Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Lisa Ryder started performing as a child through dance, attending the Edmonton Studio of Ballet. She never considered acting as a career until she attended the University of Toronto. There she took Drama as an option and was bitten by the acting bug. After graduation, she and some friends formed Bald Ego Productions, a local Toronto theatre group. While with Bald Ego, Lisa displayed a multitude of talents, choreographing, writing, and co-writing many of stage shows. In the mid-nineties, Lisa began appearing on television with guest spots on shows like Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal.
Her first big role came in the form a straight-laced cop named Tracy Vetter on the sci-fi/drama show Forever Knight. After Forever Knight, Lisa continued acting on stage, television and film. She had a variety of guest spots on many science fiction shows, but also appeared on the critically acclaimed CBC series The Newsroom. In 1998, she received critical acclaim herself for her portrayal of Joey in the film Stolen Heart. Lisa co-starred with Kevin Sorbo on the Gene Roddenberry series Andromeda.