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Arts impresario David Y.H. Lui's death mourned by arts community

It is with great sadness that Vancouver’s arts community learned today of the passing of noted impresario and producer David Y.H. Lui.
A cultural icon, Lui, who was 67, was a prominent member of the artistic community in Canada for more than 40 years and was a co-founder of the Ballet of British Columbia. Most recently he had been working on the upcoming performances of the National Ballet of Cuba, scheduled to take place in February 2012. He was as passionate about this production as any other and was thrilled at the prospect of hosting the legendary Alicia Alonso in Vancouver.
Lui was born in Vancouver and attended Kitsilano High School before heading to UBC in the 1960s. His parents had encouraged his artistic interests as a child – his mother even keeping him from school one day to watch Margot Fonteyn perform with the Royal Ballet – but it was university where he really flourished.
Lui became fascinated by dance and ballet during the “golden age of touring dance” in the 1970s and 80s. Even building a small black box theatre on Richards Street in Vancouver. Since then, he has worked with many companies, bringing performances to audiences in Western Canada and founding several major BC arts organizations. He was also involved in designing the on-land cultural program for Vancouver’s Dragon Boat Festival.
On the international stage, Lui was recognized and celebrated for developing sophisticated audiences in Vancouver through the presentation of artists and companies that appealed to a wide and varied audience.
Lui was a proven leader and visionary with imagination and creativity. He was a member of the Order of Canada for his work in the arts.
He is survived by his brother, Philip, and his sister-in-law Ping, who live in New York.

  • Founder, Board Member, General Manager Pro Tem, Producer, Ballet British Columbia
  • Founding Artistic Director, Cultural Program at the Canadian International Dragon
Boat Festival
  • Founding Board Member, Dance Foundation - developer of the Scotiabank Dance Centre
  • Board Member, Canada Council for the Arts (federal)
  • Founding Board Member, British Columbia Arts Council (provincial)
  • Member of the Order of Canada for service in the arts
  • Recipient of gold and silver Queen Elizabeth Jubilee medals and one commemorating Canada's 125th birthday

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