A native of Gatineau, Québec, Lewis joined the RWB Company in 1979 where he enjoyed an accomplished career as an artist for over 10 years. In 1996, Lewis was appointed Artistic Director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and since then, has been the driving force behind the new and innovative works that have dramatically rejuvenated the Company’s repertoire. In 2021, Lewis celebrated his 25th anniversary in this role. He also assumed the dual role of Artistic Director and CEO in 2018. Lewis has commissioned numerous blockbuster ballets such as Mark Godden’s Dracula in 1998, Jorden Morris’ critically acclaimed Peter Pan in 2006 and Moulin Rouge ® – The Ballet in 2009.
He was instrumental in the 1999 creation of a new Nutcracker for the Company and in 2013, Lewis commissioned another outstanding new creation in conjunction with New York choreographer Lila York. The full-length ballet The Handmaid’s Tale was a bold adaptation of the novel of the same name by Governor General Award-winning Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. In 2014 for the RWB’s 75th anniversary season, Lewis commissioned choreographer Mark Godden to create the ground-breaking work Going Home Star–Truth and Reconciliation representing the many stories, both told and untold, of Indian Residential School survivors and their families.
In 2017, the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada honoured Lewis with the Meritorious Award, in recognition of his outstanding Indigenous leadership for initiating Going Home Star –Truth and Reconciliation, alongside Tina Keeper and the late Elder Mary Richard. His work has also been recognized through receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Lewis is a sought-after ballet instructor and has guest taught throughout Europe and in Japan. In July 2022, Lewis was appointed to the Order of Manitoba in recognition of his invaluable contributions to Canada’s art of dance.