June 19, 2017– Ottawa (Canada) – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced that, on the afternoon of Saturday July 1, 2017, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will cut the ribbon to officially open the spectacular new glass atrium at the National Arts Centre in the presence of His Excellency David Johnston and thousands of other dignitaries, including artists, architects, construction workers, NAC staff, patrons and members of the public.
“We invite the public to join us on Canada Day to mark the historic renewal of Canada’s home of the performing arts. The “new” NAC is the biggest gift to Canadians to mark 2017, and we want thousands of people to come and enjoy our beautiful, new public spaces and free performances all weekend from some of Canada’s most accomplished artists,” said Peter A. Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre.
At $110.5 million, the project represents the biggest investment in cultural infrastructure by the Government of Canada to mark the sesquicentennial. The building will feature improved performance spaces, public areas for education and events, full accessibility for people with mobility challenges, and a magnificent glass atrium and entrance that is more transparent, inviting, and embraces the heart of our Nation’s Capital.
Canada Day Weekend Open House
Starting at around 3 p.m., after the official July 1 opening ceremony, the public is invited to line up from the Oscar Peterson statue to visit the new spaces of the NAC and enjoy free activities for the whole family. There will be NAC Orchestra concerts in Southam Hall at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. featuring Jan Lisiecki, James Ehnes, Dione Taylor, and Daniel Clark Bouchard and hosted by former Paralympian, now Senator, Chantal Petitclerc. The NAC will also welcome a 300-voice youth choir from across Canada called Unisong.
Free activities will continue throughout July 2, starting at 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. with performances by Carmen Campagne, a family craft zone for kids, performances by the Dakhká Khwaán Dancers, and break out star Céleste Levis. The CBC`s Searchlight Live concert will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Babs Asper Theatre. Information about the opening weekend can be found at nac-cna.ca.
Welcoming and Secure
Throughout the day, the NAC will be welcoming and secure. On July 1st, the NAC is encouraging patrons to travel light when coming downtown. Bags will be hand-checked at NAC entrances, and there will be a free coat check for large bags and strollers.
The NAC advises patrons to use public transit to travel downtown. Access to the parking garage will be open but limited. For more information go to the Plan Your Visit section on the NAC website.
About the NAC Architectural Rejuvenation
The opening on July 1 will mark the opening of the first phase of the National Arts Centre’s spectacular Architectural Rejuvenation Project, designed by renowned Canadian architect Donald Schmitt and built by PCL Construction.
The visionary behind this project is Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the NAC. He set the bar high for the project, promising it would be “on time, on budget, with dazzling results”. His vision for the NAC is that it become “the living room of the city” with animated public spaces and a wide range of community engagement activities throughout the day. In addition to a coffee shop and free wi fi, there will be free performances, learning activities, community gatherings, social events, celebrations, pre‑show chats—the possibilities are infinite.