Ottawa, January 17, 2023 – The BIG BANG Festival gets underway from February 18 to February 19, 2023, offering a variety of engaging and vibrant indoor musical activities for the curious kid in everyone.

The family-friendly programming features exciting concerts, surprise performances, interactive sound machines and many wild curiosities to discover across the NAC building. Described by festival programmer Mélanie Dumont as an “explosion for all senses”, this event is a special treat that celebrates the colour and magic of sound and music.

The annual BIG BANG attracts thousands of young visitors and their families to the NAC for an incredible weekend of music and fun activities. As part of the Winterlude festivities, it will include an array of amazing free and affordable on-site performances of all kinds. Don’t forget to check out our website for our full events schedule!


Get ready and follow along for a musical journey that features mysterious music rooms, funky performances, and dancing puppets! In addition to affordable paid shows, families can anticipate a wide

range of free performances and activities. Book your tickets and plan an unforgettable weekend now: Ticket prices range from $5-$15, including a 25% discount when you buy tickets to two or more BIG BANG performances!




Socalled & Friends

Merry Mix of Music and Marionettes

The undisputed party king has a name: it’s Josh “Socalled” Dolgin! There’s no one like him for getting a crowd up on its feet. Ready for the inventor of klezmer hip hop and his band? Let the fun begin!

February 18-19 | Free | 3 Showtimes 20 minutes ● Bilingual ● For all ages


What (Re)Connects Us

Musical Rubber Bands

Multimedia artist Stéphanie Laforce is a bit of a magician. She imagined a sound installation where all you have to do is manipulate the rubber bands to produce the sound of wind, waves, a foghorn here, the song of mermaids there. It’s the beginning of a fabulous and collective sound journey.

February 18-19 | Free
Continuous ● Without words ● For all ages


Garden for Little Souls

Fun Islands for Toddlers

A garden in winter! It’s a dream come true for little ones, who will happily venture into this beautiful experimentation space. Picture this: walking through a bamboo forest, having fun making a turtle sing or walking on a bridge of bells! Everything is possible in this discovery space.

February 18-19 | Free
Continuous ● Without words ● Ages 2-7


Diogene’s Shed

Mechanical Orchestra

Ingenious and interactive, this installation from the creators of Alice Factory features a strange collection of objects. All carefully arranged on the shelves of crowded cabinets, they come to life without warning, producing an improbable concert of mechanical music.

February 18-19 | Free
Continuous ● Without words ● For all ages



Alice Factory

Festive Cinematic Concert

A musical tea party with Alice and her partners in rhyme! A dazzling performance based on the many film adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, experience the delightful music and visuals of this rendition featuring three inventive musicians and a young Alice at the mic.

February 18 & 19 | $15
55 minutes ● In English ● Age 5-12
This show is also offered in French under the title Alice Bricolé.


Angelique Francis

A Musical Family Affair

There’s no one like Angelique Francis to warm our hearts in winter. Accompanied by her double bass and family band, this amazingly talented musician lights up the stage with her electrifying New Orleans-style performances. Mixing together blues, jazz, and gospel, get ready to dance!

February 18 | $15
45 minutes ● Bilingual ● Age 5+


Music Rooms

À la Carte Micro-Concerts

About 15 minutes long and performed in unique spaces, experience this year’s collection of Music Rooms. You can enjoy the magnetic rhythm of the koanni with returning artist Bonsa, or step into a universe of sound and movement with urban dancer Tangent, and DJ Rise. Or maybe you want to take a detour into the world of 13th to 18th century melodies with Katelyn Clark and Ben Grossman. No matter what you choose, these micro-concerts are offered at an accessible price and make a truly great experience for young ones.

February 18 & 19 | $5

20 minutes ● Multilingual ● Ages 5+



Psst! Our full events schedule is now available for viewing! Visit our website at to begin planning the musical journey of your dreams.


Pictures of the shows and performers are available here:


The BIG BANG loves to travel, and what’s more, it loves to take visitors of all ages on adventures.
It builds on the legacy of the OORSMEER festival, founded by Wouter Van Looy in 1995, to offer children an artistic and musical program designed specifically for them, and which they even help deliver by participating in certain interactive installations.

Over the past 10 years the festival has travelled to several European cities, from Tallinn to Lisbon, from Antwerp to Athens, from Seville to Dublin, from Lille to Enschede, via Ghent, Brussels, Rouen, Reykjavik and Copenhagen. In 2019, the event took a giant leap across the ocean to land in its first North American city: Ottawa! Since then, each edition has been a resounding success, bringing together thousands of curious people attracted by the many guest artists and a host of invigorating performances and micro- concerts. Don’t miss the festival’s return to the NAC this winter!


The Ottawa presentation of the BIG BANG is the result of the NAC’s relationship with Belgium’s Zonzo Compagnie, which specializes in musical theatre for young audiences and is directed by
Wouter Van Looy. Over the past few years, the NAC has presented several Zonzo performances, including Listen to the Silence, set to the music of John Cage; Slumberland, an exploration of the world of dreams and the night; Mile(s)tones, a show about legendary jazzman Miles Davis; and HUSH: Henry’s Dream Machine, an off-the-wall concert-performance about Henry Purcell, the Shakespeare of English music!The BIG BANG in Ottawa is presented in partnership with Winterlude and is supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme, the NAC’S Arts Alive Learning Hub and the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation. The BIG BANG is an initiative of Zonzo Compagnie.


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, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of artists and audiences from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation.