THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE LAUNCHES ITS “ROAD TO 2019” “Canada is our stage” tagline and new NAC logo also unveiled

February 25, 2014 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre (NAC) today outlined its “Road to 2019,” a series of significant events and milestones leading up to its 50th anniversary.

On the eve of its 45th anniversary on June 2, 2014 – and as the countdown begins to its 50th in 2019 – the NAC has unveiled a new tagline, “Canada is our stage,” which reflects the NAC’s goal of playing a vital national role in the performing arts.

The NAC is also launching a fresh, new visual identity to better represent that national role, a role that that has expanded significantly since it opened its doors 1969. Both “Canada is our Stage” and the new logo will serve as a first step in the NAC’s Road to 2019. Key projects on that road include:

  • The NAC Orchestra’s Performance and Education Tour of the United Kingdom in October 2014 to commemorate the First World War Centenary. The tour will feature His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Royal Patron, and a double performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, as well as a concert at the Salisbury Cathedral where Canadian troops trained in 1914;
  • Ontario Scene, the seventh in a series of biennial multidisciplinary festivals celebrating artists from different regions of the country, which will showcase hundreds of Ontario artists at the NAC and in venues across the National Capital in the spring of 2015;
  • The Canada Scene festival, celebrating Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017 and showcasing hundreds of artists in a magnificent expression of Canadian culture. Canada Scene will feature new works by our country’s most important artists, and collaborations with arts organizations across Canada;
  • The National Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary year in 2019, featuring remarkable performances and major artistic projects with artists and arts organizations from across Canada;
  • A new five-year Strategic Plan to be unveiled at the end of the year, outlining a bold vision leading to 2019.

 “Canada is our stage” and the NAC’s new visual identity reflect what the organization has become, and what it aspires to be in the future.

“The National Arts Centre is more than a place, it’s an idea,” said Peter Herrndorf, the President and CEO of the NAC. “It’s the idea that the National Arts Centre should work collaboratively with other arts organizations to provide a national stage for the performing arts, that the National Arts Centre is a home for Canada’s most creative artists, and that it should strive to be more artistically adventurous. In the future, the National Arts Centre wants to be known everywhere as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning.”

Designed in 1969, the NAC’s first visual identity was inspired by the architecture of the building and the three original “arms” of the NAC – Music, Theatre and Dance. The NAC has evolved significantly since then, becoming a vibrant, national organization that is more than just bricks and mortar. Over the past decade, the NAC has grown to include six disciplines, namely Music, English Theatre, French Theatre, Dance, NAC Presents, and the NAC Scene. The National Arts Centre has also made youth and education a strategic priority, with programs that every year reach thousands of young people across Canada, and a New Media department that has been recognized as a pioneer in arts education and distance learning.


This next five years will build on the outstanding, national achievements of the NAC under the leadership of Mr. Herrndorf.

For example:

  • The recommitment of the NAC Orchestra to touring domestically and internationally, most recently to Atlantic Canada (2011), Northern Canada (2012), China (2013), and the United Kingdom (2014);
  • The NAC Scene festivals led by Producer and Executive Director Heather Moore, which celebrate artists from Canada’s regions, and help those artists secure new engagements through exposure to presenters from all over the world;
  • The addition of NAC Presents to the NAC’s core programming streams, which, under the leadership of Simone Deneau, showcases emerging and established artists in contemporary music on the NAC’s national stage;
  • NAC English Theatre and French Theatre’s co-productions with theatre companies from all over Canada and beyond, from Neptune Theatre in Halifax to the Belfry Theatre in Victoria, to the Royal Shakespeare Company (U.K.) for The Penelopiad.  French Theatre co-production partners include Robert Lepage’s Ex Machina (Quebec) to Momentum (Montreal), as well as being one of many international partners for La réunification des deux Corées by the internationally acclaimed theatre artist Joël Pommerat.
  • Honouring the lifetime achievements of Canadian artists, arts volunteers and philanthropists through the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala,  which the NAC has produced, and for which it has raised funds, since 2008;
  • The NAC’s annual Summer Music Institute founded by Pinchas Zukerman, which, since 1999, has brought together in Ottawa more than 1,000 gifted young classical artists from across Canada and around the world to study with a prestigious international faculty;
  • The re-establishment of the NAC’s Resident English Theatre Company, an accomplishment of former NAC Artistic Director Peter Hinton, and continued by his successor, Jillian Keiley;
  • NAC Dance’s commitment to co-production, led by Executive Producer Cathy Levy, enabling Canadian dance companies to create and perform exciting new work;
  • The creation of the NAC’s nationally recognized work in Education and Community Engagement, such as the NAC’s Music Alive Program, which actively supports music teaching and music-making in hundreds of rural and remote schools in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut;
  • The creation of the NAC’s New Media Department, an international leader in distance learning through broadband video-conference technology, and that produces teachers kits, award-winning online arts education materials and podcasts that are downloaded more than 1 million times a year;
  • The appointment of three NAC Award composers—Peter Paul Koprowski, Ana Sokolović and John Estacio, who will have composed three new works each at the end of their five-year term;

The Road to 2019 promises to be an exceptionally creative period for the NAC. Canadians can stay informed of all the exciting developments along the  NAC’s Road to 2019 at .


The National Arts Centre collaborates with artists and arts organizations across Canada to help create a national stage for the performing arts, and acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country. A home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams – the NAC Orchestra, English Theatre, French Theatre and Dance, as well as the Scene festivals and NAC Presents, which showcase established and emerging Canadian artists. The organization is at the forefront of youth and educational activities, offering artist training, programs for children and youth, and resources for teachers in communities across Canada. The NAC is also a pioneer in new media, using technology to teach students and young artists around the globe, by creating top-rated podcasts, and providing a wide range of NAC Orchestra concerts on demand. The NAC is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada, and one of the largest in the world.




Rosemary Thompson
Director, Communications and Public Affairs

National Arts Centre
613 947-7000 x260

Carl Martin

National Arts Centre
613 947-7000 x560

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