NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE SHARING THE BEST OF THE PERFORMING ARTS WITH CANADIANS IN 2017 Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday with Cross-country Orchestra and Theatre Tours, a Major Canada Scene Festival in the Nation’s Capital, and More!

OTTAWA (Canada) – At the National Arts Centre (NAC), Canada is our stage. That will be truer than ever in 2017 as the NAC celebrates our country’s 150th birthday by presenting a number of ambitious projects to mark Canada’s milestone year. The NAC’s plans include orchestra and theatre tours, a massive arts festival, and a Canada Day weekend extravaganza featuring the 25th anniversary of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala and grand re-opening of the NAC’s newly-renovated building.

“In 2017, the NAC will perform for Canadians in their communities and then bring back their stories and artists to our national stage here in the Nation’s Capital,” said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre.



The NAC today announced a preview of its ambitious Canada Scene festival featuring more than 1,000 artists and taking place over six-weeks from June 15 to July 30. The festival is a culmination of the NAC’s biennial showcase of dance, music, theatre, culinary and visuals arts which began in 2003 with Atlantic Scene, followed by Alberta, Quebec, B.C., the Prairies, the North and Ontario. Highlights of Canada Scene include a not-to-be-missed new production of Harry Somers’ classic opera Louis Riel a co-production with the Canadian Opera Company (June 15 and 17). Also just announced today is a unique tribute concert celebrating the late Jazz great Oscar Peterson  featuring seven renowned pianists and close friends of Peterson, including Canadians Robi Botos, Oliver Jones, and Jon Kimura Parker (July 10). There will also be a concerts by the iconic Buffy Sainte-Marie (July 3), and Rufus Wainwright with the NAC Orchestra (July 12). Montreal’s amazing circus collective Les 7 doigts de la main (The 7 Fingers) will return to the NAC with Cuisine & confessions, a brilliant production that blends cooking with energetic and poignant storytelling (July 7-8).

The full festival programming will be unveiled this Spring.

Canada Scene is made possible with support from Presenting Sponsor TD, Honorary Patrons Margaret and David Fountain, Major Partners Bonnie and John Buhler, Supporting Partners Gail Asper and Michael Paterson and PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Major Media Partner CBC/Radio-Canada, and Travel Partner VIA Rail. Canada Scene also thanks the support of the Government of Canada, Canada 150, the Canada Council for the Arts, the provinces and territories of New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon.



The National Arts Centre will celebrate much of Canada’s sesquicentennial on the road. Here are a few highlights:

The NAC Orchestra’s Canada Tour

Music Director Alexander Shelley, will lead the NAC Orchestra across the country during the Spring and Fall with performances that pair classical favourites with new Canadian creations. The tour kicks off in Atlantic Canada from April 27 to May 6 starting in St John’s, Newfoundland, followed by stops in Moncton and Saint John (New Brunswick), Charlottetown (PEI), Eskasoni and Halifax (Nova Scotia). The tour will feature the outstanding Canadian violinist James Ehnes as soloist.

The NAC Orchestra’s own Life Reflected – a multi-media concert created by four remarkable Canadian composers and an ensemble of extraordinary performers and multi-media artists, under the direction of Creative Producer and Director Donna Feore – will also be performed in some locations.

Final dates, locations and repertoire for the full tour will be announced in early 2017. A long list of educational engagement activities in dozens of Canadian communities is also planned. Many of these engagement activities will be cross-cultural and give students the opportunity for understanding and exchange with a focus on creative expression through the arts.

The Canada Tour is made possible with leadership support from Gail and David O’Brien, Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM, and Alice and Grant Burton.


Tartuffe in Newfoundland and Labrador

The National Arts Centre will present the remount of the 2013 play Tartuffe – one of NAC English Theatre’s most popular productions in recent memory – to audiences in Newfoundland and Labrador in late 2017. This Molière classic, re-imagined with a sprinkling of Newfoundland charm by east-coast comedy genius Andy Jones, will be performed by the NAC English Theatre Ensemble under the direction of Artistic Director Jillian Keiley. There will also be a robust education program with activities linking youth and artists across Canada.

The tour of Tartuffe is made possible with support from Elinor Gill Ratcliffe C.M., O.N.L., LLD (hc), Penney Group, as well as Rick Mercer and Gerald Lunz.

Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show

This ambitious new play will be created at the NAC in 2017 by some of Canada’s finest French, English, First Nations and Métis theatre artists, including head-writers Jean Marc Dalpé, Alexis Martin and Yvette Nolan. The work will tour Montreal in the Fall of 2017, followed by runs in Winnipeg and Saskatoon in the Winter of 2018. It will be presented mostly in French and English as well as in Cree, Mitchif and Lakota. The play centers around the events of the North-West Resistance of 1885 that culminate in the Métis defeat at Batoche. Gabriel Dumont – Métis leader and Louis Riel lieutenant – tells his story through the lens of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, where Dumont performed while in exile in the United States. Confirmed partners for this “theatrical rodeo” include Théâtre français du CNA, Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental, Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, Théâtre Cercle Molière, La Troupe du Jour.



In addition to next summer’s Canada Scene several major projects and events will take place at the National Arts Centre, including:


ENCOUNT3RS (April 20 - 22, 2017)

This landmark NAC Commission pairs three of Canada’s outstanding choreographers with three of the country’s most exciting composers. Ballet BC’s trail-blazing Emily Molnar is matched with inventive composer Nicole Lizée. Alberta Ballet’s prolific Jean Grand-Maître joins forces with the innovative Andrew Staniland; and the gifted Guillaume Côté, a choreographic associate with the National Ballet of Canada, is paired with rising star Kevin Lau.Three remarkable new one-act ballets, each with an original orchestral score, will be performed  by dozens of dancers together with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of music director Alexander Shelley. ENCOUNT3RS has been made possible by generous donors to the National Arts Centre Foundation, including The Honourable Margaret McCain, C.C.


25th Anniversary Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala (June 29)

The NAC will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) on June 29th with some of Canada’s most celebrated artists being honoured for their lifetime achievements in the performing arts. Presented by Birks Group Inc., the GGPAA Gala will be hosted by His Excellency David Johnston and his wife Sharon, in an unforgettable evening commemorating the best moments of the awards over the past 25 years. Then on Canada Day, the “new” NAC will officially open to the public.


Grand Re-opening of the New NAC Building (July 1 and 2)

The National Arts Centre will throw a big party to celebrate the opening of its new glass atrium and entrance. On Canada Day, there will be many artists, dignitaries and members of the public on hand for the ribbon cutting. That morning, the NAC will welcome the public into the new glittering spaces of the building for the first time. The weekend will be a massive housewarming party with guided tours, performances, and great concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The $110.5 million architectural rejuvenation of the NAC building represents the biggest investment in cultural infrastructure by the Government of Canada to mark the sesquicentennial.

The NAC’s Canada Day activities on July 1st are made possible with support from Celebration Partners McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. and Coca-Cola Canada.


And Much More!

The 2017-18 English Theatre season, lead by Artistic Director Jillian Keiley, will offer all-Canadian performances. The popular singer-songwriters concerts series, NAC Presents, in partnership with BMO Financial Group, with the newly appointed producer Heather Gibson, will continue to put the spotlight on emerging and establish music talent that this country has to offer.  



ENCOUNT3RS (NAC Dance and NAC Orchestra co-commission) April 20-22, Southam Hall

Children of God (Musical by Corey Payette.  An Urban Ink (Vancouver) Production in collaboration with NAC English Theatre, in association with Raven Theatre (Vancouver) / The Cultch (Vancouver) 
June 7-18, Theatre


Louis Riel (NAC Orchestra co-production with The Canadian Opera Company. Presented in partnership with Canada Scene)
July 15 & 17, Southam Hall

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Presented in collaboration with the NAC Orchestra)
June 18, Southam Hall

The Tenors (Presented in collaboration with the NAC Orchestra)
June 21-23, Southam Hall

Buffy Sainte-Marie and Friends
July 2, Southam Hall

Oscar, with Love: Celebrating Canada’s Jazz Legend
July 10, Southam Hall


Cuisine & Confessions, Les 7 doigts de la main
July 7-8, Theatre

Rufus Wainwright with the NAC Orchestra
July 12, Southam Hall




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Rosemary Thompson
Director, Communications and Public Affairs

National Arts Centre

613 947-7000 x260


Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Communications

National Arts Centre

613 947-7000 x560

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