By Dorothy Dobbie
Congratulations to our own André Lewis who has been named a member of the Order of Canada.
Born in Gatineau, (then Hull) Quebec, André began his training at the Classical Ballet School in Ottawa. He was accepted into the RWB School in 1975 where he studied under David Moroni. Four years later, when Arnold Spohr was artistic director, he joined the troupe and became a soloist in 1982. During his dance career, a highlight was the opportunity dance with renowned ballerina, Evelyn Hart. He retired as a dancer in 1990 and became associate artistic director. In 1996, he became artistic director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. From 2018 to 2022, he served as both CEO and artistic director.
During his many years with the RWB, André has gained a reputation as an innovator who has shown through dance his commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous people. His work with Tina Keeper and the late Mary Richard in the production of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation earned him the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal in 2017.
Under André’s leadership, the RWB presents a balanced mix of both traditional and innovative contemporary ballet. His international collaborations have brought acclaim to the Ballet and to Winnipeg.
André was previously awarded the Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee medal, and the Order of Manitoba for his outstanding contributions to dance.
In the spring of 2025, André Lewis will step down as artistic director of the RWB, marking 50 years of service with and to the company. His work here has added tremendous depth to the artistic community of Winnipeg.
I am sure all of Winnipeg joins us at Lifestyles 55 in thanking André for his service and in extending to him our warmest congratulations on this well-deserved honour.