News Release: The National Arts Centre Offers more Music, Dance and Theatre to Live Audiences in 2022

The NAC continues to safely reawaken its halls and welcome back audiences amid evolving pandemic restrictions

February 1, 2022 – OTTAWA, CANADA – As ongoing restrictions in Ontario are updated to allow more in-person activities, the National Arts Centre (NAC) is preparing to feature a growing list of dynamic and diverse programming in music, dance and theatre for winter and spring of 2022. Tickets for in-person programming running February 14 – June 30 go on sale February 3.

Over the next several months, the public will see the halls reawaken once again with the magic of performance, while we ensure that the safety and well-being of audiences, artists and staff remain a priority. All patrons 12 years of age and older in attendance must be fully vaccinated and masks are to be worn in the building. The NAC will continue to follow provincial guidelines and adjust its procedures as needed in order to make the visiting experience more accessible and comfortable for everyone.

The stage will be set once again for audiences and artists to reconnect in-person and engage with the performing arts!


With more and more programming welcoming audiences back into the performance venues, the NAC continues to feature select livestreamed and video on demand performances throughout 2022, allowing audiences across Canada to experience the works presented on the NAC’s stages. 


The NAC is also pleased to announce Under30, a $15 ticket price for patrons 30 and under, that will be available for all but a few NAC performances. This initiative, in addition to other affordable options offered such as All My Relations, Fridays at the Fourth and Video Performances on Demand, are part of an ongoing effort to open our doors to more and more audiences. It’s an opportunity for those unfamiliar with NAC programming to experience the performing arts and make some wonderful discoveries for an affordable price.

To prepare audiences for all performances going on sale on February 3, the NAC’s artistic and creative leadership has highlighted concerts and shows through to June 30, 2022. For complete season information, visit

For performance and artist photos, click here


Acclaimed Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins makes a highly anticipated solo appearance with the NAC Orchestra and Alexander Shelley, performing the orchestral premiere of a powerful new work envisioned by and written expressly for him. Songs for Murdered Sisters conveys the tragedy of lives needlessly lost.  Co-commissioned by the NAC Orchestra and the Houston Grand Opera for Joshua Hopkins, the song cycle for baritone solo and orchestra is based on original poetry by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Composer Jake Heggie embraces and builds on the passion of Atwood’s powerful words. February 23.

Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, a rising star across Europe and North America, returns to Southam Hall to conduct the Canadian premiere of Swedish composer Andrea Tarrodi’s Wildwood, an evocative work that conjures majestic forests and delicate woodlands.  Dalia will collaborate in performance with NACO Creative Partner Gabriela Montero for an unforgettable evening of virtuosic music-making. The program includes Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, a lively and thrilling work, which includes a star turn by NACO principal trumpet Karen Donnelly on March 910.

In the capstone event of the season, NACO goes back on tour, proudly performing their newly commissioned* Symphony No. 13 from acclaimed composer Philip Glass. This sweeping new work is an ode to freedom of the press, exploring the theme “truth in our time” and honouring the life and work of Canadian-born journalist Peter Jennings, who died in 2005. The tour will take the Orchestra to Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall on March 30 and New York City’s Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on April 5, concluding with a homecoming in the NAC’s Southam Hall April 13 14. The full tour concert program includes exhilarating works by composers Nicole Lizée, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Erich Korngold and performances by Canadian violinists James Ehnes and Blake Pouliot.
*The work by Philip Glass was co-commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and made possible thanks to the Jennings Family.    


NAC English Theatre and Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) resume their transformative collaboration for 2022. The inaugural season of BTW’s programming as Co-Curating Company-in-Residence continues with a blazing commentary on a great classic. An up-and-coming screenwriter undertakes to rewrite one of the most beloved novels of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird, from the perspective of the family’s Black maid, Calpurnia. A hilarious and highly charged look at the knots and tangles of intersectionality and allyship, Calpurnia by Audrey Dwyer will forever change how you think about Harper Lee’s seminal work. This co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Black Theatre Workshop runs April 27 – May 7.


French Theatre takes you on a sensory journey that treads the line between the real and the imaginary. From March 3 – 5, audiences can see Violence by the spellbinding Marie Brassard, a poetic and visual reflection on the perception of time and the learning of brutality. From March 9 - 12, Siminovitch Prize-winning director and designer Stéphanie Jasmin brings us Les dix commandements de Dorothy Dix, a one-voice show performed by Julie Lebreton. For the fifth time, French Theatre will also welcome the exceptional work of Joël Pommerat, whose Contes et légendes, presented from June 1 – 4, is a documentary fiction of the future. 

The company L'eau du bain has imagined a huge scenic blur to create two shows from the same proposal. One is intended for children and the other for the general public. You can see White Out and La chambre des enfants on stage from April 6 – 10.

And for toddlers from 18 months to five-year olds, G'ZAAGIIN - Je te promets une forêt brings together a Polish-born director, an Indigenous performer and musician from Abitibi. Guided by the wisdom of the traditional Medicine Wheel, they weave with you sound seasons filled with textures and flavors to be savored with all the senses, running May 21 – 22.


Coming this spring, Indigenous Theatre proudly presents The Mush Hole, performed by the internationally acclaimed Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and created by Santee Smith. The Mush Hole is a story about hope and finding light in dark places and promises to be an intimate experience in Azrieli Studio April 13 – 16.


NAC Dance is thrilled to continue its season with an exceptional range of classical, contemporary, and interdisciplinary works from Canadian and international artists.

From March 3 – 5, multidisciplinary artist Mélanie Demers presents her new work La Goddam Voie Lactée, an honest and crude expression of racial tensions, feminism and humanity. On March 24 – 25, In My Body, created by Gatineau’s own Crazy Smooth, features an intergenerational group of b-boys and b-girls, along with an international creative team, in an intensely athletic investigation of the evolution of self and the inescapable effects of aging and the passing of time.

Guillaume Côté’s Crypto, a multidisciplinary piece that moves between raw contemporary form and classical ballet and is bound by theatre, epic music, and stunning visual effects, will take the stage April 8 – 9. Anne Plamondon, known for her supple elegance and exquisite form as a dancer, as well as her intelligent, fluid and deeply moving works, brings Only You and Counter Cantor, a double bill presentation from April 21 – 23. Then, from May 12 – 14, rediscover the beloved fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty, in a beautiful new staging - a Canadian premiere - by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal accompanied by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Select repertoire from the National Ballet of Canada’s mixed bill performances that were cancelled in February have been rescheduled to April 1. Join us on this new date for a special presentation of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, Jera Wolfe’s Soul (film) and Crystal Pite’s profound new work, Angels' Atlas.

Our first international presentation of the season is the extraordinary, wildly imaginative, and surreal work of Greece's Dimitris Papaioannou. His larger-than-life production, Transverse Orientation, supported by NAC Dance, will have its Canadian premiere on May 24 – 26. This utterly unique work has toured Europe to sold-out crowds and standing ovations – you will not want to miss it! 

The 2021-2022 season culminates with the addition of new dates for Alan Lucien Øyen / winter guests’ original contemporary piece Story, story, die. The shows previously scheduled for February 11 – 12 will now take place June 7 – 8. This international troupe hails all the way from Norway and is presented as part of the Nordic Bridges initiative, which aims to foster cultural exchange between Canada and Europe’s Nordic Region.

The last Digidance film presentation of the season is Via Kanana by South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma, performed by Via Katlehong Dance, which will be streaming online from February 16 – March 6. This harmonically rich piece pulsates with rhythmic energy as it explores humanity’s unwavering belief in hope in an ever-changing world that is clouded by fear and darkness.


Though we have had some scheduling changes this season, NAC Popular Music and Variety is looking ahead to the new year as we continue adding to our diverse lineup of shows for the spring and summer! We welcome Pierre Lapointe on March 31, Irish Mythen on April 14Étienne Coppée on April 8, Witch Prophet on March 25, and Charlotte Cornfield on March 3 to name a few.  This year we welcome back legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie to celebrate her music, life and career. 

Slaight Music Spotlight continues with incredible Canadian artists.  Our Fridays at the Fourth shows and free Facebook livestreams also continue every week showcasing Canada’s emerging artists.  

The Arts, Medicine & Life series returns with Dr. Jillian Horton and her invited special guests discussing everything from mental health to the healthcare system to everyday well-being. You can also listen to the archived episodes available on our website, Apple or Spotify podcasts.  


Going virtual for the second time, the BIG BANG Festival will delight families with digital content and activities including a virtual dance party with DJ Rise Ashen. Get on board for a fun-filled musical journey on February 19 – 20! Stay tuned, the BIG BANG might be going digital for now but we still have big plans for this resounding festival.


Tickets for NAC performances beginning February 14 and taking place up until June 30, 2022, are on sale as of 10 a.m. on February 3.

To purchase tickets online visit Ticketmaster or call 1-844-985-2787 (ARTS). In-person purchases at the NAC Box Office are suspended until further notice.

For more information, please visit

To prepare for your upcoming attendance to a performance, visit


Four projects that were developed with support from the NAC's National Creation Fund will be on NAC stages this spring: Violence by Marie Brassard, L'eau du bain's White Out / La chambre des enfants, In My Body from Bboyizm Dance Company, and Côté Danse's Crypto. Marking its fifth year in 2022 and fuelled entirely by generous donors from across the country, the Fund makes investments in the development of compelling and ambitious new Canadian works in theatre, dance, music, and inter-disciplinary performing arts. For more information on the National Creation Fund and the projects it supports, visit 


Over the course of the pandemic, the National Arts Centre launched several digital initiatives to support Canadian performing artists and connect with audiences at home. They include #CanadaPerformsNACO Live, #DanceForthGrand Acts of TheatrePrologue(s)Indigenous Cities and the Arts Alive arts learning programming, among many others. The NAC will continue to use these new digital platforms to engage with Canadians online and recognizes digital technology as an important tool to leverage in the future. All details of livestreamed performances and other digital offerings will be listed on the NAC website.    

The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.   

Programming at the National Arts Centre is made possible through the support of many generous individuals and organizations from across the country. The NAC Foundation would like to thank Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak (Bay Tree Foundation), Arc The.Hotel Ottawa, The Azrieli Foundation, BMO Financial Group, John and Bonnie Buhler, Margaret Fountain, C.M., DFA (h) & David Fountain, C.M., The Leacross Foundation, Lord Elgin Hotel, Mark Motors Group, Meta, The Janice and Earle O’Born Fund for Excellence in the Performing Arts, Ottawa Hotel Embassy & Suites, The RBC Foundation, Rogers Communications, Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM, The Slaight Family Foundation, TD Bank Group, The Vered Family, and VIA Rail. Thank you also to our many other supporters across the country. 

The National Arts Centre Foundation wishes to acknowledge and thank the donors who have made the 2022 NACO Tour possible: Banque Nationale du Canada, Adrian Burns, LL.D. & Gregory Kane, Q.C., Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LLD (hc), Susan Glass & Arni Thorsteinson, Bruce and Vicki Heyman, The Jennings Family, Michael F. B. Nesbitt, Gail O'Brien, LL.D. & David O'Brien, O.C., The Janice and Earle O’Born Fund for Excellence in the Performing Arts, Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM, R.N.C. Tennant, and The Hon. Hilary M. Weston & the late Mr. W. Galen Weston.

The NAC Foundation would like to thank Mohammed A. Faris and the Danbe Foundation for helping make the NAC a more inclusive space through their support of the Accessible Ticket Program.

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Mireille Allaire
Senior Manager, Strategy and Communications
National Arts Centre

Sean Fitzpatrick                                                                                               
Communications Strategist                                                                                   
English Theatre                                                                    
613 899-9737                                                                                                                                                                                               

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