October Lineup Includes Dance, Theatre, Emerging Popular Music and the Return of the NAC Orchestra to Southam Hall

The National Arts Centre (NAC) today announced its October lineup of live and online performances and events.

The NAC began a gradual return to live shows on September 11. Due to ongoing public health guidelines, performances take place in front of small audiences. With the exception of the French Theatre performances of Les louves (see below), no tickets will be sold to the public, who are instead invited to watch live performances online from the comfort of their own homes. NAC performances and events from all the NAC disciplines are announced on a monthly basis.

Many of the October performances will presented as part of Culture Days, Canada’s annual celebration of the arts, culture, and creativity.


NAC Dance

NAC Dance is launching a new virtual dance series of livestreams this fall titled #DanceForth, showcasing incredible Canadian dance artists with a wide range of styles.

The #DanceForth series partners with centres and presenters across the country including The Dance Centre in Vancouver, Neighbourhood Dance Works in St. John’s and Ottawa Dance Directive’s Series Dance 10 to offer dance fans access to a variety of works by artists from coast to coast.

The series kicks-off on Thursday, October 1 at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, with Bboyizm, one of Canada’s most important  street dance companies, headed by Crazy Smooth and his team of fantastic movers with special guest Saxon Fraser. And performing live from the The Dance Centre in Vancouver will be Shay Kuebler on Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), and Ziyian Kwan on Thursday, October 29 at 7 P.M. (Pacific Daylight Time).

How to watch: All #DanceForth performances are livestreamed at 7 p.m. local time. Livestreams can be accessed by visiting the NAC website under #CanadaPerforms, or going directly to the NAC Facebook page as part of #CanadaPerforms

The launch of #DanceForth coincides with Executive Producer Cathy Levy’s 20-year anniversary as head of NAC Dance.

 “During her 20 years at the NAC, Cathy Levy has had an enormous influence on dance in Canada,” said Christopher Deacon, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre. “She has presented some of the most exceptional dance artists from Canada and around the world on the national stage. She has championed important new work by some of our most gifted Canadian dance creators. And she has made a tremendous impact on the careers of emerging Canadian dance artists from coast to coast to coast. As the performing arts face uncertainty due to the pandemic, Cathy’s commitment to dance artists and the sustainability of the art form is stronger than ever. We are so fortunate that she will continue to play an important role in the recovery of the performing arts.”

National Arts Centre Orchestra

The full NAC Orchestra returns to Southam Hall stage for two nights of diverse and exciting music on Saturday October 17 and 31. These livestreamed concerts will feature contemporary gems by gifted composers from Canada and around the world, and will highlight the brilliance of our NAC Orchestra soloists and guests from CBC’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30, 2020 edition.

Program notes:

Date: Saturday, October 17 at 8 p.m.
Lyric for Strings by GEORGE WALKER
Concerto for Guitar and Strings by JACQUES HÉTU (Christ Habib, guitar) 
Knoxville, Summer of 1915 by SAMUEL BARBER (Jonelle Sills, soprano) 
Portrait of a Queen by CARLOS SIMON (Jonelle Sills, narrator)
Solace by JOCELYN MORLOCK (Yosuke Kawasaki, violin; Rachel Mercer, cello)

Affairs of the Heart
Date: Saturday, October 31 at 8 p.m.
Coincident Dances by JESSIE MONTGOMERY
Trombone Concerto by HENRI TOMASI (Hillary Simms, trombone)
Affairs of the Heart by MARJAN MOZETICH (Duncan McDougall, violin)
Sinfonietta by VIOLET ARCHER

How to watch: NAC Orchestra Concerts are livestreamed on the event pages for Solace (Oct. 17)  and Affairs of the Heart (Oct. 31) on the NAC Website. No tickets will be sold to this performance.


NAC French Theatre

This socially-distanced project, created by Mani Soleymanlou (future Artistic Director of French Theatre) and coproduced by Orange Noyée and NAC French Theatre is a series of eight theatrical sketches performed outdoors in front of a small volunteer audience. It features nine of French Theatre’s most beloved artists performing original works. Their performances were delivered and filmed in front of a small audience (at a safe distance) at various venues in Ottawa and Gatineau.

How to watch: Performances will be available on the French Theatre Webpage starting October 5.  

Les Louves
This is a staged reading of the award-winning play by American Sarah DeLappe, translated into Quebecois by Fanny Britt and directed by Solène Paré, artist in residence at Montreal’s ESPACE GO and co-founder of Fantôme, compagnie de création, which produces works that view the world from a feminist perspective. Featuring nine young soccer players, Les Louves (The Wolves) paints a powerful portrait of North American millennials. As the training sessions progress, group dynamics take hold, distinct personalities emerge, and the relationship between the individual and the pack becomes clearer.

How to watch: This live staged reading will take place in the Azrieli Studio on October 30 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket go on sale September 30. For more information visit the NAC French Theatre Webpage.

NAC Indigenous Theatre

As part of Culture Days, NAC Indigenous Theatre will be presenting fun activities such as Intro to Beading and Powwow Workout Classes by Algonquin multi-disciplinary artist Josée Bourgeois. More details on how to participate can be found on the NAC’s Culture Days Webpage.

NAC Popular Music and Variety

The Fridays at the Fourth Emerging Music Series continues with livestreamed performances from the NAC Fourth Stage as part of the ongoing #CanadaPerforms series. The NAC launched #CanadaPerforms in March 2020 as a relief fund for performing artists. It has since become an important live streaming platform thanks to an extended collaboration with its founding partner, Facebook Canada.

For now, one concert is confirmed with new dates coming soon: on October 2 at 8 p.m. Nambi & The Rhythm, singer-songwriter and powerhouse of acoustic soul (formerly known as Rita Carter), will perform from the Fourth Stage. More concerts from this series will be announced in the coming days.

How to watch: Event from the Fourth Stage will be livestreamed on the NAC Popular Music and Variety Facebook page. (Due to ongoing public health guidelines, performances take place in front of small, invited audiences made up of friends and family of the artists. This helps them have a successful show while following safety protocols.)

NAC English Theatre

Grand Acts of Theatre is an initiative led by English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley in which 11 of Canada’s most innovative theatre companies have been engaged to create and perform large-scale, new works in response to these times. The works are performed outdoors in front of live audiences in various Canadian locations, filmed, and later shared with a national and international audience online.

Dates (subject to change):

October 3:
Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry (Calgary, AB) - Iniskim
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (Six Nations, ON) - Continuance: Yonkwa'nikonhrakontáhkwen - our consciousness continues unchanged
L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres
 (Quebec City, QC) - Entre-temps

October 4: Catalyst Theatre (Edmonton, AB) - Until the next breath 
October 7: Electric Company Theatre (Vancouver, BC) - Reframed 
October 8: Neighbourhood Dance Works (St. John's, NL) - The Fire Kedgys’ Howl  
October 11: Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal, QC) - Black and Blue Matters - Track 1: No One Gives a F*ck About a Cop


Later this fall, the NAC will launch a new Arts Education section on the NAC Website offering new digital education programming in Dance, Music, Theatre (English, French, and Indigenous) for schools, students, emerging artists and families. You can look forward to features such as virtual workshops and performances, virtual artist residencies, professional development for teachers, arts learning resources, and artist training programs. Our new education offerings, led by acclaimed and celebrated artists and arts leaders from across Canada, will soon be available at nac-cna.ca/en/schools


The NAC Foundation would like to thank the following lead sponsors and donors for making programming at the NAC possible: The Azrieli Foundation, BMO Financial Group, Facebook Canada, The Jenepher Hooper Fund for Theatre at the National Arts Centre, Mark Motors Group, The Janice and Earle O’Born Fund for Excellence in the Performing Arts, The RBC Foundation, and The Slaight Family Foundation. Thanks also to our many other supporters across the country.


The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation.



Marie-Chantale Labbé-Jacques
Communication Officer
NAC Dance

Camylle Gauthier-Trépanier
Communications Officer
NAC French Theatre


Nadia Kharyati
Communications Officer
NAC Popular Music & Variety

Alexandra Campeau
Communications Officer
NAC Orchestra


Sean Fitzpatrick
Communications Officer  
NAC English Theatre, NAC Indigenous Theatre

Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Communications
National Arts Centre

Annabelle Cloutier
Executive Director
Communications and Public Affairs
National Arts Centre






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