A message from Tom Chan

All of us here have a duty to sow and to nurture, such that others can harvest the fruits of our hard work.

Tom Chan (right) with Chan Centre architect Bing Thom. 

Tom Chan (right) with Chan Centre architect Bing Thom. 

When I was young, I used to ask why there were people’s names on campus buildings. Day after day and year after year, it became clear to me that the prominence of these named buildings has a profound reason. It reminds us that it takes many people’s deliberate efforts in order to accomplish something great. It’s a beacon that sends a signal to invite all to come out and support a good initiative, big or small, for public good.

Each time I am walking into a school, a hospital, a church, a museum, or just resting on a bench under a tree, I am reminded that a day cannot go by without my having bene ted from a past philanthropic act by someone else.

My brother Caleb and I prayerfully thank God for granting us the courage to embark on this project 27 years ago through sponsoring the construction of this world class venue. We cherish the sense of ownership of this facility that our greater community gets to enjoy every day.

At this 20th anniversary event, we are dedicating this special evening to the honour and memory of the late Dr. Bing Thom. Bing not only gave us this world class design, he also was our beloved friend who was always here, wearing a smile every time we saw him.


“Vision without action is daydream; action without vision is disaster.” – Asian philosopher

I had the pleasure to become Bing’s good friend since working closely with him on this project over the decades and saw how his design philosophy took shape. Bing always had a clear vision in every design he set out to make. Such a gentle man of vision he was! He taught me a lot and I miss him terribly. He left too soon. From the stage tonight, I shall be sharing more with you about my friendship with Bing.

We all agree that this centre is a great structure, but how it became such a success required many dedicated people to breathe life into it from day one. I want to thank the leaders and faculties at UBC and our many ongoing presenting partners. And most specially, I want to give my deep gratitude to the long-serving co-managing directors, Joyce Hinton and Cameron McGill, and several other staff members as well, who have been here since the beginning.

At this milestone, I think about my speech 20 years ago at the Chan Centre grand opening concert The Hour Has Come. I want to echo some words that I said in that speech: “We sincerely hope that everyone in the UBC and Vancouver community will join together in the pride of ownership of this great facility...Indeed, we are responsible to pass on good things and greater opportunities to the next generation.”

God bless you.

– Tom Chan, Co-Founding Patron

Banner and image courtesy of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts