New Year’s Eve at the National Arts Centre and Lighting of the Kipnes Lantern

The public is invited to celebrate the coming of the New Year at Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) on December 31. The NAC’s Be Here for the New Year! event features free family activities from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. including holiday crafts, performances by local jazz band Stevens and Kennedy, a New Year’s dance moves workshop by Luv 2 Groove, and lots of hot chocolate.

One of the evening’s highlights will be the lighting of the NAC’s Kipnes Lantern, located at 1 Elgin Street.  At 8:45 p.m., the three-storey signature element of the NAC’s $110.5 million architectural rejuvenation will come alive with a flourish of digital images and videos, created in collaboration with Moment Factory, the renowned Montreal-based multimedia studio. 

Made possible by a transformational gift of $5 million from Edmonton’s Dr. Dianne Kipnes and Mr. Irving Kipnes, and by an NAC project team led by Bridget Mooney and Chris Dearlove, the Lantern tells Canadian artists’ stories in a bold, new way using cutting-edge, transparent LED screens. The Lantern features the largest transparent LED screen in North America. The screen was provided by Vancouver-based company ClearLED, one of the world leaders in this technology.

The idea for the Kipnes Lantern comes from Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre, as part of his vision to make the NAC more transparent and inviting to Canadians. The Lantern will showcase productions presented, not only on NAC stages, but also on the stages of national partner organizations such as Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre, Ballet BC, Edmonton Opera, Winnipeg’s Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Opera Company, Quebec City’s Théâtre du Trident, and Halifax’s Neptune Theatre, to name a few.

“The Kipnes Lantern is a beacon for the performing arts, showcasing the breadth and excellence of the music, theatre and dance being produced across Canada,” says Peter Herrndorf. “The Lantern represents the National Arts Centre’s ‘Fifth Stage’ and perfectly symbolizes our slogan, Canada is our Stage.”

In addition, the Kipnes Lantern’s digital “shorts”, which draw inspiration from the performing arts, will convey moments of wonder and whimsy throughout the year. The Lantern will also recognize events of national importance such as Canada Day, Remembrance Day, and National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The lighting of the Kipnes Lantern also marks the beginning of an exciting partnership with Moment Factory, well known for its innovative multimedia attractions ranging from Ottawa 2017’s immersive underground experience Kontinuum and the Miwaté sound and light show on the Chaudière Falls, to the Mosaïka spectacle on the Parliament buildings.

“The Kipnes Lantern reflects the NAC itself–as a platform through which Canadians can share their culture and innovation with each other and the world,” says Moment Factory co-founder Sakchin Bessette. “It's an exciting start to the next 150 years of Canadian storytelling.”


In addition to the above New Year’s Eve activities, the NAC’s le café restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner (as well as brunch on New Year’s Day). Tickets are also on sale for the “Light the Lantern” dinner and dance in the NAC Canal Foyerfeaturing a four-course meal followed by dancing with music by the popular Big Band Ottawa, and a toast at midnight.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit the NAC website at You can also follow the NAC’s New Year’s Eve activities on social media at #myNAC and #monCNA.


The Kipnes Lantern is part of the NAC’s spectacular architectural rejuvenation project, designed by renowned Canadian architect Donald Schmitt and built by PCL Construction. At $110.5 million the project represents the biggest investment in cultural infrastructure by the Government of Canada to mark the sesquicentennial. Two of the three phases of the new building opened in July and October, and feature spaces that are more transparent, inviting, and embrace the heart of our Nation’s Capital.

The magnificent glass atrium has since become “the living room of the city” with free wifi (provided by Rogers) and a wide range of activities throughout the day, such free performances, educational events, community gatherings, pre‑show chats and – coming in the New Year – a coffee shop.


Carl Martin
National Arts Centre
613 947-7000 x560

Sean Fitzpatrick
National Arts Centre
613-947-7000, x389



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