National Arts Centre in Ottawa

One of the many attractions that brings visitors to Ottawa is the National Arts Centre (NAC), a world class showcase for music, theatre and dance.   We are fortunate that the NAC is only a short walk away from Albert House Inn.  Because of the Centre’s proximity, many of our guests stay with us to attend an event that they have prebooked and others are delighted to find that they are able to take advantage of performances during their stay that they otherwise would not have an opportunity to enjoy.

We thought we would present some things about the National Arts Centre that you may not know.

The NAC was designated a National Historic Site in 2006.  A description of the heritage value and character defining elements can be found on Canada’s Historic Places website Canada’s Historic Places.

The creation of Canada’s National Arts Centre was part of the explosion of pride and optimism that led to the celebration of Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967. Unfortunately, the NAC’s construction fell behind schedule. It took seven years to complete and did not open until June 2, 1969, two years after the celebratory year.   Southam Hall, the largest venue with over 2,300 seats is most likely a name familiar to those who have attended performances there.  But did you know that the hall was named after  G. Hamilton Southam, an ex-diplomat and Ottawa resident who took a modest proposal by local citizens to build a decent concert hall in Ottawa and developed it into a magnificent edifice and national organization for the arts.  You can read more about the creation and development of the National Arts Centre at “About the NAC ”  The NAC In A Nutshell.

The Centre is one of the largest performing arts facilities in Canada, at 1,158,000 sq ft (107,600 m2) and  is the only multidisciplinary, bilingual, performing arts centre in North America, and one of the largest in the world.  The NAC orchestra is considered one of the world’s leading classical-size orchestras.  Pinchas Zukerman,

the current Music Director’s  recordings have received 21 Grammy nominations, and 2 Grammy wins.  He will be stepping down in 2015 and Alexander Shelley, the youngest Music Director ever appointed, will be taking over then.

Have a look at the  Christmas Preparations for this year’s festivities at the NAC and remember, if you want to attend any of the wonderful performances, Albert House Inn Bed and Breakfast is a fine accommodation near the National Arts Centre.  Here’s a link to the   NAC Box Office.  We look forwarding to welcoming you to our Inn.

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