NAC's 50th Anniversary OPEN HOUSE

Sunday, June 2, 2019
10:00 AM-4:00 PM

The NAC invites you to a free Open House that features our largest backstage tour in 25 years, music, theatre and dance workshops, pop-up performances by Canadian artists, and family activities. This unique event is in partnership with Doors Open Ottawa.

Backstage Tours

Southam Hall and Backstage

Enjoy a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the NAC. Beginning on Southam Hall stage (one of the largest in North America), with access to spaces like the scenic shop, the Asper Theatre and backstage dressing rooms, go behind the curtain to explore where creativity, ingenuity and hard work come together to create the magic of the performing arts.

No ticket or reservation required.
Capacity is limited, participation is first come, first served. Last entry at 3:30 pm.

Choir, Dance and Theatre Workshops

Here’s your chance to perform on stage at the NAC! Take part in choir, theatre and dance workshops.
All ages and abilities, no experience required. Capacity is limited, participation is first come, first served.

  • 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Dance

    Bollywood Contemporary Fusion Workshop

    Babs Asper Theatre Montreal choreographer Roger Sinha blends contemporary dance with the energy and magic of Bollywood – perfect for anyone who’s ever wanted to be part of an epic dance number.
  • 11:00 AM - 11:40 PM Theatre

    From the Turtle's Back: First Nation Storytelling with Brittany Johnston and Emily Séguin (in English)

    Azrieli Studio Join us for one of a series of hands-on theatre workshops where you can take the stage and learn from the pros.
  • 11:40 AM - 12:20 PM Theatre

    How to Become an Actor in 30 Minutes with Marie-Ève Fontaine (in French)

    Azrieli Studio Join us for one of a series of hands-on theatre workshops where you can take the stage and learn from the pros.
  • 12:20 PM - 1:00 PM Theatre

    From the Turtle's Back: First Nation Storytelling with Brittany Johnston and Emily Séguin (in English)

    Azrieli Studio Join us for one of a series of hands-on theatre workshops where you can take the stage and learn from the pros.
  • 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM Choir

    Classic Canadian Songs Workshop

    Babs Asper Theatre Join an instant choir as Lee Hayes – leader of Ottawa’s 613 Casual Choir - teaches Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night and Robert Charlebois’ J’t’aime comme un fou. No musical training necessary - lyric sheets will be handed out, and the songs will be taught by ear. 
  • 1:00 PM - 1:40 PM Theatre

    Fall Down & Get Back Up (and Other Mysteries of Acting) with Kristina Watt (in English)

    Azrieli Studio Join us for one of a series of hands-on theatre workshops where you can take the stage and learn from the pros.
  • 1:40 PM - 2:20 PM Theatre

    How to Become an Actor in 30 Minutes with Marie-Ève Fontaine (in French)

    Azrieli Studio Join us for one of a series of hands-on theatre workshops where you can take the stage and learn from the pros.
  • 2:20 PM - 3:00 PM Theatre

    Fall Down & Get Back Up (and Other Mysteries of Acting) with Kristina Watt (in English)

    Azrieli Studio Join us for one of a series of hands-on theatre workshops where you can take the stage and learn from the pros.
  • 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM Dance

    Pow Wow Step Groove Workshop

    Babs Asper Theatre Josée Bourgeois, an Algonquin dancer from Pikwakanagan, leads a high-energy workshop that combines traditional Indigenous dance movements with hip hop and contemporary dance moves.

Free performances

Short performances by some of Canada’s best music, dance and circus artists.

  • Maude Parent and Maxim Laurin from Les 7 doigts de la main Canal lobby stage 10:30 AM
  • Blake Pouliot Canal lobby stage 11:30 AM
  • Damien Robitaille Canal lobby stage 12:30 PM
  • ILAM Canal lobby stage 1:30 PM
  • Maude Parent and Maxim Laurin from Les 7 doigts de la main Canal lobby stage 2:30 PM
  • Kelley McKinlay and Mariko Kondo from Alberta Ballet Canal lobby stage 3:30 PM
  • Pop-up performances Various spaces Pop-up performances by Silla and Rise, the Bank Street Bonbons, dancers Nikita Kamblé-Bagal, Geoffrey Dollar and Josée Bourgeois, musicians from the NAC Orchestra and more.

Free family activities take place throughout the NAC.

  • Costume Exhibit Le Salon Beautiful costumes from classic NAC productions.
  • DJs and Arts & Crafts Peter Herrndorf Place Listen to tracks by DJ Rise Ashen and DJ del Pilar, make a craft inspired by traditional Indigenous birch bark baskets (while supplies last).
  • NAC Script Library Peter Herrndorf Place Enjoy a quiet moment with scripts from plays that have been presented on the NAC’s stages over the past 50 years.
  • Dress-up Corner Rossy Pavilion Try on costumes from NAC productions. A great photo op!
  • Archival exhibit Southam Hall Mezzanine Photos and memorabilia from the NAC archives.
  • Share Your NAC Memories Hexagon Studio Visit the NAC’s distance learning and digital outreach studio. Take a seat at the podcasting table and tell us about some of your favourite NAC experiences.

Parking & Info

Parking at the NAC is free on Sunday; free parking is also available at Ottawa City Hall and World Exchange Plaza. More parking info

On foot, using a wheelchair, with a stroller or via public transit use the entrance on Elgin street. More accessibility info

Le Café will be open from 11 AM to 8 PM
Equator Coffee will be open from 9 AM to 8 PM
Food and beverages will be available for sale at our Intermezzo bars.

Free wifi is provided by Rogers to patrons all around the NAC. Feel free to make yourself at home and use your device in any of our open areas.


Thank you to our partners

The NAC’s 50th anniversary events and programs are made possible with support from

  • Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D. & Michael Paterson
  • Bonnie & John Buhler
  • Alice & Grant Burton
  • Margaret Fountain, C.M., DFA (h) & David Fountain, C.M.
  • Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LL.D. (hc)
  • Janice & Earle O’Born
  • Gail O’Brien, LL.D. & David O’Brien, O.C.
  • Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM.
Menu