Night\Shift art festival cancelled, 'no longer sustainable,' organizers say

Night\Shift will not run again this November because of a lack of money and time, the festival's founder and director Eric Rumble says.

'It seems such a massive loss to the community'

Night\Shift director and founder Eric Rumble said the festival takes 'a lot of time, money and organizational effort.' (Night Shift/Faryal Diwan/Facebook)

Night\Shift — the art festival that has taken over downtown Kitchener one night every year in November for the past five years and featured unique and interactive installations — is no more.

Festival director and founder Eric Rumble said "zero funds have been raised to put on a sixth festival" and there are no plans to try to run the festival this upcoming November.

The announcement was made on the festival's website, posted fittingly overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

"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," Rumble wrote in the post.
It's farewell to night shift - the annual place-hacking art festival in downtown Kitchener. This past Saturday as the clocks moved forward, founder and festival director Eric Rumble announced the event... is over. He explains why and what he thinks will be its lasting impression in downtown Kitchener with CBC KW's Jackie Sharkey 5:52

But he noted the festival's board of directors know "the side-hustle required to make this festival is no longer sustainable" because of other full-time jobs and other commitments.

Rumble noted it "does sting a little to say farewell to Night/Shift, but it's also a huge relief."
Over five years, more than 400 artists created more than 125 original programs for the festival. (Night Shift/Facebook)

'Sad to see an era end'

Over five years, more than 400 artists created more than 125 original programs for the festival.

"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," Rumble said.

On the festival's Facebook page, people expressed disappointment the festival would not run again.

"It seems such a massive loss to the community," Joy Smith wrote.

"Sorry to hear that. I have many fond memories of Night\Shift, and have met many super cool people that make up K-W's vibrant arts fabric," wrote Brent Wettlaufer.

"Sad to see an era end. But, absolutely overjoyed looking back at five incredible years, a plethora of engaging art, performances and installations. I was lucky to be involved, and would not have explored the world of kaleidoscopes and infinity without the festival's support," Nik Harron wrote.

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