As the clocks (aimlessly) roll forward again, there is sad news to share.
After five amazing years of taking over nooks, crannies, businesses and empty spaces in downtown Kitchener with pop-up art, weird live performances and random programming on the evening of the fall time change, Night\Shift Placehacking Festival is retiring. Zero funds have been raised to put on a sixth festival in early November 2018, and there are no plans or resources to produce another one.
The reason is pretty straightforward and relatable. Developing and delivering an offbeat, unpredictable and many, many-headed undertaking like Night\Shift requires an awful lot of time, money and organizational effort. And while the festival’s collaborations with mostly local artists have been a blast to produce, Night\Shift’s board of directors has been unable to develop a succession plan to overcome the fact that the side-hustle required to make this festival is no longer sustainable alongside the demands of other full-time gigs and waking/sleeping life. So 2017’s festival was, unfortunately, the end.
It does sting a little to say farewell to Night\Shift, but it’s also a huge relief — and incredibly satisfying to reflect on. I’m so proud of and completely floored by what Night\Shift has done. Over the course of five elaborate instalments, Night\Shift paid more than 400 artists to create more than 125 pieces of original programming, helping flip the idea that Kitchener’s core is a place to avoid exploring. The festival has sparked fabulous collaborations and stunning re-imaginations of many under-appreciated spaces, attracted rad experimental music acts to play Kitchener, and orchestrated a whole lotta lovely moments. A huge thank you to everyone who shared in Night\Shift’s vision and supported it with your eyeballs, ears, hands, hearts, minds, money and moves.
To give the festival a proper goodbye, the board is currently making plans for a farewell party. We’ll host this event on Wednesday, May 30th at the Kitchener Market. It’ll include food and drink, live music and a small collection of past Night\Shift projects brought back out to play.
As party plans congeal, we’ll update the fazeboog event on the festival’s page (details added below for those who don’t boog) and do some half-assed promo. Stay tuned for more details about Night\Shift’s last placehack!
— Eric Rumble, Night\Shift founder & festival director, March 10th\\11th 2018
NIGHT\SHIFT Farewell Party
WED MAY 30th \\ 6-10pm \\ Kitchener Market (300 King St. E.)
Help put a DTK darling to bed as some amazing festival alumni bring out their past projects, including:
Agnes Niewiadomski’s BIG LIGHT BRIGHT \\ agnesmakes.com/big-games (unveiled at Night\Shift 2014)
Bernie Rohde & Mike Robertson’s INFINITY MIRROR \\ nightshiftwr.ca/infinimirror (2015)
A few lanterns from Haneen Dalla-Ali & Paniz Moayeri’s BRIGHT WHISPERS \\ nightshiftwr.ca/bright-whispers (2015)
A reinterpretation of Allie Brenner & Laura Snider’s CONVERSATIONAL PARTNER \\ nightshiftwr.ca/conversational-partner (2015)
nik harron’s VRLENS MONITORS \\ nightshiftwr.ca/vrlens-monitors (2017)
One recreated room outta Agnes Niewiadomski & Michelle Purchase’s FIBRE FUNHOUSE \\ nightshiftwr.ca/fibre-funhouse (2017)
Ellie Anglin’s RESIST PSYCHIC DEATH \\ nightshiftwr.ca/resist-psychic-death (2017)
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FOOD & DRINK (served up by TWB Co-operative Brewing) details coming soon!
Programming and production costs of the Night\Shift farewell party are funded by the Downtown Kitchener BIA + this event is part of the #TrueNorthDTK culture crawl on Wed May 30th
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+ ICYMI, details about why the festival is retiring: