The gift of free performance

NAC Orchestra members perform on a boat on the Rideau Canal.
NAC Orchestra on the Canal © Curtis Perry

The NAC’s summer series returned for its second year. In July and August, more than 5,500 audience members came to the NAC to enjoy over 200 free performances and activities. Performances featured a wide range of Canadian and international artists in and around the NAC, from the Thalea String Quartet to Okavango, a group that blends traditional music and instruments from different African cultures.  

Joyce Zogos, who works as Associate Producer for the Summer Programming team at the NAC, had the pleasure of meeting the many joyful people who explored the vibrant and eclectic performances. Joyce shared, “People discovered many new artists. Most of the bands performed for two nights, and multiple audience members told me that they returned to see the band on the second night when they really loved what they heard.” 

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather in Ottawa and the scenic Rideau Canal, the NAC partnered with EKEAU, an ecotour company. They provided an electrically powered sightseeing boat that became a stage for NACO, The Lionyls and for Cuban pianist Miguel de Armas and his friends. As the boat floated down the canal between the NAC and Dow's Lake, the band delighted passers-by with lively Latin music. Many people even walked alongside the boat to savor the music for even longer.  

"I heard repeatedly from our audience members that they really appreciate the NAC for offering these free shows," Joyce continued. "They and their families were able to enjoy these fantastic musicians without any financial barriers.” We want to thank all of you who give to the NAC Foundation. Your generosity allows us to offer a diverse range of free shows to our community and visitors. 

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.

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