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  • 10 December 2014 |

    A NEW NAC: Re-imagining Canada’s home for the performing arts

    Rosemary Thompson | Orginal Article Link

    The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs and M.P. for Ottawa West-Nepean, and the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced capital funding of $110.5 million to transform and revitalize the National Arts Centre.

    Situated in the heart of the nation’s capital, the renewed NAC will include improved performances spaces, public areas for education and events, improved accessibility for people with mobility challenges, and a magnificent glass entrance.

    The NAC is Canada’s only bilingual, multi-disciplinary performing arts centre and was built as a centennial project, first opening its doors in 1969. The NAC will remain open during the construction phase and all scheduled performances will go ahead. The target date to open the new transparent entrance of the NAC facing Confederation Square will be sometime in 2017.

    “We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for this major re-investment in the NAC,” said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre. “The new entrance of the NAC will be warm and inviting, and will embrace the Nation’s Capital for the first time.  With this new design we will finally face the city and its most important square. We often call Confederation Square “Canada’s Square” at the NAC, because it’s a place where the country gathers for important anniversaries, including Remembrance Day and Canada Day.”

    The new design is the work of internationally renowned architect Donald Schmitt, who wanted to create a transparent entrance to the National Arts Centre on Elgin Street. The glass entrance, in the hexagonal shape of the NAC’s original design, will showcase the importance of the performing arts in Canada. The new entrance respects the original design of the NAC, while enhancing Confederation Square and the National War Memorial.

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    Canadian architect Donald Schmitt is heading the $110-million project The National Arts Centre redesign will use glass to counter the concrete, “adding a layer of transparency,” the architect heading the project said on CBC Radio’s All In A Day after the $110-million renovation project officially broke ground on Tuesday. A new Elgin Street entrance and […]

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    The National Arts Centre (NAC) today announced it would begin renovations of its 46 year-old building, situated in the heart of downtown Ottawa, in December 2015. Work will begin in December, earlier than originally anticipated, ensuring completion of the new Elgin Street atrium entrance by Canada Day 2017 as planned. The completion of the NAC’s […]

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    When our country was built: An exhibit at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre will showcase centennial architecture projects

    Roughly 50 years ago, a crop of 900-odd performance art spaces, science museums and rec centres was established coast to coast explicitly to encourage Canada’s development. The intention of giving each young province a few public institutions was to spur homegrown culture, with the governments of the time believing the buildings themselves had a key […]

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    Goodbye concrete shroud – hello dazzle fit for a capital

    David McCuaig stands on the crimson carpet of the National Arts Centre’s mezzanine level and gestures northwest. Through the concrete-slatted windows, he points to Parliament, to Confederation Square, and to the terrace just outside. “You’ll enter right here,” he says, “right into the beautiful new space.” Mr. McCuaig is the director of operations for the […]

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    UrbSanity: Brutal heritage

    Brutalist architecture is like the blind date who has a great personality. And we all know what that means . . .she must be ugly. But maybe her beauty is an unexpected kind—one that is slowly revealed when you look carefully. It’s the kind of beauty that comes from character. And love it or hate […]

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    National Arts Centre new logo compared to shark fin, spotlight

    People reacted on Twitter with confusion on Tuesday to the unveiling of the new National Arts Centre logo. It comes as the NAC gears up for its 45th anniversary in June. NAC spokesperson Rosemary Thompson explained that’s it’s meant to be a spotlight, which complements the new tagline, “Canada is our stage.” “It’s based on the Canadian flag. […]

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