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Description found in Archives

National Arts Centre Corporation fonds [textual record, cartographic material, graphic material, architectural drawing]. 



Place of creation


102.4 m of textual records
7 maps 5 blueline prints, pencil on tracing paper, marker on tracing paper 81 x 107 cm or smaller.
2 architectural drawings blueline prints 53 x 107 cm-60 x 92 cm.
ca. 5,500 posters: offset lithographs, silkscreens, lithographs, and other printed media; various dimensions.
401 watercolours (costume and set designs): watercolours, watercolour and pen and ink, and various other media; varying dimensions.
834 drawings (costume and set designs): pencil, pen and ink, and various other media; varying dimensions.

Added language of material: French

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and/or maintained by the National Arts Centre Corporation and its predecessors. Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records and records in other media are not reflected in this description. The fonds also consists of approximately 4,000 National Arts Centre posters used in advertising events and activities of the National Arts Centre from its opening in 1969 up to 1997. These posters include poisters published by the National Arts Centre itself, or produced by other organizations to accompany travelling shows or entertainments. These latter posters are usually copyrighted to the other organization, rather than NAC.

Textual records
32: Restricted by law
Architectural: technical drawings
90: Open
Cartographic material
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
All posters are accessible, but various
copyrights exist for potential use in publication or broadcasts.
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.
Former BAN no.
Other accession no.
945001 CA
934015 CA

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown. Credit Library and Archives Canada.

Finding aids are available. See lower level descriptions and accession records in ArchiviaNet (the NA website). (Other)

Biography / Administrative history

The National Arts Centre Corporation came into being with the passage of the National Arts Centre Act (14-15 Elizabeth II, Chap. 48, assented to 15 July 1966). Despite minor amendments to this legislation since 1966, the fundamental objectives and administrative structure of the Corporation, as set out in the Act, have remained unchanged to the present. The Corporation currently (1997) reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage although earlier in its history it had reported through, first, the Secretary of State and, later, the Minister of Communications.

The Corporation, with its head office located in Ottawa, consists of a Board of Trustees composed of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, the mayors of the cities of Ottawa and Hull, and six other members appointed by the Governor in Council. The Director of the Centre, appointed by the Board of Trustees, is the chief executive officer of the Corporation and has supervision over and direction of the work and staff of the Corporation. G. Hamilton Southam served as the first Director (1967-1977). Successors to this post have included: Donald MacSween (1977-1987); Bruce Corder (Acting Director, 1987); Yvon DesRochers (1987-1994); J. M. (Jack) Mills (Acting Director, 1994); Joan Pennefather (1994-1995); John Cripton (appointed September 1996).

The objectives of the Corporation, as set out in the Act, are to operate and maintain the National Arts Centre (opened in June 1969), to develop the performing arts (drama, music, and dance) in the National Capital Region, and to assist the Canada Council in the development of the performing arts elsewhere in Canada. To further these objectives, the Corporation is empowered to arrange for and sponsor performing arts activities at the Centre; encourage and assist in the development of performing arts companies resident at the Centre; arrange for or sponsor radio and television broadcasts from the Centre and the showing of films in the Centre; provide accommodation at the Centre for national and local organizations whose objects include the development and encouragement of the performing arts in Canada; and arrange for performances elsewhere in Canada by performing arts companies and arrange for performances outside Canada by performing arts companies resident in Canada.

The administrative structure of the institution has evolved over three decades. Currently (1997) there are three permanent committees of the Board of Trustees - the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Audit Committee - in addition to ad hoc committees. Operations are carried out through a number of departments which relate to Artistic Direction (e.g., the National Arts Centre Orchestra, English and French language theatre, dance and variety) and Administration (e.g., marketing, patron services, communications, property management, restaurants and catering, development, finance, and human resources).

Additional information

The National Arts Centre holdings are the most extensive of government-generated art records. There are more than 5,000 individual items in the LAC's art holdings. These accessions are accruals to previous acquisitions made as a result of a specific agreement between the Picture Division of the National Archives of Canada and the National Arts Centre in 1978. The posters and designs are for various productions put on by the NAC, and are by various well-known and not so well-known artists and designers. Acc. No. No. of items 1974-013 8 posters, 1973-1974 1978-043 1713 posters, 1969-1978 1980-058 7 posters, 1980 1980-065 2 posters, 1980 1980-071 1 posters, 1980 1981-021 156 posters, 1979-1981 1982-035 19 posters, 1981-1982 1982-052 78 posters, 1981-1982 1982-066 2 posters, 1982 1983-034 435 posters, 1970-1983 1983-036 177 posters, 1987-1983 1984-077 88 posters, 1983-1984 1986-002 151 posters, 1984-1985 1986-021 156 posters, 1985-1986 1988-243 12 posters, 1986-1987 1989-082 1 posters, 1989 1989-086 3 posters, 1989 1990-100 24 posters, 1989-1990 1990-305 18 posters, 1989-1990 1989-421 49 posters, 1985-1989 1989-435 43 posters, 1987-1989 1989-482 81 posters, 1988-1989 1989-611 16 posters, 1989 1990-100: 24 posters, 1990 1990-305: 18 posters, 1990 1990-503: 381 watercolours, drawings, and prints (costume and set designs), 1980-1990 1990-519: 3 watercolour costume designs, 1989 1990-520: 3 watercolour costume designs, 1989 1990-521: 3 watercolour costume designs, 1989 1990-522: 4 drawings (costume designs), 1989 1990-561: 33 posters, 1990 1990-603: 16 posters, 1984-1985, 1990 1991-064: 11 watercolours (costume, set and prop. designs), 1990-1991 1991-124: 11 drawings, 1989-1990 1991-338: 11 drawings (set and costume designs), 1990 1991-339: 34 posters, 1991 1991-340: 40 posters, 1991 1992-451: 3 drawings (set designs), 1991 1992-452: 3 drawings (costume designs), 1991 1992-515: 5 drawings (costume designs), 1992 1992-602: 27 posters, 1992 1992-638: 801 drawings (set, costume and property designs), 1970-1992 1992-689: 3 drawings (costume designs), 1992 There have been further accruals of posters and costume and set designs since 1992, but these are not listed in this note.

Further accruals are expected.

Related materials
LAC also holds original design collections from various Canadian designers which were created for National Arts Centre theatre, opera, and musical productions.

Subject heading

1. Music.
2. Theatre.
3. Opera.
4. Entertainment.


Other system control no.