June 2, 1969 was a special day for lovers of the performing arts in Ottawa and across the country.
On that memorable day the doors of the National Arts Centre opened for the first time. The momentous occasion drew more than 40,000 people eager to explore the extraordinary, multi-disciplinary and bilingual home for the performing arts in Canada.
Fifty years have passed since the NAC opened its doors and we’re celebrating in a big way. We have some exciting programming planned for our Open House on June 2—the high point of our 50th anniversary year. We encourage visitors and our generous donors to come out and enjoy free performances and activities in our performance halls, public spaces and backstage areas.
The celebrations started earlier this year when we welcomed the National Ballet of Canada to the NAC in January/February. The internationally renowned company performed at the NAC’s opening night in 1969. We also brought Europe’s most renowned children’s festival, BIG BANG to our stages—its first appearance in North America. And this May, the NAC Orchestra will put Canada on the world stage with its 50th Anniversary European Tour.
Another milestone event will take place this September when the new Indigenous Theatre department will make history when it launches its first-ever season of programming.
We are so proud of what the NAC has accomplished in 50 years. Thousands of world-renowned artists have performed on our stages, distinguished careers have been launched, magnificent works have been created, and countless students have discovered the magic of the arts right here at the NAC and in communities across Canada.
As NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon says, “The NAC is proud of its national role and honoured to be celebrating 50 wonderful years in partnership with so many outstanding arts organizations from across the country. It’s a wonderful milestone and we invite all Canadians to celebrate with us in 2019.”
We hope you, our generous donors, will join us in celebrating everything you’ve helped make possible!