Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Golden Anniversary

The National Arts Centre took part in Doors Open, and it was a special occasion this year. June 2nd marked the fiftieth anniversary of the grand opening of the place. Founded as part of the run up to the centennial year of 1967, the NAC sprang up out of the fact that the city didn't have a performance space at the time. The Pearson government and the founding forces behind the centre, especially Hamilton Southam, brought about this building as a major performance venue. The NAC operates music and theatre programs throughout the year in both official languages, as well as an Indigenous program, and hosts concerts with regularity. For the 150th anniversary of the country, an addition of glass was erected around much of the structure, offsetting the period architecture in a nice way. In this shot, which finds the Chateau Laurier in the background and tulips in the foreground, the glass tower is lit up with the colours that make it quite a sight to see at night.


A statue of the great Canadian jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson was dedicated here in 2010 by Queen Elizabeth. It's my favourite sculpture in the city, and the work of Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy.


Inside, many performances were taking place all day, with a special evening concert planned. This jazz band was playing in part of the addition, with that staircase in the background offering plenty of seating room. During my visit the NAC was quite busy. 


I leave off for today with this shot of another spot, almost ready for a different performance, which I'll be showing after Canada Day. This is the Canal Lobby Stage; like the atrium areas, it is often used for informal performances in addition to the four interior performance halls.

39 comments:

  1. The sculpture is beautiful. What a great golden anniversary!

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  2. It would be lovely to see that glass tower lit up in the dark if ever you happen to pass by it during the night hours.

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  3. Did I see tulips ?? The sculpture is very well done, looks so lifely !

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  4. Now this really seems like a terrific visit.

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  5. ...it's always a pleasure to see Oscar.

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  6. The NAC is an amazing venue William, perfect for many occasions. Loved your first shot with a glimpse of Chateau Laurier ✨

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  7. The sound must be incredible in that space.

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  8. Hello, love the sculpture, looks like a nice event. Enjoy your weekend!

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  9. What A Fantastic Location - Enjoy Your Weekend

    Cheers

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  10. A great place for that statue of Oscar Peterson.

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  11. @Nancy: I agree.

    @Rosemary: it's been awhile since I photographed it at night.

    @Gattina: tulips indeed.

    @David: it was.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Tom: it is.

    @Grace: thanks!

    @Marie: yes it is.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Padre: thanks.

    @Jan: I agree.

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  12. A perfect location for a concert!

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  13. I have enjoyed Peterson's work all my life. It's a beautiful place, William, and I too love that statue of him. :-)

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  14. i enjoy how they make them look so real, features and all. way cool. enjoy your happy weekend. ( :

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  15. Hi William, I love the Oscar Peterson sculpture the best. Thanks for always sharing such interesting history and culture. I've been "absent" a while but back now. Have a great weekend. Jo

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  16. A great place to perform...though I'm sure there are more formal stages also in the building!

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  17. It is good to see the space so well used!

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  18. They've looked after places for formal and informal performances. Nothing like being close to a jazz band performance.

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  19. So nice to see. Great sculpture (with flower in his hands) :-) Top.

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  20. How fun to be serenaded while touring the building.

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  21. Lovely Arts Center and do love Oscar Peterson's jazz ~ didn't realize he was Canadian ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  22. A beautiful Arts Centre. Nice sculpture of Oscar Peterson at the piano.

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  23. @Marleen: it is.

    @DJan: I do too. It feels lifelike.

    @Beth: this statue was well done.

    @Jo: you're welcome.

    @Barbara: there are.

    @RedPat: it is quite used.

    @Red: they were sounding good.

    @Aritha: yes, it's a nice touch.

    @Iris: so do I.

    @Sharon: it was.

    @Carol: he was.

    @Bill: thanks!

    @Italiafinlandia: it is.

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  24. Thank you for this breath of Sanity and culture in a modern nation.

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. Looks a great event.
    The statue of Oscar Peterson is wonderful.

    All the best Jan

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  27. I can remember back in my early days of immersion into jazz that I loved Oscar Peterson and thought he must be the fastest pianist in the world. Those lobby shots resemble the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale. You should visit it some day.

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  28. That sculpture is just perfect.

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  29. I like everything you've shown us here!

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  30. Beautful captures and interesting commentary.

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  31. It looks like a great spot to hear good music. I don't remember having seen the completed glass enclosure. It's far more colorful than I'd imagined and very nice.

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  32. Looks like quite an event! I like the sculpture.

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  33. I love that statue! I had no idea about the renos, or I've forgotten!

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  34. What a great space to hld such an event:)

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  35. I've always admired Oscar Peterson. The statue is great!

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