Arnold Spohr took what had been a low-morale regional ballet company, and reorganized the Royal Winnipeg Ballet into one of the most respected international dance troupes.
The tall and athletic Spohr joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as a dancer in 1945, and became its artistic director in 1958.
Over the course of 30 years with the company, Spohr provided the leadership that led to the ballet being acclaimed in cities such as London, Moscow and New York.
Premiere dancers such as Evelyn Hart and David Peregrine received their inspiration from Spohr.
Personal recognition for his accomplishments include the Centennial Medal, the Molson Price, the Equity Champagne Award and the nation’s highest honor, the Order of Canada. He has also received honorary doctorates from the universities of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Victoria.
As artistic director emeritus, Spohr continued his commitment to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet by assisting the company’s dancers, and the efforts of the school and the administration. In doing so, he expanded his field of interest in developing excellence in dance through his work with various dance organizations and companies through North America.