Cardinal began working almost immediately after graduating from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of fine arts in 1993. One of his first roles was on the stage in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Dream in High Park, in Toronto.
Lorne Cardinal, actor, director (born at Sucker Creek, Alta, 6 Jan 1964). Lorne Cardinal is of Cree descent and, committed to working within Canada, has been remarkably adept at steering his career in the direction that best suits his strengths as a performer.
Cardinal began working almost immediately after graduating from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of fine arts in 1993. One of his first roles was on the stage in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Dream in High Park, in Toronto. He played Chief Red Cloud in Denver Center's production of Black Elk Speaks, which was a smash hit and later remounted in Los Angeles. He also played the role of Spotted Elk in several episodes of the short-lived Lonesome Dove: The Series (1994). His résumé became impressive with high profile roles in the television series Tecumseh (1994-95) and North of 60 (1995-97), and especially as Little Bad Man in Gil Cardinal's much-admired miniseries Big Bear (1998).
In the following decade Lorne Cardinal became one of the more visible actors in Canadian television, in the series Blackfly (2000) as Chief Smack-Your-Face-In, as host of APTN's Buffalo Tracks (2002), and particularly as Wayne Sinclair in the coming-of-age series Renegadepress.com (2004-08). In the role of father to a high school student who writes and publishes on the Internet about the aggravations and confusions of near-adulthood, Cardinal played refreshingly against the norm of the parent-as-fascist portrayed in the usual televised melodrama. He went on to direct a handful of episodes for the series before its end.
In 2004 he was cast as Constable Davis Quinton in the phenomenally successful hit CTV sitcom Corner Gas (2004-09), created by Brent Butt. Officer Quinton takes seriously his role as senior police officer in a fictional Saskatchewan town, warranting many poorly planned yet sweetly conceived schemes. It's the kind of role that Cardinal, with his low wispy voice and meditative gestures, was born to play. He also provided his voice as the character Jacob in all 26 episodes of the animated Wapos Bay: The Series (2005-09), set on a First Nations reserve in northern Saskatchewan.
Cardinal co-starred with Craig Lauzon in Kenneth T. Williams's Thunderstick, which began presenting to high school students in Western Canada in 2009.
In March 2011 Lorne Cardinal directed the play Three Little Birds for Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company in Saskatoon. In September that year he starred in Marie Clements's Copper Thunderbird, playing Aboriginal painter Norval Morriseau at the Western Edge Theatre in Nanaimo. He also took on a recurring role in the Cartoon Network's teen action series Level Up (2011- ) as Principal Storm and in the CBC television series Arctic Air (2012-) starring Adam Beach. He began rehearsals with Western Canada Theatre Company for his starring role in Michel Tremblay's For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, which played in Kamloops at Sagebrush Theatre early in 2012.
Cardinal toured nationally with Kevin Loring's Where the Blood Mixes, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, about 2 First Nations men on a fishing trip who use the solitude to pick away at nagging issues left over from their experiences within Canada's residential school system for Aboriginal children.
Lorne Cardinal remains active in theatre and contributes to First Nations culture, specifically through his work with Native Earth Performing Arts and Saskatchewan Native Theatre. He has received an honorary degree from Thompson River University in recognition of his contributions to theatre. With his partner, writer and comedian Monique Hurteau, Lorne Cardinal tours BC giving health and humour workshops.