Total awards up to $21,700

Application deadline for the 2022 competition: 5pm Monday February 28, 2022

Look back at our first ever virtual Awards Ceremony broadcast live on May 29, 2021!



*Applications for stringed instruments will be accepted for the 2023 Bursary Competition.

For 2022, applications will be accepted for woodwind, brass and percussion instruments including the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani and percussion.  


Preliminary Auditions (closed event)

Saturday April 30, 2022
National Arts Centre Rehearsal Hall A

Sunday May 1, 2022
National Arts Centre Rehearsal Hall A


Finals (free admission)

Tuesday May 3, 2022
Freiman Hall, uOttawa

About the NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition

The National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition was first held in 1981. The prime objective of the competition is to encourage the pursuit of excellence on the part of young instrumentalists aspiring to orchestral careers. Each year, a jury identifies deserving recipients through audition and competition.

The Bursary was created in 1979 by members of the NAC Orchestra as a gesture of appreciation to the audiences who had been so supportive of it during its first decade. It is meant to provide recognition and financial support to help further the development of young musicians who have connections to the National Capital Region (NCR). Funding for the award came originally from two sources: the NAC Orchestra Bursary Fund created in 1979 by the members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the NAC Orchestra Trust (originally the Capital Trust founded in 1932 to benefit the Ottawa Philharmonic Society which on its demise in 1970 transferred the income to the NAC). It is now known as the NAC Orchestra Trust Fund.

In 1981, one prize of $1,000 – the NAC Orchestra Bursary – was awarded. In subsequent years, thanks to the growth of the Fund as well as the generosity of private organizations and individuals, prizes now total more than $21,000.

Contact Us

For further information about the NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition, please contact Music Education Coordinator Kelly Symons: