Holiday Seasonal Programming at the NAC features one month of Canadian Greats

Arts • Posted by OttawaStart on November 09, 2012

The classic Nutcracker ballet, jazz icon Holly Cole, roots legend Jimmy Rankin, Canadian Brass and more headline a month of Seasonal Programming

An all Canadian gift from the NAC

The National Arts Centre is offering eight stellar holiday-themed performances from November 21 to December 21, 2012. From singer-songwriter Jimmy Rankin to the traditional Handel’s Messiah and the classic Nutcracker from Alberta Ballet, this season of Canadian greats has something for everyone to capture the holiday spirit.

“We are very proud to showcase an all-Canadian line-up for this holiday season. I encourage music, dance and theatre enthusiasts to include the magic of the NAC during the holidays as part of their traditional celebrations,” said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre. “We have a wonderful variety of dazzling holiday-themed shows including a free concert. The NAC is a fitting holiday destination for the whole family.”

For a fourth season, the NAC’s Share the Spirit will help families who, for economic or health reasons, may not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy live performances at the National Arts Centre during the holiday season and throughout the year. Presenting Sponsor of Share the Spirit is Sun Life Financial and the new Honorary Chair is Spartacat!

Featured holiday performances:


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen/ Adapted by Janet Munsil (English Theatre)
November 21-December 8

Directed by Dennis Garnhum

Adapted from Jane Austin’s novel, this performance is fitting for the holiday season with a specially added Christmas scene. You’ll delight in watching the sparks fly in this masterpiece about love, family and the politics of marriage. Featuring the NAC English Theatre Company. NAC English Theatre / Theatre Calgary co-production. Pride and Prejudice is sponsored by Trinity Development Group.


The Nutcracker Ballet December 5-9

Enjoying a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet, sponsored by Tim Hortons, is a perfect holiday treat for kids of all ages.  This is an enchanting ballet, complete with an adorable little girl, an army of tiny mice, an enormous Christmas tree, marching wooden soldiers, a sugar plum fairy, magical sets with cascading snowflakes, and an ensemble of finely tuned dancers dressed in the most deliciously imaginative costumes, all accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky. From the moment the lights first go down, you’ll be transported to a Christmas fantasyland few could dream of.  The Alberta Ballet performs The Nutcracker from December 5-9 in Southam Hall.


Le Grand Bal de Noël December 9

From their distant home on an ice floe, three penguin musicians have waddled all the way to the North Pole for the great Christmas party. But what a disappointment: they’re refused admission! To get in, they have to perform an original Christmas song. (French only). Presented by Jeunesses Musicales Canada and Desjardins.

FanFair (The NAC’s Players Association) December 16
Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra
The NAC’s Players Association presents a holiday concert that is free to the public on December 16, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. in the foyer of the NAC. Filled with carols and holiday music, hundreds of people come every year to enjoy music and a bake sale presented by the Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The NAC Players Association hopes to raise $30,000 in support of the Snowsuit Fund and the Ottawa Food Bank during the holiday period. Please join us and give generously to these worthy causes. Donations of non-perishable food items are also being accepted at the event.

Jimmy Rankin’s Christmas Show  December 18

Get yourself in the holiday spirit with one of Canada’s favourite stars – Jimmy Rankin. Caroling original songs from his brand new Christmas album mixed with a good dose of beloved hits, Jimmy serves up a night full of fun and yuletide cheer. Don’t miss this tinsel-spiked evening destined to become an annual tradition.


Handel’s Messiah NAC Orchestra Special Concert December 18-19

Combining thunderous power with gentle tenderness, Handel’s Messiah is a holiday tradition to remember.  For anyone who has experienced the grandeur of the work, the reasons for its popularity are obvious.  Brilliant soloists, a magnificent chorus, and the NAC Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Goodwin combine for these majestic performances of Handel’s most-beloved oratorio.  Culminating with the triumphant shout of triumph, the “Hallelujah” chorus, this work shines for the holiday season. This concert is sponsored by Sun Life Financial.


Holly Cole sings Christmas December 20

Acclaimed jazz songstress and Canadian icon Holly Cole will get you in the holiday spirit! Holly performs well-worn standards and eclectic selections with an uncanny combination of sensuality, innocence, originality and sheer musicality. Come enjoy songs from her newly released album Night as well as seasonal favorites.


Canadian Brass Christmas with NAC Orchestra December 21

NAC Orchestra has loaded up the sleigh to deliver one of the best gifts of the holidays.  Sponsored by Sun Life Fiancial and led by conductor Alain Trudel and featuring the outstanding Canadian Brass in their trademark tuxes and tennis shoes, the Orchestra will perform a marvelous array of all your holiday favorites.  From Jolly Old St. Nicholas, White Christmas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, to Oh Holy Night this sparkling concert is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.


About Share the Spirit
With the support of Community Partners and Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial, the National Arts Centre Foundation’s 2012 Share the Spirit program brings the magic of live performance to deserving children and families in the Ottawa area.

Share the Spirit is also made possible through the generous support Major Partners Tim Hortons and Trinity Development Group, and Supporting Partners St. Laurent Volvo and the Hon. John Manley and Judith Manley as well as other donors who have contributed to Share the Spirit through the NAC Foundation’s Donors’ Circle.  

The performances supported by Share the Spirit this season include: Handel’s Messiah – December 18 – 19, 2012, Canadian Brass with the NAC Orchestra – December 21, 2012, Kinderconcert: Le grand bal de Nöel – December 9, 2012, Pride and Prejudice – November 21 – December 8, 2012, Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker – December 5-9, 2012 and Corbeau – April 27 – 28, 2013, plus many more throughout the season.


Share the NAC Holiday Joy with a Gift Card

The 2012-2013 season is full of blockbuster productions that make exceptional holiday gifts. Visit to review the complete listing of productions. Gift cards are available at the NAC Box Office and now also available online at One gift, countless possibilities!


Tickets for NAC Holiday performances are available for purchase:

  • In person at the NAC Box Office
  • At all Ticketmaster outlets
  • By telephone from Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS)
  • Online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC’s website (
  • A service charge applies on all purchases made through Ticketmaster


Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices; to reserve your seats, call 613-947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail


Thank you to our Media Partner The Ottawa Citizen for support of the holiday programming.

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