Former Vancouver councillor and actor B.C. Lee dead

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FILE PHOTO: B.C. Lee is shown on the right at an event with Colin Hansen. Lee, a one-time City of Vancouver councillor and actor died on Sept. 11, 2019.


PNG

Vancouver businessman, singer, actor, politician and volunteer B.C. Lee died early Wednesday morning.

Three-time City of Vancouver councillor Elizabeth Ball told Postmedia News that Lee died in hospital, surrounded by family.

Ball had last seen him on Sunday.

“He was resigned as to what was going on, but he was also content. He had a very good life and lovely family and friends who just adored him. And I’m one of them,” Ball said.

The pair were councillors for one term between 2005 and 2008 under the Non-Partisan Association banner when the NPA ruled city hall under Sam Sullivan.

“I sat beside him during our first three years on council, so I got to know him very well and what he did for the city in terms of reaching out to the multicultural community and making them feel part of the city was just amazing,” Ball said.

Before his political life, Lee (whose first name was Bar-Chya) used his masters of business administration from New York University in various ways. He was also involved in many groups as a volunteer, including the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture and Vancouver’s Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

Lee did not seek re-election in 2008 — when the upstart Vision Vancouver wiped the NPA off the map for one term — but got back into the game in 2015 when he served as the NPA’s president. In 2018 the NPA became players again with five members on council.

Ball said that Lee’s true passion was singing and performing.

“He had a beautiful voice and could sing like nobody’s business,” she said. “He could be a moderator or entertainer. He was really something.”

Lee, who had battled cancer for several years, last performed earlier this year for the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre at the Annex on Seymour Street. He was also a regular cast member in Omni TV’s Vancouver filmed Chinese crime-drama Blood and Water.

According to Lee’s Blood and Water bio, he was born in Macao, China, and raised in Taiwan. After studying in New York he moved to Vancouver in 1992. He was cast in Ang Lee’s Pushing Hands and appeared in two Fox series. He was fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Taiwanese.

“He had an incredible ability to bring people together for a common good,” Ball said. “It’s a huge loss to the city in so many ways, because he volunteered for so many charitable organizations.”

dcarrigg@postmedia.com



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