David Y.H. Lui (1944-2011)

By Amy Bowring

Vancouver-based impresario and producer David Y.H. Lui died on September 15th, 2011. Lui had an extensive forty-year career in the arts and was dedicated to his passions of dance, music and musical theatre. The Vancouver native is credited with helping to develop audiences through his presentation of a wide variety of companies and artists, and even began this role while studying at the University of British Columbia in the 1960s. Among the dance groups he brought to the city were the Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Sadlers’ Wells Royal Ballet and Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the XXth Century. At the time of his death, he was working to bring Alicia Alonso and the National Ballet of Cuba to Western Canada in February 2012. He helped to found Ballet British Columbia and the cultural program of Vancouver’s Dragon Boat Festival; he served on many boards including the Dance Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council. Lui worked tirelessly to fundraise for multiple causes including the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Mirna Zagar, executive director of the Dance Centre, remembers her friend as a visionary and in her speech at the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Dance Centre she stated, “David was always either getting out of a project, working on one or envisioning the next.” He received multiple honours for his work including the Order of Canada (2001) and Queen Elizabeth II Gold (2004) and Silver (1977) Jubilee Medals. David Y.H. Lui – A Celebration will be held on Sunday, October 23rd at 2pm at the Vancouver Playhouse to commemorate his life and work.

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