His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales today cut a ribbon to officially open the spectacular new glass atrium at the National Arts Centre in the presence of His Excellency David Johnston, dignitaries, artists, architects, construction workers, NAC staff, patrons and members of the public.
In a ceremony hosted by Canadian actor Colm Feore, the Prince was joined by Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly; Mayor Jim Watson; NAC Board Chair Adrian Burns; NAC President and CEO Peter Herrndorf; Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; the Honourable Hilary Weston and Mr. Galen Weston, Honorary Patrons of the NAC’s Grand re-opening; Principal Architect Donald Schmitt and Project Architect Jennifer Mallard (Diamond Schmitt Associates); Project Director Andrew Wisniowski; Jim Dougan, President, Eastern Canada, PCL Construction; Alexander Shelley, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra; Cathy Levy, Executive Producer of Dance; Kevin Loring, incoming Artistic Director of the NAC’s new Indigenous Theatre; Heather Moore, Executive Producer of Canada Scene; and Algonquin elder Annie Smith St-Georges.
The ribbon was also cut by 150 people, including NAC staff and construction workers from PCL Constructors, who have worked for 18 months to complete the project, and NAC subscribers. The ceremony featured performances by Quebec music superstar Gregory Charles, jazz singer Dione Taylor, NAC Orchestra Music Director Alexander Shelley with members of the NACO Brass, the Yukon’s Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, as well as young dancers from Propeller Dance and the National Ballet School of Canada.
“It’s a proud day in the life of the National Arts Centre,” said NAC President and CEO Peter Herrndorf. “Today the NAC embraces the heart of our Nation’s Capital, and emerges from its original concrete structure into an open and modern public building, a place that we hope will become the living room of the city.”