Suneeta Millington spends a lot of time at the NAC. She regularly attends English Theatre productions. She and her husband Scott subscribe to the NAC Orchestra, and sit in the middle of the mezzanine where they love the sightlines and the sound. They see concerts at the Fourth Stage by artists they know, as well as artists they want to learn more about. And a trip to the NAC is a favourite outing for her family. With their three children they love to bike down together, see a KinderNACO or Family Adventures concert, and have a bite to eat.
“It’s a great shared family experience,” she said. “We really love the new building and the public spaces, and the experience of seeing people coming and going and doing various things in the community. The children all enjoy it in different ways.”
Since the pandemic forced the closure of the NAC, Suneeta’s been bringing the arts into their home – something they always did but that now seems more important. She and her husband have been watching the NACO Home Delivery videos, with Alexander Shelley talking about an archival NAC Orchestra concert, listening to the music together and learning more about the various composers, conductors and performers. Her kids have enjoyed a Piano Facts video series created by Ottawa pianist Claire Stevens and produced by the Ottawa Children’s Choir,, and doodling along with the acclaimed American illustrator Mo Willems through his Youtube series. And Suneeta’s mother, a former teacher who has been leading the charge on home schooling, has been introducing the kids to some Indigenous children’s writers.
Suneeta said she looks forward to being back at the NAC for many reasons – enjoying the physical space, doing some work at Equator coffee, seeing the wares of high-quality artisans at the craft fairs, and, of course, attending the shows.
“There’s the joy of the performance, and the way you can self-reflect and reflect on the world through the arts. And then there’s the social aspect, the opportunity to be at the NAC with friends to share an experience. We definitely miss being there.”