Choreographer, Fight Director
Jacques Lemay is considered one of Canada’s most talented and versatile Producer/ Director/ Choreographers. He has been choreographer for Pacific Opera’s productions of La traviata (2001, 2009, and 2019), Eugene Onegin (2005), Rigoletto (2006), Manon Lescaut (2006), La Bohème and Vanessa (2011), Carmen (2012), and Albert Herring (2013); he was fight choreographer for Tosca in 2013, and returned as choreographer for Ariadne auf Naxos and The Marriage of Figaro in the 2013/2014 season. In 2013 and 2014, he directed South Pacific in Concert and Camelot in Concert, both semi-staged co-productions by Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony. He was choreographer for Lucia di Lammermoor (2015); Fight Director for the 2015/16 productions of Verdi’s Otello and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville; and choreographer and fight director for the 2016 company première of Simon Boccanegra.
In 2017 Mr. Lemay was choreographer for Pacific Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, and he was the dancer featured in the April 2017 production of Les Feluettes, which he directed for Edmonton Opera in October of the same year. During Pacific Opera’s 2017/18 season, Mr. Lemay choreographed the staged première of Tobin Stokes’ Rattenbury and the company première of Handel’s Rinaldo. In the 2018/19 season, Jacques was choreographer for La traviata and for Countess Maritza, and in 2019/20 he is the choreographer and fight director for the company’s production of Puccini’s Il trittico.
Mr. Lemay was Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremonies for the 1988 Calgary Olympics and Producer / Director of the 1989 and 1991 Jeux Canada Games, the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games, and the 1997 Special Olympics World Winter Games. He was Producer / Artistic Director of Bridge Fest for the opening ceremonies of Confederation Bridge in Prince Edward Island.
His creative works span the full gamut of theatrical and television productions including operas, ballets, symphony concerts, musicals, multi-cultural productions, royal galas, variety shows and special events. His ballets have been seen around the world.
Mr. Lemay was Artistic Director of the Charlottetown Festival from 1991 to 1997 and was the founding director of the Modern Jazz Dance department for the professional and general schools for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, a position he held for thirteen years from 1976 to 1989. He also gained renown as a choreographer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and other international dance companies.
He has directed and choreographed musicals in major theatres across Canada, including the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Grand Theatre London, O’Keefe Centre, Bastion Theatre, The Citadel Theatre, and many more. He had the great honour of being selected as Artistic Director for six Royal Visits held throughout the country.
His services have been retained as a consultant, teacher, adjudicator, and advisor by government agencies, arts organizations, theatre and dance companies, First Nations organizations, and colleges; these have included the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, Saskatchewan Arts Council, Yukon Arts Advisory Council, Cultural Human Resources Council, Pan Am Games, and the office of the Auditor General of Canada.
Mr. Lemay has served on many Boards of Directors across Canada. He is the Past Chair of the Advisory Committee for marketing and planning for the National Capital Commission in Ottawa. He is a past director of the Celebrate Canada Committee for the Department of Canadian Heritage.
He is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee medal for his work in arts and culture and was recognized as a 2004 Community Arts Leader of the Year. Mr. Lemay was the staging director for the unveiling of the New 7 Wonders of the World in Lisbon, Portugal, with such stars as Ben Kingsley, Hilary Swank, José Carreras, Chaka Khan, and Jennifer Lopez. He was selected as a member of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies team for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Creative Advisor to the Executive Producer.
Mr. Lemay co-founded the Canadian College of Performing Arts in 1998. He served as Managing Artistic Director until he retired from this position in 2010 to resume his freelance career. He continues serving on the faculty of the college. Mr. Lemay is an Adjunct Professor in the theatre department of the University of Victoria and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pacific Opera Victoria.