On June 2, 2019 our beloved National Arts Centre turns 50 years old. That’s quite a milestone for any organization and I hope you’ll join us in celebrating. After all, your support has played a key role in our success.
Our public Open House on June 2 is a wonderful opportunity for arts lovers to come out and help us surpass what we did back in 1969 when 40,000 people came through the NAC’s newly-opened doors. My colleagues tell me this Open House promises to be a multi-sensory, multi-disciplinary chance to see our building come alive with music, theatre and dance.
In addition to our Open House there will be many other events and activities to mark this milestone year. In January, we welcomed the National Ballet of Canada, which was the first visiting company on our stages in 1969. Over the Family Day weekend, we hosted the BIG BANG children’s festival. The NAC was filled with 10,000 people enjoying high-quality programming for families.
The NAC Orchestra is also celebrated 50 years and to mark this milestone they took works by six of Canada’s greatest composers with them to Europe on a special 50th anniversary tour this spring. We believe it’s a first for any Canadian orchestra to tour internationally with so much Canadian music. We’re delighted for the opportunity to put Canadian artists on the world stage.
This year also has special significance for the NAC Foundation as a dear member of our Foundation family has retired. Barry Bloom, Associate Director, Annual Fund and Planned Gifts, has been an essential part of our success and we’re so grateful for everything he’s done for us and the future of the performing arts in Canada. We wish Barry all the very best in the years to come.
A milestone year is an opportunity to reflect on the impact the performing arts makes in the lives of Canadians in Ottawa and across the country. Our donors, many of whom have been loyal audience members since June 2, 1969, are an important part of our success and we thank you. With you by our side, I look forward to seeing what the next 50 years will bring to our NAC.