NAC Announces 2 Gifts Totalling $3.5 million from John and Jennifer Ruddy, and the Late Jenepher Hooper

The National Arts Centre Foundation today announced two gifts totalling $3.5 million in support of creation and education from donors with a deep relationship with the National Arts Centre: John and Jennifer Ruddy, and the late Jenepher Hooper.


The first gift is from John and Jennifer Ruddy of Ottawa who have made a $1 million pledge to the National Arts Centre’s Creation Campaign to help Canadian creators in music, theatre and dance. Thanks to donors such as the Ruddys, the Foundation has raised close to $25 million for the Campaign, which was announced in September 2016. The money will go to the NAC’s National Creation Fund which invests in innovative and bold creation projects with artistic partners and artists from all over Canada.

“John and Jennifer Ruddy are among Ottawa’s most generous citizens”, said Jayne Watson, CEO of the NAC Foundation. “John’s company Trinity Development has also been a long time sponsor of many initiatives at the NAC such as our last-minute discount ticket program ‘Trinity Live Rush’. We are profoundly grateful for this latest gift.”

As of July 1, in recognition of this leadership gift, the Foundation will rename its donor lounge – located in the main NAC foyer – the “Ruddy Lounge”. 


The second gift is from the estate of the late Jenepher Hooper, who worked in the NAC Prop Shop in the early seventies and passed away in 2015. Ms. Hooper’s estate will donate
$2.5 million to the NAC in support of education programs in English and French Theatre, as well as to the Indigenous Theatre Department, which will present its first season in 2019.

“Ms. Hooper’s backstage contribution as a valued member of the NAC’s production team is now matched by her amazing legacy gift,” said Peter Herrndorf, NAC President and CEO. “To receive this type of planned gift is a great vote of confidence in the future of the NAC.”

In acknowledgment of Ms. Hooper’s generosity, the NAC Prop Shop will be named for her.

As part of the Creation Campaign, the NAC Foundation has secured a number of other leadership gifts that will also result in spaces within the NAC named for leading philanthropists from across Canada. More announcements about the naming of other spaces will be made in the coming months.


The National Arts Centre collaborates with artists and arts organizations across Canada to help create a national stage for the performing arts, and acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country. A home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams – the NAC Orchestra, English Theatre, French Theatre and Dance, as well as the Scene festivals and NAC Presents, which showcase established and emerging Canadian artists. The organization is at the forefront of youth and educational activities, offering artist training, programs for children and youth, and resources for teachers in communities across Canada. The NAC is also a pioneer in new media, using technology to teach students and young artists around the globe, by creating top-rated podcasts, and providing a wide range of NAC Orchestra concerts on demand. The NAC is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada, and one of the largest in the world.


The goal of the NAC’s Creation Campaign is to provide a source of venture capital to give artists and arts organizations the time and resources that great work requires, and to help them achieve the kind of international success that they have long deserved. To-date close to $25 million has been pledged to change the way art is created for Canadian stages. In November 2017, the NAC will open its National Creation Fund to foster a new level of investment in the performing arts. For more information, visit


Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Communications
National Arts Centre
613 947-7000 x560