Call for Curatorial Proposals 2018

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg is pleased to announce our inaugural Call for Curatorial Proposals for a major site for Nuit Blanche WinnipegSaturday, September 29, 2018.

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg invites proposals from Canadian curators for one to three site-specific artist projects that will activate Old Market Square in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2018. Proposals should indicate the artists they intend to work with and submit preliminary plans for the artworks. The artworks should be thoughtful, dynamic, accessible to the thousands of people participating in this free public event, and should utilize visual elements that activate outdoor spaces in the night.

The total budget is $25,000 and must cover of designing, commissioning and installing the Nuit Blanche Winnipeg artwork(s) including but not limited to: curatorial fees, artist fees, taxes, travel, materials, fabrication and installation, insurance and deinstallation/site restoration. A contingency line is recommended. The selected curator will collaborate with the Nuit Blanche Winnipeg team on all aspects of the installation process.

These works will be the “featured pieces” of the night.


Nuit Blanche Winnipeg is a free, all-night contemporary art celebration that attracts thousands of people to three urban zones, Downtown, the Exchange District and St. Boniface. Every year, individual artists, galleries, cultural organizations and independent curators open their doors, patios, rooftops and parks, and stay open late for one special night, offering a unique array of exhibitions, installations and performances. In addition to the independent community projects we hold several juried calls for works.

The first Nuit Blanche Winnipeg took place on Saturday, September 26, 2010, and several thousand-people interacted with and explored the over 35 events. In 2017 we saw well over 20,000 attendees exploring the 115 art events and the community. Nuit Blanche is, without question, Winnipeg’s largest annual contemporary arts festival.

This Call for Curatorial Proposals is generously sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council, Nuit Blanche Winnipeg’s Producing Partner. Culture Days Manitoba is the non-profit organization that runs Nuit Blanche Winnipeg.


In 2016, we presented two artworks by featured artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett. CLOUD and The Deep Dark transformed Winnipeg for one evening and the thousands of people who experienced these two spectator pieces still talk about it today.

In 2017, our featured artist was Khan Lee, whose Red, Green and Blue transformed a dark parking lot into an illuminated, colourful playground. 

As the budget for 2018’s featured work is almost double that of previous years we are expecting the scale of 2018’s featured works to reflect this.

Here are some links from other Nuit Blanches’ and similar festivals across the world for inspiration:


Old Market Square

Many outdoor sites are activated during Nuit Blanche Winnipeg with Old Market Square and the surrounding areas being one of the most popular. Situated in the historic Exchange District, Old Market Square is in the center of a large number of the events of the night. At least one of the proposed projects must be located in Old Market Square. Foot traffic in Old Market Square is expected to be between 10,000 and 20,000 people.

For more information on Old Market Square, please visit:


Curators must have experience developing and installing artists’ projects, and the proposal should have a strong conceptual foundation. Nuit Blanche Winnipeg offers an opportunity to bring contemporary art to a wide audience, to activate our public places at night and to celebrate the unique spaces of Winnipeg. The artistic merit of the proposal will be the key criteria in selecting the curator but the following points are critical:

  • The curator and artist must be residents of Canada.
  • The proposed project(s) must be free to all and must be open between 6pm and 4am on Saturday September 29, 2018. The project must happen rain or shine.
  • The proposed project(s) must be of a significant scale and utilize visual elements that activate outdoor spaces at night.
  • At least one of the proposed projects must be located in Winnipeg’s Old Market Square.
  • The project(s) must be unique, and offer “entry points” for a wide audience.
  • The project(s) must have the potential to enhance the programming of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg.
  • The project(s) must be suitable for all ages and accessible to people of all physical abilities.
  • The project(s) must be feasible from budgetary, logistical and safety perspectives.

The proposed work does not need to be new and can have been shown before. We would prefer that the work has not been shown in Winnipeg already.


To apply, curators must submit a complete proposal package by March 11, 2018 (11:59pm CST), that includes:

  • A curatorial statement and foundational concept for the proposal as a whole.
  • Description of the proposed artist project(s) (1000 words max total).
  • CVs for all participating artists and curators.
  • Short bios (max 1 page each) for the curator(s) and artist(s) describing their work and any other relevant information can also be submitted.
  • $25,000 budget that includes all costs relating to the conception, design, development, fabrication and installation, insurance and deinstallation/site restoration and including all artist and curatorial fees and taxes as well as all travel, per diem and accommodation costs required.
  • Timeline for project development, fabrication and installation (note: Nuit Blanche Winnipeg will assist with some installation details).
  • Up to 20 images (or some combination of video and images) representing your body of curatorial work and the work of the artists you are proposing.


The complete proposal package must be submitted via the online submission form on or before 11:59pm CST on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

If emailing with any questions, please use the Subject Line: NBW2018 Curatorial Submission. All applicants will receive an automated e-mail to confirm receipt of their application. If you submit an application and do not receive a confirmation e-mail your application has not been received and you will need to follow up with us at Please note: Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

All applications will be reviewed by a peer jury organized by Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and will include practicing artists and arts professionals, curators, and production personnel. It is our goal to notify the selected curator by Friday, April 20, 2018.

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg reserves the right to extend the deadline if it deems it necessary. Nuit Blanche Winnipeg reserves the right to not recommend any proposal and to terminate or re-advertise this opportunity.


The selected curator will work closely and collaboratively with our production team and will adhere to our timelines. It is expected that the curator will be the main contact with the artists. Our team will provide support, resources (where available) and expertise in executing artworks of this scale and type. All permit costs will be covered by Nuit Blanche Winnipeg. All projects must meet the standards of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg for feasibility, sustainability and safety.


The selected projects will be used in an umbrella marketing campaign to promote the overall event. The campaign will include media partnerships and an advertising campaign plus a multi-level PR and social media campaign in association with Nuit Blanche Winnipeg / Culture Days Manitoba. Curator and artist participation in media events is required.


For additional information please contact:

Melissa Courcelles


Supported by Producing Partner of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg

Winnipeg Arts Council Logo


Submission Form