$110 Million Overhaul for Canada’s National Arts Centre

National Arts Centre plan for the new exterior Photo: Ottawa Citizen

On Wednesday, the Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird jointly announced plans to overhaul Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Globe and Mail reports.

Speaking at the announcement, Baird told the press: “I’m excited, thrilled, and very pleased to announce today that our government will invest more than $110 million to the National Arts Centre to transform and rejuvenate this historic landmark.”

The Toronto-based architectural firm Diamond Schmitt won the bid to redesign the NAC. The firm previously spearheaded projects such as the Four Seasons Center in Toronto, the Maison Symphonique in Montreal, and the New Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Funded by the Canadian government’s ambitious $5.8 billion infrastructure renewal plans, the $110 million face-lift will equip the 1969 structure with a new glass and metal enclosure and add space for meetings and events. The additions will more than double the building’s floor space. The plans also include a reorientation of the building which will provide guests with a new view of the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. Completion of the project has been scheduled to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Glover emphasized the NAC’s significance, calling the center a “national treasure.” She also took the opportunity to praise Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s dedication to the arts, insisting that “He does represent so much more than what you see on television. He is a man who is dedicated to the arts and culture of this country.”


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