registry Theatre) as they play with reverberations off the old stone walls to cultivate a standing wave of sound that is literally moved by its audience.

NOV 5th @9 \\ KPL

Jennifer Castle is one of Canada’s most knee-melting singer-songwriters, at once a throwback performer and a haunting voice of our time’s alchemy. Skip Castle’s set and you’re doing the festival wrong…

mooons3NOV 5th @9:45ish \\ KWAG

Head back through Magdo Milosz’s Night Light Path and float into the main gallery again, where Mooons will be hitting the midway point of their epic two-hour drone quest.

NOV 5th @10:30 \\ KPL

Retrace your steps again to the stacks and catch a glimpse of Aaron Mangle’s solo take on the jangled, coursing stadium jams of his band Cousins.

NOV 5th @11 \\ The Guild

Duck out of KPL a little early and catch the last performance of The Bloody Theatre – Dan Root & Meg Harder’s update of an old Amish-Mennonite martyr’s tale – in the creepy basement of The Guild. Then deke over to 44 Gaukel’s INFINITY TUNNEL to catch the back half of Versa’s trippy audiovisual set.

Nov 6th @midnight \\ 44 Gaukel

IC/JC/VC is an elusive and highly unconventional vocal trio made up of Isla Craig, Jennifer Castle & Victoria Cheong. Normally they don’t have an endless ceiling of sound-responsive LED strips to feed their voices with…

Nov 6th @1am \\ 44 Gaukel

Spooloops & Zum1 take the helm of the INFINITY TUNNEL for one last ecstatic cosmic ride into the wee hours, dousing all the festival troopers in sweet granular techno and capping the 2016 festival with a dance party.


Night\Shift is no longer one night only

Four years deep, following lower-key attempts to add extra days of placehacking to the festival, #NightShift16 has spread out to include more nights (and days) of programming. Night\Shift 2016’s main event on Saturday, November 5th will feature an array of free multidisciplinary art and performances in 18 downtown Kitchener spaces over a dozen city blocks. But there are also two exhibits that bookend that date, five straight nights of live music at the INFINITY TUNNEL installation, and an epic day-long participatory project that turns festival-goers into film stars.

twThe life-sized comic strip \\ Mercury Cafe windows

Illustrator Trevor Waurechen is already more than a dozen panels into his month-long residency project for Night\Shift, which turns the Mercury Cafe’s floor-to-ceiling windows into a huge see-through comic strip. He’s adding panels every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, leaving a home stretch of drawings to finish up between 7pm and midnight on Nov. 5th – when festival-goers will be invited to colour in his illustrated story on the opposite sides of the cafe windows. The Mercury will also be hawking food and drink, and its sister business gets in on the festival fun from 11pm to 2am with a super creepy late-night screening.

it_test_014 ramp-up nights of live music \\ Nov 1st-4th @7pm

Starting at 7pm on Tuesday, November 1st, Night\Shift 2016 will officially kick off five nights of live music on the 2nd floor of 44 Gaukel in downtown Kitchener, where two local artists have installed a sound-responsive hall of mirrors called the INFINITY TUNNEL for the performers to “play.” The lineup features at least two acts each night and a sprawling range of genres – from psychedelic folk to granular techno to existential subterranean disco to sludge rock to textural beats.

The DTKreAXE project \\ KPL central branch

Nine local tech firms accepted an outta-left-field challenge from Night\Shift in late summer: accept an unsalvageable acoustic guitar body, assemble of small task force of employees and use ingenuity to reimagine it as something else. It’s fairly clear that NetSuite went bonkers on this project and created a truly fabulous beast!

On Saturday November 5th, festival-goers can check out all nine remade guitars, pitch in on remaking a few more old acoustics with crafting materials, and soak up a pair of performances by two incredible Canadian singer-songwriters, Aaron Mangle & Jennifer Castle.

24-Hour Dolly \\ Dylan Reibling’s long-haul star-maker

Filmmaker Dylan Reibling created a spontaneity-fuelled cinematic endurance piece for Toronto’s 2011 Nuit Blanche called 12-Hour Dolly, which invited people to step onto a small square platform inside a circular dolly track with a videocamera filming whatever happens in the middle as a crew manually pushes the dolly without stopping for half a day. Contributing to Night\Shift 2016, Reibling is literally doubling down by mounting a 24-Hour Dolly in Kitchener City Hall’s circular rotunda, beginning at 3am on Saturday, Nov. 5th and pressing on until 3am (aka 2am with the time change) on Sunday, Nov. 6th. Are you ready for your close up?



Peeking Into the DTKreAXE Keyhole

Behind the scenes of turning old acoustic guitars into something else entirely \\ by Emily Shelton

pic432AS THE DAYS GET colder, night falls sooner. And as the evening when the clocks roll back gets closer, the deadline for readying contributions to Night\Shift approaches quicker and quicker.

Under the glow of post-work fluorescence, teams from 10 tech firms are still chipping away. Perhaps there are blueprints strewn across a boardroom table, or they’ve set up makeshift crafting stations, or there’s a spirited debate over what direction to take. 

Are they workaholics? Night owls?

Not quite. The architects behind the DTKreAXE project will soon reveal their reimagined retired guitars at KPL’s central branch for #NightShift16.

The creative process experienced by many of the 10 teams involved have been similar. The first wave of ideas being considered were absolutely amazing, but often too grandiose for the available resources – be it time, money or logistical constraints.

Kat Austin of InTheChat reports that their team grappled with an age old debate: aesthetics vs function. Happily, in the end, they found a way to fuse the two angles “to create unexpected harmonies.” (Nice pun, InTheChat!) 

aagam-and-josue

itc

Sortable was forced to jettison their first idea of covering the guitar with colourful, 3D-printed HTML tags that each of their contributors could define. In the end, they settled on (SPOILER ALERT)  CNC-trimmed puzzle pieces custom fitted over the old acoustic guitar body. They plan to sketch the lines of the guitar with LED strips. Check out the pic of their nascent blueprints. 

pic2_sortable

pic3_sortable

cnc-wont-let-me-be safety-first-in-the-old-kitchen  trimmed-pieces-with-rounded-edges

NetSuite gave up on trying to bend the wooden surface of their once-playable canvas and took a holistic approach to the challenge: “Throw enough rotating blades and white-hot plasma at a problem, and the grain becomes irrelevant.”

saw darcy

Night\Shift loves the scorched earth approach to challenges – forge on, NetSuite. Forge On.

safetyfirst

The guitar’s irregular surface was a no-go for some of the Lani team’s ideas. But, undeterred, their team removed all appendages from the guitar and sanded, primed and painted the body.

Check out these progress pics – clean canvass achieved! Looks like about as much work as my last Pinterest project… (Translation: a lot more damned work than initially thought.)

InkSmith is coy about sharing before-after photos, but their description will make your imagination run wild with fantasies of technicoloured Marvel comics! “Given our company’s focus on 3D printing,” says InkSmith’s Jeremy Hedges, “we’re making the guitar into an epic collision between art, technology and fandom. When all is done, there will be more than 50 3D-printed pieces that jacket and modify the guitar.”

Oh, and it WILL PLAY A SONG! (Hint: Nobody wants him \ they just turn their heads)

pic8_inksmith

***

A question was posed to all participating teams: Is the tech mind also an artistic mind?

The answer was unanimous: there are no differences between techie and creative minds.

“What matters is how much time someone has spent practising the expression of the creativity that everyone already has, or exploring to find the voice or medium that best lets that creativity shine,” was the response from team NetSuite (whose sketch of a guitar-shaped beast will soon be unleashed). 

sketch claw

Sortable’s team answered by way of example, shining a spotlight on their DTKreAXE project lead, James Strang, who embodies the sort of technical-creative overlap you’ll find throughout the local startup ecosystem. He’s using his basement maker lab to provide the CNC and LED-soldering services on their remade axe (he even rigged up a homemade mini table routers from a dremel, flex shaft and spare nut in order to do detail cutting over the plexiglass… for art!), and in the office he helps handle customer support services by using code to solve problems.

marking-top-pieces-to-remember-sides

pic10_sortable

With an eye to the future, InTheChat pointed out that the tech sector could benefit from more artistic talent, and the art world would benefit from appropriating more technology. “Over three centuries ago, there was not such a defined separation between science and art, and many new ideas were generated in the bustling intersection between these areas of study.”

No doubt the coordinated riffing of science, technology and art will be on display at the KPL’s central branch on Nov 5th. Do not miss the unveiling of these fabulously reimagined guitars!


Remixing The Guitar \\ #DTKreAXE

Small teams from 10 tech companies based in Waterloo Region were given well-used guitars and simple instructions to reimagine them using whatever ideas, materials or themes they wanted to. Using their creative capacities and technical know-how (and cranking both up to 11), the resulting collection of remade axes will be assembled into one of Night\Shift 2016’s marquee installations: the #DTKreAXE exhibit at KPL’s central branch.

Worlds will collide. Sparks will fly. Familiar wooden forms will be reborn.

pic234The project’s unlikely guitar remaking heroes include teams of people from Vidyard, NetSuite, Plasticity Labs, Lani, InkSmith, Bridgit, Communitech, InTheChat, Accelerator Centre & Sortable.

The guitars have been donated by Bob’s Guitar Service – unsalvageables from 2015’s 100 Guitars for 100 Kids campaign – and their inspiring remakes will be on display together in KPL’s main lounge during the entire month of November 2016. The DTKreAXE exhibit opening will take place during #NightShift16 on Saturday, November 5th and will feature live guitar music by the great Jennifer Castle and others, plus the chance for festival-goers to help communally redecorate a few more retired acoustic bodies.

I caught up with InTheChat to check out their progress. InTheChat (aka ITC) is a communications platform that allows businesses to provide customer service on any digital or social media channel of their choice. In other words, if I had a complaint about my phone bill, I could contact my phone provider via text, Twitter, Facebook messenger or any other digital channel. On the other end, the customer service rep would see my message on the InTheChat platform and be able to respond immediately to my question.

I asked ITC product & loyalty manager Kat Austin what tech start-ups and guitars have in common. 

pic5“It doesn’t take an orchestra. With only six strings, a guitar can perform works that are both complete and rich. Likewise, a tech company may only have six key people who can work together to create technological works which are robust and elegant. The guitar allows the creation of musical complexity in an agile way with limited resources. Tech start-ups also owe their agility to small, dynamic teams working together in harmony to create innovative masterpieces.”

… DEEP!

Also, we flipped the ITC team a couple more Qs about their epic remake-in-progress…

The first song your company’s DTKreAXE creation would play (if it were playable):

It’s Not Easy Being Green

If your remade guitar were a love child, its parents would be:

Katie Perry and Audrey, the plant from The Little Shop of Horrors.

* * *

pic6Meanwhile, over at 100 Ahrens Street in downtown Kitchener, the Bridgit team has also been hard at work. Bridgit is a local startup that is making waves in the construction industry. They build punch list management and subcontractor communication tools that allow construction teams to problem solve on the fly and keep on the same page about workplace needs and priorities.

The first song your company’s DTKreAXE creation would play (if it were playable):

Bella Finals from Pitch Perfect

If your remade guitar were a love child, its parents would be:

Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake (Bridgit’s co-founders)

* * *

sortableslackAt Sortable, where smart people solve hard problems for a living (aka optimizing web impression strategies, helping manage client relationships and generally making ads suck less), resident guitar remakers took a different approach altogether to answering the question, ‘How is a guitar and a tech company alike?’ Check out the screenshot of their remaking team’s conversation to decide upon their reply. And it reads like dialogue you might expect to see in Douglas Coupland’s JPod

* * *

Think you can rock the remake harder than these guys? Prove it. The #DTKreAXE opening at #NightShift16 will have craft stations so that festival attendees can collaborate on their own badass axes.In the meantime, stay tuned for further updates and glimpses of the masterpieces to come!


2016 Festival \\ Call for Contributors

The NIGHT\SHIFT 2016 call for proposals is now closed.

The festival organization is currently accepting submissions for artistic contributions to NIGHT\SHIFT 2016. This year’s festival will take place in select downtown Kitchener locations and culminate in a free, multi-venue main event on Saturday, November 5th, 2016. Details about the application process are outlined below – the submission deadline was Monday, August 22nd.

NSgif16

The NIGHT\SHIFT Placehacking Festival’s organizing team is ready to produce downtown Kitchener’s fourth annual pop-up art crawl\nocturnal adventure. Our goal is to build on the stunning collisions that took shape in 2013, 2014 & 2015 and attract another wide-eyed showcase of visual artistry, performance acts, participatory creativity, tech prototyping, bright ideas and delicious sensations on the fall evening when the clocks roll back an hour.

NIGHT\SHIFT 2016 will again occupy various indoor and outdoor locations downtown, essentially forming an explorable-on-foot, backwards-L-shaped otherworld between the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and Kitchener City Hall. Wherever possible, the festival reimagines laneways, parkettes, intriguing buildings and overlooked gems – and preference will be given to proposals aimed at a small collection of specified downtown spaces.

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 are supported by a range of downtown businesses and local cultural institutions, and a beaming green light from the City of Kitchener to produce a fourth version of NIGHT\SHIFT.

If you need a refresher, check out what wowed the festival audience in 2014 & 2015.

NIGHT\SHIFT 2016 PROPOSAL BASICS

YouIProposals should be concisely written in plain language. All proposed programming should be properly budgeted, adaptable to a potential space provider’s needs and described in detail that is easy to interpret, aided by minimal visual or multimedia materials where appropriate.

The festival intends to draw out hidden possibilities of downtown Kitchener’s built environment, reanimating spaces by way of collaborative installations, strange performances, digital and/or mixed media, ecstatic redecorations, well-crafted experiences and interactive activities, all geared toward a broad audience on foot (and potentially freezing their buns off). The content of proposed projects should clearly challenge NIGHT\SHIFT festival-goers to reconsider the typical usage, dimensions, appearance or purpose of any venue.

We invite individual artists, performers, entrepreneurs, student groups and cultural organizations to submit short written proposals for installations or exhibits, technology demos, performance pieces and other participatory public engagement ideas. The deadline for proposal submissions was Monday, August 22nd at 5pm (Kitchener time).

NIGHT\SHIFT CONTRIBUTIONS MUST:

  • ANJvOposerwallBe responsibly prepared to take place on Saturday, November 5th, 2016, in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, between the hours of 7pm and 2am (and secure, self-sustaining installations should be open to the possibility of an extended exhibition period);
  • 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;
  • Be created within the proposed itemized budget, including all production expenses;
  • Be chosen by the curators committee after a group evaluation of each proposal’s likely audience appeal, budget details and basic logistical criteria for inclusion in the festival;
  • Provide free admission to NIGHT\SHIFT attendees;
  • Be installed, presented and removed 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.

2016 PROGRAMMING NEEDS:

  • MirokiCampfireNIGHT\SHIFT is seeking an array of original music acts, unique speakers, live performers and perhaps even a few painters or other hand crafters to do what they do in one (or more) of a few different indoor venues. One of the venues will be video recorded, so proposed performances/acts of creation should be brief and gripping; another venue will focus on guitar artists; another will have music too but will not really aim to focus on guitarists; and others may be in the possibly chilly outdoors (weather dependent, obviously). Please briefly describe (and share some links to) what you do and what you’re up for doing at the festival.
  • An outdoor installation, performance, presentation or multimedia reimagining to occupy space in Civic Centre Park (at Queen & Otto streets, between KWAG and KPL).
  • An outdoor installation, performance or participatory activity to take over Gaol Garden, the enclosed, small, stone courtyard beside the provincial courts office (and KPL).
  • MercWindowsAn illustration project or serial comic strip to animate the floor-to-ceiling windows of the hallway and/or courtyard space (partially captured in this image) beside Mercury Café (inside the building at 30 Duke St. West). Ideally this project will begin on October 5th and be added to on a semi-daily or weekly basis until the 2016 main event on Sat., November 5th.
  • Visual and/or sound installations and/or performance acts that could be presented in the small, circular outdoor space inside the helix-shaped, five-story parking garage entrance at Duke and Ontario streets (aka the lime green Parkenheim – partially captured in the image below). Please note that the parking garage entrance lane (where the cars go) cannot be used to accommodate a festival audience, so participants must be invited into the enclosed area to interact with whatever is being installed/performed/presented.
  • ParkenheimAn installation, performance, atmospheric layer or party idea to be presented in Goudies Lane between Ontario and Queen streets.
  • An outdoor installation, performance or placehack to be realized in the covered, four-space parking area off Halls Lane, behind both Matter of Taste and DNA screenprinting, between Ontario and Gaukel streets (semi-recognizable in the two images below).
  • An unexpected happening, pop-up curiosity or surprising use of space at Carl Zehr Square out front of City Hall, and/or out back of the same building inside of the caged-covered patio area beside the Duke and Young St. intersection. (Please note that there is already as substantial piece of festival programming being developed to take place inside City Hall.)

NIGHT\SHIFT ARTIST PROPOSALS MUST:

  • Paniz6Include all names of individual artists (or members of a collective, organization or community group) that will participate in producing the proposed installation, event or activity, 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;
  • Attempt to clearly describe the physical presence your proposal will have during NIGHT\SHIFT, providing an artists’ rendering or mock-up image (or other media such as videos, press materials, etc) as appropriate or upon request;
  • Submit a proposal description in writing (no more than 500 or so words, please) including all details requested above, with no more than three pieces of support material (images, videos or audio works that you wish to have the curators committee include in their evaluation) as attachments via email or snail mail;

Submissions must be received before 5pm on Monday, August 22nd, 2016, addressed to the “Night\Shift curators committee” and sent to either eric@nightshiftwr.ca, or mailed or hand-delivered to Eric Rumble, c/o Night\Shift & City of Kitchener Economic Development, 200 King St. W., 6th floor, Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7.

THE NIGHT\SHIFT CURATORS COMMITTEE WILL:

  • Haneen13Be composed of five people, including NIGHT\SHIFT’s festival director, the three other members of the festival’s Board of Directors, and one City of Kitchener representative;
  • 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, provided support materials, 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 the festival’s roster of downtown venue partners to choose an appropriate event location;

THE FINE PRINT

  • GatsbySelected contributing artists will receive a modest stipend to account for expenses and to compensate for participation in NIGHT\SHIFT 2016. Payments of up to $1000 will be negotiated by the festival director with contributor(s), and paid upon delivery of the project;
  • Artists or contributors do not need to provide their own insurance for this event;
  • Artists or contributors who are approved to participate in the 2016 festival can solicit their own sponsorship or corporate donations, but they must first obtain written endorsement from the festival director before committing to any particular sponsorship recognition requirements;
  • NIGHT\SHIFT organizers and curators cannot assist artists from locations outside of Waterloo Region with travel or materials transportation expenses;
  • For any digital attachments that are submitted with a proposal, please use the following naming convention for your files: [artist surname]_[proposal title] (For example: 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.

Be a placehacker \\ volunteer for Night\Shift

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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’s fourth annual instalment happens November 1st to 5th, 2016.

Night\Shift if seeking various VOLUNTEER contributors as we ramp up to the 2016 festival:

PHOTOGRAPHERS\VIDEOGRAPHERS who will be responsible for:

DotDns14– capturing compelling moments from the making of Night\Shift 2016, and creating images and video files that can be shared through the festival’s social media accounts, website and other promotional channels (including printed materials)

– producing visual profiles of selected contributing artists as they prepare for Night\Shift 2016, and collaborating with the web editor to post them at nightshiftwr.ca

– documenting the setup and presentation of the Night\Shift 2016 festival in early November and coordinating with the social media producer to share content on the fly

– planning, documenting and producing a photo gallery and short video series for post-festival recap and promo

The need for photography will gradually increase through October 2016, then be heavily concentrated during the first week of November, followed by some post-fest post-production.

FESTIVAL GUIDES who will be responsible for:

– helping festival-goers to find and understand programming, answering random questions and distributing explorers maps by hand during #NightShift16 on Saturday, Nov 5th, 2016 (plus limited help is needed from Nov 1st-4th)

– providing professional service to the festival audience as needed, promoting the 2016 funding and feedback campaigns, and providing anecdotal feedback to festival organizers

10422030_1702885053278886_3005578518077624045_n– observing and engaging with festival-goers on Nov 5th in order to track Night\Shift audience demographics and to gather input about programming experiences

FESTIVAL SPARK PLUGS who will be responsible for:

– promoting Night\Shift, its programming and festival partners via their personal social media in late October and early November 2016, aiming to build and encourage a broader audience

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

– assisting with the physical distribution of marketing materials

– participating in the production of special projects, such as decorating donation bins in advance of Nov. 1st

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

VOLUNTEERS will work with both the festival director and a small group of volunteer coordinators, casually but based around a mutually agreeable hourly commitment. Volunteers will work independently and manage their own schedules, supported by orientation and direction, and will be given legit 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.

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH \\
V [at] nightshiftwr [dot] ca





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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: http://nightshiftwr.ca/making-infiniti-mirror \\ Shot by Laura McBridePour yourself in too at #NightShift15, where YOU\I will be making it move: http://nightshiftwr.ca/infinimirrorPS: Only 24 hours left to get tickets to the post-fest wrap-up brunch: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/512tk0 \\ https://www.facebook.com/events/923257704408027

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.

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Our experiment is as much about combining resources as it is about making an object. To get acquainted we started by re-inventing the wheel. Here’s Enrico with the wheel. Mike suggested making it round.

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Then we heard about geometry and physics from Bob, Doug and Neil. Kwartzlab is a great place for meeting people, and then for getting good advice on almost any subject.

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We have no plan on paper so the material itself decides what to do. Mike came up with vinyl lattice cap moulding in a 4-foot circle, bolted to plywood. Here he is, finding out what our actual dimensions could be. There’s another thing the lab is good for – lots of elbow room, tools and material samples. 

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A small experimental box shows that LEDs should face the center of the frame – not away from the viewer. Placed on an angle the lights looks brighter, but all the way down you lose every second reflection.

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Compared with Mike’s previous mirrors we see 12 reflections instead of 18, but this isn’t caused by depth of the box. We tried other glass and acrylic mirrors, and Mike will check the one-way film. (When we finally built the real mirror with new clean material, the problem disappeared.) 

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Meanwhile Bernie was studying the LED market and we had one rowdy group discussion about that. Interestingly, after comparing specs and ‘descriptions’ from many websites and visiting several retailers, the best deal for excellent LEDs turns out to be in Kitchener at K-W Surplus: a 5 meter strip with remote control and AC adapter (Nortech N75050KRGB-5M).

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We have no idea who chose the parts for this strip kit. The adapter is much too weak for lights at full brightness. Charles at The Working Centre donated a good one, with proper regulation up to 70 watts. Our maximum power consumption for 12-foot of strip is 4.6A at 12Vdc (roughly 55W). These LEDs now appear brighter than others on the market at twice the price.

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The LED package claims a “long lifespan > 60,000 hours.” That could mean a half-life of seven years at 24 hrs/day – the best rating we’ve seen for strips – but the wording is unscientific and we’re already not taking Nortech’s information at face value.

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The strip has a clear flexible coating, not really waterproof (IP65) but good protection against mechanical abuse. We’re cooling the LEDs to make them last longer. Bob found galvanized steel which we made into a heatsink…

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…and we’ve painted the steel and interior walls all black.

The 216 LEDs are divided into 24 pixel segments to show sound waves – not as a colour organ or spectrum analyzer but as an x-axis, similar to an oscilloscope display. A bass note for instance will appear as roughly 1 cycle per frame. Pixels are on or off depending on sample polarity, not sound volume. In other words, sound will cause the light pattern to change and quiet will leave it alone. Background noise will be ignored, according to a manual preset sensitivity adjustment. Automatic gain control prevents the system being swamped when a band starts to play.

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The circuit is adapted from an audio processor Bernie made for Year of Code WR, combined with a pixel driver designed by James Bastow at Kwartzlab, plus other bits…

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…all made by hand. 

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Background colour (regardless of sound-activation) is set by remote control through an RGB module supplied with the LED strip. 

Eric’s whistling has no effect because most of this is not hooked up yet. 

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The program is YoCv9, C++ written by Bernie in the Arduino IDE, developed over several years, tested in workshop events at Kwartzlab and during musical performances at The Outpost

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Photos were taken by Laura, Mike, Bob, Agnes, Matt, Joe, Chris, Syd and Eric. Ten other people lent a hand here and there. The whole project would have been impossible without Kwartzlab.



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.

BWprototypesTHE INSTALLATION

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

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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.

NIGHT\SHIFT 2015 THEME

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 eric@nightshiftwr.ca, 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.

Volunteer for Night\Shift 2015!

It takes a entire community’s creativity (and a whole lotta prep work) to remix a downtown core. We need your help to bring the third annual festival to life. Take a look at our volunteer needs and let us know how you want to get involved!

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Night\Shift 2014 in Review

Downtown Kitchener’s 2nd annual communal nocturnal adventure festival on Saturday, November 1st 2014 was an act of spectacular creativity.

BackslashContribsLocal artists, organizers, small businesses, community builders, cultural institutions and social networks imagined possibilities just below the surface of their familiar built environment. Festival explorers – downtown residents and workers, curious suburbanites and students, visitors from Guelph and Toronto and beyond – bundled up and came out to help peel back those physical and social layers for a single moon. It was a blast!

Let’s do it all again in 2015, shall we?

In the meantime…

Let us know you want to get involved in producing the 3rd annual Night\Shift festival on Saturday, October 31st, 2015!

Show your support for the festival by getting your mitts on an official 2014 T-shirt, toque or scarf – supplies are limited, so don’t flinch.

LIKE the festival on Facebook and follow the festival Twitter to stay looped in on announcements, happenings and all things Night\Shift.

Stoke your memories of the 2014 festival by savouring and sharing this retrospective:


N\S14’s Hot Drinks Taste-Off!

Five downtown cafes. Five hot drinks. Who’s bragging rights?

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 12.13.04 PMPerhaps the most delicious piece of downtown Kitchener’s second annual Night\Shift festival of communal nocturnal adventure on Saturday, November 1st 2014, was the inaugural Hot Drinks Taste-Off. To help fuel festival explorers through 40+ indoor and outdoor performances, installations and activities, five fabulous downtown cafes agreed to flex their creative muscles by whipping up a special concoction.
The contenders:

DIRTY YETI MILK

The Yeti Cafe

CHERRY CHEESECAKE HOT CHOCOLATE

Cheeses Murphy

GREEN WITH ENVY

Matter of Taste

CANDY APPLE

Queen Street Commons Cafe

SPICY SOUL SIPPER

Cafe Pyrus

(Read more about the contenders.)

 

TRACES OF THE TASTE-OFF

A gaggle of Yetis went furthest out of their element – and immediately made themselves right at home in the KW|AG sculpture garden – to participate in the inaugural Hot Drinks Taste-Off!

 

 

Some folks fell in love at first sight with Dirty Yeti Milk:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 12.38.24 PM

 

Others took some convincing:

 

Others weren’t lucky enough to warm up their taste buds with its cryptic yumminess:

 

Clearly the Queen Street Commons Cafe’s simple and scrumptious Candy Apple made fast fans out of festival explorers:

 

It was also one of the Hot Drinks available as a one-off (rather than buying a passport for all five): 

 

Likewise, Matter of Taste’s made-to-order matcha lattes – aka Green With Envy – were a hit explorers, especially in the looks dept:

 

At least one hot drinker was decidedly turned off by one of the flavours: 

 

The fifth contender certainly got some love too:

 

Considering these tweets and anecdotal gushing offline by a random smattering of Night\Shift 2014 explorers, the two most greatly appreciated Hot Drink Taste-Off contenders were easily QSCC’s Candy Apple and MoT’s Green With Envy! 

For those who missed the chance to sip and enjoy the taste-off: Hot cider is readily available at QSCC, but the caramel sauce isn’t always homemade and they don’t usually have whipped cream on hand. And MoT has brought Green With Envy back by popular demand – don’t miss the opportunity to spike your day with some hot-and-exotic tastiness!

 

Many thanks to all the Hot Drinks Taste-Off passport holders and the five cafes that took part – and to all you Night\Shift explorers who found other great ways to keep downtown Kitchener warm on November 1st!


Flavours of #niteshift14 Itinerary

The festival’s walkability means you’ll be hoofing it enough to justify eating and drinking whatever the hell you want!

NS_Taste_Off_IlloThe inaugural Hot Drinks Taste-Off passports are almost sold out, but that $9 investment remains far and away your best bet for having a lovely nocturnal adventure led by your belly. Five downtown cafes have created five different warm and delicious non-alcoholic beverages with snappy names – we encourage passport holders to pack their travel mugs and boast about their favourite flavours using the #niteshift14 hashtag.

Whether or not you’ve already scarfed the pumpkin seeds from a fabulously carved Jack-o-lantern, drop your gourd ghoul off at Civic Centre Park on your way to the Plein Air Yeti Cafe pop-up outpost for your first Hot Drinks contender, Dirty Yeti Milk. As you figure out whether or not its moniker matches its yumminess, you’ve got options galore:

— amazing visual art at the KW|AG that becomes a playing field for a Poetry Slam Decathlon (starting at 8pm)

— ElipsesAzure’s absorbing lunar transmission and Frog in Hand’s ambient crowd-sourced balloonscape with interactive dancers at Centre in the Square

— one mother’s stunning assemblage of empty shoes, a moving memorial to her daughter being killed by a drunk driver and a plea to change the status quo

— a mysterious archival discovery recast as an augmented reality story of women through the ages, occupying the courtyard of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

Once you’ve explored some, consider your next move with Hot Drinks contender #2 in hand: Cherry Cheesecake Hot Chocolate from Cheeses Murphy. It may be as simple as picking which of the six spots to eat at along the Duke Food Block – or maybe you need another outdoor side trip with your mug refilled, in which case check out Caught Dreams and Unreal Estate in Market Green.

matcha latte 2On a different fringe of the Night\Shift landscape at Charles & Queen streets, Candy Candy Candy will have free cotton candy available from 7 to 9pm and again at midnight to 1am. Just a few steps away is Queen Street Commons Cafe, where you’ll find Hot Drinks contender #3, Candy Apple. Hang out indoors and watch Cord Community’s live broadcast Q&As with Night\Shift explorers, or mosey on over to Matter of Taste and get on camera yourself – and refill your mug with contender #4, the Green With Envy matcha latte.

Whenever you need a taste of something stronger, beeline for the Block Three Brewing pop-up pub at THEMUSEUM, featuring Night\Shift Belgian Stout! In addition to the St. Jacobs-based craft brewery bringing in three beers on tap for $6.50 apiece (with proceeds going to rare Charitable Research Reserve and Night\Shift 2015), we’ll have Make-Your-Own Mummies to play with and live music by DEADBEATBLAST and Bass Lions at 11:30 and 12:30pm.


If you need to keep hopping, head to the parking spot beside Marisol and poke around at Kimberley Adamek & Karine Quigley’s Exposing Elements interactive light installation – perhaps followed by a cocktail or a glass of wine at Marisol?

unnamedCraving a dose of provocation? Make time to catch the factory party pressure-cooker of Green Light Arts’ Andy Warhol presents: Valerie at 10:30pm or 1am at 54 Queen St. S. Looking for something with a more exotic streak ?Get a calaveras face-painting, scope Mark Essner’s Momento Mori photo exhibit and experience Neruda Arts’ Day of the Dead celebration at 157 King St. W.

If (and when) your tummy starts rumbling, roll towards the food trucks on King Street in front of City Hall. Café du Monde Crêperie can satisfy either your sweet or savoury tooth, Luchador Gourmet Streatery has tacos whose flavours hail from all over the globe, and Chef Scotty Cooks always has something delicious up his sleeve (and probably a little of something delicious on it too).

Last stop on the flavour trail is at Cafe Pyrus for Hot Drinks contender #5, Spicy Soul Sipper. Although it’s tough to say what that might taste like, kick back to the dub and reggae jams and parse it out in slow-mo as your nocturnal adventure winds down.


Family-friendly #niteshift14 Itinerary

Proof that helping remix downtown Kitchener on Saturday, November 1st is totally, gleefully doable with the kids in tow.

NightShift - Kitchener, ON, 2013-11-02Start by giving your ghoulish Halloween gourd one last chance to spook the community by bringing it to the Jack-o-lantern flash mob at Civic Centre Park! Night\Shift volunteers will be at the park between 4 and 7pm to collect, arrange and illuminate as many lawn-haunters as possible (we want at least 100!), so please plan to drop yours off (and tell your friends) – it’ll look so much better with a huge crowd of other carved creations than unceremoniously tossed into your green bin.

Head across the street to Centre in the Square and inflate a wish or idea at Frog in Hand’s Balloon Room interactive installation, located in the back studio. Performances by this fabulously talented dance company (plus Brockenshire Lemiski on guitar and looping pedals) don’t begin until 7pm, but the idea is to gradually accumulate balloons with the help of Night\Shift explorers and to improvise in response to people’s wishes, building up to a midnight popping ceremony!

APPARITIONSimageTwo ideas for killing time before the 7pm festival kick-off: 1] Go have a gander at KW|AG’s current exhibits, featuring the late Lynne Cohen’s stunning, often eerie photographs of empty rooms – each one packed with plenty of inspiration for the Poetry Slam Decathlon that will roam the gallery from 8pm until the wee hours.

2] Head to City Hall and check out the final assembly of Apparitions’ two pop-up outdoor theatres and Creatures of the Gyre, a series of oversized aquatic creatures made with more than 6,300 disposable single-use plastic bottles.

Begin your official festival crawl at Queen Street Commons Cafe, where students, alumni and instructors from the Community Music School of Waterloo Region will host a free-flowing casual performance from 7 to 8pm.

From there, cruise up Queen St. to the Duke Food Block and snap a photo with Drew Ripley & Community CarShare’s Popping Car Culture, which aims to blow up conventional perspectives about the automobile by crafting a full-sized one out of hundreds of balloons!

InfiniScopeFrom here, you’ve got options every direction… Just a few steps away is Goudies Lane Arcade, featuring an oversized Lite Brite created by Kwartzlab, three sets of giant Jenga and nik harron’s InfiniScope and KING PONG. Or go to Halls Lane and make your mark using a quill or reed pen at (Un)Written History. Or hoof it up Frederick St. to the YWCA-KW and help redefine beauty with a little bit of DIY creativity. And from there it easy to circle back to where you began and see how the deluge of balloons and Jack-o-lanterns have redefined the Centre in the Square studio and Civic Centre Park!

There are plenty of other options too – Night\Shift 2014 features more than 40 indoor and outdoor one-night-only attractions. Plan your nocturnal adventure now and invite your friends and family along for the trip!


The Hot Drinks Taste-Off

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Only 125 Hot Drink Taste-Off passports are available – 5 x 12oz drinks for $9!
Passports are officially sold out!

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The delicious #niteshift14 contenders:

DIRTY YETI MILK

The Yeti Cafe

With a sweet soundtrack, healthy dishes with saucy monikers and a fabulous offbeat streak, The Yeti has quickly become a brunch Mecca for market-goers and a go-to hangout spot for many. On the evening of Saturday, November 1st, the Yeti will embark on a rare field trip and set up a pop-up shop at the KW|AG sculpture garden. There are no clear reports yet about what exactly Dirty Yeti Milk is, but it’s probably safe to assume that no actual Yetis were harmed while making it. Oh, and also it’ll be really yummy.

CHERRY CHEESECAKE HOT CHOCOLATE

Cheeses Murphy

What started uptown as a great late-night outpost for slurring students also feeds daytime cravings for gourmet grilled cheese (and retro celeb references) on downtown’s Duke Food Block – which will be open for business and hosting Night\Shift HQ again this year. Perhaps the most admirable thing about this particular contender in the inaugural Hot Drinks Taste-Off is that the brains behind Cheeses Murphy, Marc Lecompte, has managed to make cheese sound irresistibly drinkable. Hats off and bottoms up.

GREEN WITH ENVY

Matter of Taste

Celebrating 10 years in business in 2014, Matter of Taste is a huge supporter of downtown arts and cultural programming (including helping raise funds for Night\Shift!), and they recently expanded to make their high-quality coffee and treats available at the new downtown KPL. Cord Community will be interviewing festival explorers at an outdoor late-night talk show in front of MoT during Night\Shift, but inside will be even tougher to resist: baristas will be whipping up made-to-order matcha lattes (aka “Green with Envy”).

CANDY APPLE

Queen Street Commons Cafe

The Commons Cafe boasts the best value nutritious-and-delicious lunch in downtown Kitchener. It also makes space for a highly diverse community of people and happenings, including playing host to a super duper fun KW Poetry Slam event at Night\Shift 2013. This year the Community Music School of Waterloo Region will kick things off before a live video broadcast of Cord Community’s on-the-street interviews from outside MoT. On tap for Hot Drinks Taste-Off passport holders: Salted hot apple cider mixed with homemade caramel sauce!

SPICY SOUL SIPPER

Cafe Pyrus

With its dual focus on as-local-as-possible organic food and local artists, artisans and performers filling the room with what they do, Pyrus has carved out an essential, always-tempting niche for itself in the heart of downtown. Last year they kept the Night\Shift party going into the wee hours, and they’ll aim to do the same again with a late-night warm-up party featuring sultry dub and reggae jams. They’ve also been experimenting with ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, chai and anise to create a dance party for your mouth called the Spicy Soul Sipper.

 

Only 125 Hot Drink Taste-Off passports are available – 5 x 12oz drinks for $9!
Buy yours now!

Pack a travel mug on Sat., Nov. 1st & choose our favourite #niteshift14 Hot Drink as you explore!

LIKE Night\Shift on facebook for N\Surprises and pre-festival collaborative ops!


The NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 Lineup Reveal…

Join us on Wednesday, September 24 at 10am at 157 King St. W. for the official release of the NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 lineup.

NSThe second annual NIGHT\SHIFT festival is ecstatic to announce its plans to animate 40 indoor and outdoor venues in downtown Kitchener with performances, installations and acts of participatory creativity on Saturday, November 1st, 2014. Councillor Dan Glenn-Graham will join festival director Eric Rumble on Wednesday, September 24 at 10am at 157 King St. W., Kitchener, to highlight the official release of the one-night-only event’s 2014 lineup.

SwiggyThis year’s participatory activities will also include a handful of pre-festival collaborative events that will contribute to NIGHT\SHIFT attractions and interactions. Events planned for late September and throughout October include the chance to create masks and small shrines, to carve enough Jack-o-lanterns to fill a downtown park and to help construct oversized aquatic creatures out of discarded single-use plastic bottles.

“We’re hoping to enable more community building at NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 by crowdsourcing a few festival attractions,” says Rumble. “I want to establish NIGHT\SHIFT as a recurring opportunity for locals to be involved in reimagining the raw possibilities of their city and its social spaces. The intention is that everyone and anyone can express their own creative thinking alongside some great programming from an amazing lineup of diverse professional artists and placehackers.”

Photo by Agnes Niewiadomski.

Last year’s inaugural NIGHT\SHIFT festival drew more than 3,000 participants to observe and interact with contributions from more than 50 artists in 20 downtown Kitchener locations, including parks, parking lots, alleyways, streets, small businesses and cultural institutions. The communal nocturnal adventure festival’s landscape is designed for walkable exploration of great public and private spaces, and to peel back the layers of creative talent in Waterloo Region.

Explore details from NIGHT\SHIFT 2013:
storify.com/alternativesj/night-shiftnightshiftwr.ca/media

Follow our ramp-up to NIGHT\SHIFT 2014:
facebook.com/NightShiftWRtwitter.com/NightShiftWR


Slammin’ Jammin’ Give-a-Damnin’ Janice Lee

JaniceLeePhotoByStefanChirila
Photo by Stefan Chirila

Janice Lee is a spark. She’s a singer-songwriter, poet, actor, storyteller and organizer whose impact on the Kitchener-Waterloo community has been enormous. Lee’s contagious energy ignites the packed rooms at the KW Poetry Slam (which she co-founded in 2011), lights up the dance floor at local spots like Club Abstract, and inspires other artists and activists across the region to find – and raise – their own voices. It’s no wonder this fierce advocate for creativity, the environment and the value of community building was named Waterloo Region’s Best Arts Mover and Shaker by Cord Community Edition in 2013. Whether taking an audience on a journey or collaborating with her friends and fellow artists, Lee knows how to meet people where they are and take them where they need to go.

Lee is also the organizing force behind the Poetry Slam Decathlon that will take over the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery after hours during NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 on Saturday, November 1st. The event will feature two teams of five slam poets (from the region and beyond) in a 10-round head-to-head competition, featuring events like haiku death match, compliment rap battle and rhyme-off. Poets will also perform improvised pieces based on visuals from KW|AG’s fabulous fall exhibitions (which include Lynne Cohen’s haunting photography and Jason de Haan’s sculptural transformations).

5 Reasons Why Janice Lee Rules

1] She’s a sharp-witted poet and huge social justice booster…

2] She tells great stories…

3] She makes sweet music (and goofy music videos)…

4] She stands up for the planet…

5] She knows how to have fun in the cold…


Watch Cartoons to Support Night\Shift!

CartoonPartyIndulging in a few hours’ worth of Saturday morning cartoons and all-you-can-eat sugary cereal is a rare treat for most folks. Luckily for local kids, teens and adult-sized kids, the Registry Theatre is hosting a fabulous opportunity to fill up on both at 10am on Saturday, October 4th!

Better still, the Registry has agreed to donate half of all proceeds from tickets sold through the Night\Shift website to support this year’s festival. In other words, we’re teaming up to turn a nostalgia-fuelled sugar binge into a force for good!

Tickets are $13 for adults, $7 for kids. Jammies encouraged.

Buy tickets using the buttons below. Quantity can be adjusted on the PayPal webpage. Click on both buttons (one at a time) to buy both adult and kid tickets (the PayPal page will refresh accordingly).


Adults


Kids

The Registry Theatre is at 122 Frederick St. in Kitchener.


The Empty Shoes Project

Grace Nicole Wynen-LargeOn October 21st 2010, Julie Wynen’s world exploded and changed forever. She and her 11-year-old daughter Grace were t-boned by a drunk driver in a violent and brutal crash. Five days later, Julie woke up from a coma and was told that Grace would not wake up from her injuries.

It was clear to Julie that her daughter was not a lone victim. The drunk driver who killed Grace also deeply injured her mother, father and sister, four grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, friends’ parents, teachers, community members and others.

That drunk driver was also a symptom of a much bigger problem facing Canadians:

  • 2,190 people are killed by drunk drivers each year in Canada – six every single day
  • 20% of those killed are children under the age of 16 (approx. 450 per year)
  • 78% of Impaired drivers that kill or injure people are not prosecuted
  • Only 12 out of every 500 drunk drivers get jail time – less than two years on average
  • Impaired drivers kill more than twice as often as all others who commit homicide

Julie found a way to give these troubling numbers a visual testament while going through Grace’s room last year. She found a simple pair of white canvas shoes that her friends had decorated in markers with drawings and names. A pair of shoes that no one will ever wear again; empty shoes that sit on a shelf in her room.

Julie realized that all victims of drunk drivers are left with a pair of empty shoes.

empty shoes

The goals of Julie Wynen’s Empty Shoes Project are:

  • To build awareness about the crime of impaired driving causing death and injury;
  • To physically represent the number of victims killed every year (not including those who did not die of their injuries) with empty pairs of donated shoes;
  • To give voice to the victims of impaired drivers;
  • To promote changes in legislation to reflect that most of these crimes are committed by excessive drinkers who drive drunk repeatedly, often killing or maiming without consequences or remorse.

How can you help?

  • Donate your old shoes. Clean out your closet and send any pair of shoes, boots, slippers, sandals, flippers, skates, ballet shoes or basketball sneakers, stilettos or flip flops. Make sure these are shoes you can part with because they will not be returned. 
  • The goal is to collect 2,190 pairs of shoes – one to represent each person who dies at the hands of a drunk driver in Canada annually. The shoes will be displayed at Parliament Hill to demonstrate the need for legislation changes in late October 2014. They will also be used to create an installation during NIGHT\SHIFT in downtown Kitchener on Saturday, November 1st.

If someone you love has died or been injured by a drunk driver, please feel free to send along a photo of the person attached to the shoes to represent them.

Shoes can be delivered to either of the following addresses:

The Empty Shoes Project

c/o The Storage Place

381 Clyde Road, Cambridge, ON, N1R 5S7

OR

c/o Night\Shift

195 King St. W., Kitchener, ON, N2G 4V6

nightshift@alternativesjournal.ca


The Balloon Tycoon: Q&A with Drew Ripley

drew ripley night\shiftDrew Ripley picked up his first balloon sculpture instruction in 1990 and has spent the last two dozen years entertaining people with deep breaths and a powerful imagination. When he says things like “a balloon is a way to have some fun and create memories,” he’s being incredibly serious – in July 2014 he was a team leader for a 30,000-balloon space shuttle built for the Transplant Games of America in Houston, Texas.

During NIGHT\SHIFT 2014, Ripley is teaming up with Community Car Share to make a life-sized vehicle out of balloons, surely one of the best potential photo ops for festival-goers. Popping Car Culture attempts to open up dialogue about Waterloo Region’s car culture and foster discussion about our unnecessary addiction to driving. Drew talks to NIGHT\SHIFT about the exhibit as well as his art.

Why does car culture need to be popped?

Cars are throwaway items. Under the best circumstances, when you buy a car you’ll have 15 years and all the money you dump into it is gone. So over the lifetime of your car, you’re going to spend well over $300,000 dollars, and the end result is you went places and you put something in a landfill. We waste an enormous amount of energy with these things; we waste an enormous amount of infrastructure.

Gone are the days from the 70s and 80s when cars were the only way to get around. There’s no room to expand city roads. So CarShare and I have been looking for a project for a while now. And this is going to be cool, it’s going to turn heads. And don’t get me wrong, I still like cars and think there are elements that are positive, but we have to change society because our cities can’t handle more cars – they just can’t.

Drew Ripley

Can you describe the balloon car you’re creating?

We’ll have it set up so you can take photos. We’ll do something with the trunk because we want to involve prizes and such. We’ll probably make it white or green, dress it up and have some fun of it. I’m going to point out some of the dirty aspects of the car – a smog machine producing nasty things and basically the downside of vehicle traffic. The car has been a very useful transportation tool, but it is not the only transportation tool anymore. That’s the issue. So that’s how we want to play on this. Make people think about it.

How will it be similar or different from an actual full-sized car?

We don’t need an engine, so that solves a lot. There are plans online and training courses I’ve taken. Like the submarine [below], I will created blueprints, usually with the dimensions of each balloon. The only difference is with this project, the car has to stand up by itself, with only the balloon wheels as support.

submarine

How did your collaboration with Community Carshare come about?

This is our first artistic partnership. We both have been supporting each other with various things. My purpose is to provide whimsy and wonder, whereas they are filling a very obvious, critical transportation need. If it wasn’t for them, my family would have experienced some very difficult transportation challenges. Over time, I’ve promoted them as their service made it possible to grow my fledgling business. They like to promote the fact that they have a balloon artist as a member – because I do have a pretty unusual job.

What is your typical creative process?

The bigger the item, the more important it becomes to start with a sketch. It’s very similar to painting. So when I create a smaller structure – say a child comes up to me and they’ll say “I want this!” – then I will look at my set [of balloons] and think I’ll need these colours, these “brushes.” I’m wearing this set and I pull the balloons out on the spot.

zombie

Then you get to the sculptural pieces. Items like that I’ll doodle a bit first before building. My last one was a zombie for the art market [left]. With any piece, I’ll spend a day or two just pondering how it’s going to look, its story – most of my creations have a story of some kind. The zombie was fun. He got himself in a battle so his left side, his shoes, pants, hand was gone. His head is bashed in and there’s goo. In his right hand, he had a brain so he’d successfully gotten some lunch. That story is the kind of thing I have to think about. Best result from that night, people would come up and put their arms around him. Just like any art, good art should make people think beyond “Ohh pretty…” I want them to interact. I want people to feel something – and if I’m really good, I want them to do something.

After that, when you get up to 1,000-plus balloons, it’s no longer freeform. It gets down to the numbers. There are sketches and drawings and special balloons. The standard balloon is called a 260 and it’s based on standard diameter, so the 646 which is used in a large structure is three times the diameter. When [the sculpture] gets into these, we have to know exactly what we’re doing because we don’t want to miss. If it doesn’t look as good, I’m unsatisfied as an artist.

manor

When we get really big, it’s Larry and Kelly at Airigami who design it and I am so proud to be a team member with them. The Jack and the Beanstalk one [right] was amazing. When you’re an adult and you walk into a room and you have to lean up to look at a balloon structure – your tongue is tied. You’re like “What…how?”

When I work with balloons, it’s important that they challenge and push me. I want people to go “that’s amazing!” I want that memory and I want them to go out and hopefully remember many things from that night. Art is meant to be shared, it’s meant to be provocative, it’s meant to make you think. If I get to do all three of those – what a great life. I’m very hopeful that the car is going to do that and I think it will.


What are your perpetual challenges? Can you highlight an unexpected one?  

Time is the biggest one. The hardest thing about being a balloon artist is to get the timing right. As an artist, you have a point where your product has to be ready. I want my balloons to be as perfect as they can be for that moment. If I start too late, it doesn’t get done on time. If I start too early, it’s not going to be as crisp as I want.

With the car I think we’ll be ready. Again it comes down to how well I’ll prepare – that’s the big challenge. Sometimes supply can be a big issue. For example, for the space shuttle project [below – or click the link to see it built], the factory called the day before and said if you need these balloons, you have half an hour or there’s not going to be enough in the industry for this project. With the super big-scale projects, you just have to adapt.

Why and how did you become a balloon artist?

shuttle

Back in the 80s I went to Vegas with my parents. I saw Siegfried and Roy and David Copperfield and The King Charles Unicycle Troupe. I was so hopped up on what I had seen and I guess I wouldn’t shut up about it. My dad searched really hard for a magic shop in Toronto. I started doing shows. I’ve always dabbled with this industry somehow, I just never stopped. I went through school and university, got a real job and I still performed on the side and had fun with it. And after the recession, I had four different companies go bankrupt while I worked for them. After the fourth one, I was like, “Forget this.” I love [making things out of balloons], I can make people happy: I think I can go with this.

Now I go out and if I have a really busy day, it’s physically demanding and I’m tired, but I’m amped because I spent the day helping kids giggle and parents laugh. There’s so much suffering in the world. You pick up a newspaper and its war this and war that. Hopefully I’m going to give a wonderful and positive memory. And I become crazy excited when I have a child come up and they have a moment to tell me something about themselves. Those conversations are not about me, they’re about giving that child more control – what color do you want, etc. I’m trying to get their creativity and their voice out.

So who inspires you?

cupid

David Copperfield inspires me because of his dedication. Doug Henning was also very inspiring because he brought magic back into a showy disco family show. But actually the people that inspire me the most are leaders. We have a real void of leadership. A lot of people hate their jobs and this comes down to how we’re treated and how we’re led and how we’re valued.

A man by the name of Walter Hailey, who is deceased now – I think of him a lot. Of all things, he was a very successful insurance salesman. But he figured out the way to grow a business and be successful is to be a really good leader. To make people feel valuable is more important than the physical product you work on.

More modern ones: Adam Savage; Jay Leno, to a lesser extent, I read a book by him on why it’s important to be nice; and Seinfeld, an extremely dedicated guy who would write comedy every morning because he realized he was addicted to hearing people laugh. Those are the people that drive me right now. People are in your life for a short period, so what are you going to do to make their day better?

How do you hope Popping Car Culture will inspire NIGHT\SHIFT explorers?

team lead

There’s the surface reaction – “Wow I’m actually in a balloon structure!” That in itself is pretty surreal and even for me, it’s like becoming a cartoon character. The second one is that I really hope to push the conversation further. I don’t want to pinpoint a hot button. I just want people to think. Is CarShare the best thing for my family? Or cycling? I hope that happens. Good art is provocative – this is probably my most political sculpture. And I hope the idea that cars are kinda silly gets across to people. Why are we so fixated?

What excites you about being a part of Night\Shift 2014?

I’m looking forward to taking pictures of people in the car, to getting out and meeting people. Anyone who attended it last year is going to think, “What crazy thing am I going to see tonight?” We’re going to see people sharing memories and participating in something cool. Hopefully this year, since we’re doing it with the CarShare staff, I can go “Here’s the camera, I’m going to out for a walk” and I’ll get to see a different section of the event. With this one, all the work is going to be leading up to it, so I’ll have time to explore. I mean last year’s was amazing, unbelievable, there was just so much stuff. It’ll be great.

 

 

EXTRA: Watch kid-sized Ripley perform and see how amazing he was even from the start!

Connect with Drew on Twitter, Facebook and visit his website


Make Night\Shift Happen: Become a Sponsor

For a little more than two years now, I’ve been making Kitchener’s Night\Shift nocturnal adventure festival as a volunteer. I do it because I want to help encourage and challenge the people of Waterloo Region to recognize their collaborative potential. I want them to reimagine where they live and work by embracing a range of creative visions, intriguing technologies, hidden treasures and uses of the built environment, and the magic of unplanned moments of interaction.

Night\Shift celebrates community, creativity, ingenuity and exploration. The free, walkable festival features local artists, entrepreneurs, cultural organizations and community builders who come together to produce dozens of ephemeral attractions at indoor and outdoor locations in downtown Kitchener. Thousands bundle up to wander around after dark, searching for surprises, strange experiences and exciting possibilities in their city’s nooks and crannies, cultural touchstones, commercial hubs and heritage buildings.

Night\Shift’s organizing team fuels this wide-eyed social catharsis by conceptualizing the festival and the spaces it occupies; brokering deals and organizing production; raising funds to cover the costs of programming and operations; as well as developing, promoting and delivering marketing materials and participatory opportunities to draw an audience. The festival proactively sparks a dynamic expression of downtown and highlights the ongoing awesome activities of its subcultures and fringe communities. It also offers an incredibly valuable platform for local artists and art supporters – so much so that Night\Shift was named Best New Festival at this year’s Waterloo Region Arts Awards.

A third annual version of the festival is currently being produced, with plans to expand to include three days of programming over Halloween weekend this autumn. We have a promising and highly accessible theme – Costuming the Core – that has attracted nearly 30 programming proposals and a solid foundation of funding and partnership from the City of Kitchener, the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation and the Good Foundation.

Now we need a push to help us realize Night\Shift 2015’s vision and impact as fully as possible. We’re on the hunt for financial contributions, in-kind support and other customized programming partnerships. We’d love the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of individuals and organizations who see a high return on investing in a nocturnal adventure festival in downtown Kitchener.

Please check out our 2015 sponsorship opportunities package and consider joining Night\Shift as a sponsor. For more details, questions or to get the ball rolling, contact Eric Rumble at eric @ nightshiftwr.ca.


NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 Call for Proposals

We are now accepting proposals for NIGHT\SHIFT 2014, which is taking place on November 1st! Get all the info right here.

Download a PDF version

Download the application form

 

Members of the Region of Waterloo community and local environmental magazine A\J are collaborating to produce downtown Kitchener’s second annual nuit blanche-style festival of art, culture and nocturnal adventure.

Our mission is to expand upon the 2013 festival and attract another diverse local audience to explore an unconventional showcase of arts, technology, bright ideas and nightlife on foot on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.

NIGHT\SHIFT will be spread throughout various indoor and outdoor locations downtown, based around a central event hub on Duke Street (closed between Frederick and Queen), and spreading out in both directions along Queen (as well as into the two downtown laneways – Halls and Goudies). The event will begin a couple of hours after sundown on the night of the annual autumn time change and run into the wee hours.

We are assembling installations, performances, thought-provoking projects and other creations by a range of (primarily local) visual artists, media and research labs, technologists, students and student groups, musicians, small businesses, cultural organizations and other random individuals. We’re also aiming to involve local community leaders and builders, stakeholders and entrepreneurs in a collaboration that sheds new light on the local cultural landscape. 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 this event again.

You can still explore all the activities of last year’s inaugural event on this site.

NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 THEME

Proposals for NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 should be designed to explore one or both of the following themes: “Hidden Stories” or “Intervention.” Generally speaking, the event itself is intended as a sort of social intervention supported by Kitchener’s creative and entrepreneurial forces, with the aim of drawing out hidden stories (and possibilities) in the built environment of the downtown core. To keep this concept both simple and adaptable, all proposed installations, performances, presentations, interactive events and other contributions should aim to engage the festival’s audience in the following way(s):

  • attendees should be pleasantly surprised by the presence of each project;
  • proposed projects should challenge event participants to reconsider the parameters or conventional wisdom of a simple idea, a pressing sustainability or socio-political issue, a potential approach to a challenge or concept, the underappreciated utility or possibilities of the built environment, etc.;
  • proposed projects should attempt to evoke a strong emotional response (as opposed to simply being eye or ear candy) and urge viewers to open their mind and engage with whatever is being presented.

We are currently inviting individual artists, performers, entrepreneurs 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 Friday, May 2nd, 2014.

A\J will hold an information session on Wednesday, March 26th beginning at 4:30 pm, at our editorial office across from City Hall in downtown Kitchener – 195 King St. W., Suite 202. RSVP is not required, but please contact nightshift@alternativesjournal.ca for further details.

NIGHT\SHIFT events must:

  • Take place on the evening of Saturday, November 1st in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, between the hours of 9 pm and 3 am (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 comment on the concept of “intervention” and/or “hidden stories”;
  • Be chosen by the curators committee after being evaluated based on how well the proposal fits the curatorial theme and basic logistical festival criteria;
  • 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 Fireman’s Memorial Park (at Queen & Otto streets), Vogelsang Green (Queen & Duke), or Market Green (Duke & Scott);
  • An outdoor installation, performance or presentation that could occupy an enclosed patio space (such as Gaol Garden);
  • An installation or experiential activity to be presented inside an enclosed loading area off of Halls Lane (approximately 20 to 30 feet deep by 10 feet wide);
  • A performance or projection-based piece to be presented inside the KW|AG’s Community Access Space;
  • Installations, performances and/or experiential activities that could be situated in either Halls 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.

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 related to production and/or construction of an installation or event, including supplies, barricade rentals, access to power, transportation costs, etc.;
  • Agree to create a site-specific exhibit, installation or performance project that would be located in a designated NIGHT\SHIFT event space, as determined by the curators committee and participating business owners;
  • Explain or describe how the proposed event, exhibit or activity relates to the theme of “intervention” or “hidden stories” in clear, succinct language (especially if this aspect of the proposal is not obvious);
  • Attempt to clearly describe the physical presence that proposed projects will have during NIGHT\SHIFT, ideally by providing an artists’ rendering or mock-up if appropriate;
  • Include a completed application form, a proposal description in writing (of about 500 words, ideally), 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 5 pm on Friday May 2nd 2014, addressed to the “Night\Shift curators committee” and sent to either nightshift@alternativesjournal.ca, or mailed or hand-delivered to 195 King St. W., Suite 202, Kitchener, Ont., N2G 1B1.

NIGHT\SHIFT curators committee will:

  • Be composed of seven members, including one A\J staff 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, 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 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 a representative of the curators committee at the time of selection, largely based on how elaborate or expensive the proposed project will be to install or present. 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 $150 to $750 per 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 – A\Jwill be securing overall corporate sponsorship and funding for this event, and it is necessary to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest with title sponsors;
  • NIGHT\SHIFT organizers and curators cannot assist artists from locations outside of Waterloo Region with travel or materials transportation expenses;
  • The curators committee 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.

NIGHT\SHIFT 2013 Video & NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 Announcement

The official NIGHT\SHIFT 2013 video has finally arrived! Check it out right here – then put your creativity cap on, because a NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 call for proposals is coming soon!

That’s right: after all your enthusiastic feedback – and, frankly, demands for an annual event – A\J is very excited to announce that we’re doing it again! NIGHT\SHIFT 2014 will take place on Saturday, November 1st, so you’ll get that handy extra hour after staying out all night again (you’re welcome).

We’re in the midst of assembling a coordinating committee, and expect to have a call for proposals out within a month. If you are interested in getting involved with NIGHT\SHIFT 2014, please email us: nightshift @ alternativesjournal.ca.


Thank You, Nocturnal Adventurers!

The entire NIGHT\SHIFT team would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you, from our generous sponsors and intrepid artists to the thousands of excited visitors who braved the cold to engage in nocturnal adventuring with us on Saturday night.

Please let us know what you loved (or didn’t) about NIGHT\SHIFT, either using the hashtag #niteshift13 on Twitter, or our feedback form.

nightshift1st

You can relive the NIGHT\SHIFT experience via Storify – watch for a video coming soon!

As we get back to work making magazines, A\J is offering up a special NIGHT\SHIFT subscription package on our website: you get a limited edition NIGHT\SHIFT volunteer scarf and a copy of the Night issue that started it all, and we get your support so we can keep making awesome things like NIGHT\SHIFT happen. Add your scarf and free issue to any A\J subscription order by entering the coupon “niteshift13” at checkout. (Available while supplies last – there are only 20 scarves left!) Subscribe now to claim yours!

If you want to hear more from A\J about future events, projects and Canada’s best environmental journalism, you can subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, nightlife, art and culture happen in Kitchener all the time, so please keep coming downtown to support the local arts scene!


Family Friendly Activities at Night\Shift

This is just a sampling of some of the family-friendly stuff happening at Night\Shift! You can also read through the descriptions of everything happening that night and judge for yourself what’s suitable for your own family.

  • From 4:00 to 7:00, repurpose your Hallowe’en pumpkin by adding it to the Jack-O-Lantern-O-Rama in Civic Centre Park (at Queen and Otto streets, by Centre in the Square). City of Kitchener Ward 10 councillor Dan Glenn-Graham will be holding down the fort, protecting your pumpkins from passers-by turned smashers-by. You can also help arrange the jack-o-lanterns at 7:00.
  • Grab dinner at one of the Duke Food Block restaurants, which aren’t normally open on Saturdays, starting at 7:00, and then watch the pre-show and kick-off at Vogelsang Green!
  • Starting at 8:00, as part of Bike\Shift, CLIPPED Outdoors will be running some family oriented games that build knowledge of cycling and what it means to be a cyclist in Waterloo Region. Their first big game will be at 9:00, but there’ll be fun stuff earlier too!
  • Also starting at 8:00, take centre stage in a live talk show interview with Cord Community After Dark. If your family’s into yoga, there’s a free DJ’d yoga class at Queen Street Yoga at 8:00 as well.
  • Starting at 9:00, you can hop on a bike for an action shot (and prizes!) in our “show us your bike face” photo booth – kid-sized bikes will be available. Or stop by the Queen St. Commons to check out The Picto-Path and help make a vibrant community entrance-way to the main KPL branch during construction. Kids may also enjoy experimenting with Jennifer Gough’s interactive installation in the hallway of the Walper Terrace Hotel.
  • Also starting at 9:00: get your kids to add their ideas to the Simple Pleasures Chalkboard in Hall’s Lane.
  • If 10:30 isn’t too late, check out Best Intentions, a glow-in-the-dark juggling performance in Civic Centre Park.

13 Tips for Getting the Most Out of NIGHT\SHIFT

A little preparation – and knowing what you’re in for – will go a long way towards having the best possible time at NIGHT\SHIFT this weekend! A\J and the Cord Community Edition serve up some advice on what you can do to get the most out of the night:

  1. Dress for the weather – and for walking. Historical records show an average temperature for November 2 ranging between around 10°C and zero. Wear layers you can easily remove when you visit an indoor attraction.
  1. Plan ahead. Scope out everything there is to see & do on the NIGHT\SHIFT website and the Explorers’ Map (PDF, 1.1MB). You can start whenever and wherever makes sense for you. To get the full experience, try something from each category. And collect stamps from at least five sites so you can enter to win downtown prizes!

  1. Prepare to rethink your city. This is Kitchener in a whole new light. Kitchener has a vibrant community of visual, literary and musical artists, environmentalists and entrepreneurs, plus a compact, walkable downtown with beautiful heritage and eye-popping modern architecture.

  1. Stay hydrated. All that adventure will make you thirsty. Bring a water bottle or travel mug to refill. Numerous venues will be open with hot drinks and Café Pyrus will be licensed for the night.

  1. Take a nap. Be sure to come well-rested so you can take advantage of the time change, stay out late and fit in as much as possible!

  1. Try something new. Share your thoughts with Cord Community After Dark, drop into a midnight yoga class, play ping pong in the park or get in the middle of some glow-in-the-dark juggling. If you’ve never visited the K-W Art Gallery, it will be open till 3:00 AM!

  1. Come hungry. With the Duke Food Block open late, now is the time to eat some delicious local delicacies. There are options for everyone from hardcore carnivores to vegans and every variation in between.

  1. Think “intervention.” NIGHT\SHIFT itself is an intervention in the normal routine, and many of the artists are offering up opportunities to intervene – in their performances, the downtown environment and your own preconceptions. Reconsider conventional takes on beauty and what makes a green space a park.

  1. Be sustainable. Check out solar-powered roads, water pumps for developing nations, a bicycle generator and enjoy a night of non-consumer-oriented fun. Get to NIGHT\SHIFT on two wheels and show us your bike face at the BIKE\SHIFT photo booth!

  1. Ask questions. The artists and volunteers are there to point you in the right direction, answer questions about installations and help you get the most out of an activity. Don’t be shy!

  1. Join the circus with Rich Aucoin. For those of you who have never experienced the work of experimental pop musician Aucoin, you are in for a real spectacle. Aucoin doesn’t just play music – he creates video and activities that go along with it, and throws in tons of confetti just for good measure.

  1. Make friends. There’s nothing like a huge outdoor art event to strike up some conversations with new friends. With so many people out and about, you’re bound to find someone who is as amazed by the art as you are. Or you can go to Let’s Connect, an installation at Goudies Lane that lets you network under the stars. You can also still volunteer for the night, which will guarantee you’ll meet loads of people!

  1. Keep supporting the arts in Kitchener. Art in Kitchener isn’t over on November 3. We hope NIGHT\SHIFT inspires you to keep supporting artists in Waterloo Region. Check out those indie music nights, go to our art galleries and read our local authors’ work – NIGHT\SHIFT is just a taste of all Kitchener has to offer.


Spotlight On: Jennifer Gough

Best Local Artist winner in the Cord Community Edition’s Best of Waterloo Region 2013, Jennifer Gough will unveil a new installation, Clash, in the Walper Terrace Hotel at NIGHT\SHIFT.

Here’s how Jennifer describes Clash:

Experiencing sound through conceptual sculpture. Ideas exchanged in conversation. Explore the influence and effect sound has on our perceptions of what we are trying to communicate. Clash. Quiet contemplation contrasted by clamorous intervention. Come make some noise!

Get a sneak peek at the installation and hear more from Jennifer:

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter.


Spotlight On: Marko Barakoski

Local artist Marko Barakoski uses recycled materials to create unique and compelling sculptures that encourage conversation about “making the places in which we live cleaner, safer and wiser.”

Marko will be displaying some of his pieces and working on a new one in the Bike\Shift area at the corner of Queen and Otto streets. Bike shapes and parts often pop up in Marco’s work – as do old car parts, like in his winning entry at EnviroSCULPT 2013.

photo 1
Marko’s winning entry at EnviroSCULPT 2013

The sculpture is a Lake Sturgeon, North America’s largest freshwater fish, local to southern Ontario. It is also one of Ontario’s endangered fish species, thanks to over fishing and loss of habitat.

Here’s what Marko says about the intent behind this piece and why he works with recycled materials – and why that’s still not enough:

I wish to promote awareness about a species that doesn’t garner the same type of recognition as say, a polar bear, because it is easy to forget that there are creatures that struggle nearby.

The materials used are faulty/unused muffler parts acquired from a scrapyard in nearby Cambridge. Pre-consumer waste, I believe, is an overlooked commodity in not just art, but everyday living, from design and decor to ‘up-cycled’ products.

Given the scope of ecological threats (i.e. global warming), it’s not hard to make too much of recycling and reuse. The root causes of the big problems won’t be solved by how many muffler parts are converted into blenders. The advantage is that capitalizing on those resources we do exploit could discourage further plundering of our land and help protect the ecosystem.

More of Marko’s work:

IMG_9988 Ubiquitousfive


Spotlight On: Kim Ho and Chris Mosiadz’s “Let’s Connect”

Made up of hundreds of business cards from dozens of people and businesses in the area, Let’s Connect is an interactive outdoor installation by local designer Kim Ho and Chris Mosiadz that illustrates the dynamic, innovative spirit of Waterloo Region.

The motivation behind the installation, from Kim’s website:

Communities are intriguing because they are consistently dynamic. So I started to investigate methods that would celebrate those qualities & return an experience that would personify that. The result: hanging business cards with fish lines in a central alleyway about the City’s core. The alley is a natural wind thoroughfare, it’s also a key connector between the two main activity zones for the event. Harnessing the natural air circulation of the alley meant these magically suspended cards would take their own forms with the wisp of the wind, effectively being consistently dynamic in their own right.

Hear more and watch Kim and Chris work on a prototype of the installation in our video interview. See if you can spot the A\J business cards – or your own!

Check out Let’s Connect in Goudies Lane, site #10 on the NIGHT\SHIFT map.


Spotlight On: Josh Martin’s Simple Pleasures Chalkboard

What simple pleasures and experiential riches are on your list?

The Simple Pleasures Chalkboard is a physical manifestation of the Simple Pleasures Project from Lifestyle CitizensIn a time of over-consumption, the project encourages us to embrace non-material sources of fulfillment.

Here’s a great explanation from the Simple Pleasures Project photo gallery:

When Lifestyle Citizens executive director Josh Martin was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, he made a list of 118 “reasons to fight.” Nowhere on his list were things like a big TV, fancy house, expensive car or any of the other material measures of success our society puts so much emphasis on.

Instead, the list burst at the seams with simple pleasures, great experiences and the amazing people in his life.

Here’s what Josh is looking forward to at NIGHT\SHIFT:

I’m excited to be bringing the Simple Pleasures Chalkboard to NIGHT\SHIFT and getting everybody to share what little things bring them big joy. From comfy slippers to fall colours to a hot chocolate on a cold day, the world is filled with awesome simple pleasures. Can’t wait to see what’s on your list! You can learn more about this project and how my fight with cancer inspired the idea here.

And here’s Josh talking about the near-death origins of the project:


Spotlight On: Meg Harder’s [INNER]National Parks

Here’s what artist Meg Harder’s looking forward to about NIGHT\SHIFT – and a new look at the project.

I am excited to see what types of reactions people have to “The [INNER]National Parks Project“. I’m interested in how outdoor installation art alters our perception of familiar spaces like downtown Kitchener and gives us an opportunity to reflect on something that was previously unnoticed.

I hope my project challenges viewers to reconsider their relationship with the local urban landscape.

Keep an eye out for a few of these around downtown during NIGHT\SHIFT:

IMG_5119 copy


Spotlight On: Mano A Mano Radio

Check out this multi-media collaborative extravaganza The Electrifying Adventures of DJ Jeff E Jeff.

The Electrifying Adventures of DJ Jeff E Jeff is an audio comic with accompanying visuals that aired on the Mano A Mano show on 100.3 SoundFM this year. Featuring a number of KW musicians and visual artists, the comic does a great job of showing off the artistic talent of the region.

The video for the final instalment is premiering at NIGHT\SHIFT, in a parking lot on the East side of Queen St North just below Vogelsang Green.

You can preview the audio track on the SoundFM website, or watch the first episode right here.

We asked Mano A Mano what they’re looking forward to about NIGHT\SHIFT and this is what they said:

We are extremely excited to be a part of the inaugural NIGHT\SHIFT festival. We hope to heighten people’s awareness about the great musical and visual artist that are in the KW region. In The Electrifying Adventures of DJ Jeff E Jeff, we not only wanted to focus on the great music that has been created in this country but also focus on many of the bands from this region that we feel need to be in the discussion when it comes to great Canadian Music. In addition to focusing on local Canadian Music we also have 6 KW artists who contributed to the project. Each episode we had a different artist portray the events that can be heard in the audio.
We are hoping that people will become aware of this project and check out the audio series at home. There are a lot of interactive pieces to the series that will engage the audience to learn more about the arts and culture in a fun way.


Spotlight On: The KW Poetry Slam

Don’t miss the KW Poetry Slam‘s delightful 2013 Slam Team at the Spoken Word Showcase happening at Queen Street Commons!

Here’s what the KWPS had to say about their appearance at NIGHT\SHIFT – just two days before they head off to compete at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Montreal!

KW Poetry Slam’s spoken word event will inspire, enrage, and entertain you with a flurry of words presented by some of Canada’s most hyped slam poets. We hope you will leave aglow with a renewed love of poetry.

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Team Captain Beth Murch is an author, spoken word artist, full-spectrum doula, independent placenta service provider, and kitchen witch. As a social justice activist, her work frequently draws upon themes of Feminism, sexuality, Nature, and spirituality. Beth has always been a writer and performer, but only got into slam a little over a year ago when she decided to cross “perform at spoken word event” off her bucket list. She made K-W’s 2012 CFSW team and the rest was history.

Jaded jazzes it up with her jovial jargon! Jaded is a spoken word artist whose poems range from humorous to getting the word out on serious social issues.

Janice Lee is a spoken word poet and singer-songwriter rooted in Kitchener, Ontario. She has a background in English literature, musical theatre and community activism. She writes about embodied struggle and joy related to politics, gender, community and food. She likes satire. Janice is an organizer and co-founder of the KW Poetry Slam and was a member of The Flying V’s, KW’s 2012 Slam Team. She writes and performs music with her band Janice Lee and the Free Radicals.

C-Command is a rapper on a quest for his ultimate flow. He seeks to capture and represent the ecstatic concentration and euphoric momentum of a human mind making sense of things. He has a background in acting for film and stage, and in 2012 he received a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Concordia in Montreal. In 2013 he placed 2nd at the Canadian Indivdual Poetry Slam Championship (CIPS) in Vancouver.

David Delisca (1)KWPS is also bringing in 4-time member of the Toronto Poetry Slam team David Delisca to feature at NIGHT\SHIFT.

 

Check out C-Command’s “Die Jest” for a preview:

You can follow the team’s adventures at CFSW on Twitter @KWPoetrySlam.


Spotlight On: Queen Street Yoga

Queen Street Yoga is excited about NIGHT\SHIFT! Here’s why.

Queen Street Yoga was one of the first venues to come on board for NIGHT\SHIFT. Located on the upper floor at 44 Queen St. South, QSY is offering three free yoga classes during NIGHT\SHIFT, at 8:00, 10:00 and midnight, with a soundtrack provided by DJ Miss Herbasshifts. When have you been to a DJ’d yoga class?

QSY is also hosting a performance piece in their second studio. At 9;15 and 11:15, Sarah Tolmie & Dawn Parker of the Raw Nerve Research Group/Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo present In Case of Emergency Please Break Glass, an intervention on Philip Glass’ Knee Play 4 featuring a dozen local performing artists playing instruments, singing and ballroom dancing.

We asked Leena at Queen Street Yoga what they’re excited about and what they hope people get out of their NIGHT\SHIFT activities, and this is what she said:

We’re excited to see so much collaboration and energy Downtown. This will be a great event to explore new places and see things in new ways in the Downtown landscape. We’re excited to welcome people into our space for a unique experience of an all-levels DJ’d yoga flow.

Yoga can help you feel more at ease and connected to your body and people and spaces around you, so we think after the practice people will take in the art and performances in a new way.


Volunteer Training Sessions

If you want to be involved in this epic event, you’re in luck! We’re still accepting volunteers – just fill out this form here and attend one of our training sessions to get ready!

Choose the session that works best for you:

1. Thursday October 24, 7-9pm, Kitchener City Hall, Schmalz Room (2nd floor)
2. Tuesday October 29, 10am-Noon, Kitchener City Hall, Heritage Room (Main floor)
3. Tuesday October 29, 7-9pm, Kitchener City Hall, Heritage Room (Main floor)


Why is an environmental magazine organizing an arts festival?

In an article profiling NIGHT\SHIFT in the Waterloo Region Record, arts columnist Martin DeGroot asked what an environmental magazine is doing “organizing a festival of art, culture and adventure along a downtown street?”

Martin did a great job answering that question, but we figured we’d expand a little more.

What is A\J?
A\J is Alternatives Journal, an independent Canadian magazine that has published cutting-edge environmental journalism since 1971. We’ve been based at the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment since 1984 and moved into a downtown Kitchener office in late 2011. Our staff team includes a number of long-time Kitchener residents, artists and movers-and-shakers, plus some new faces and a lot of uWaterloo students.

Where did the idea come from?
The idea for a late-night event started with brainstorming for an issue launch event for our Night issue, which is out on newsstands right now. Through conversations with local artists and the City of Kitchener, it grew into something much bigger (and more exciting!) than we initially envisioned, and eventually turned into NIGHT\SHIFT.

Why the name NIGHT\SHIFT? Why not Nuit Blanche?
We like to think that the name sums up the goal of shifting common perceptions that people hold about Downtown Kitchener. We didn’t have anything against Nuit Blanche in particular, but we figured we’d see if we could come up with something else we liked, and NIGHT\SHIFT stuck. We’re still using the ‘light’ theme of so many other nighttime festivals in the language and imagery promoting the event. Our hope is that we can encourage people to see Kitchener in a different light and think about the city in new ways.

NIGHT\SHIFT also speaks to the time change happening the same night, the turning of seasons and the sense of possibility inherent in both gaining that extra hour and this somewhat magical, spooky time of year. It’s a bit of an homage to the city’s industrial history as well.

What does it have to do with the environment?
Envisioning change and a better future is a central goal at A\J. Exploration of the world around us is integral to achieving that goal.

We see NIGHT\SHIFT as encouraging people to engage differently with the built environment of downtown. The event and the artists involved are repurposing a number of pieces of downtown infrastructure, from roads and windows to trees and back alleys.

We often forget that urban environments are still part of “the environment,” broadly speaking, and our approach to cities as a society will have vast implications for what our future looks like.

Plus, we love Downtown Kitchener and are constantly looking for ways to build relationships with other members of the downtown community. We also really like playing at the intersections of art and  environmental concerns, something you can see in a few of our previous issues, including this spring’s Art & Media.

How did you choose the installations?
A lot of the activities emerged organically, from talking with downtown businesses and local organizations, or people reaching out to us after hearing about the event.

All of the major artist installations and performances went through a juried selection process, with input from A\J, the city and a couple of established local artists.


A Brief History of Nighttime Arts Festivals

Think all-night arts extravaganzas started with Nuit Blanche? Think again.

The first modern all-night arts festival we could track down was Finland’s Night of the Arts, which began in 1989 as an addition to the annual Helsinki Festival in 1989. All museums, bookstores and public parks remained open throughout the night, with diverse art-related events spread across the entire city. Night of the Arts continues to occur annually at the Helsinki Festival, attracting attendees to explore culture and art in the streets of Helsinki. Some of the events seen at the Night of the Arts today consist of impromptu poetry recitals, outdoor cinemas, circus performances, free concerts, and artistic pieces such as webs of yarn and a 4-km-long domino chain.

In the same year, Jean Blaise of the Research Center for Cultural Development initiated Les Allumées (French for “the lighted up”) in Nantes, France, a series of six-day festivals over six years, featuring artists from six different cities.

In 1993, St. Petersburg, Russia introduced the White Nights Festival during the summer solstice. 1997 saw the inaugural Long Night of Museums in Berlin.

In 2001 Jean Blaise was invited to create an event in Paris. She took the Les Allumées concept, scaled it back to one night, and the first Nuit Blanche took place on October 5, 2002, focusing on Paris’ contemporary art atmosphere. The festival continues annually in Paris, and similar events happen in over 120 cities around the world, including Toronto, Montreal, Guelph, Ottawa, Italy, London, Brussels, Rome and Madrid. There’s Luminaria in San Antonio, Seoul Open Night in Seoul, South Korea, Santa Monica’s Glow – and now we’re adding Kitchener to the map with NIGHT\SHIFT.


What’s happening

Shift your view of downtown with indoor and on-the-street visual creations, theatre, music, demonstrations and activities for everyone! Grab a bite to eat at the Duke Food Block headquarters starting at 7:00pm, help us kick things off in the lead-up to 9:00 and then check out all this and more throughout the night:

  • Installations and performances in downtown businesses, alleys and parks
  • An experiential music showcase by Weird Canada featuring Rich Aucoin
  • A spoken word showcase by K-W Poetry Slam & The New Quarterly
  • Local Focus Film Festival winners
  • Late night DJ’d yoga at Queen Street Yoga
  • Cycling-centric activities + bike gallery + more at BIKE\SHIFT on Otto St

Check out everything we have to see and do!