The NAC is Your Happy Place for the Holidays!

December is fast approaching, and the National Arts Centre is ready to celebrate the 2018 festive season in grand style! Inside the warm and cozy spaces of the NAC, guests will be treated to an exquisite variety of Holiday shows, with returning favourites to original productions!  

Here is the full Holiday programming taking place from November 27 to December 23, 2018:  

From November 28 to December 2, Alberta Ballet will transport you to the dazzling fairytale world of The Nutcracker, where Clara and her beloved Nutcracker battle the Rat King, and where a sleigh ride through a land of glistening snowflakes leads to the realm of the benevolent Sugar Plum Fairy.

English Theatre will amaze with the new production The Hockey Sweater: A Musical, based on Roch Carrier’s timeless tale that has charmed generations of children. Presented from December 5 to 23, Carrier’s timeless tale has been transformed into a fun and magical musical for the whole family – that will surely resonate with hockey fans and theatre lovers alike!

The NAC Orchestra will delight the ears with a diverse selection of offerings, starting with Holiday Swing, featuring trumpet virtuoso and jazz legend Byron Stripling from December 6 to 8. The Orchestra will then take the younger ones on a musical voyage around the world from Russia to Australia, with Holiday Traditions Around the World, December 8 and 9, and the cherished Baroque holiday masterpiece, Handel’s Messiah, is back by popular demand on December 18 and 19!

NAC Presents, in partnership with BMO Financial Group, will once again showcase some outstanding Canadian artists to perform our favourite holiday tunes. The Good Lovelies return with their immensely popular Christmas show to bring joy and good cheer into your Holiday season on November 27. On December 16, one of Canada’s beloved musical family, Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, accompanied by their entire family, will guide you into the wonderful world of a true Cape Breton Christmas celebration! The award-winning Sultans of String, the mutable masters of global string music, is back on December 18, and this time with special guests Rebecca Campbell and Kellylee Evans. The Skydiggers have reunited with friends and fans at Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern for over 25 years, and on December 19 will also celebrate the holiday season with us at the NAC. On December 20, the crowned-prince of soul-infused blues-rock Matt Andersen offers a Christmas special with appearances by Donovan Woods and Suzie Vinnick. Le Trio BBQ & Le quatuor Vox A4 will add that swing to Christmas classics on December 21 with The Christmas List, and finally, one of Canada’s brightest stars, Johnny Reid, performs for two spectacular nights in Southam Hall, December 21 and 22, joined by the NAC Orchestra! 


Take the guesswork out of choosing a unique and memorable gift by giving an NAC Gift Card to someone special. Once you order the card we'll deliver it directly to whomever you choose, or have us send it to you so that you can see the joy on someone's face when you share the gift of a great night out at the National Arts Centre. Gift cards may be exchanged at the National Arts Centre box office for tickets to any performance taking place on our four stages, or it may be used toward an outstanding meal at our award-winning restaurant, le Café.


Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical, Holiday Swing, Holiday Traditions Around the World and Handel’s Messiah are part of the NAC’s Share the Spirit program presented by Sun Life Financial – the tenth year for Share the Spirit, an initiative aimed at families who, for economic or health reasons, may not have the opportunity to enjoy live performances at the NAC.

Share the Spirit is made possible through the support of Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial, Major Partner The Crabtree Foundation, a Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa at the Associate Partner level, and Supporting Partners EQ3, The Leacross Foundation and The Honourable John Manley, P.C. O.C. & Mrs. Judith Manley, as well as other donors who have contributed to Share the Spirit through the NAC Foundation Donors’ Circle.


Thank you to our Media Partner The Ottawa Citizen for their support of the holiday programming.

Join our email list for the latest updates!