12 . 10 . 2014

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

AUTHOR Rosemary Thompson

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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