The NAC celebrates 25 years of the annual Gala with soprano Renée Fleming and the NAC Orchestra

The 2023 edition is a musical and celebratory tribute to philanthropists Janice and Earle O’Born.  

OTTAWA, Canada, August 24, 2023 — World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming will headline the 25th NAC Gala on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, in Southam Hall. For the first time since 2013, she will share the stage with the NAC Orchestra under Music Director Alexander Shelley in a spectacular evening in honour of NAC patrons Janice and Earle O’Born. A glittering post-concert reception on the Terrace Level will round off what is sure to be the most glamorous fall event in the nation’s capital.  

Proceeds raised from the Gala will be directed to the National Youth and Education Trust, which gives Canada’s next generation of artists the chance to grow, master their art, and take their rightful place in the spotlight. It also helps us introduce young people across Canada to the wonder of the performing arts and the incredible difference it can make throughout their lives.   


“The NAC Gala is an important annual event that helps ensure the future of the performing arts in Canada. Thanks to the generosity of donors such as Janice and Earle O’Born, we can raise funds in support of art-learning programs that spark a sense of wonder in youth,” said Christopher Deacon, President and CEO of the NAC. “We are very proud to present this 25th edition of our gala with guest artist Renée Fleming, an internationally renowned soprano who will no doubt offer a memorable performance, accompanied by our NAC Orchestra.”  

Over the past fifteen years, Toronto’s Janice and Earle O’Born have become major champions of the National Arts Centre through their support of Canadian performing artists, creation, touring and orchestral work. They were the Lead Partners of the NAC Orchestra’s 50th anniversary tour to Europe and the Honorary Patrons of the Music Alive program in Nunavut. Janice and Earle O’Born also made their mark with the largest individual gift in the history of the NAC in support of artistic excellence. They made a major gift to the NAC’s first-ever national fundraising campaign in support of the NAC’s National Creation Fund, which provides risk capital to compelling and ambitious new Canadian works in theatre, dance, music and interdisciplinary arts.  

“Canadian performing artists are among the best in the world. Earle and I believe that when youth are exposed to such excellence, a whole new world opens up for them. We are thrilled to be honoured at this year’s NAC Gala in recognition of our philanthropy and encourage the next generation of artists to ‘dream big’,” Janice said.  

Janice O’Born was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021 and a Member of the Order of Ontario in 2018 in recognition of her philanthropic contributions. She joined the NAC Foundation Board of Directors in 2012, served as Chair from 2017 to 2022 and is currently Emeritus Chair.  


One of the most beloved and celebrated singers of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honour for an individual artist. In May 2023, Renée was named a Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health for the World Health Organization, and in June it was announced that she will be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.  

Winner of the 2023 Grammy Award (her fifth) for Best Classical Vocal Solo, and honoured with the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Crystal Award at Davos, Renée is the only classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl (2014). As a musical statesperson, Renée has sung at numerous prestigious occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2014, she sang in the televised concert at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2012, in an historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II.  

A ground-breaking distinction came in 2008 when Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala. In January 2009, Renée was featured in the televised We Are One: The Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial for President Obama. She has also performed for the United States Supreme Court and, in 2009, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s “Velvet Revolution” at the invitation of Václav Havel.  

Follow Renée Fleming: Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube  


The NAC Gala will take place in the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a concert start time of 7:30 p.m. Your concert-only ticket, starting at $85, will provide you with an unforgettable performance and the great feeling that comes with contributing to a worthy cause.  

Upgrade your Gala experience with the new High Note package! Enjoy complimentary drinks and light canapés at the pre-show reception in the Salon. After the show, mingle with fellow music lovers at the after-party on the Terrace Level, featuring curated chef dessert stations, special cocktails and a DJ. The new High Note package is an additional $85.  

Tickets for the 25th Annual Gala will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at 10 a.m. and will be available through the NAC website and in person at the NAC Box Office.  

* Charitable tax receipts will be issued for allowable amounts.  


The NAC Gala is made possible thanks to the generous support of our donors and sponsors. We are grateful to Janice O’Born, C.M., O.Ont & Earle O’Born for their longstanding leadership and transformational support. Thank you to the Gail Asper Family Foundation & Asper Foundation, Adrian Burns, LL.D. & Gregory Kane, K.C., Susan Glass, C.M. & Arni Thorsteinson, O.M., Gail O’Brien, LL.D & David O’Brien, O.C., and Alexander Shelley & Zoe Shelley. Thank you also to our corporate sponsors: RBC Royal Bank; our Aria Partners, Azrieli Foundation and Emond Harnden LLP; our Dinner Sponsor, A&E Television Networks; and our Soprano Patrons, BMO Bank of Montreal, Mark Motors Group, and Trinity Development Group Inc.; as well as the NAC’s Forest Planting Partner, Canada’s Forest Trust. Proceeds from the Gala support the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust.  


The National Arts Centre Foundation raises funds to support the National Arts Centre’s work in performance, creation and learning across Canada. Since its founding in 2000, the National Arts Centre Foundation has raised more than $170 million to enrich the lives of Canadians through the performing arts and champion our country’s artists, students and educators.  


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 in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, 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 Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.     




Anicée Lejeune  
Communications Strategist  
Programs and Special Projects  
National Arts Centre  

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