Street closures around the NAC during Ottawa Race Weekend

A Celtic Celebration with Natalie MacMaster, the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s fourth CTV Pops concert of the 2011-2012 season, unites the Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon with tenor Colin Ainsworth, piper Christopher Layer, the O’Hare Irish Dancers, and foot-stomping good cheer on March 22-24 in Southam Hall

Experience the down home joie de vivre “Cape Breton Girl” Natalie MacMaster brings to stages around the world in A Celtic Celebration with Natalie MacMaster, the fourth CTV Pops concert of the NAC Orchestra’s 2011-12 season. Conductor Jack Everly (Principal Pops Conductor of the NAC Orchestra) leads Ms. MacMaster, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, tenor Colin Ainsworth, piper Christopher Layer, and the O’Hare Irish Dancers in this extremely high-energy concert. A Celtic Celebration with Natalie MacMaster takes place in Southam Hall on Thursday March 22, Friday March 23, and Saturday March 24, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Natalie MacMaster will sign her CDs in the foyer after each concert

Conductor Jack Everly takes the audience from O Danny Boy to a Lord of the Dance Suite, with special guest superstar Natalie MacMaster joining the NAC Orchestra and the O’Hare Irish Dancers for a spectacular Celtic Celebration. This concert takes place just after St. Patrick’s Day and it will truly transport audiences to the Emerald Isle by way of Cape Breton Island, Canadian home of traditional fiddle music. The concert will present lightning-fast fiddling, jigs, reels, airs, waltzes, folk songs, and foot-stomping good cheer.

Natalie MacMaster – a fiddle genius, JUNO Award winner, Canadian music icon, and mother of four -- has appeared several times at the NAC (including at our tenth anniversary Gala) and she always brings audiences roaring to their feet. In recent years Natalie has expanded her musical repertoire, mixing her Cape Breton roots with music from Scotland and Ireland, as well as American bluegrass. But it’s her majesty with the bow and her intricate technique in making the fiddle sing while championing the Cape Breton tradition that astonishes her admirers in over 100 shows each year.

Truly a “Cape Breton Girl” through and through, this is also the title of Natalie MacMaster’s eleventh album of jubilant instrumental music, beloved by audiences worldwide. This straight-ahead, traditional record -- an invigorating collection of toe-tapping jigs, reels and strathspeys -- is a joy to behold, and embraces all the values that Natalie holds dear: family, tradition, home, and faith.

Her dedicated work ethic during her three-decade career has seen her amass multiple gold albums, two Grammy nominations and one win (for her contribution to Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs Of Joy & Peace); a JUNO Award for Best Instrumental Album for In My Hands; eight Canadian Country Music Awards, and ten East Coast Music Awards. She electrifies live audiences around the world, as well as captivating listeners on radio and viewers on TV.

MacMaster’s talents have also been in demand by her peers, including Yo Yo Ma, The Chieftains, Raffi, banjo prodigy Béla Fleck, fellow fiddling marvel Alison Krauss, Dobro specialist Jerry Douglas, singer Hayley Westenra, former Doobie Brother and classic R&B interpreter Michael McDonald, and Thomas Dolby.

More recently, Natalie MacMaster’s talents have expanded to include those of ‘author’, co-writing and publishing a lavish coffee table book, Natalie MacMaster’s Cape Breton Aire, with Pulitzer Prize-winning wordsmith Eileen McNamara and featuring Boston-based Eric Roth’s breathtaking photography.
The NAC Orchestra, under Jack Everly, performs A Celtic Celebration with Natalie MacMaster in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Thursday March 22, Friday March 23, and Saturday March 24, 2012 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.45, $31.21, $42.51, $53.81, $64.57, $75.33, and $94.17 for adults and $11.73, $17.11, $22.76, $28.41, $33.79, $39.17, and $48.59 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card). Tickets are available at the NAC Box Office (in person) and through Ticketmaster (with surcharges) at 1-888-991-2787; Ticketmaster may also be accessed through

Subject to availability, full-time students (aged 13-29) with valid Trinity Live Rush™ membership (free registration at may buy up to 2 tickets per performance at the discount price of $12 per ticket. Tickets are available online ( or at the NAC box office from 10 a.m. on the day before the performance until 6 p.m. on the day of the show or 2 hours before a matinee. Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices to all NAC Music, Theatre and Dance performances; to reserve your seats, call 613-947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail

Discover the new NACmusicbox TIMELINE: 200 orchestral works, 80 Canadian compositions,
1 interactive TIMELINE that provides a visual representation of our rare online archival collection and encourages the exploration of music connections. The NACmusicbox TIMELINE has been specifically designed to showcase the works of Canadian composers within the history of orchestral music and offers cross-curricular content with classroom-ready activities and lesson plans developed by teachers for teachers. Visit today.

The National Arts Centre gratefully acknowledges the financial investment by the Department of Canadian Heritage in the creation of this online presentation for the Virtual Museum of Canada.
We also thank our partner CBC Radio 2 for generously providing broadcast-quality recordings of the NAC Orchestra’s archival performances.

For additional information, visit the NAC website at

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Gerald Morris
Communications Officer, NAC Music
613-947-7000, ext. 335