The National Press Theatre officially opened on May 1, 1967. Former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson dedicated the room and it was his personal effort that helped make these facilities available to the Parliamentary Press Gallery. The National Press Theatre is located on the ground floor of the National Press Building.

The National Press Theatre offers the following:

  • moderator
  • simultaneous interpretation (with some exceptions: please check with gallery staff)
  • teleconferencing equipment
  • projector and screen
  • television monitors to view DVDs
  • easels
  • reserved front-row seating for photographers
  • technical support
  • audio and videotaping of your event (upon request)
  • green room for privacy prior to the start of your event
  • there is no charge to use this facility.

Rules for the National Press Theatre

All press conferences held in the National Press Theatre are chaired by a member of the Press Gallery executive. If you are holding a briefing for the media then you are expected to supply a moderator for the event.

No materials can be placed on the front stage, e.g. posters, maps.

Hosts are reminded that opening statements should average about 15 minutes, and that press conferences should last no longer than 45 minutes.

Name cards are permitted on the head table.

The person responsible for organizing the press conference must pick up access passes from the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery office at 203-150 Wellington Street and distribute them at their discretion. A Press Gallery staff member will collect the passes at the entrance of the National Press Theatre.

The head table is restricted to five people maximum (this must be respected by the Press Gallery). The Chairperson takes the sixth position. Only five others in total are permitted in the theatre.

All seating in the centre section of the National Press Theatre is reserved for journalists who are accredited by the Press Gallery. Invited guests are asked to sit in either of the two wings.

Through an arrangement with the Parliamentary Television Network, all National Press Theatre press conferences are broadcast live on Channel 44 or 108 of the PTN system. Staff not permitted in the National Press Theatre during the press conference can watch on a monitor  on the first floor of the National Press Building.