Total awards up to $21,700

Application deadline for the 2023 competition: 5pm Monday February 20, 2023

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



*Applications for woodwind, brass and percussion instruments including the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani and percussion will be accepted for the 2024 Bursary Competition.

For 2023, applications will be accepted for violin, viola, cello, double bass, and harp.


Preliminary Auditions (closed event)

Friday April 21, 2023
Freiman Hall, Pérez Hall, uOttawa School of Music

Saturday April 22, 2023
Freiman Hall, Pérez Hall, uOttawa School of Music


Finals (free admission)

Sunday April 23, 2023
Freiman Hall, Pérez Hall, uOttawa School of Music


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 NACO Officer, Emerging Artists Professional Development Kelly Symons: