Happy birthday, NAC: Canada’s home for the performing arts turns 45

On June 2, 1969, the National Arts Centre opened its doors for the first time, and history was made.

"Not since Expo 67’s shimmering debut has an opening night stirred such an exhilarating sense of grand occasion.” – Time 

“After a weekend of splendid weather, the opening night was rainy and windswept. The mood, however, was exuberant. Time, America’s most popular news magazine and the sponsor of the night’s live CBC English-network broadcast, declared: ‘Not since Expo 67’s shimmering debut has an opening night stirred such an exhilarating sense of grand occasion.’” – an excerpt from Art and Politics: The History of the National Arts Centre by Sarah Jennings.

Created as a Centennial project, the NAC became the only multidisciplinary bilingual performing arts centre in North America, and Canada’s foremost showcase for the performing arts.

Today we are proud to be a home for Canada’s most creative artists. We work with artists and arts organizations in every part of the country to provide a national stage for the performing arts, and act as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across Canada.

We are delighted to celebrate our 45th anniversary with this look back at a few of the countless moments of artistic excellence, beauty and inspiration that have occurred on our national stage over the years.  


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