News Release

Experience the excitement as music, dance and theatre fill all four stages

MAY 17, 2022 – OTTAWA, CANADA – As audiences return to the National Arts Centre’s performance halls, and with the ever-growing buzz around live performances, the NAC’s programming departments are preparing to deliver one of its most memorable seasons yet.

The NAC’s 2022–2023 season is an enthralling blend of powerful new works and treasured classics, delivered by some of the most exciting and diverse range of artists, voices and companies from across Canada and beyond.  
Our next season will feature familiar performers and stories, and opportunities to discover new artists and journeys. The season will also include highly anticipated performances that had been postponed due to the pandemic — gems the NAC is delighted to finally share with audiences.  
In addition, 2022–2023 celebrates new beginnings and fond farewells among the NAC artistic leadership team. French Theatre Artistic Director Mani Soleymanlou introduces his inaugural season, while Cathy Levy (Executive Producer of Dance) and Jillian Keiley (Artistic Director of English Theatre) offer final slates of programming, concluding their extraordinarily successful tenures.  

“The National Arts Centre will present a brilliantly diverse performance season in 2022-2023, featuring extraordinary artists in music, dance, and theatre,” said NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon. “Over these past two years, artists have missed the unique alchemy that takes place when artists and audiences meet in a performance hall. It’s an experience that can be exhilarating, inspiring, and restorative. We invite everyone to come to the NAC and discover, or rediscover, the magic of the performing arts on the NAC's stages.”  

The 2022–2023 season will also mark the return of subscriptions packages. Renewing subscribers can begin booking seats as of May 19 and individual show tickets will go on sale as of June 23.  
The NAC remains committed to creating a safe and comfortable environment. Visit the Plan Your Visit section of the website for latest details.


Below are a number of highlights for audiences this coming season. For complete season information, visit the NAC website at

NAC Orchestra  
The NAC Orchestra (NACO) and Music Director Alexander Shelley welcome you back to Southam Hall for our 2022-2023 season to experience the transformative energy of orchestral music. NACO will perform over 100 concerts across the season, with programs that celebrate, empower, and inspire at this time when we all are yearning for real connection and shared experiences. 

Alexander Shelley opens the season with the concert event of the fall: Montreal pianist Bruce Liu, celebrating his brilliant top prize win at the 2021 Chopin Competition, performs Rachmaninoff’s popular Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (September 8 – 9, 2022). 

NACO and Alexander Shelley are honoured to present the World premiere of the orchestral version of Songs for Murdered Sisters in Atwood, Heggie, Brahms (February 9 – 10, 2023).  Acclaimed Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins makes his Southam Hall solo debut in this powerful work written expressly for him that conveys the tragedy of lives needlessly lost. The new work is a NACO co-commission with poetry by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and music by Jake Heggie.   

Newly appointed Principal Youth and Family Conductor Daniel-Bartholomew Poyser leads NACO in Reggae Roots, an exploration of Jamaica’s famous musical genre, its people, sounds, and stories. Hailed as reggae royalty, Jamaican-born Halifax-based vocalist Jah’Mila takes centre stage in a performance reflecting on the social, cultural, and spiritual importance of the magical musical genre that has shaped Jamaica and touched the world.   

Stay tuned for a major upcoming announcement: As part of Nordic Bridges, the NAC Orchestra presents SPHERE: A Festival for the Earth, in September. Details to come in June.  

NAC English Theatre  
NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley bids farewell with a powerful lineup in 2022-2023 that includes the partnership with Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) as Co-Curating Company-in-Residence
History and the climate crisis are explored in The Breathing Hole by Colleen Murphy with Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy and Nattilingmiutut translation by Janet Tamalik McGrath, a co-production with NAC Indigenous Theatre. The play, directed by Reneltta Arluk,  tells the tale of a polar bear cub adopted by an Inuk grandmother and runs November 30 – December 10, 2022. 
BTW’s second season programming as Co-Curating Company-in-Residence begins with Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is, a Tarantino-esque tale of revenge that flies in the face of forgiveness and its demands. Directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, this co-production by Obsidian Theatre, Necessary Angel and Canadian Stage runs February 9 – 18, 2023. The second curated project will be announced shortly.
Finally, an unprecedented partnership brings Ann-Marie MacDonald’s internationally acclaimed novel Fall On Your Knees to the NAC March 8 – 25, 2023. This stage adaptation by Hannah Moscovitch and Alisa Palmer chronicles three generations of Cape Breton Island’s Piper family and will tour to four cities in 2023. This production between the NAC, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre, and Grand Theatre will be presented in two parts (Part One – Family Tree; Part Two – The Diary), allowing audiences to enjoy two extraordinary evenings at the theatre. 

NAC French Theatre  

Get a front row seat for French Theatre Artistic Director Mani Soleymanlou's inaugural season.

For his first performance, Mani Soleymanlou invites 40 performers with diverse identities from across French-speaking Canada to create Un. Deux. Trois, a choral show that will run from September 28 - October 1, 2022, before touring to audiences from Moncton to Vancouver.

The immortal Michel Tremblay exposes the burning issues of his creative craft in Cher Tchekhov, presented from November 17 – 19, 2022. Directed by Serge Denoncourt, his brand-new play - funny and ferocious - presents a family of actors who meet in a country house for a dinner that will...go super well?

For well-behaved children (or not) ages 6 to 12, Zonzo Company's HUSH : La boîte à rêve de Henry Purcell comes to the NAC November 12 – 13, 2022.  On stage is a magical box, an inventive reproduction of a small baroque theater that comes alive with the harmonies of the great composer Purcell, the Shakespeare of English music. 

NAC Indigenous Theatre  
Indigenous Theatre welcomes audiences back to the NAC with an uplifting and inspiring season!  
Ignite your spirit with Indigenous artists from the four directions, across Turtle Island and around the world. The season opens with a show from down under, the matriarchal powerhouse Hot Brown Honey running October 12 – 15, 2022

Take an intimate journey to the North October 24 – 30, 2022, as we co-present with French Theatre Aalaapi |ᐋᓛᐱ. Then with English Theatre we share the wisdom of a polar bear caught in catastrophic climate change in The Breathing Hole, running November 30 – December 10, 2022. 

A prophecy from the plains emerges in The Herd coming to Babs Asper Theatre January 12 – 21, 2023. From the west, a land claim fable written and director by none other than Kevin Loring, we present Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer May 18 – 27, 2023.  

NAC Dance  
The 2022-2023 Dance season is a celebration of the resilience, beauty, and power of dance artists’ voices from around the globe.

Highlights include the season opener on October 14 – 15, 2022 with the NAC debut of New York’s Ballet Hispánico. Choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Doña Perón is a fiery and impassioned retelling of the most recognizable and controversial woman in Argentinian history, Eva "Evita" Perón. Lopez Ochoa has been lauded for her sharp and evocative style in this stunning production. A triumph that will bring you to your feet!

From October 27 – 29, 2022, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs The Handmaid’s Tale, accompanied by the NAC Orchestra. Choreographed by Lila York, the ballet preserves the prophetic spirit and human story of Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel. Audiences will be transported to a dystopian world through the extraordinary athleticism and theatricality of the RWB’s outstanding dancers.

And on February 16 – 18, 2023, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch will bring down the house with the Canadian premiere of Palermo, Palermo. Created in 1989, this tour de force is a signature piece of the late Pina Bausch, whose creative genius has shaped timeless works seeped in the drama of human relationships. Absolutely unmissable. 

NAC Popular Music and Variety  
The 2022-2023 Popular Music & Variety season sees us back with a full lineup and the halls at full capacity!  We’re kicking off the season celebrating the life and work of Buffy Sainte-Marie with a concert featuring performances by her and those she has inspired. Throughout the year we’ll present Canadian all-stars including pianist-composer Jean-Michel Blais, alt-rockers The Sheepdogs, pop chanteuse Ariane Moffat, Basia Bulat, and an incredible triple bill with The Once, The Fortunate Ones and Old Man Luedecke! 

Internationally acclaimed artists Black Umfolosi from Zimbabwe will perform for the first time at the NAC. Clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh City Band, and Ukrainian folk quartet DahkaBrahka will also make their NAC debut. 

Holiday favourites are back with Kellylee Evans’ Winter Song, and Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas with the NAC Orchestra. Plus, a new holiday show with Lennie Gallant: The Innkeeper's Christmas!

And, of course, all our popular series return with emerging artists, health and wellness talks, and your favourite musicians: Slaight Music Spotlight, Arts Medicine & Life, Sessions with the NAC Orchestra, and Fridays at the Fourth.   

The Fourth Stage has not only become one of the hottest listening rooms in town, it also houses our popular Fridays at the Fourth series that has become a go to for discovering upcoming emerging artists including Zoon, Janette King, Simon Daniel and PIQSIQ to name a few.  


Renewing season subscribers can book Fixed Series and Create Your Own subscriptions as of May 19. New subscriptions and individual show tickets for the majority of programming will go on sale June 23. 

For additional information, visit the NAC website at 

NAC Box Office by phone at 1-844-985-2787 (ARTS), Monday to Friday 10am to 7:30pm, Saturday 12pm to 7:30pm and in person Monday to Saturday, 2:30pm to 6pm through the month of May. From May 19 to June 17, subscribers can renew in person at the NAC Box Office from 10 am Monday to Friday. 
NOTE: Due to current workplace health and safety protocols, patrons will experience longer wait times if renewing in person.

Summer hours begin in June. For full Box Office information and summer hours, visit

Several projects supported by the NAC’s National Creation Fund are part of the 2022-23 season, including Fall on Your Knees, an epic theatre production based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s internationally acclaimed novel, and Un. Deux. Trois by Mani Soleymanlou’s Orange Noyée. The National Creation Fund provides Canadian artists with the additional time, space and resources they need to create great work. Marking its fifth year in 2022 and fuelled entirely by generous donors from across the country, the Fund invests 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 a number of digital initiatives to support Canadian performing artists and connect with audiences at home. They include #CanadaPerforms, NACO Live, Grand Acts of Theatre, Prologue(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 pleased to be a partner with Nordic Bridges in 2022. A year-long initiative led by Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre fostering cultural exchange between the Nordic Region and Canada. Working with partners across Canada, Nordic Bridges will present multidisciplinary contemporary art, culture, and ideas throughout 2022. Supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, visit to learn more. 

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 & Najla Al Zaibak (Bay Tree Foundation), The Azrieli Foundation, BMO Financial Group, John & Bonnie Buhler, Adrian Burns, LL.D. & Gregory Kane, Q.C., Meta, Mohammed A. Faris, Margaret Fountain, C.M., DFA (h) & David Fountain, C.M., Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LLD (hc), Susan Glass, C.M. & Arni Thorsteinson, O.M., The Jennings Family, The Leacross Foundation, Mark Motors Group, Janice & Earle O'Born Fund for Artistic Excellence, The RBC Foundation, Rogers Communications, Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM, The Slaight Family Foundation, TD Bank Group, Robert Tennant, The Vered Family, VIA Rail, and The Hon. Hilary M. Weston & the late Mr. W. Galen Weston. Thank you also to our many other supporters across the country.

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