The National Arts Centre Unveils a Stirring New Season for 2024-2025

Get your calendars ready for an epic journey of stage performances and beyond. 

MAY 9, 2024 – Ottawa, CanadaThe National Arts Centre today revealed its programming for the 2024-2025 season. Building on the success of the current season featuring some of the most diverse and creative Canadian and international artists, the 2024-2025 season will take audiences on breathtaking journeys through an enthralling blend of powerful new works and absolute classics.

The 2024-2025 season begins with SPHERE, a 10-day festival running from September 10-20. It will pick up themes from the NAC’s first SPHERE festival in Fall 2022 around the exploration of our relationship to Earth and the environment, with a focus on rivers, water and watersheds. Produced by the NAC Orchestra and curated by festival Artistic Director Alexander Shelley, SPHERE will engage all the NAC’s artistic disciplines, with participation from NAC Dance, English Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, French Theatre, Popular Music and Variety, and 1 Elgin Culinary Arts.

SPHERE will feature a new dance commission, choreographed by Andrea Peña and orchestral concerts curated with and performed by renowned artists including Jeremy Dutcher, playwright Christine Beaulieu and soprano Renée Fleming. In addition, the festival will premiere newly commissioned radio plays by Canadian playwrights David Yee and Berni Stapleton, with composers Chris Thornborrow and Duane Andrews, a theatrical dance piece by prominent Indigenous choreographer Santee Smith, and a specially curated dinner by Indigenous resident chef Chris Commandant.

And that is just the beginning, as the season welcomes several significant milestones. Executive Producer for NAC Dance Caroline Ohrt introduces her inaugural season featuring the most creative choreographers and artists. Indigenous Theatre Artistic Director Kevin Loring commemorates five years since the Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festival welcomed Indigenous Theatre’s opening season. Music Director Alexander Shelley celebrates his 10th season conducting the NAC Orchestra. English Theatre Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino continues the success of her first season, inviting audiences on a theatrical odyssey. French Theatre Artistic Director Mani Soleymanlou shares personal works created by some of the best Francophone artists and organizations, and Popular Music and Variety Executive Producer Heather Gibson continues to reach beyond the stage to showcase legendary performers and up-and-coming artists from Canada and around the globe.

“The performing arts are essential to the human experience, inviting us to connect with beauty and wonder, laughter and tears.” said NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon. “Through performance and story, the arts bring us together and enable us to learn from one another. We invite everyone to come and experience our extraordinary 2024-2025 season, featuring wonderful performances and brilliant artists from across Canada and around the world. We greatly look forward to welcoming you to the NAC.”  

All six NAC artistic leaders have created exceptional opportunities to take both audiences and artists on an exciting journey on stage and beyond for the 2024-2025 season.

National Arts Centre 2024-2025 Season

NAC Dance

The 2024-2025 NAC Dance season marks a new beginning, with Executive Producer Caroline Ohrt eagerly unveiling her inaugural season. Daring creations by Canadian and international artists, timeless classics from the ballet canon, and innovative works by new voices will awaken senses and provoke reflection.

A significant new commission fusing dance, music, and the visual arts opens the season as part of the SPHERE festival. Choreographer and designer Andrea Peña will premiere UAQUE, a contemplative creation that responds to the breathtaking photographs of Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, performed to live symphonic music conducted by Alexander Shelley.

Ballets with the NAC Orchestra are cornerstones of NAC Dance seasons, and 2024-2025 presents a rich array of offerings. Ballet BC – in their first invitation to perform with live orchestra – brings an evening of mixed repertoire including their hugely successful Bolero X that features 50 dancers on stage. The National Ballet of Canada presents their gorgeous rendition of the Romantic drama Giselle. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs Jekyll & Hyde, a new story ballet based on the famous novella. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens returns with their beloved rendition of The Nutcracker.

Renowned international companies making their NAC debuts include the UK’s fearless Far From The Norm, Belgium’s multiple-award-winning company Peeping Tom, France’s rising star Maud Le Pladec who combines krump with contemporary dance, and Burkina Faso’s Serge Aimé Coulibaly with his company Faso Dance Theatre. The season closes on a spectacular note with the return engagement by the USA’s MOMIX and their amazing dancer-illusionists.

NAC Dance also proudly presents four co-productions with Canadian artists this season: Compagnie Catherine Gaudet’s Les jolies choses, Compagnie Virginie Brunelle’s Fables, Le Patin Libre’s Murmuration, which takes us outside the NAC walls to an arena in Gatineau, and Dancers of Damelahamid’s Raven Mother, a new work in honour of the late Cree Elder Margaret Harris, co-presented with Indigenous Theatre.

“Dance is essential to everyone. From ballet to contemporary, and everything in between, our 2024-2025 season is filled with thought-provoking pieces that explore themes anchored in our time and offer reflections on societal issues while bringing light and beauty.”

— Caroline Ohrt, Executive Producer, NAC Dance 
Check out the full NAC Dance season

NAC Orchestra

Music Director Alexander Shelley continues to lead the NAC Orchestra with passion and innovation, highlighted by cross-disciplinary collaboration with choreographer Andrea Peña and Canadian photographer and artist Edward Burtynsky in the season-opening SPHERE festival. This upcoming season sees Shelley presenting new works by Ian Cusson, Alexina Louie, and John Estacio, all commissions for a recording project which pairs the timeless music of Richard Strauss with the creative brilliance of leading Canadian composers.

The season boasts an impressive lineup of soloists, including Jeremy Dutcher, violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn, jazz legend Branford Marsalis, opera superstar Renée Fleming, pianists Angela Hewitt, Gabriela Montero, Yeol Eum Son, Jonathan Biss, Marc-André Hamelin, and Broadway star Norm Lewis, among others.

Notable performances include Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds’s interpretation of Carl Nielsen and Kaija Saariaho, offering a fresh perspective on the Nordic composers’ work. Moreover, the 2024-2025 season will feature an abundance of Beethoven, including the iconic Fifth Symphony and the lively Seventh Symphony, along with two enthralling piano concertos. Renowned Baroque specialist Trevor Pinnock, former Music Director of the NAC Orchestra (1991-1997), returns to lead the Orchestra in performances of Handel’s Messiah. A series of recitals featuring luminaries such as Barbara Hannigan and NOBU (a.k.a. Nobuyuki Tsujii) will enchant audiences at Southam Hall.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser curates a lively night of Calypso music featuring a steelpan soloist in Steelpan Symphony. He also leads the Orchestra’s highly popular Family Adventures series for all ages.

Final Symphony features orchestral music by legendary Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu, written for the hugely influential FINAL FANTASY video games. This will be the NAC Orchestra’s first-ever concert of music from a video game soundtrack.  

The long-running Pops series, helmed by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, showcases the best of Broadway, jazz, and cinema, with the NAC Orchestra performing live soundtracks to Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Will Ferrell’s Christmas comedy, Elf. Jazz trumpeter and conductor Byron Stripling presents Harlem Nights: From Ella to Ellington.

“As we continue to explore new horizons and push the boundaries of the symphonic experience, I invite audiences to join us for what promises to be an unforgettable season of music and inspiration. This season marks a special milestone for me as I celebrate my tenth anniversary with my beloved NAC Orchestra and our wonderful audience. Whether you are a seasoned concertgoer or attending your very first performance, thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to sharing these remarkable programs. Our upcoming season is brimming with opportunities for connection.”   

Alexander Shelley, Music Director, NAC Orchestra
Check out the full NAC Orchestra season

NAC Indigenous Theatre

On the fifth anniversary season of NAC Indigenous Theatre, Artistic Director Kevin Loring is thrilled to invite audiences to experience brilliantly and beautifully told stories of kinship, resilience, and the power of love. These stories pay tribute to the lands, honour the enduring influence of the Matriarchs, and celebrate the indomitable spirit of the Ancestors.  

The season kicks off with Homelands, a multimedia dance performance honouring the Indigenous women's lasting connection to land and waterways. In partnership with NAC Dance, the visually stunning piece Raven Mother celebrates Northwest Coast culture and storytelling. By popular demand, Bear Grease returns with the Bear Grease Christmas Special, promising a night of laughter, spirit, and Indigenized musical theatre—holiday style!

Moving into the New Year, Qaumma highlights the fierce perseverance of Inuit women in protecting their culture, language, and families. In March, The Secret to Good Tea tells a poignant story of familial resilience post-residential schools. Closing the season, the powerful French-language play Marguerite: le feu ignites the fight for justice and memory.

“We believe that Our Stories Are Medicine. We continue to share Indigenous stories because they are the stories of this land. And they are our stories told in our voices. They are a celebration of our ancestors, our communities, and future generations. We are so excited to share these moments with you.” 

Kevin Loring, Artistic Director, NAC Indigenous Theatre 
Check out the full NAC Indigenous Theatre season

NAC English Theatre

Building on the exhilarating success of Nina Lee Aquino’s inaugural season, English Theatre’s 2024-2025 programming invites audiences on a rich theatrical odyssey. The wide-ranging lineup offers a captivating journey from reality to fantasy, and from history to myth, intrepidly guiding audiences through a dizzying array of productions. This season boldly showcases the transformative potential of art, serving both as performance and messenger, where political themes are woven with deeply personal narratives to forge unforgettably powerful experiences.

Featuring exciting collaborations with theatre companies across the country as well as with our own NAC family, our adventure begins with Walking on Water (the second volume of Irresistible Neighbourhoods), co-produced with NAC Orchestra for the SPHERE festival, followed by Punctuate! Theatre’s intercontinental love story First Métis Man of Odesa, based on the creators’ real-life events.

From there, the season’s odyssey travels from the Shaw Festival’s production of Snow in Midsummer, directed by Ms. Aquino – a haunting ghost story of revenge rooted in an ancient folktale – to Salesman in China from the Stratford Festival, inspired by Arthur Miller’s ground-breaking journey to China for an East-meets-West collaboration that revolutionized the theatre world. Controlled Damage, co-produced with Neptune Theatre, offers a rich portrait of Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond, while Trident Moon, co-produced by Crow’s Theatre and also directed by Ms. Aquino, takes audiences through a journey of survival in 1947 India.

Lastly, Why Not Theatre’s Mahabharata closes out the season with a sprawling two-part, once-in-a-generation theatrical experience based on the ancient Sanskrit epic, which took audiences by storm at the Shaw Festival and London’s Barbican.

“The 2024-2025 season charts an epic journey across the globe, weaving a rich tapestry of sweeping tales in personal settings with intimate stories set against expansive backdrops. Join us on a voyage through time as we explore the most pressing issues of our own era through the bifocal lens of history and myth, underpinning the many diverse cultures we visit. Embedded within every production is the understanding that only by examining our past can we address the ailments of our present, and take control of our collective narrative to write a better future.”

Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director, NAC English Theatre 
Check out the full NAC English Theatre season

NAC French Theatre

Mani Soleymanlou’s third season is an invitation to “step out of the box.” Resolutely fictional, his engaging program aims to take us out of ourselves, away from our individual reality, and put the “we” back at the centre of the experience. The season comprises fifteen shows, including six for children and youth, programmed by Mélanie Dumont in her final season as director of this important component of French Theatre.

The season opens with La traversée du siècle, an epic performance/reading based on the work of Michel Tremblay. Created by Alice Ronfard and the late André Brassard, this unique event is coming to Ottawa to kick off the theatre season in style!

Faire le bien is the second edition of the Collectif, a project initiated by Mani Soleymanlou. Directed by Claude Poissant, the company will perform scenes of toxic positivity by François Archambault and Gabrielle Chapdelaine. This is one of five French Theatre co-productions, which also include Surveillée et punie, a powerful show created by Philippe Cyr for a singer, an actress and backup singers, based on the hateful comments directed at Safia Nolin.

In April, in Classique(s), a fabulous team led by Mani Soleymanlou will take a collective trip into the past to explore the works that make up the so-called “repertoire.” Equally jubilant is Philippe Boutin’s The Rise of the BlingBling, a baroque fresco that borrows from pop culture (dance, kung fu, pantomime, lip-synching) to tell the founding myth of Jesus.

Other joint projects that revisit familiar stories include Peau d’âne, a production for both adults and teenagers, and the masterpiece Au cœur de la rose, a spellbinding maritime fable by filmmaker Pierre Perrault.

French Theatre’s residency program will continue in 2024-2025 with Ottawa-Gatineau artists Marie‑Ève Fontaine and Guillaume Saindon, as well as Mélanie Binette, who has already begun working on a participatory project entitled Camions : fantômes de la liberté.

The lineup for children and youth includes notably the return of Le Carrousel with Joséphine et les grandes personnes, in which a mini life coach gives a hilarious talk about adults, and Potager (Petit Théâtre de Sherbrooke), an immersive show where carrots rock in a translucent greenhouse!

“The 2024-2025 season is an invitation to get out: not only out of our homes, but also out of the frames that confine us. When a poem stops time, when a story reaches out to us, when the mind takes flight and the imagination freely accompanies the heart, when for a fleeting moment, however brief, furtive and inadequate, there is movement, we achieve that. Together.”

Mani Soleymanlou, NAC French Theatre Artistic Director 
Check out the full NAC French Theatre season

NAC Popular Music and Variety

The Popular Music & Variety 2024-2025 season promises to bring another exciting year of music and entertainment to all four stages at the NAC. The season begins on September 13 with celebrated Indigenous artist Jeremy Dutcher who, for the first time, will perform with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Later in the season, Canadian R&B sensation Jully Black will take the Babs Asper Theatre stage on February 28, 2025. On March 12, 2025, we are thrilled to present the renowned Japanese taiko drum group Kodo

In the 2024-2025 season, there are also remarkable shows with some of entertainment’s most revered voices. On October 9, we are honoured to present Grammy Award-winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Graham Nash. Canada’s legendary rock band Glass Tiger will perform with host Erica Ehm on November 23. In March, the legendary Montreal drag queen Mado Lamotte will grace our stage with their widely loved cabaret show, on tour for the first time in over a decade.

We’ll also be celebrating 30th anniversary tours with Susan Aglukark, The Kingdom Choir, and Pink Martini. And you can enjoy some returning favourites like Donovan Woods, Les Hay Babies, and Choir! Choir! Choir!  

Music enthusiasts will come together in the most premium listening rooms in Ottawa, at the Azrieli Studio and Fourth Stage for performances by artists from across Canada like Chloé Sainte-Marie, Héritières and so many more.

Stay tuned for more announcements throughout the year!

“This season we will be bringing the best of the world to our stage; new voices, renowned groups and artists, and of course celebrated Canadian artists, both established and emerging, that will entertain and inspire.”

— Heather Gibson, Executive Producer for Popular Music & Variety  
Check out the full NAC Popular Music and Variety season

Family shows and Student matinees with our Arts Alive programming

After last season’s successful return, Arts Alive is delighted to announce that family and school programming for the 2024-2025 season will once again thrill young audiences. Our season includes 17 shows for children, seven for teenagers, eight for elementary schools and nine for secondary schools.

Teenage lovers of the performing arts will also be happy to find a space specially dedicated to them, thanks to a brand-new web page featuring programming for 12-17-year-olds. 

"We’re overjoyed to have all these young, cheerful faces back in our halls. And it’s with the same enthusiasm that we present incredible, rich and varied new programming for families and schools, opening with the SPHERE festival. The variety of programming that is offered at the NAC is sure to entertain young audiences of all ages.”

Natasha Harwood, Director, Arts Alive
Learn more about Arts Alive

NAC’s National Creation Fund

For the first time in its seven-year history, the NAC’s National Creation Fund is delighted that ten landmark productions supported by the Fund will shine on the NAC’s stages during the 2024-2025 season.  

From the epic Mahabharata (English Theatre) to the magnificent Murmuration (NAC Dance), from the monumental Traversée du siècle (French Theatre) to the powerful Raven Mother (Indigenous Theatre), the range of shows for the coming season reflects the importance of investing in artistic creation. The Fund offers Canadian artists the opportunity to realize artistic projects that are close to their hearts, resulting in performances that are meaningful contributions to creating the vibrant culture that artists, audiences and communities deserve. The National Creation Fund invests in imagination and creation.

“The Fund is dedicated to the alchemy of artistic creation; we work in service of the imagination. We are committed to encouraging the beautifully bold creative dreams of Canadian artists. A record ten Fund-supported productions are in the NAC 2024-2025 season, all beacons of possibility and light. We can’t wait for audiences to experience them.” 

Sarah Conn, National Creation Fund Artistic Producer
More information on the NAC’s National Creation Fund season and investments

Purchase tickets for 2024-2025

Renewing season subscribers can book Fixed Series and Create Your Own subscriptions as of May 10.

New subscriptions and individual show tickets for most of our programming will go on sale June 18.

Visit the NAC Box Office online, contact us by email at, or call us at 1 844 985 2787 (ARTS).

Experience mind-blowing shows for $15

As in past seasons, Indigenous Theatre will continue to offer community-engaged activity, learning opportunities and corollary programming in and around the work presented on stage. We are honoured to be able to continue to offer $15 All My Relations tickets to the Indigenous community in the upcoming season. It extends to most of the programming at the NAC.

Under30 tickets are for anybody under the age of 30, including teens and kids! We know high ticket prices can keep away some young arts lovers, so we created Under30 to make it easier to enjoy amazing theatre, dance and music at the NAC.

Some restrictions apply. Under30 and All My Relations tickets are not available as subscription packages.

Thank you to our partners

Programming at the National Arts Centre is supported by many generous organizations from across the country. The NAC Foundation would like to thank the Adrian Burns Fund for Women Leaders in the Performing Arts, the Azrieli Foundation, BMO Financial Group, the Janice & Earle O'Born Fund for Artistic Excellence, the Lord Elgin Hotel, Mark Motors Group, Meta, The Metcalfe Hotel, National Bank of Canada, Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites, Power Corporation of Canada, the RBC Foundation, Rogers Communications, Scotiabank and TD Bank Group. 

A huge thank you to our devoted Donor’s Circle individual donors for making programming at the NAC possible. 

About the National Arts Centre

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.


For more information, please contact:

Sean Fitzpatrick
Communications Strategist
NAC English Theatre

Mireille Allaire
Director of Communications, Programming
National Arts Centre

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