Organization: National Arts Centre
Year: 1966, retired 2014
Designer: Ernst Roch



The design consists of an orthogonal hexagon that represents both the building’s architecture and the three original aspects of the organization: music, theatre and dance.⁣⁣⁣


The National Arts Centre (NAC) is a federal Crown corporation, established by an Act of the Parliament in 1966. The NAC’s mandate is to play a leadership role in fostering artistic excellence in all of the performing arts disciplines. Specifically, it is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • to operate and maintain the National Arts Centre
  • to develop the performing arts in the National Capital Region
  • to assist the Canada Council in the development of the performing arts elsewhere in Canada

The following information has been sourced from archived web material.

Situated in the heart of the nation’s capital across Confederation Square from Parliament Hill, the Centre is among the largest performing arts complexes in Canada. It is unique as the only multidisciplinary, bilingual performing arts centre in North America and features one of the largest stages on the continent.

Officially opened on June 2, 1969, the National Arts Centre was one of the key institutions created by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson as the principal centennial project of the federal government.

Built in the shape of a hexagon, the design became the architectural leitmotif for Canada’s premier performing arts centre.

Designed by Fred Lebensold (ARCOP Design), one of North America’s foremost theatre designers, the building was widely praised as a twentieth century architectural landmark. Of fundamental importance to the creators of the NAC was the belief that, beautiful and functional as the complex was, it would need more than bricks and mortar and, in the words of Jean Gascon, “it would need a heart that beats.”