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Lu Chan Khoung, Mentor to the Jeunes Gouverneurs
December 1, 2017
Lu Chan Khoung speaks with Ivan Cavallari at the first arts-business cocktail and conference organized by the Jeunes Gouverneurs

Lu Chan Khoung is a force of nature. Strong, charming, engaged, and passionate about the arts, the esteemed Quebec City-based lawyer is the first official mentor for Les Grands Ballets Canadien’s Jeunes Gouverneurs (JG), a group of young professional entrepreneurs, whose mission is to promote and encourage the knowledge and appreciation of dance. She hopes to help the members achieve their goal to invest in cultural organizations and activities, and give back to the community at large. It’s gratifying to have the opportunity to transfer my knowledge,” she says. “We can do more together than apart.”

Khuong was the first elected bâtonnière in the history of the 166-year old history of the Barreau du Québec, and the first person of colour to head the 25,000-member provincial legal order. Her family immigrated to Canada in 1975, when Khoung was a three-year-old, from war-torn Cambodia, at the height of the genocide in that country. “Though we were part of the high bourgeoisie [in our homeland], arriving here we had to start from zero. My parents couldn’t give me that heritage. But they knew that building my artistic abilities from a young age was important.”

For her it’s imperative to open doors for this next generation and create exchange. “It’s not about savoir faire, it’s about savoir être,” she says with a big smile and a hearty laugh. “If you don’t give your energy and time, no one will.” Khuong says being open and curious are the cornerstones to becoming a patron of the arts. “You’re a citizen first, before being a [professional], and it’s important to be a complete citizen.” The arts are fundamental to that growth, she believes. As such, she is leading a concerted effort to change the societal approach toward the arts. She speaks enthusiastically about a healthy mind and body leading to expansive expression and creativity. Perhaps because of her difficult beginnings, Lu sees life positively. “Smile before opening your eyes in the morning.”

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