“A Day in the Life” with Chan Hon Goh of Goh Ballet Academy

In her illustrious 20 year stage career, Chan Hon Goh has performed around the world. She personifies the essence of each role, from the most demanding classical repertoires to newly commissioned ballets especially created for her.

Recognition of her talents and artistic achievements began early 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 and was recently appointed as a member to the Order of Canada for her excellence in ballet as a principal dancer, artistic director and cultural ambassador.

Since September 2010, Ms. Goh has been the Director of the Goh Ballet Academy and Youth Company Canada. While in Vancouver, she also took on the role of Executive Producer to Goh Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker; a large scale, professional production which provides mentorship opportunities to hundreds of aspiring dancers each year since its premiere.

Chan Hon Goh Ballet Academy
Chan working with videographer creating a documentary about the Goh family.
Chan Hon Goh Ballet Academy
Chan addressing the audience at Goh Ballet’s June Showcase Performance
Chan Hon Goh ballet academy
Backstage with junior dancers
Chan Hon Goh ballet academy
Chan at the World Ballet Competition with her student, the highest scoring Canadian who was awarded the Gold Medal. Chan also received the Best Teacher Award.
Chan Hon Goh ballet academy
Chan at the Four Seasons Centre watching NBOC’s Alice In Wonderland
Chan Hon Goh ballet academy
Chan and son Aveary on a site visit to the new Goh Ballet Bayview studios
Chan Hon Goh ballet academy
Media interview Chan during first launch activities for Goh Ballet Bayview
Chan Hon Goh ballet academy
Chan teaching students in the studio

What ‘hood are you in?

Bayview Village – but I have the best of both worlds. I’m so close to TTC that I can get downtown in 25 minutes, but also have Bayview Village Shopping Centre and the YMCA, lots of amenities and park spaces nearby.

What do you do?

So many things – where do I start? These days it’s a matter of priority for me. I’m a mom to Aveary who just turned 13, and Director of a dance organization that now has two locations across the country. I love my work as it enables me to bring my artistic vision to life and I’m able to nurture young dancers on their dance passage. I take pride in producing performance productions where I have 3 major projects a year, The Nutcracker, the June Showcases and The Global Dance Challenge.

What are you currently working on?

The opening of Goh Ballet Bayview is top of my list right now as we introduce our dance programs to the community in Toronto. I am often invigorated by new areas of my job that allow me to reach beyond just programming but play an integral part in defining the overall persona of Goh Ballet.

Where can we find your work?

My work is mostly reflected through my students who train in Goh Ballet’s programs or perform in a Goh Ballet production. Perhaps on a larger scale my advocacy for the importance of dance education and access to arts and cultural programs is evident through our engagement in the community. Some of our past graduates are now leading dancers on world stages. Dance is an art form that is passed on from one generation to another and it’s important for their work to now be seen.


About Joel Levy 2517 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography