Gweneth Lloyd (1921-1993)

1992 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Dance)

When Gweneth Lloyd and her student and lifelong friend Betty Farrally came to Canada in 1938, they embarked on an adventure that would help create the foundations of today's national dance scene. Although they were working at a time when Canada had yet to discover "the essential role of arts and culture in a country's development", they almost immediately created the country's first professional ballet company, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

She was prolific, producing some 35 works for her company in thirteen years. In 1991, one of her most famous pieces, The Wise Virgins, originally created in 1942, was reconstructed and performed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. It reveals the depth and complexity of her ideas, a perception which had become lost over time but which is nevertheless well-documented in writings of the period and has now been permanently retrieved.

An artist who came as a pioneer from the old world, her passionate love for dance produced work that evolved into a true and precious reflection of the values of Canadian life.