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Frequently Asked Questions (2018)


  1. What is Harvest Noir?
  2. When is Harvest Noir?
  3. Where is Harvest Noir?
  4. Who is invited?
  5. Why attend Harvest Noir?
  6. Where do I register?
  7. How much does it cost?
  8. Can I change my mind and become a Table Captain after I’ve registered as a regular guest?
  9. How do we reach 1400 guests?
  10. When do we find out where we are going?
  11. Is registration still open?
  12. What happens if it rains?
  13. What is your refund policy?
  14. What about tables and chairs?
  15. Can we bring our own alcohol?
  16. Are hats for women or men mandatory?
  17. Will outdoor heaters be provided? Can I bring anything to heat my food?
  18. What do I wear?
  19. What do I bring?
  20. Where do the proceeds go?
  21. Who is hosting this event?
  22. What inspired this event?
  23. What about Parking?
  24. What about Car Pooling?

Featured Question:

Can I attend just the after-party?
YES. As of Thursday Sept 20, due to overwhelming demand, we’ve opened up last-minute ticket sales to the dance. Perhaps you can’t attend the Harvest Noir picnic due to other plans? That’s right, we are opening up the amazing Harvest Noir after-party, DANCE NOIR, to guests who are not attending the picnic. Plan to stay up late: Dance Noir was voted one of Ottawa’s sexiest parties.

I need a printed e-ticket. How do I find it?

Displaying tickets on smart phones is encouraged – printing is not mandatory. You should find the ticket attached to your email invoice from your date of purchase. And this year TICKETS WILL BE SENT VIA EMAIL AGAIN!  We will be emailing them out again a day before the event! The ticket will come as an attachment, with a filename like “invoice-xxxx.pdf” where xxxx is your 4-digit order number.

Contrary to old information, THE TICKETS DO NOT HAVE A BARCODE.

Will there be tents this year in case it rains?

In the 25-year tradition of all the chic picnics around the world, no. Tents are not provided – it is a rain or shine event.

Luckily, we have a rain date option this year (Sun Sep 23).

How many guests can I seat at my table?

Table Captains are recommended to invite a minimum of 7 guests, so that we do not have to seat other guests at your table, but there is no maximum – invite as many guests as you like! Harvest Noir is all about having a fantastic evening with friends, so to encourage large groups of friends to gather and celebrate together, we will once again be awarding several awesome prizes to the lucky Table Captains with the largest number of guests at their table.

More Questions Answered:

What is Harvest Noir?

Harvest Noir is a chic “dress your best in black” picnic feast celebrating the autumn harvest with food from local farms. It includes many surprises and live musical performances, followed by the amazing Dance Noir DJ party and audience-participation fashion show indoors.

What is Dance Noir?

In 2011, Dance Noir took over the Grand Hall of the Museum of Civilization. In 2012 it was 3 dancefloors at the National Arts Centre, and in 2013 we rocked into the wee hours in the grand lobby of the War Museum.  Dance Noir 2015 will occupy an equally impressive downtown venue, and create a party atmosphere unlike any other in Ottawa. Live music vintage jazz, big band & swing and winding through the decades before landing in the land of funk, soul, & groove. A talented DJ will be dropping the Ultimate Crowd-Pleasing mix of Top40 & Classic Rock with refined dancebeat skills on the Mainstream Dancefloor. The Dress Code is strictly enforced.

All picnic-goers automatically gain entrance to Dance Noir at 8pm. Tickets just to the after-party are available for $33, and the doors open to these ticket-holders at 9pm.

When is Harvest Noir?

Harvest Noir will take place Saturday October 3, 2015 from 2pm-2am, with an October 4 rain date.

Where is Harvest Noir?

The indoor venue is one of the most culturally important spaces in the national capital region, but we won’t tell you more than that right now – the secret location will be disclosed a few hours prior to the event. Let’s just say that you are going to be very pleased to get to dance in a very special space. The picnic portion will be held outdoors in a public place while the reception will be held indoors AND outdoors.

Who is invited?

Already registered are members of the media and the food, art, fashion, cycling, and eco-conscious communities.

Why attend Harvest Noir?

Because Harvest Noir is the most participatory and surprising event of the year! It is a unique opportunity to dress up creatively and celebrate a remarkable new tradition with a thousand+ other guests, feast on locally harvested food of our choosing with friends and community, while enjoying fabulous live entertainment, surprises and dance!

Where do I register?

Register for the guestlist at

To secure your place on the guest list you must purchase a ticket using Paypal. YOU DO NOT NEED A PAYPAL ACCOUNT FOR PAYMENT – we use Paypal as an easy and secure way to process credit card transactions.

Can I change my mind and become a Table Captain after I’ve registered as a regular guest?

Yes. Send us an email at and we’ll see if we can accommodate your new table.

How do we reach critical mass?

When do we find out where we are going?

We will send an email to all registered guests and attending media at NOON on Saturday Sep 22, disclosing the secret location and providing directions, parking info, etc.

What happens if it rains?

If we encounter light-moderate rain, guests will be encouraged to participate (as in other cities) with umbrellas and rubber boots. We will also accelerate the schedule and move the party indoors at least an hour ahead of schedule.

In the event of unbearable weather, guests will be advised that the picnic portion of the event is cancelled and we will proceed with the dance reception only but will still include the scheduled picnic entertainment.

But GOOD NEWS, Sat Sept 22 looks to be clear and sunny!

What is your refund policy?

We will not be refunding tickets. On the registration form each guest was required to click an “I agree” box in recognition of a few stated terms and conditions which included a no refund policy.

What about tables and chairs?

Tables and chairs will be provided by the event organizers, to make attendance vastly more convenient for our guests. You must still bring a picnic basket, food, and place settings. If you are in free-form seating, you must bring a white table cloth to share with your nearby table-mates. If you are seated with a Table Captain, your Table Captain must arrange amongst your group of 8 diners to make sure that one of you bring a white table cloth large enough for a 8’x2.5′ table.

Can we bring our own alcohol?

No. We must be very firm on this, as we have obtained a liquor license and cannot legally permit BYOB. There will be a cash bar offering wine by the glass at the picnic, and a wide range of drinks at the dance party. You can bring non-alcoholic drinks.

Are hats for women or men mandatory?

No! Naked heads are welcome. We just want people to be as creative and stylish in black as possible, and some of us are deploying interesting hats to accomplish this mission.

Will outdoor heaters be provided? Can I bring anything to heat my food?

No, heating devices of any kind won’t be permitted – except fondue kits that use a simple candle. Camp stoves,etc. don’t really fit the chic picnic ethos and present a fire hazard (I know, having started a fire with one not so long ago). Besides, outdoor people heaters are a huge energy hog. Ladies might want to look into fancy gloves both for the fashion statement and warmth.

What do I wear?

Guests must dress their best in black, head to toe. Be creative, be bold, with a retro-elegant theme wherever possible. Men, tuxedos are not necessary, but you will need to be inventive. Women are welcome to wear ball gowns, cocktail dresses or classy pant suits. Hats are not necessary but also encouraged for men and women! For more tips and ideas check out our Dresscode page.

Black Coats or Sweaters & Gloves are a really good idea. You’ll be outdoors in late September from 2:00pm until roughly 7:45pm, and HALF of the activity areas during Dance Noir will also be outside, so make sure you dress warm enough for the whole evening!!!

What do I bring?

NO Chairs! The hosts will provide the tables and chairs (in other cities guests brought their own).

Table Cloths: Each table of 8 needs to provide a rectangular white table cloth large enough to cover a 8’x2.5′ table. For people seated in “free form” seating, each single or small group of guests must bring a small white table cloth (or a large one folded over).

Place Settings: Diners also bring place settings, crystal/wine glasses, candles, and anything else needed to make the table as elegant and comfortable as possible, coordinated by the Table Captain. Please do NOT bring plastic or disposable plates or cups – this is an elegant picnic and real dinnerware is mandatory.

Beverages: You can bring non-alcoholic beverages to the picnic portion only – they will not be allowed in the indoor venue. It’s important to bring your own water – in reusable containers (eg. steel water bottles) if possible to avoid using 100s of plastic bottles. Please, please do NOT try to sneak in alcohol, as there will be a checkpoint where venue security will be checking bags. Just one violation of this rule could spoil the party! Alcohol will be available at cash bars by the glass at both the picnic AND the indoor dance party. Please note that drink tickets sold at the picnic portion are NOT valid for the Dance Noir indoor after-party.

Food: Preparing your fine dinner at home and toting it to the venue in a picnic basket, to be relished outdoors in the company of other bon vivants is an important part of the European chic picnic tradition. Please bring enough food for yourself. If you have a Table Captain, he or she has the option of coordinating food brought by all 8 diners at the table, creating a miniature “potluck”. An introduction to buying local food and tips for seasonal recipes you could bring to Harvest Noir can be found at

Lighter: 1 lighter per guest or couple, please. We have a good reason, and it isn’t just for dinner candles.

Tea Towel: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy advises to never travel without a towel. This cardinal rule applies to Harvest Noir, too. If we do end up with rain, you will want to wipe down your chair and table before seating. 1 towel per guest, please.

Picnic Basket: You will need to tote your Harvest Noir adventure gear in an elegant and portable basket or other suitable carrying case. Make sure you protect your dishes and glasses carefully.

A Sense of Adventure: Harvest Noir is all about audience participation – and not just during the picnic portion of the event. Be prepared to have a ton of fun and participate!

Where do the proceeds go?

After paying the costs of the event, 100% of proceeds will go to Wheels4Refugees which gets bicycles and training to Syrian refugees in need! See the Social Mission page for more information.

What about Parking?

Parking will be available onsite for $10, proceeds to Wheels4Refugees. There is also a nearby parking garage at $13.

What about Car Pooling?

In the interests of trying to lower the environmental footprint of the event, we are encouraging those guests arriving by car to car-pool.