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.


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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] , 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\J will 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.