NAC is extending performance and event cancellations and postponements until June 14


February 4, 2020 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre’s 2018–2019 Annual Report was tabled in Parliament last week. The NAC enjoyed an extraordinary season that included more than 1,450 shows and events, and attracted nearly one million patrons to performances, events and commercial activities.  

The Annual Report, which includes a timeline of the NAC’s 50-year history, also documents a number of special initiatives in honour of this milestone occasion:

The programming announcement of NAC Indigenous Theatre’s inaugural season. On April 30, in front of a crowd of hundreds, Artistic Director Kevin Loring and Managing Director Lori Marchand shared the exciting details of Indigenous Theatre’s inaugural season. The season celebrates the resilience, strength and beauty of Indigenous women; features more than 10 Indigenous languages; and showcases Indigenous artists from across the land on the NAC’s national stage. The first season has enjoyed tremendous success, beginning with the very popular Mòshkamo festival (September 11-29, 2019), followed by the sold-out run of Unikkaaqtuat (January 9-12, 2020), and continuing with Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools (January 22-February 9, 2020);

The NAC Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary European Tour. Music Director Alexander Shelley, the NAC Orchestra and five Canadian guest artists shone on the world stage during the 50th Anniversary European Tour, performing in Saffron Walden, London, Paris, Utrecht, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Gothenburg (May 10-26, 2019).The Tour showcased works by six Canadian composers, and included the multimedia commission Life Reflected, which tells the stories of four extraordinary Canadians — Alice Munro, Roberta Bondar, Amanda Todd and Rita Joe;

The NAC’s 50th Anniversary Open House. In an echo of the NAC’s opening weekend in 1969, and in partnership with Doors Open Ottawa, the NAC welcomed thousands of Canadians to its free Open House on June 2, 2019 – the NAC’s anniversary. Visitors witnessed the magic of backstage; sang, danced and acted on the NAC stages; and enjoyed pop-up performances by Canadian artists throughout the building. In the evening, Alexander Shelley and the NAC Orchestra gave a free concert in honour of the NAC’s 50th anniversary that featured many Canadian guest artists.

The North American debut of BIG BANG, one of Europe’s most renowned festivals for young audiences. BIG BANG (February 17-18, 2019) took over the building, with thousands of children and families exploring the fascinating world of music, sound and the arts. The festival, which the NAC presented in partnership with Winterlude, included imaginative installations, workshops and performances, including a visually enchanting concert with the NAC Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Shelley. The NAC is pleased to be presenting the second edition of BIG BANG during Winterlude 2020 (February 16-17, 2020);

The NAC’s presentation of The National Ballet of Canada, a company that has enjoyed a strong relationship with the NAC since its opening night on June 2, 1969.  From January 31 to February 2, 2019, they danced Apollo choreographed by the illustrious George Balanchine, The Dream by the legendary Sir Frederick Ashton; and Paz de la Jolla by trailblazing choreographer Justin Peck.

“The 2018–2019 season was a wonderful milestone for the National Arts Centre as we marked 50 years as a home for some of Canada’s most creative artists,” said NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon. “From the programming announcement of NAC Indigenous Theatre, to the NAC Orchestra’s European Tour, to the extremely popular Open House on our June 2 anniversary, the NAC celebrated the Canadian performing arts with thousands of Canadians, and with the world.”



The National Arts Centre raised its curtains for the first time in 1969. A bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre and NAC Presents. The Centre’s national role is reflected in its motto: “Canada is our Stage.” The NAC collaborates with artists and arts organizations across the country, acts as a catalyst for performance; invests in ambitious new works by artists and arts organizations nation-wide; and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. Situated on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe nation, the NAC is accessible and welcoming to all, and offers a variety of free programming and events.



Annabelle Cloutier
Executive Director
Communications and Public Affairs
National Arts Centre
613 947-7000 x 260