• By: Emily Cordonier

The National Arts Centre Brings Family Programming Alive

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Photos by: John Lauener, Alexandre Galliez, Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett

Ottawa parents don’t need to look any further than the National Arts Centre for great family programming this summer. The NAC is introducing some outstanding family-friendly events as part of the Canada Scene Festival; a national celebration featuring a multi-disciplinary gathering of artists in music, dance, theatre, circus, visual and media arts from coast to coast.

Running from June 15 through July 23rd, there will be an ever-changing selection of free interactive exhibits, installations and performances taking place in the atrium and lobby. No tickets are required to access the lobby interactive installations. Visitors will also get a chance to take in all of the architectural changes and enjoy the newly renovated NAC building.

Respecting the form of the current architecture we opened the building to bring in natural light and create an inviting, accessible common area for installations and performances. In the new atrium, we make a feature of the airy open space with bleacher seating that can be used for performances or simply to relax and soak up the tremendous atmosphere and exhibits. This summer we are making art hugely accessible and the NAC a true people-place in the very heart of Ottawa.” Heather Moore, Producer and Executive Director of NAC’s Scene Festival.

Families won’t want to miss the National Art Centre’s one day only housewarming event on July 2nd. The NAC will open its doors for a free all-day event celebrating Canada’s diversity with an exciting mix of music, art, dance, performance art and more. It promises to be fun for the whole family, and seating will operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

The fun doesn’t end after the housewarming party…it just keeps going! Family Scene runs from July 3rd through 23rd. This festival offers free daily programming at 11:00 am every day, with everything from stilt walkers, dancers, musicians and interactive fun in the beautiful new NAC Atrium.

“Every morning, it’s free family programming, and every evening, it’s Scene@6, our free concert series with some of Canada’s most loved singer-songwriters, world music and jazz artists.   We also have a really fun interactive art installation in our lobby called Cloud.  So, a family could make a day of it.” Heather Moore.

The family friendly programming is a great way for families to experience arts and culture from all parts of Canada. Canada Scene organizers have worked hard to include acts and performers from right here in Ottawa as well as from across the nation.

“We have Les 7 Doigts from Montreal (although their cast hail from all parts of the globe), Carmen Campagne from Saskatchewan, the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers all the way from the Yukon, and the 80-voice Shallaway choir from St. John’s. And we have a 60-foot replica of a PEI lighthouse – made of latex – that winds its way up to our balcony. And, we’re also featuring artists from right here in Ottawa/Gatineau, like Ottawa Stilt Union, Propeller Dance, musician Jesse Stewart, dance artist Deepti Gupta and hip-hop artists from House of PainT.”

The National Arts Centre looks like the place to be for family-friendly and free programming over the next month. Check out the full schedule of activities at https://nac-cna.ca/en/canadascene/discover/family and be sure to check out all that Canada Scene has to offer at the new and improved NAC.