Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.
For my Fifty First brunch in this series, I was joined by Goh Ballet Company Ballerina and Director, Chan Hon Goh at TUC Restaurant in Gastown talking about Dancing, Food and more!
Chan Hon Goh joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1988 and became a Principal Dancer in 1994. In her illustrious 20 year stage career, Ms. Goh employed her delicate lyricism and emotional depth to personify the essence of lead roles in ballets such as Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Onegin and the title roles in Giselle, Madame Butterfly and La Sylphide. She is known for the vibrancy and elegance she brings to her extensive Balanchine repertoire and had multiple roles created for her at the National Ballet of Canada. Ms. Goh is also a much sought-after international guest artist and has appeared with numerous companies throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.
Recognition of her talents and achievements began early on in her career when Ms. Goh became the first Canadian to receive the Silver Medal at the Genèe International Ballet Competition in London, England and a prize at the illustrious Prix de Lausanne. In 2005, she received the New Pioneers Arts Award for her contributions to dance in Canada. Off stage, her autobiography Beyond the Dance, A Ballerina’s Life was a finalist nominee for the 2003 Norma Fleck Award and the 2005 Rocky Mountain Book Award.
As of September of 2010, Ms. Goh accepted an invitation to become the Director of the Goh Ballet Academy and Youth Company Canada. She currently also plays a key role as Executive Producer of Goh Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker; a large scale Vancouver-produced critically acclaimed production which provides mentorship opportunities to hundreds of aspiring dancers each year since its premiere in 2009.
In January of 2013, Ms. Goh received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her outstanding contributions and dedication to Arts and Culture throughout Canada. Most recently, in May 2013, she received the coveted YWCA Women of Distinction Award for inspiring so many through her outstanding achievements and contributions to the well-being of arts in Canada.
You can follow the Goh Ballet Company on twitter @GohBallet
Have you always had an interest in the arts and specifically ballet?
I have always had an interest ever since I can remember, my parents were both principle dancers with the National Ballet of China. My grandfather was a pianist, so fine arts was my interest.
How did you end up becoming the Director of the Goh Ballet Company?
I was a principle dancer with the National Ballet of Canada for 20 years, I had family in Vancouver and came back here 4 years ago. The Goh Ballet Company was founded by my parents 35 years ago, I took up directorship in December 2010.
What drives you to succeed leading such an esteemed ballet company in Vancouver?
The knowledge of knowing that there are so many deserving talents, need to have the proper channels to make sure Vancouver is on the map.
What challenges a Ballet Company today in Vancouver?
Getting the youth exposure is a top priority, as well as being able to complete with our cities.
How far in advance do you plan your productions?
At least a year and a half, though sometimes it is less if there is an opportunity, such as in March 2014 we will be paired up with the China Modern Dance Company at the Vancouver International Dance Festival and we began planning this past summer.
Tell me what is in store in your upcoming production of The Nutcracker taking place December 14 – 22, 2013?
- We have 2 principle dancers coming from the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen.
- Ken Hsieh will be conducting the Vancouver Opera Orchestra
- We will have an extended run this year with more performances.
What is your favourite food?
I love food and I have several favourites, some include
1) Roast Squab from Sun Sui Wah
2) Osso Buco
What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?
3) The Teahouse
Chan had the Hangar Steak Skillet with 2 poached eggs, shredded hanger steak, gruyere mournaise sauce, tomato chili reduction, mini golden potatoes; and Richard had the Crispy Chicken & Waffles with free run chicken breast, savory waffles, dijon mournaise and maple syrup.
What do you do in your off time?
1) Walks around the city
2) Shopping (retail therapy)
3) Cooking and entertaining at home
What creators in dance have inspired you?
If you weren’t working in the arts, what would you be doing?
Publi Relations or Interior Designer
Who are your mentors?
Choo Chiat Hoh
What is the daily routine for your dancers?
1) Our dancers go to academic school in the morning at a high school then do Ballet training from 12:30 until at least 4:30 if not longer (they get 25 hours a week dancing).
2) Graduates of high school dance from 9am – 4:30pm
What has inspired you lately?
A video that I saw on Youtube on individualism
What is next on the horizon for the Goh Ballet Company?
1) Signing a few memorandum of understanding with a few companies and academies in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as part of the delegation with the Mayor Gregor Robertson to China.
2) Take our students on to the International stage or competitions and awareness.
Style: A La Carte
Time: Saturday 10am – 3pm
Tuc Craft Kitchen
60 West Cordova St, Vancouver
For Reservations Call: 604-599-8999
Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak