November 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.


Internationally renowned author Margaret Atwood is today kicking off the expansion of #CanadaPerforms to include writers, with a livestreamed conversation with Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. This new series of #CanadaPerforms is made possible through an additional $100,000 contribution from Facebook Canada that will go to published authors hosting online literary events.

OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada are honoured to welcome the internationally renowned Canadian poet, novelist and essayist Margaret Atwood to #CanadaPerforms as she will take part in an online literary conversation with Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson today, April 2, 2020, at 3 p.m. EDT on the National Arts Centre’s Facebook page. This event will kick off a new chapter of #CanadaPerforms, opening up to proposals from professionally published authors, poets, essayists and novelists, who have seen their 2020 spring-summer book tours and launch events cancelled. 

Support for literary events and readings through #CanadaPerforms, is provided by an additional $100,000 contribution from Facebook Canada which will go towards the Facebook-NAC Fund for Performing Artists, now at $700,000. The Writers’ Trust of Canada will collaborate on this new chapter of #CanadaPerforms through an advisory role to the NAC, and CBC Books will be joining forces to amplify #CanadaPerforms literary events.

“Since we launched #CanadaPerforms two weeks ago, we’ve received proposals from authors, poets and writers who had their book events cancelled, and are looking at ways to connect with their readers. Margaret Atwood demonstrated her strong support for the Canadian literary scene by coming forward with the idea of creating a writers’ chapter of #CanadaPerforms, and generously offered to kick it off. We couldn’t be more delighted to have her as an ambassador for this program. We sincerely want to thank Facebook Canada for increasing their financial support and directly helping authors. We also want to thank The Writers’ Trust of Canada for providing expert advice. Finally, we are thrilled to partner with CBC Books who will be a driving force in amplifying these #CanadaPerforms online literary events”, said Heather Gibson, the NAC’s Executive Producer of Popular Music and Variety, and lead programmer for #CanadaPerforms.

“When we first launched #CanadaPerforms in collaboration with the National Arts Centre just two short weeks ago, we never could have anticipated such a powerful response from across the Canadian cultural community, or how deeply this movement would resonate with Canadians,” said Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy for Facebook Canada. “Thanks to the generosity of new donors and new champions, we are now able to support so many more performing artists, including writers who have been impacted by cancelled book tours and festivals. We are pleased to see that Canadian culture will continue to thrive online in this challenging time and look forward to more enriching performances in the coming months.”

"#CanadaPerforms helps give Canadian writing its voice back. Spring 2020 hasn't shut down for writers; it has opened up on a new creative stage. Imagine the possibilities," said Charlie Foran, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada

"We are turning to writers more than ever in these challenging times, and CBC is proud to partner with the NAC, Facebook Canada and the Writers' Trust of Canada on this vital initiative that will provide timely support to the Canadian literary world," said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. "As we all navigate uncertainty and change, there is no one better than Margaret Atwood to launch this livestream series that will offer inspiration, community and connection to Canadians."


Developed in collaboration with Facebook Canada, #CanadaPerforms was launched on Thursday, March 19 as a way to directly support artists through the Facebook-NAC Fund for Performing Artists. Since its launch two weeks ago, #CanadaPerforms featured a hundred livestreamed performances which generated 1.7 million total views. The program will run until late spring, showcasing more artists, events and genres. The relief fund directly helps professional performing artists and published authors through artists fees for their live performances and literary events. The $700,000 fund is made possible through the generous contribution from #CanadaPerforms’ initial partner, Facebook Canada ($200,000), and also the financial and ongoing support from Slaight Music ($100,000), RBC Foundation ($200,000) and SiriusXM Canada ($200,000). 


The National Arts Centre will receive and administer applications from professionally published authors, poets, essayists and novelists, who have seen their 2020 spring-summer book tours and launch events cancelled. Applications will be accepted until April 20, 2020 for authors’ literary livestreamed events, which will have to be livestreamed until May 31, 2020. Selected authors will receive a financial grant, and their literary events will be shared on the NAC’s Facebook page which will be discoverable by searching #CanadaPerforms. If there is more than one person in the same space, authors should follow federal, provincial and municipal guidelines on the limit of people. Professionally published Canadian authors simply need to write to the National Arts Centre at with their name, and other authors involved (if applicable), what part of Canada they are from, a brief description of their book and what they will focus on (250 words maximum), a brief comment on why they are applying (100 words maximum) and and on which Internet platform or site they wish to host their livestreamed event (not pre-recorded).


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.


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Annabelle Cloutier

Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs

National Arts Centre


Nadia Kharyati

Communications Officer

National Arts Centre


Erin Taylor 

Facebook Canada