Jacques Lemay is a celebrated Producer/Director/Choreographer/Fight Director and Educator. Born in Montreal, he began his professional career with the acclaimed national folk dance troupe Les Feux-Follets. He was awarded a scholarship with the famed New York dance company Alvin Ailey. Poised to pursue a career in the United States he chose to return to Canada where he joined the faculty of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Jacques has enjoyed an illustrious career. 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. Equally, at home in both of Canada’s official languages, he has directed and choreographed productions in major theatres across Canada. He is a former Artistic Director of the Charlottetown Festival. Jacques has gained renown as a choreographer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as well as international companies. He was selected to choreograph the first and only full-length Indigenous ballet, In the Land of Spirit for the Canadian Native Arts Foundation. His works have been produced and enjoyed internationally.
His pride in the nation has been a proud cornerstone of his career. Highlights include Artistic Director/Senior Choreographer of the Opening Ceremonies for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics; Producer/ Artistic Director of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games; Producer/ Artistic Director of the 1997 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Toronto; Producer/ Artistic Director of Canada Summer and Winter Games; Creative Advisor for the Torino Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony; Producer/Artistic Director of five Canadian Heritage Festivals nationwide including the Canada Pavilion at Expo ’86 where he was also Producer/Artistic Director of the Saskatchewan Pavilion; Artistic Director B.C. Week in Tokyo, Japan; Producer/ Artistic Director for the Opening Ceremonies of Confederation Bridge in Prince Edward Island; Artistic Director of six Royal Visits; Co-Producer/ Artistic Director of the highly acclaimed of Experience Canada/Spirit of Nation National program; Creative Advisor for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Ceremonies. Mr. Lemay was selected as Staging Director and the only Canadian member of the production team for the Unveiling of the New 7 Wonders of the World in Lisbon Portugal.
As a performing arts educator, he has created national legacies. He is the founder of the Jazz Program for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Co-Founder of the Young Company Program for the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Prince Edward Island, and the Co-Founder/Managing Artistic Director of the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, B.C.
Jacques has served as: Consultant to the Auditor General of Canada; Chair of the National Capital Commission’s Marketing and Planning Committee; Adjudicator and advisor to the Canada Council for the Arts as well as several provincial and territorial arts councils and Director of the Celebrate Canada Committee for British Columbia.
An international award-winning choreographer, he is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee medal, was recognized as the 2010 Community Arts Leader of the Year and appointed to the Order of Canada in 2021.