Call for Submissions

Lumière Arts Festival invites applications for Lumière 2023. The 12th, annual Art-at-Night event will take place in downtown Sydney, Unama’ki | Cape Breton on September 23, 2023. We welcome applications from emerging and established artists, as well as community groups, working across a number of disciplines.

We take pride in making art accessible, improving the quality of life in our community through the arts. We activate relationships between artists, businesses, and our community – and operate with integrity, transparency, and open communication.

Applications will be accepted until midnight on April 10, 2023.

Note: Application assistance is available for those who would like to meet with a team member to complete the application process. Please reach out to if you would like to set up a meeting or request additional support.

Lumière is a free arts festival held each September in Unama’ki | Cape Breton. Lumière presents contemporary projects in a range of artistic mediums that engage audiences in new aesthetic experiences. Lumière is a platform for collaboration, cross-pollination, and dialogue between artists and audiences. The festival connects the local and visiting audiences with diverse forms of cultural expression.

Before applying to Lumière, please review the types of projects that are eligible: artist projects and community projects. Please note: if your submission is selected by the peer assessment committee, you will present your project at the art-at-night event on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 7PM to midnight (unless other arrangements are made with the organizers).

Artist Project:

Your project is an artist project if you are a professional or emerging artist, musician, fine crafter, writer, dancer, or multi-disciplinary artist or if you belong to an artist group or collective working in one or more of the above disciplines. Multi-, interdisciplinary, and interactive projects are encouraged! Artist projects will be evaluated by a panel of local artists and professionals. Review the ‘Evaluation Criteria’ section below to learn more about the selection process.

Community Project:

Your project is a community project if you are an existing community organization or group. Community projects are assessed by the organizing committee. Community projects are expected to cover their own costs or to seek their own funding to support their project.

Lumière offers artists an honorarium for completed artist projects which includes exhibition and copyright fees based on national standards set by CARFAC. Payment of the honorarium is by cheque or e-transfer immediately following the 2023 festival. Projects must be presented as described in order to receive payment.

We encourage artists to apply for funding to support their proposed projects. Letters of support are available if you are applying for external funding. Contact for more information.

Members of the Peer Assessment Committee will take note of proposals that offer interactive, multi-sensory and/or spectacular audience experiences. Lumière can provide professional equipment and technical support for large-scale audio/visual works. However, we are equally interested in performative and/or ephemeral projects employing low-tech materials and processes. Projects will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Artistic Merit: Desirable projects are strong in aesthetic, conceptual, and experiential elements. The project will offer a new aesthetic experience to the audience in Cape Breton. Artist history will be considered in evaluation and returning artists are asked to propose projects that differ significantly from previous work presented in Lumière.

Feasibility: The participant demonstrates that planning and coordination for the project have been carefully thought through. The Peer Assessment Committee must be reasonably convinced that the participant will be able to accomplish the project as proposed.

Sensorial/Experiential: The project considers the nature of the event as a sensorial journey for the audience. Priority will be given to projects that address Lumière’s mission by offering engaging, interactive, and/or collaborative audience experiences.

Please include carefully selected support material that demonstrates the quality of your work. This may include images, audio files, excerpts of scripts, or examples in other pertinent formats. All support material must be uploaded or linked to in the online application form. Please DO NOT attempt to upload any video content in the Support Material section; provide urls to externally hosted video content below in the Links section (e.g., Vimeo, YouTube, etc.).

Time constraints preclude reviewing materials of significant length, therefore support material that involves video (e.g. theatre, performing arts, media arts, live music, dance) should be succinctly edited portions of relevant footage. If the proposal is a work in progress, please include examples of previous video/audio work. Running time for audio and video files should not exceed 5 minutes per work. Digital files should be clearly marked with the artist’s name, title of work, and duration.

You must include a list that itemizes the support material included in your application. This list should include title, medium, date of production, and size or duration for each work. Lists may be annotated to include relevant information that may provide context to the jury.

Artists and organizations are asked to propose a potential venue for the presentation of their projects, and site specificity is encouraged. However, there are instances where it is not possible for the organizing committee to secure the locations proposed by artists. The final determination of project placement lies with the organizing committee and artists are asked to respect these decisions as final.

Venues are located in public and private spaces along Charlotte Street between Townsend and Nepean Street. We hope that you will explore the festival area to determine some suitable sites for your project and suggest these in your application. Please be creative and ambitious in the selection of your site, but remember that not all sites will be available. If you are not familiar with the festival area and your submission is accepted, we will work with you to determine the best location possible for your work.

Application Form