The NAC joins Canadians in remembering the First and Second World Wars with virtual “Letters from the Great War” musical and theatrical performance, free online activities, and stunning digital displays

OTTAWA (Canada) –This Veterans’ Week, November 5 -11, in honour of the brave Canadians who fought for our freedom, the National Arts Centre will offer a virtual musical and epistolary commemoration titled “Letters from the Great War,” an online Beaded Poppy Making class in honour of Indigenous Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, and stunning commemorative digital displays.

The theme for Veterans’ Week is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and we honour the more than one million Canadians who served in the Second World War, and the more than 45,000 who gave their lives.


75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War on display on the Kipnes Lantern, November 5-10, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

During the week leading up to Remembrance Day, the National Arts Centre in collaboration with Veterans Affairs Canada will display images of the men and women of the Second World War on its Kipnes Lantern – the largest transparent LED installation in North America – daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. from November 5 until November 10. The National Arts Centre’s Kipnes Lantern will show the faces of the soldiers, nurses, munitions workers, mothers, refugees, prisoners and others from almost every community in Canada in honour of more than one million brave Canadians who fought for our freedom on this 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

On November 11, the Kipnes Lantern will also feature a display to accompany the Virtual Poppy Drop light show on the nearby Parliament Buildings, projecting 117,000 virtual poppies in partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion representing each of Canada’s fallen since the beginning of the First World War.

Beaded Poppy Workshop - November 3 - 4, 5:00 p.m. (Sold Out)              

Mairi Brascoupe (Algonquin Anishinabeg) who is the Indigenous Cultural Resident for Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre will lead the workshop. Mairi is an experienced beader, with beadwork being a key part of her multidisciplinary artistic practice.

In this workshop, you will learn how to make a simple beaded poppy for Indigenous Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, using a single needle flat beadwork technique. Suitable for beginner beaders and experienced beaders alike, ages 16 and up.

All the materials will be provided. The workshop will be split between two 2-hour sessions via zoom where you will bead your poppy from start to finish and have the ability to share your progress and ask questions to the instructor. This workshop will be presented in English. More details here:  

Indigenous Veterans Day on November 8th 

On the occasion of Indigenous Veterans Day on November 8th, we will pay tribute to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who have served our country. Indigenous Veterans’ have a long tradition of military service with roughly 12,000 Indigenous Canadians served in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. In commemoration of those Indigenous members who served and sacrificed for our freedom, wreaths are laid at the base of the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in Confederation Park to honour their sacrifice. Due to COVID-19, events for Aboriginal Veterans Day on November 8th, may be different this year.  Ceremonies will be smaller, and some traditional events have been cancelled.

Letters from the Great War --  a commemoration of the First World War with music and readings of wartime letters, November 10, 7:00 p.m.

Over a hundred years ago, the ‘war to end all wars’ came to an end. Canadians are invited to a moving musical and epistolary commemoration of the First World War that will feature contemporary and historical songs led by Harrow Fair with very special guests from the Canadian musical and theatrical spheres who will bring to life the voices from the past.

For more information:

Conceived, Written and Directed by Miranda Mulholland

Sound Direction by Andrew Penner

Dramaturgy by Vikki VanSickle

Letters from the Great War was originally developed and presented by Soulpepper Theatre Company, 2018

Harrow Fair

Harrow Fair is a veritable Canadian powerhouse of hoof-thumping, soul-wrenching, transcendent Americana.  The band is the merging talents of two acclaimed artists, Andrew Penner and Miranda Mulholland, who have created a bold new sound combining searing vocals, heavy kick drum, rootsy guitar and scorching fiddle.

Virtual National Remembrance Day Service, November 11, 11 a.m.

This year, in light of the global pandemic COVID-19 and the health requirements to physically distance, the usual ceremonial gathering at National War Memorial will be greatly reduced, to include a more intimate gathering of 100 participants. As such, The Royal Canadian Legion is encouraging Canadians to stay at home and observe 2 minutes of silence and collective remembrance during the Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11th, by participating online. For all additional changes to the ceremony please visit their website.  

The NAC continues to be close to the public and all activities and opportunities for commemoration leading up to the beginning of Veterans’ Week will take place online.


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 Anishinaabe 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



Andrea Ruttan

Communications Strategist

National Arts Centre


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