02/11/2015 11:51 EST | Updated 04/13/2015 05:59 EDT

Grant Strate, Veteran Dancer And Choreographer, Dies In Vancouver At 87

He was a Canadian dance great.

Reg Innell via Getty Images
CANADA - AUGUST 21: Choreographer Grant Strate. It'll take me at least a year to digest the new ideas I've been exposed to (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

VANCOUVER - Canadian dance great Grant Strate has died.

The National Ballet of Canada says Strate died in his Vancouver home on Monday. He was 87.

Strate joined the National Ballet in 1951 and became its first resident choreographer.

He also helped bring to the company the full-length production of "Romeo and Juliet," which became a signature show.

Strate went on to found the Dance Department at York University in Toronto and serve as director for Simon Fraser University's Centre for the Arts.

Strate's honours included the Order of Canada and a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The National Arts Centre in Ottawa says it's lowered its flag in his honour.

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