Short-listed for the Ottawa Book Awards, 2010
This is the story of the creation and first four decades of one of Canada’s pre-eminent cultural organizations. While it documents the history of Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, it also tells the story of the arts in Canada from the 1960s to 2006. The story breaks down into three parts: the years of creation and early growth, fuelled by the talent and resources generated by Canada’s 1967 Centennial celebration; the turbulent middle years, marked by a dearth of funds and political disinterest; and finally the "renaissance," when the decision is made to restore and recast the organization to provide continuing benefit to the performing arts in Canada’s capital and the country at large.
Written in a documentary style, moving from episode to episode, the story is enriched by the personal memories of those who participated in it, including the leading artists, managers, officials, and politicians who were involved.
Sarah Jennings is a journalist whose work has been featured on the CBC and BBC, and in The Globe and Mail, the National and Financial Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She was a lecturer at Carleton Univerisy's School of Journalism until 2005. She lives in Ottawa.
"... absorbing narrative of the fight to create the NAC ... Jennings' NAC story is a remarkable achievement of narrative about plotting, skullduggery and characters that could easily have just been a conventional institutional history."