April 8, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

About Big Bang Festival

© Jonathan Lorange

BIG BANG is a one-of-a-kind festival of musical adventures. It invites children and their families on a colourful journey featuring a rich array of sound concepts whose diversity and originality make the festival a hit wherever it goes. Already a fixture in a dozen European cities, BIG BANG was a huge success in Ottawa, the first North American city to host this high-profile event.

BIG BANG festival started over 20 years ago, when the it was launched in Ghent, Belgium. Titled Oorsmeer, meaning “ear oil”, it brought together innovative artists, unique sound installations, and a large and enthusiastic audience eager for new experiences. Renamed BIG BANG in 2010, the festival is now held in various locations all over Europe: from Tallinn to Lisbon, from Antwerp to Athens, from Seville to Dublin, from Lille to Enschede by way of Ghent, Brussels, Rouen, and soon Reykjavik and Rennes.

BIG BANG’s identity and dynamism are based on the concept developed by Zonzo Compagnie, which has been the driving force and catalyst behind the festival since the beginning of the adventure. The programming of each edition of BIG BANG is developed in close collaboration with Wouter Van Looy, the festival’s founder, artistic director of Zonzo Compagnie, and stage director.  He has created unique stage experiences that shed a whole new light on such composers as John Cage (Listen to the Silence) and Miles Davis (Mile(s)tones) – this creative and slick concert was seen last year during the NAC’s first Big Bang Festival...

For its first two editions in Ottawa, the BIG BANG occupied the entire NAC building, happily invading every nook and cranny with resounding performances, and attracting more than 8,000 visitors on each occasion. This time of pandemic presents a unique opportunity to burst through the walls of the NAC, and connect with young audiences in a whole new way. For this rather special edition of the festival, we are offering programming that is entirely digital and madly decompartmentalized! Virtual concerts, interactive dance parties, theatrical performances to delight your hearts and ears, web radio, video series, and a festival kit sent directly to participants. This is just a glimpse of the exciting activities that are taking shape in order to engage young audiences and their families at home, in their living rooms.


  • Artistic Director

    Mélanie Dumont

  • Programming Consultants

    Geneviève Cimon and Heather Gibson

  • Producer

    Robert Gagné

  • Associate Producer

    Annick Huard

  • Marketing and Communications Officer

    Camylle Gauthier-Trépanier

  • Marketing and Communications Coordinator

    Mathieu Roy

  • Media Relations

    Andrea Ruttan, Sean Fitzpatrick, Camylle Gauthier-Trépanier

  • Technical Director

    Élise Lefebvre

  • Assistant to the technical direction

    Philippe Genest

  • Ambassador Coordinator

    Véronique Lavoie-Marcus

  • Assistance with artistic and general coordination

    Xavier Forget, Natasha Harwood, Véronique Lavoie-Marcus, Judith Poitras, Samira Rose, Stefanie Séguin and Kelly Symons

  • Graphics team

    Aaron Bihari, Julie-Anne Madore, Dany Pepin

  • Digital team

    Josée Charbonneau, David Leclerc, Stéphanie Paiement, David Ramalho, Sarah Marshall, Marnie Richardson, Carey Van Eden and Jason Westerlund

  • Translation

    Laurence Robert and Diana Tyndale

  • Box Office

    Ariane Ladouceur and Shauna-Leigh Johnstone

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The Big Bang Festival is presented by the National Arts Centre in collaboration with Zonzo compagnie, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Winterlude 2021 and the European Union's Creative Europe programme.

BIG BANG Festival is a format developed and owned by Zonzo Compagnie.

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