Latest renovation updates

  • February 2018

  • Play February 22, 2018

    Reopening the GGPAA Hall of Honour

    In late February the National Arts Centre officially opened the new Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Hall of Honour. The corridor features photos of laureates from the past 25 years.

  • January 2018

  • Kipnes-lantern-trevor-lush-171117 tcl 127  max January 17, 2018

    The Kipnes Lantern: Beacon for the Arts

    The National Arts Centre’s Kipnes Lantern has come alive. The three-storey signature element of the NAC’s $110.5 million architectural rejuvenation illuminates the heart of our Nation’s Capital with flourishes of beautiful digital images. In one tableau, swirling blue, red and purple textures emerge from a musician’s guitar. In another, a dancer seemingly takes flight as colourful lines ripple from their movements.

  • November 2017

  • Movement-meditation-170926 tcl 028  max November 1, 2017

    Free community activities

    This season, construction noise has finally been replaced by the sound of silence at the NAC. Every Monday morning at 7:30 am, a small but growing group of community members drop into the new NAC atrium for a free Movement in Meditation class.

  • September 2017

  • Oborn-room-lush-170926 tcl 453  max September 26, 2017

    A Beautiful Space is Born

    The O’Born Room, the National Arts Centre’s spectacular new event space, hosted its first reception on September 26th, 2017.

  • July 2017

  • Play July 1, 2017

    July 1st NAC Ribbon Cutting

    On July 1st, 150 people including His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, artists, architects, construction workers, and NAC patrons cut the ribbon to officially open the spectacular new glass atrium at the National Arts Centre.

  • June 2017

  • June 28, 2017

    National Arts Centre lifts curtain on $110.5M reno

    The first phase of the National Arts Centre's $110.5-million renovation was on display Wednesday in a sneak preview of what's expected to open to the public on Canada Day.

    The national theatre's newly renovated Elgin Street entrance, relocated box office and main floor of the north atrium will be open for public tours on July 1.

    Source: CBC/Radio-Canada

  • Getting ready for the opening!

  • We are set to celebrate!

  • The construction hoarding is down on Elgin

  • Sneak peek on our new bathrooms

  • 24 days to go!

  • Recap of the project looking ahead to July 1st

  • NAC spaces to be named after generous donors

  • May 2017

  • Architect Donald Schmitt talks about some of the changes happening at the NAC.

  • April 2017

  • Hamilton-southam-director-general-of-the-national-arts-cent April 9, 2017

    What would Hamilton Southam say?

    He had picked Polish architect Fred Lebensold to design the NAC to stand with gravitas and look like a bunker. But times have changed, and Southam, says his daughter, would be “overjoyed” by what’s happening now because it is evident Donald Schmitt, of the Toronto firm Diamond Schmitt Architects, admires and respects what is already there.

    Source: Ottawa Citizen

  • January 2017

  • January 4, 2017

    The NAC’s Mega Makeover

    Watch this CTV National News update about the NAC Architectural Rejuvenation Project.

  • December 2016

  • N2181 December 20, 2016

    NAC changes its address to 1 Elgin Street

    It is one of the most famous landmarks in Canada, visited by millions of people annually. However, few people know the place has a street address: 111 Wellington Street, Ottawa, better known as Parliament Hill and home to Canada’s seat of government. Now there is a brand new address – located in the shadow of the Peace Tower – vying to become known as the place where the performing arts live. Presenting “1 Elgin”, address of Canada’s National Arts Centre. The change of civic address from 53 to 1 Elgin (or One Elgin) came as a... Read more

  • Play December 1, 2016

    Sensational New Southam Hall

    The National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall was state of the art when it opened in 1969. However, the way an audience experiences the performing arts has evolved dramatically since then. That’s why Southam Hall is undergoing a dramatic transformation.

  • November 2016

  • NAC Lantern

  • October 2016

  • Play October 28, 2016

    Why is the entrance to the NAC on the Rideau Canal's side?

    Carl Martin explains why the NAC entrance is located on the Rideau Canal's side instead of on Elgin Street. This will be modified upon completion of the construction work on July 1, 2017.

    (video in French only)

  • Play October 27, 2016

    Visit from Radio-Canada

    Radio-Canada dropped by for a visit to give everyone an update on the renovations.

    Watch the video for exclusive footage of the building as well as additional information about the project itself.

    (video in French only)

  • September 2016

  • Play September 30, 2016

    The New NAC Rising!

    The transformation of the National Arts Centre building has seen incredible progress since February 9, 2016, when a group of dignitaries held a special groundbreaking ceremony in the NAC Fourth Stage. Relive the first 250 days of the NAC Architectural Rejuvenation Project, including the demolition of the old Panorama Room, the erection of the steel structure for the new NAC atrium, the installation of the wooden roof/ceiling coffers of the new Elgin Street Entrance, and the dramatic overhaul of the NAC’s largest venue, Southam... Read more

  • 29623381126 c87f64156b o 10 September 8, 2016

    Coffer Installation

    PCL Constructors dropped the wooden roof/ceiling coffers into place on the new tower entrance at Elgin Street and along the new extension closer to the Rideau Canal.

  • Play September 1, 2016

    The inspiration behind the NAC’s Architectural Rejuvenation

    Jennifer Mallard, Project Architect for the NAC rejuvenation (Diamond Schmitt Architects) speaks about the design heritage of the NAC and its transformation to a light-filled, welcoming and accessible space.

  • August 2016

  • Play August 19, 2016

    New Elgin St. entrance takes shape

    The framework for the National Arts Centre's new Elgin St. entrance is almost complete. This drone footage provides a top down view of the new digital lantern that will function as a beacon for Canada's national stage. The new NAC will include improved performance spaces, public areas for education and events, full accessibility for people with mobility challenges, and a magnificent glass atrium with a glittering entrance on Elgin Street, embracing Confederation Square and some of the most iconic views of important landmarks... Read more

  • July 2016

  • Play July 27, 2016

    Time-lapse: June 27 to July 27, 2016

    This time-lapse video will give you a glimpse into the future as our new glass entrance takes shape.

  • Play July 21, 2016

    Bird's-eye view over the construction site

    Soar high above the NAC Construction site listening to the NAC Orchestra's recording of Brahms Symphony NO. 4.

  • 20160627 112801-small-2 5 July 12, 2016

    Southam Hall facelift begins

    This major facelift is unlike anything Southam Hall has seen since the building opened. Better seats, better sound and better access. Read more.

  • June 2016

  • All the seats are gone!

  • June 29, 2016

    Southam Hall seats donated to three theatres

    The NAC will donate more than 1,300 seats to the Studio Theatre in Perth, Ontario, Ottawa's Woodroffe High School, and the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia - the province's oldest performing arts venue. The renovation of Southam Hall will continue over the summer.

    Read more

  • Img 5210 4 June 28, 2016

    Steel framing begins

    The first steel column of the NAC lantern has been erected on Elgin Street. On the same day the Board of the National Capital Commission unanimously approved our plan to project images on the digital lantern.

    The National Arts Centre will use the digital lantern to display digital imagery of artists across from Canada, as well as performances happening at the NAC and important national celebrations such as Canada Day, Remembrance Day and Winterlude.

  • Play June 15, 2016

    Drone Footage of NAC Construction site

    A great deal of progress has been made on the NAC renovation project. Vast sections of the precast concrete exterior have been removed and the Fourth Stage and Panorama terrace have been demolished to make way for the new additions. This drone footage captured by PCL Constructors provides a bird's-eye view of the entire site with a lovely shot of Parliament Hill as an added bonus.

  • 1. roof 5 June 13, 2016

    Fourth Stage demolition

    Our beloved Fourth Stage has been demolished. Although it tugs at our heartstrings we look forward to a brand new performance space to showcase incredible artists.

  • Play June 11, 2016

    The show must go on!

    Nothing could stop the GG Performing Arts Awards last weekend, not construction, or a sinkhole. Colm Feore our unflappable host, gets directions from the NAC's President and CEO, Peter Herrndorf to get to the stage.

  • Before 4 June 4, 2016

    Hoarding updated

    The plywood hoarding on Elgin St. was updated with photos of musicians, artists and illustrations of the new building. The new look represents some of the exciting programming in the 16-17 season.

  • May 2016

  • Play May 13, 2016

    The “big beam” floats through the NAC lobby

    In mid May PCL construction completed a significant milestone in the NAC renovation project. Members of Ironworkers local 765 installed a 10 ton (9071 kg) steel beam to support the new addition at the north end of the building. 

    Watch as the team moves a 10 ton steel beam through the lobby on a cushion of air!

  • Nac 2016-05-11 m7749 6 May 6, 2016

    Latest renovation photos

    The NAC is starting to tear down the old to prepare for the new. The exterior walls are being taken down and will soon be replaced with new glass extended walls that will offer a great view of downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill. Interior work is also underway in the parking and at Elgin Street level, where the new and much more accessible main entrance will be. Browse our photo album for more.

  • May 2, 2016

    Panorama Room elevator is getting a major refit

    Panorama Room elevator is now closed until October for a major refit. This means access to the main foyer from levels 2 and 3 of the parking garage will be affected. All accessible parking will be moved to the upper level 1 parking garage at that time to ensure visitors who are mobility impaired can access the main foyer.

  • April 2016

  • Demo2 2 April 21, 2016

    Start of Building Demolition

    Workers demolish the NAC digital marquee at the corner of Elgin Street and Freiman Lane. Sections of the precast concrete exterior of the building are removed in preparation for the new Elgin Street entrance and Fourth Stage. 

  • 26659898723 ae231178c3 o April 18, 2016

    Elgin Door Closes

    The NAC’S Elgin Street Door is now closed.  Pedestrians are being redirected to the NAC main foyer via the Mackenzie King Bridge. Patrons will be redirected to these entrances via colourful signs and helpful volunteers.

  • April 11, 2016

    Access to Freiman Lane Changes

    Freiman Lane is closed Monday to Friday from midnight to 5 p.m. However, Freiman Lane will continue to be fully accessible until July 1 on weekdays in the evening and on weekends during performance times.

  • 26949185290 a8375938e9 o 4 April 4, 2016

    Hoarding Installation Starts

    Hoarding is being installed along the northeastern edge of the National Arts Centre along  Elgin Street all the way around to the Box Office area facing the Rideau Canal.

  • March 2016

  • Welcomecentreopening32 4 March 4, 2016

    The Satellite Box Office, Welcome Centre and Donors’ Circle opens

    The new space will serve as an oasis for patrons, subscribers and donors from the construction taking place over the next 18 months across the street at the NAC. It will be a comfortable place to take care of ticketing needs, get a cup of coffee and find out the latest NAC news.

  • Play March 3, 2016

    Architect Donald Schmitt explains the design vision and features of the NACs’ architectural rejuvenation

    Watch a presentation by internationally renowned architect Donald Schmitt explaining the design vision and features of the NACs’ architectural rejuvenation. With its new wings of glowing transparent atriums and accessible publics spaces, this renovation will bring the building into the 21st century while maintaining a respect for the geometry of the original 1960s Fred Lebensold architecture.     

  • February 2016

  • Img 20160219 083259542 5 February 19, 2016

    “Untitled” by Jessie Oonark moves

    “Untitled” by Jessie Oonark (typically referred to as the Oonark Tapestry) will be temporarily stored away, as a result of the ongoing renovations at the NAC.

  • Untitled-2 3 February 18, 2016

    “Musica” by Leonardo Nierman moves

    “Musica” by Leonardo Nierman will be temporarily stored away, as a result of the ongoing renovations at the NAC.

  • February 11, 2016

    The Glenn Gould Piano moves

    CD 318, the storied Steinway piano of legendary Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, will be temporarily stored at the Canadian Museum of Nature, as a result of the ongoing renovations at the NAC. Read more

  • February 9, 2016

    NAC Ground Breaking Ceremony

    Read more