Bulk of National Arts Centre renovation work starting in December

The National Arts Centre has released details of how major renovation work will affect the building and the performances held there starting in December.

NAC will stay open during work, which is scheduled to be done by January 2018

An artist rendition of the refurbished Elgin Street entrance of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Renovations inside and outside the building will start in December, about six months earlier than planned. (NAC)

The National Arts Centre has released details of how major renovation work will affect the building and the performances held there starting in December.

The Conservative government announced the 46-year-old national performing arts centre would be getting $110.5 million from them for an "architectural renewal" inside and out in December 2014.

On Monday, the NAC said work would start "earlier than originally anticipated" to make sure its new atrium and entrance onto Elgin Street would be open for Canada Day 2017 and its new banquet room finished by January 2018.

In an email, an NAC spokesperson said work was originally going to start in June after the end of its 2015-16 season.

The NAC said Monday it would schedule construction outside performance hours, or between midnight and 2 p.m. ET on weekdays, so evening and weekend performances can go ahead as planned.

"A certain number of school matinées and daytime performances and rehearsals taking place during the week will have to be cancelled or moved to other halls within the NAC, or to other venues across the city," it said in its news release.

Fourth Stage, le café affected

The NAC's Fourth Stage will close from spring 2016 until July 2017, but it said many shows and community events will be held in other parts of the building.

Its "le café" restaurant will be closed for lunch from Jan. 4, 2016 to June 26, 2017, but will be open for dinner.

There will also be a new, temporary 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. box office at a yet-to-be-named location near the NAC. The release said will be an "oasis from the construction zone," while its main box office will be fully operational from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Outside the building, hoarding will start going up on Elgin Street and the northeastern side of the NAC terrace overlooking Confederation Square and the National War Memorial in December or January.

Before the renovations, which were designed by Canadian architect Donald Schmitt, the NAC invited members of the public to photograph some of the soon-to-be old parts of the building and post them on Instagram using #EmptyNAC.


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