December 5, 2023 – OTTAWA – Beat the drums and sound the trumpets: the BIG BANG Festival is set to return Family Day weekend in 2024!  

The NAC will be booming with performances and activities perfect for kids aged 5-12 and their families on February 17 and 18, for this two-day festival of sonic adventures.  

Every square inch of the NAC will be transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour and sound not to be missed! From gong pop to pickles with a swinging beat, via an immersive experience from a Japanese artist, there is an amazing collection of festival performances on sale today.  

“Music in all its forms has a tremendous power to connect people of different generations and backgrounds. We see this at the BIG BANG, and it's what makes this festival such an incredible celebration!”
—Mélanie Dumont, Curator for BIG BANG Festival Ottawa and Associate Artistic Director of Youth Programming, NAC French Theatre   

Since 2019, the BIG BANG Festival has attracted thousands of young visitors and their families to the NAC for an incredible weekend of adventures in sound. This year’s edition will once again be a Winterlude highlight with enchanting mini concerts, magical projections, musical surprises, and a party atmosphere! 

Full details about the current performance lineup available online: Additional free activities and events will be announced on January 16. 


A host of captivating performances for the young and young at heart are on offer at this year’s festival. As always, BIG BANG has a real international flavour with artists and musical styles hailing from far and wide. Traveling from Belgium, Toronto, Quebec City and Montreal, drawing from Filipino, Japanese and Ottoman musical influences to name a few, the musical landscape on display will be diverse. Families will find accessible prices with ticketed events ranging from $5-$15.  

roundABOUT # Tsubasa Hori  

Like Japan, but in a dream  

Take a seat inside a fantastic lantern/stage, illuminated by spellbinding video projections and brought to life by the music, singing and dancing of incandescent Japanese-born performer Tsubasa Hori. A journey through a kaleidoscopic world of images and music. 

Produced by Zonzo Compagnie and ChampdAction 

February 17 & 18 | $15
40 minutes ● Performed without words ● Ages 5–12   


When the gong is pop 

This Toronto based quintet, made up of members of the Filipino diaspora, remixes kulintang music, and it's downright cool! Pantayo brings a pop flavor to the traditional instrumental music made with gongs by integrating vocals, guitar, synths and drum machines. 

February 17 | $15
45 minutes ● Bilingual ● Age 6+   

Les Royal Pickles 

Bite into swing 

A swing band inspired by the street music of New Orleans, Les Royal Pickles will get everyone up on their feet dancing! Banjo, guitar, tuba and vocals are all they need to rock out to tasty hits from the 20s and 30s as well as compositions of their own. A joyful, boisterous mix of jazz, blues and folk, the perfect treat for young and old alike.  

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

Music Rooms  

À la carte micro-concerts  

With just a small group of audience members and an accessible price, these micro-concerts are a festival favourite. Enjoy the casual atmosphere, as artists perform in a tucked away and mysterious NAC setting. There will be three Music Rooms to choose from in 2024, featuring instruments ranging from an oud to everyday household objects, and mysteries still yet to be revealed! 

February 17 & 18 | $5
20 minutes ● Multilingual ● Ages 5+  

Explore the performance lineup at  
Additional free activities and events to be unveiled on January 16.    

Photos of featured productions and festival creative are available here.  

The BIG BANG is a one-of-a-kind festival of musical adventures. It invites children and their families on a colourful journey featuring a rich array of sound concepts whose diversity and originality make the festival a hit wherever it goes. 

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. 

Since its inception, 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 invigorating performances and micro-concerts.  

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. In recent 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 is an initiative of Zonzo Compagnie. The 2024 festival will be in full swing during Winterlude. 

The National Arts Centre (NAC) 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 audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. 

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