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National Arts Centre unveils first new logo in 45 years

The new logo for the National Arts Centre.

Overture, curtains, lights, this is it … the new logo of the National Arts Centre. Designed by Toronto's Scott Thornley + Company over the last nine months, the logo – and the NAC's new tagline/theme ("Canada is our stage") – were unveiled Tuesday in Ottawa.

It's the first time since the NAC opened in May, 1969, that the Crown corporation has undergone a branding overhaul. The old logo, a dance of orthogonals conceived by Rolf Harder, was a rhyme of sorts with the shape of the NAC building designed by Montreal's Fred Lebensold.

The new one, a sleek, solid rectangle evocative of the span of the Canadian flag, the N bisected by a negative space reminiscent of a spotlight's conical shaft, reflects "the changing face" of the NAC, says long-time president/CEO Peter Herrndorf.

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"It's become focused more and more on being a national organization working with artists and arts organizations in every part of the country. It isn't just a building; more than anything else the NAC is a kind of galvanizing idea about creating a national stage for Canada."

Meanwhile, the NAC is planning to release by year's end a new strategic plan that will see it to its golden anniversary in 2019.

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