After a significant reconstruction the National Arts Centre (NAC) has re-opened for hosting weddings. And I love what they have done to modernize the space.
I recently conducted two weddings at the refurbished NAC. The newly re-imagined space took 1.5 years to complete. The $110.5 million in funding for a massive overhaul of the centre’s exterior and interior architecture was the most significant upgrade since the centre first opened in 1969, adding an additional 5,400 square metres of space. Although, it will take a decade for the National Arts Centre to balance the books after running a deficit of nearly $3.7 million during its 2016-2017, it was needed and well worth it.
I conducted both weddings in the room on the left in the picture above. It over looks Elgin Street and provides a spectacular view of the trio of Parliament Hill, Chateau Laurier, and the War Memorial.
The interior is spacious and allows for creative pictures. There are several rooms that can serve as ceremony space, cocktail space, and dinner reception. The renovation has given extra flexibility for activities separate from the performance stages.
The large windows give us plenty of light for pictures.
There are a few particularities about the space that is worth noting. Most weddings occur between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. The west setting sun will be shinning straight down Queen Street into the room, potentially blinding your guests. When you plan you wedding make sure you take into account the time for the setting sun.
One of the grooms had a mobile app that showed us where the sun would be at the ceremony time at his GPS location. We set up the ceremony with this in mind and it was perfect.
The space is very empty and therefore “live”; sound carries easily across the whole floor. Which is great in one sense that I didn’t need a microphone for the ceremony. However, we could hear the party going on across the other side of the floor. Just make sure the door is closed during the ceremony.
As mentioned, the room overlooks Elgin Street, which means we are in public view. A wedding always attracts a crowd and this location lets the pedestrian traffic have a great view. People stop and look. I noticed one bride look over my shoulder on to the street and burst out laughing. I turned and saw a fellow holding up his Great Dane and waving its paw at the bride. It was a comical interlude.
I really pleased to see the NAC open again for events. It was missed.