50th Anniversary Open House

Special Events Family programming Children

50th Anniversary Open House (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

On June 2, the NAC is your stage. To celebrate the National Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary, we’re inviting the public to join us at our free Open House. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at one of the largest stages in the country, explore your creative side with choir, dance and theatre workshops, enjoy pop-up performances by Canadian artists, and lots more. (In partnership with Doors Open Ottawa.)

Self-Guided Backstage Tour
The highlight of the 50th Anniversary Open House will be a self-guided backstage tour, in which the public can 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, visitors will have the chance to go behind the curtain to explore where so much of the hard work, creativity and ingenuity come together to create the magic of the performing arts. This public backstage tour will be the largest since 1994, the year of the NAC’s 25th anniversary. No tickets are required. The last tour starts at 3:30 pm.

Choir, Dance and Theatre Workshops
As part of the 50th Anniversary Open House, visitors can take part in music, dance and theatre workshops on the NAC’s stages. Workshops include:

  • Classic Canadian Songs led by 613 Casual Choir’s Lee Hayes
  • Pow Wow Step Groove led by Josée Bourgeois
  • Bollywood Contemporary Fusion led by Roger Sinha
  • Theatre workshops led by artists in English, French and Indigenous Theatre

Pop-Up Performances and Activities in NAC Public Spaces
Visitors to the 50th Anniversary Open House can enjoy a variety of activities throughout the NAC’s Public Spaces, including a costume exhibition, artifacts from the NAC archives, arts and crafts, DJs and pop-up performances.

NAC Orchestra Concert (8 p.m.)
The June 2 celebrations will culminate that evening with a free performance by the NAC Orchestra, Music Director Alexander Shelley, and a number of Canadian guest artists and close friends of the Orchestra. The program will take the audience through highlights of the Orchestra’s 50-year history – from its beginning as a classical-sized orchestra through touring, recording, education and commissioning works by Canadian composers. Details on how to get tickets will be announced shortly.

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

© Yannick Beauvalet
© Yannick Beauvalet