Canada Day at the National Arts Centre, in Partnership with Vintage Wings of Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada, salutes our veterans and features lots of free, family-friendly activities and concerts

Ottawa, Canada – The National Arts Centre, in partnership with Vintage Wings of Canada and the Department of Veterans Affairs, will offer a full slate of free family-friendly concerts and activities on Canada Day, Sunday July 1.  This year, the NAC salutes Canadian veterans and their families with a concert by the Central Band of the Canadian Forces; nostalgic songs from 1930-50 performed by Gertrude Létourneau; and autograph signing by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra will perform throughout the day with separate concerts featuring the 387-strong Unisong Choir, Quebec piano virtuoso Alain Lefèvre and Canadian fiddling sensation Natalie MacMaster.  

As a very special tribute to Canada’s Veterans, the National Arts Centre is honoured to be displaying one of the seven Books of Remembrance in Le Salon. The Book is entitled "In the Service of Canada: The Seventh Book of Remembrance".  Visitors will be able to view this unique work of art which contains the names of all Canadians who have died in service since the end of the Second World War, including those who've lost their lives in recent efforts in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and elsewhere. 

“Our Government is proud to partner with the National Arts Centre to promote the recognition and understanding of the achievements and sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country,” said the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs. “This Canada Day event is a wonderful way to honour them and remember those who gave selflessly for our freedom.”

Canada Day highlights include:

10 a.m.


Unisong Massed Choir 2012
387 choristers from across Canada perform in concert under the direction of Elroy Friesen. (Southam Hall)

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Book of Remembrance
Visitors will be able to view the names of Canadians who fought in various wars. (Salon)

11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Delicious Canada Day Brunch-Michael Blackie Cuisine
 (Le Café Restaurant)

11 a.m. to noon

Central Band of the Canadian Forces (Outdoor performance on the NAC Terrace, corner or Elgin and Queen)

11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The Ottawa Stilt Union
Animation and performance at 2:15 p.m. by this theatre company which uses stilts, acrobatics and other forms of extreme physical action to tell stories. (Lawrence Freiman Lane)

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Kids Corner
Crafts, colouring and entertainment  equals lots of fun for kids (Studio Foyer)

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Canada Day BBQ by NAC Chef Michael Blackie (Lawrence Freiman Lane)

Noon to 10 p.m.

Beer Garden

1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Break-dance with Culture Shock
Learn how to dance to hip-hop music! (Outdoor performance on the NAC Terrace, corner or Elgin and Queen) 

1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.


Waiting for You – Gertrude Létourneau
The singer and flutist at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre sings special songs from 1930-50 (“Harbour Lights”, “J’attendrai”, Something to Remember You By”, and “Que reste-t-il de nos amours?”) in a tribute to our veterans. Accompanied by jazz guitarist Garry Elliott and trumpeter Don Paterson. (Fourth Stage)

1:45 p.m. and 2 :45 p.m.

Loyal Kigabiro: Burundian Sacred Drums
(Lawrence Freiman Lane)

2:30 p.m.

NAC Orchestra with Unisong and Alain Lefèvre, piano
Under the direction Tania Miller, Music Director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (Southam Hall)

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Canada Day Dinner
(Le Café Restaurant, reservations 613-594-5127)

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Members of the iconic air demonstration squadron will sign autographs. (Main foyer)

7:30 p.m

NAC Orchestra with Unisong Natalie MacMaster, fiddle
Under the direction Tania Miller, Music Director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (Southam Hall) 

The NAC’s July 1st tradition attracts thousands of visitors each year and provides families visiting the activities on Parliament Hill an oasis of fun for the whole family. For more information about Canada celebrations at the NAC, please visit

This is the first time the NAC has partnered with Vintage Wings of Canada, a public charitable organization founded by Ottawa businessman and philanthropist Michael Potter to celebrate our country’s rich aviation history, as well as to educate and inspire Canadians with powerful stories about the heroes, aircraft and events making up this great heritage. VWC’s signature air show, “Wings over Gatineau-Ottawa” – featuring the famed Canadian Forces Snowbirds and more than 100 vintage aircraft from across Canada and the United States – takes place at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport on September 15 and 16, 2012.  For more information, visit

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For more information:
Carl Martin, Communications Advisor
National Arts Centre
(613) 947-7000, ext. 560
(613) 291-8880 (cell) 

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