THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE GALA WITH LANG LANG RAISES $745,000 FOR THE NAC’S NATIONAL YOUTH AND EDUCATION TRUST

THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE GALA WITH LANG LANG RAISES $745,000 FOR THE NAC’S NATIONAL YOUTH AND EDUCATION TRUST

OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre Gala held on Saturday September 22 was a great success both artistically and financially. Lang Lang, the man known for his flying fingers and dazzling style, brought Saturday night’s NAC Gala crowd to their feet with stunning performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1, and Chopin's Andante spianata and Grande Polonaise brillante. The audience was thrilled to hear the announcement from Gala Honorary Chair Laureen Harper that the event had raised a net amount of $­­­­745,000. The entire amount goes to the National Arts Centre’s National Youth and Education Trust, which invests in young Canadians through the performing arts.

Warmest thanks to our generous sponsors, especially Presenting Sponsor CIBC, Associate Sponsors Vale and Shaw Communications Inc., and Major Sponsor A&E Television Networks. We are grateful to our dedicated Honorary Chair Laureen Harper and Gala Committee Chair Arnie Vered: their tireless efforts ensured that the evening was a resounding success. It was also a wonderful evening to thank Sara Vered and the Vered family for their leadership gift to the NAC’s Summer Music Institute. A special thank-you to our amazing National Arts Centre Orchestra and our inspirational Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, all of whom dedicated their services this evening to help us invest in the future of Canadian artistic excellence.

A full house of 2200 people enjoyed the concert, after which over 600 guests, supporters, and dignitaries enjoyed a delicious post-concert meal designed by NAC Executive Chef Michael Blackie. In a tradition unique to the NAC Gala, the stage of Southam Hall was quickly transformed from a soaring orchestral space to a chic dining room, and guests enjoyed a menu that included an appetizer of quail and chanterelles, main dish of Black Angus rib-eye beef and a sweet course that paired salted caramel with lemon verbena curd, finished with blow-torched meringue. This memorable meal was a fitting way to cap off an inspiring evening.

Proceeds raised help the NAC provide vital programming that encourages creativity and instills a life-long love of the performing arts in young people across Canada. The NAC Gala has raised more than $7.7 million over the past 15 years to support the National Youth and Education Trust. Established by the NAC Foundation in 2001, the Trust is the primary resource for youth and education funding at the NAC. Supporters of the Trust help the National Arts Centre provide a wide range of artistic and educational programming that nurtures and develops the creativity of young people in the National Capital Region and across the country.

Furthering that goal, Lang Lang sat at the piano and conducted a masterclass, sponsored by Bombardier, the day before the Gala, with students Anita Pari, Alexander Malikov and Tina Chong each receiving one-on-one guidance from Lang Lang in musical technique and approach. His articulation of how to bring emotion to the repertoire made for a meaningful exchange for the students – both those on the stage, and those watching in Southam Hall.

Lang Lang has made his mark in Canada’s capital city, and on supporters of the educational programming of the National Arts Centre. He is a remarkable musician, immensely dedicated to making music more accessible for all.

There were many A-listers, including CIBC Senior Executive Vice-President and Vice Chairman Jim Prentice, The Honourable John Baird and MP Stephen Fletcher, members of the media and the judiciary, as well as Toronto fashion designer Rosemarie Umetsu, who designed for both Lang Lang and for Maestro Pinchas Zukerman for the occasion.

Grateful thanks go to the hard-working NAC Gala Committee, Honorary Chair Laureen Harper and Chair Arnie Vered. Committee members are Caroline Bigué, Jeff Boyd, Adrian Burns, Philip Cartwright, Carol Devenny, Marc Jolicoeur, Patrick Kennedy, Sandy Menzies, Keltie Mierins, Jennifer Rideout, Elizabeth Roscoe, Andrew Tremayne, and Janet Yale.

For additional information, visit the NAC website at www.nac-cna.ca

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Information:
Andrea Hossack
Communications, NAC Orchestra
(613) 947-7000 ext 335
andrea.hossack@nac-cna.ca

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