NAC Celebrates the Holidays With Livestreamed and In-person Performances from Venues Across Canada

The National Arts Centre (NAC) today released its December lineup of live and online performances and events. This holiday season features many livestreamed shows from venues around the country in addition to live in-person performances from the NAC.

The NAC began a gradual return to live performances on its stages in early September, closely following public health guidelines.



December features the NAC’s highly successful Fridays at the Fourth Emerging Music Series  and outstanding holiday programming. Tickets are available for some in-person and livestreamed performances. Other shows are livestreamed free.  


To mark Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, two entire NACO livestream concerts—on December 2 and 5—will be dedicated exclusively to his work, both featuring our esteemed artist-in-residence, celebrated Canadian violinist GRAMMY™ winner, James Ehnes.

NACO at the Fourth with James Ehnes
Date: Wednesday, December 2 at 8 p.m.

For this concert James Ehnes will be accompanied by NACO musicians in a chamber music concert, streamed live from the NAC Fourth Stage. The first piece of the two-part program is Beethoven’s only full-length string quintet (String Quintet in C major), and will be followed by his 1799 Septet in E-flat major, featuring the unusual ensemble of violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon and horn.

James Ehnes Plays Beethoven with the NAC Orchestra
Date: Saturday, December 5 at 8 p.m.

As part of the NACO Live series, the whole Orchestra will perform from Southam Hall under the direction of Alexander Shelley. The program includes two of Beethoven’s major works, the landmark Violin Concerto in D, a perfect piece to highlight the sensational virtuosity of James Ehnes, and the “dance-like” Symphony No. 7 that reveals the indomitable spirit and brilliance of Beethoven.

How to watch: These NAC Orchestra concerts are free and will be livestreamed on the NAC Web site from the event pages for NACO at the Fourth with James Ehnes (Dec. 2) and James Ehnes Plays Beethoven with the NAC Orchestra (Dec. 5). No tickets will be sold to this performance.


Young audiences take centre stage at the NAC’s French Theatre in December. On December 12, discover Chansons pour le musée, a live in-person performance at the NAC. On December 19 and 20, little ones will enjoy diving into the magical world inspired by German painter Paul Klee in Histoires d’ailes et d’échelles.

Chansons pour le musée (Ages 7 to 14)
Date and location: December 12, 3 p.m., NAC Azrieli Studio

Description: a musical performance, an Q&A with the artists and an unique chance to listen to the first episode of a new theatre podcast from the theatre company, Mammifère.

Ticket information: Tickets available soon. Visit the the French Theatre Webpage for details. 

Histoires d’ailes et d’échelles (Ages 4 to 8)
Date and location:
December 19-20, 11 a.m., NAC Azrieli Studio

Description : To enter the world of art, you need a magic door! Sylvie Gosselin has built one and invites you to go through it! On the other side, an intriguing museum. Led by your guide-storyteller-puppeteer, follow the wandering pointer to the works of art. Each is a story, a model world inspired by the luminous artist Paul Klee.

Tickets available soon: visit the the French Theatre Webpage for details. 


Grand Acts of Theatre is an initiative led by NAC English Theatre in which 12 of Canada’s most innovative theatre companies were engaged to create and perform large-scale, new works in response to these times, in front of live audiences in various Canadian locations. 

Grand Acts of Theatre launches six more videos in second series
Date: Beginning December 28

  • Artcirq (Igloolik, NU) - Tauvigjuaq (The Great Darkness)
  • Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry (Calgary, AB) - Iniskim 
  • Catalyst Theatre (Edmonton, AB) - until the next breath 
  • Electric Company Theatre (Vancouver, BC) - Reframed 
  • Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (Six Nations, ON) - Continuance: Yonkwa'nikonhrakontáhkwen - our consciousness continues unchanged
  • Neighbourhood Dance Works (St. John's, NL) - The Fire Kedgys’ Howl  

How to watch: The four videos from the first series are also available on the NAC’s Grand Acts of Theatre Web page – and have already surpassed 2 million views. The six new videos will be available on the same page starting December 28.


Powwow Workout Class with Josée Bourgeois
Dates: December 3 and 10 at noon

Description: Josée Bourgeois is a professional dance artist who specializes in First Nations powwow dance. In her classes she’s known to use a mix of traditional powwow music along with modern day favorites, such as DJ Shub. Get ready to learn the basics of different powwow styles, all the way to modern hip hop infused choreography to really get your sweat on!

Beaded Earrings Workshop (Sold Out)
Dates: December 5 and 12 at 11:30 a.m.

Description: Come join Stephanie Peltier of Deliaestelle Designs for this beaded earring workshop! You will receive a kit that has everything to make a pair of beautiful beaded earrings, with a surprise bead colour inside! Included are instructions, beads, gems, threads, stud backings and much more! (ages 16 and up).


Earlier this fall, NAC Dance launched a virtual dance series of livestreams titled #DanceForth, showcasing incredible Canadian dance artists with a wide range of styles. On December 3 at 7 p.m., you can watch an encore presentation of the livestreamed performance by 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.


The NAC is happy to offer a wide range of digital programming, including many free resources, to help young people engage in the arts in the classroom or at home and keep the performing arts alive. Students and teachers can experience more than two dozen virtual workshops and artist residencies led by some of Canada’s most innovative artists in theatre, music and dance. The new arts resources section includes free curriculum guides, podcasts, instructional videos and Ersatz, the newly launched multidisciplinary platform for kids and youth created by NAC French Theatre. 

To explore NAC Learning and Engagement programming, workshops and resources, visit


The NAC’s holiday programming is part of the Centre’s ongoing commitment to supporting the recovery and renewal of the Canadian performing arts sector, as outlined in The Next Act, its three-year strategic plan released in August 2020. The NAC has also worked with over 40 arts organizations to bring together tools and resources intended to help performing arts centres and venues across the country to navigate the path to re-opening in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are available to all arts professionals, producers, managers and workers on the NAC Web site


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.



Alexandra Campeau
Communications Officer
NAC Orchestra and NAC Dance

Camylle Gauthier-Trépanier
Communications Officer
NAC French Theatre

Nadia Kharyati
Communications Officer
NAC Popular Music & Variety

Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Communications
National Arts Centre

Sean Fitzpatrick
Communications Officer  
NAC English Theatre, NAC Indigenous Theatre


Annabelle Cloutier
Executive Director
NAC Communications and Public Affairs




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