Taste of Life
Recently, Patricia was interviewed by Taste of Life, a bi-lingual English/Chinese magazine dedicated to arts, culture, and the finer things in life. The Canadian publication is distributed to select households in Vancouver and Toronto. Read the article here:
MALCOLM PARRY’S TRADE TALK – VANCOUVER SUN (FEB. 16, 2011)
International TV news reporter anchor and documentary producer Patricia Chew’s next subject to profile may be you.
PICTURE YOU: Patricia Chew interviewed endless global notables and produced scores of investigative documentaries and series over three decades with the CBC, then as founder-host of CNN International’s Asia Production Centre, finally as head of her own Hong Kong-based production and consultancy firm. Frequently taken to be another high-profile TV journalist, she was delighted when an American woman showed the keenness of eye documentarists value. “Mah frainds think yoah’re Connie Chung,” the woman said. “But Connie parts her hay-uh on the raht, and yew part yoah’rs on the laift.”
Reverting to her inflections as a third-generation Canadian, Chew outlined her next endeavour, a sole proprietorship named the Living Legacy Project. It will research and produce professional documentaries for individuals and families ready to spend upward of $35,000. She was motivated to do this after her mother Victoria died in May 2009. That concluded a decade in which Chew had been vice-president and then president for Asia of Orbis, the New York-based non-governmental global development agency, then executive director of the West Coast Environmental Law organization here.
Regarding her mother’s death, “I realized there is no essence left,” Chew said. “We baby boomers are thinking about what our legacy is going to be, and what values we want to pass down. I want to bring to that the storytelling skills I had for 25 years.”
Her own family features in a pilot for that project. Torn apart by mid-19thcentury Opium Wars, it saw Chew Ping Sun come to Canada in 1903, learn English as a houseboy servant, and eventually manage a Campbell River fish cannery. Son Peter, Chew’s father, was linked to the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (former CIA) in the Second World War, earned an economics degree from Nanjing’s Central University, became a Central News Agency journalist, and was later president of Dominion Securities Asia. Chew’s mother survived Japanese atrocities in Nanjing. “Only later did I realize that that whole generation had fascinating stories,” Chew said. “This is the boldest and craziest thing I’ve ever done,” Chew said at a launch party for Living Legacy Project. This from someone who once broadcast Asian news live to 210 nations, and produced in Macau, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tibet, the Philippines and -with left-parted hair -the U.S. Deep South.