What’s new at ‘the Knack’?

National Arts Centre © photo: Mark Fowler

My colleague Martin has worked at the NAC for over nine years. Throughout his career here Martin’s dad has taken great joy needling him by mispronouncing the abbreviation NAC. He jokingly refers to Martin's workplace as—the knack.

“What's going on at the knack?” he will ask at family barbeques and birthday dinners. Alternatively he will create groan-inducing puns such as “Hasn't the knack's orchestra gotten the knack of Beethoven's 9th yet?” or “Everyone at the knack must be knackered after that music festival!”

To some, hearing NAC pronounced as knack is akin to nails scratching against a blackboard. However, I think it is perfectly reasonable given organizational abbreviations such as CSIS, CIRA and MOMA. This past year Cracking Up the Capital referenced the common mispronunciation in their very funny promo video outtakes

When I hear the knack I assume the person is not very familiar with National Arts Centre. In fact, I would love to see a marketing campaign that embraces the mispronunciation and creates a little levity around our brand. Ideally it would feature the NAC Orchestra performing a cover medley that included ‘My Sharona'.

Do you think the knack is an upbeat time-saver or are you a staunch supporter of the traditional N-A-C?


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