National Arts Centre launches the 2010 Share the Spirit holiday campaign for deserving children and families

Ottawa (Canada) –The National Arts Centre (NAC), with the help of generous sponsors and patrons, is bringing the magic of live performing arts this holiday season to hundreds of deserving children and their families in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

This is the second year for Share the Spirit, an exciting initiative aimed at families who, for economic or health reasons, may not have the opportunity to enjoy live performances at the NAC between now and Christmas. Share the Spirit will enable them to attend performances and open rehearsals of holiday classics such as Handel’s Messiah, The Nutcracker, A Canadian Tenors Christmas with the NAC Orchestra, as well as Pops Motown, the Mariinsky Ballet, and other wonderful productions – for free.

Ticket recipients will be chosen by the NAC’s community partners including Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa, Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, Candlelighters, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Foundation, the Ottawa Food Bank, the Sens Foundation, and the Snowsuit Fund.

Last year, more than 900 individual and corporate donors contributed to Share the Spirit, which handed out more than 600 tickets to deserving families to 12 holiday performances at the NAC.

“Share the Spirit touched so many hearts in 2009,” said Jayne Watson, CEO of the NAC Foundation. “We’re proud of last year’s success and hope to reach more deserving families this holiday season. There are so many people in the Ottawa area who should benefit from this opportunity.”

“Too many residents in our wealthy city don't share in all the blessings,” said Max Keeping, Honorary Chair of the Share the Spirit Campaign,” In some neighbourhoods, one if three children lives in poverty with little access to recreation and the arts. The community must ensure a level playing field for ALL children. Share the spirit is a beautiful gift for disadvantaged children and their families.”

As part of the program, musicians from the NAC Orchestra will also visit and perform for patients at CHEO and Roger’s House and their families who are unable to attend shows. Finally, National Arts Centre patrons are also encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and gently used children’s winter outerwear in a drop box located in the NAC lobby until Christmas.

Share the Spirit is made possible by Regional Supporters Members of the NAC Foundation’s Donors’ Circle, Tim Hortons, community supporters Mark Motors of Ottawa Ltd, the Hon. John Manley and Judith Manley, Tom Manley, Marcellin & Rita Savard, as well as the NAC Employee Association, the National Arts Centre Orchestra Players’ Association, and dozens of generous NAC patrons who helped cover the $75,000 cost of the initiative. 



For more information:


Carl Martin
613-947-7000, ext. 560
613-291-8880 (cell)