The 15th annual National Arts Centre Gala – One Enchanted Evening with Sarah McLachlan, held on Saturday September 24 -- was a great success both artistically and financially. The event was sold out, and the audience was thrilled to hear the announcement from Gala Honorary Chair Laureen Harper that the event had raised a net amount of $­­­­621,000. The entire amount goes to the National Arts Centre’s National Youth and Education Trust, which invests in young Canadians through the performing arts.

Special thanks to Sean O’Loughlin, who conducted the second half of the concert, and Canadian singer songwriter superstar Sarah McLachlan and her quintet – Vincent Jones (vocals, keyboards, piano), Peter Stroud (vocals, guitar), Melissa McClelland (vocals, guitar), Cedric LeMoyne (vocals, bass guitar), and Curt Bisquera (drums, percussion) – who held the capacity crowd enthralled. Many thanks also to the talented people who made the 15th NAC Gala so memorable: the National Arts Centre Orchestra and NAC Music Director Pinchas Zukerman (who conducted the first half of the concert), all of whom donate their services for this fundraising event. The full NAC Orchestra was enhanced for this occasion by five young musicians who are members of the NAC’s Institute for Orchestral Studies. They are Emily Nenniger and Teodora Dimova (violin), Chensi Tang (viola), MinJee Yoon (cello), and Travis Harrison (double bass).

“Thousands of young Canadian artists and audience members will benefit from the $621 thousand raised at the National Arts Centre Gala. The proceeds from the Gala support young artist training programs, as well as arts education resources like the NAC's award winning website ArtsAlive.ca. I want to thank all our wonderful Orchestra musicians and Conductor Pinchas Zukerman who donated their talent, our valued presenting sponsor SunLife Financial, and the sold-out audience who enjoyed Sarah McLachlan's artistry at the Gala. We have officially kicked-off Ottawa's social season with style!" said Jayne Watson, CEO, NAC Foundation. A special thank-you for our Fundraising Committee Chair Arnie Vered and our Honourary Chair Laureen Harper ... they were both terrific in helping us make this evening a success.”

The Presenting Sponsor for the NAC Gala was Sun Life Financial. Associate Sponsor was Vale.

Major Sponsors for the NAC Gala included A&E Television Networks, RBC Royal Bank and Shaw Communications Inc. Amphitheatre Sponsor was TD Bank Group, Balcony Sponsor was Suncor Energy Inc., Martini Lounge Sponsor was Quebecor Inc. and Dinner Sponsor was Emond Harnden LLP. The U.S. Ambassador Reception Sponsor was CIBC. Event Partners were The Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit.

Early evening red carpet arrivals kept the media throng busy, and spotted at the pre-concert reception were many Ottawa A-listers, including Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada; Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency; John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs; Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism; Bob Rae, Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada; Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate; Senators Noël Kinsella, Marjory LeBreton, and Mike Duffy; David Jacobson, Ambassador of the United States of America; Andrew Pocock, British High Commissioner; General Walter Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, Canadian Forces; Konrad von Finckenstein, Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa; as well as ambassadors and other members of the political and media elite.

A full house of 2200 people enjoyed the concert, and various intermission and post-intermission receptions, while 600 guests, supporters, and dignitaries enjoyed a sumptuous post-concert meal devised by NAC Executive Chef Michael Blackie. In a tradition unique to the NAC Gala, the meal was served on the magically transformed stage of Southam Hall and included a starter of torchon of rhubarb and duck, dehydrated aromatic vegetable and berry salad, and banyuls and citric balm, and entrées of sterling strip loin, polenta and chickpea crisp, and vanilla butter poached maritime lobster. Dessert was bittersweet chocolate macaron with white truffle mallow in a black currant and cassis puddle.

Grateful thanks go to the hard-working NAC Gala Committee, Honorary Chair Laureen Harper and Chair Arnie Vered. Committee members are Jeff Boyd, Adrian Burns, Philip Cartwright, Carol Devenny, Patrick Kennedy, Jacqui Larocque, Linda MacKenzie, Josh McJannett, Sandy Menzies, Keltie Mierins, Solly Patrontasch, Guy Pratte, Jennifer Rideout, David Stewart-Patterson, Andrew Tremayne, and Janet Yale.

The NAC Gala is an annual fundraiser that helps ensure the future of the performing arts in Canada. As a vibrant hub for performance, creation, and learning, the National Arts Centre is dedicated to developing the artistic leaders of tomorrow. Proceeds raised help the NAC provide vital programming that encourages creativity and instills a life-long love of the performing arts in young people across Canada. The NAC Gala has raised more than $7.1 million over the past 14 years to support the National Youth and Education Trust. Established by the NAC Foundation in 2001, the Trust is the primary resource for youth and education funding at the NAC. Supporters of the Trust help the National Arts Centre provide a wide range of artistic and educational programming that nurtures and develops the creativity of young people in the National Capital Region and across the country.


Gerald Morris
Communications Officer, NAC Music
613-947-7000, ext. 335 
[e-mail]  gerald.morris@nac-cna.ca



Join our email list for the latest updates!