NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE ANNOUNCES FREE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE AND NAC ORCHESTRA CONCERT ON JUNE 2

Backstage tour, choir, dance and theatre workshops, exhibitions and pop-up performances

April 26, 2019 – OTTAWA (Canada) – On Sunday, June 2, 2019 – the day of the National Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary – the NAC is inviting Canadians to a free Open House that will feature the largest public access to the NAC’s backstage in 25 years, music, theatre and dance workshops, and surprise performances by Canadian artists.  This unique event is in partnership with Doors Open Ottawa. And to conclude the day’s 50thanniversary celebrations, the NAC Orchestra led by Alexander Shelley will perform a free concert featuring special guest artists that will take the audience through highlights of the Orchestra’s 50-year history.

“At the National Arts Centre, Canada is our Stage, but at our 50th Anniversary Open House, the NAC will be your stage,” said NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon. “We invite the public to join us and help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NAC, a home for Canada’s most creative artists, and a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country.”

The opening of the NAC on June 2, 1969 was a great moment of pride for Canadians. On its opening weekend, tens of thousands of people flooded into downtown Ottawa to see it. The 50th Anniversary Open House will be another exciting historic moment in the life of the NAC, and we invite the public to be part of it!

50TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE ACTIVITIES (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

The 50th Anniversary Open House on Sunday, June 2 runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and includes free activities for the whole family.

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.

CHOIR, DANCE AND THEATRE WORKSHOPS

As part of the 50th Anniversary Open House, visitors can take part in music, theatre and dance 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.

ABOUT THE NAC

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. Founded on June 2, 1969, the National Arts Centre is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 with an array of special programming and activities throughout the year.  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, Dance and NAC Presents. NAC Indigenous Theatre will begin its first season of programming in the fall of 2019. The NAC’s National Creation Fund invests up to $3 million of privately raised funds every year in 15 to 20 ambitious new works by Canadian artists and arts organizations. The NAC building has recently undergone two extensive renewal projects, generously funded by the Government of Canada, which have re-oriented the NAC to the city; allowed the NAC to become more welcoming and accessible; and returned its performance halls and production facilities to contemporary standards. The NAC 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, showcasing the performing arts across the country through the Kipnes Lantern, the largest transparent LED installation in North America; using technology to teach students and young artists around the globe; 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.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Mary Gordon
Senior Communications Advisor   
National Arts Centre
613 947-7000 x 849
mary.gordon@nac-cna.ca

Marion Gerbier
Communications Officer, French Theatre
National Arts Centre
613-947-7000 x 262
marion.gerbier@nac-cna.ca

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