The NAC is an extraordinary place. Over the past 14 years, I have been dazzled by the thousands of incredible artists working on one or more of the NAC's four stages.
But the NAC is also a galvanizing idea.
It's the idea that by working together with artists and arts organizations in every part of the country, we can create a truly national stage for the performing arts in Canada.
It's the idea that "Canada is our stage".
The spirit of those words was so compelling that the National Arts Centre adopted them as our new tagline.
The tagline (accompanying our new visual identity) reflects what the NAC has already been doing for years. I'm talking about projects such as our English and French Theatre co-productions with companies from across the country, as well as our all-Canadian NAC Presents concert series. Our 2013 Year of the North – featuring the NAC Orchestra's tour of Northern Canada and the wildly successful Northern Scene – was also perfect illustration of our national aspirations.
There will be much more of these kinds of projects over the next five years leading up to the NAC's 50th birthday.
In October, you will see the NAC Orchestra representing Canada in the United Kingdom, commemorating the First World War Centenary.
As well, you'll see the Ontario Scene in the spring of 2015, showcasing hundreds of Ontario artists at the NAC and across the National Capital Region.
In 2017, Canada's 150th birthday, the NAC will be presenting the Canada Scene, a memorable outpouring of Canadian performance and creation. You'll experience the 25th Anniversary of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, celebrating our most gifted artists from coast to coast to coast. And the NAC's 50th anniversary celebration in 2019 will include major artistic collaborations with artists and arts organizations from across Canada.
I'll say it again: Canada is our stage.