Lewis replaces Mike Bregazzi, who retired last year after two years with the organization. She inherits an orchestra on the rise: since declaring bankruptcy in 2002, the Philharmonic has turned its finances around. Last year, the group appointed the much-admired conductor Roberto Minczuk to replace Hans Graf as music director.
Lewis was the executive director of Alberta Ballet for four years, leaving in August 2005 after reportedly clashing with the company's board. She previously worked for Canada's federal government.
"This is an exciting time of growth for the CPO, " Lewis said in a statement. "I am thrilled to work with the board, staff, musicians, chorus, volunteers, supporters, partners, and the community to achieve the organization's vision."
Board chair David Payne said, "Under Ann's leadership, the board expects that the organization will strengthen its artistic vision by reaching out to a broader range of audiences within Calgary and surrounding communities."