Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

January 24, 2011 15:51 ET

Statement by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on the Passing of Lois Smith

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2011) - It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Lois Smith.

From Vancouver, Ms. Smith was our country's first Canadian-born principal dancer. She joined the National Ballet of Canada when it began and became the company's prima ballerina four years later. A brilliant dancer, she performed many leading roles in both the classical and contemporary repertoire.

Following her early retirement due to injury, she opened her own ballet studio in Toronto and eventually moved her school to the George Brown College. She taught numerous Canadian dancers and later served on the board of Ballet British Columbia. Appointed to the Order of Canada as an Officer in 1980, she was cited as "one of the most influential figures in dance in this country."

On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Lois Smith.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Codie Taylor - Press Secretary