Heritage Canada response to Board Statement on NAC Indigenous Theatre

Dear Ms. Hurley:

I am writing in response to your correspondence addressed to the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, regarding federal government funding for the National Arts Centre (NAC) Indigenous Theatre. Minister Rodriguez appreciates your taking the time to write on this matter. Please excuse the delay in my reply.

Please be assured that the Government of Canada is committed to linguistic duality, pluralism and a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Government has made historic reinvestments in the art industry for our creators and artists, and it is also investing in Indigenous cultures through Indigenous languages, the Indigenous Screen Office, the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and Indigenous festivals and performing arts.

For the revitalization and maintenance of Indigenous languages, Budget 2019 has committed $333.7 million over five years beginning in 2019–20, and $115.7 million ongoing to support initiatives that include a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous language revitalization projects and the creation of the proposed Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages. This important work will help to affirm Indigenous identities and cultures. 

The Government recently made new investments in the NAC, which included $225 million to renew both its architecture and performance spaces. This was in addition to the $35.4 million in federal funding that the NAC received in 2019–20, and the $11.8 million that the NAC made in self-generated revenues. The NAC is able to use these funds to deliver on its mandate, including the Indigenous Theatre.

You may be interested to learn that, on April 30, 2019, the NAC Indigenous Theatre announced its complete inaugural season as part of the 50th anniversary season of the NAC. For more information on the Indigenous Theatre season announcement, I invite you to visit nac-cna.ca/en/event/22452.

The NAC is an autonomous Crown corporation responsible for its day-to-day operations, including all decisions related to its programming. Therefore, I have taken the liberty of forwarding your letter to Mr. Christopher Deacon, President of the NAC, so that he is aware of your views. Mr. Deacon’s contact information is also provided in the enclosure should you wish to contact him directly.

Please accept my best wishes.



Sylvie Tessier


Ministerial Correspondence Secretariat

National Arts Centre

Mr. Christopher Deacon

President and Chief Executive Officer

National Arts Centre

53 Elgin Street

Post Office Box 1534, Station B

Ottawa, Ontario

K1P 5W1

Telephone:      613-947-7000 or 1-866-850-2787

Email:             info@nac-cna.ca

Website:          nac-cna.ca

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