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Early Starts and Full Days: Sophie Lui Talks Life, Work, and What’s Important
Written by Dan Tidsbury   

photo of Sophie wearing white open turtleneck sweaterWe all know her now as co-host of the Global BC Morning News, but she is one of those people who seem so much a part of Vancouver life, it is hard to remember when she wasn’t a part of it. Sophie Lui took some time out of a schedule that starts early – very early – in the morning to speak with Fresh about her work, her life, and her role in the community.

On being so recognizable…

“It comes in part from the Lower Mainland actually being home. I grew up and went to school here. I even studied radio broadcasting at BCIT, and started quite young. Work at news radio stations in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria gave me a real connection to what was happening throughout the province.

“The jump to television with CHEK in Victoria in 1999 seemed like a natural step. And since CHEK had lots of viewers in the Lower Mainland, too, it makes it seem like I have been on air here longer than I actually have, even though I have been with Global BC for several years.

“It sounds a little strange to me when people talk about how long I have been working. When I look at some of my industry colleagues like Pamela Martin or Tony Parsons and see their body of work and how much they are part of the fabric of the community, it feels like I am just getting started.”

A life lived in public brings its own special challenges, and the schedule resulting from co-hosting a morning show and satisfying the many requests for appearances in support of community groups just adds to them.

On life balance, health, fitness…

“A realistic sense of self-awareness is essential. I know myself well and that is the key. Especially with the schedule of the morning show, which sees me finish my work day very early in comparison to the typical schedule, it would be really easy for me to just shut down for the rest of the day and indulge in other pursuits, like good food, good wine, and a good book.

“As much as I like those things, I made a commitment right from the start to stay active and make the most of the time that I have available. I find it is great for connecting with friends, and that is really important to me.

photo of Sophie wearing skirt and top“To keep me on track, I also signed on with a personal trainer. Again, I know how my mind works, and it is so much easier to be consistent and keep up a routine when there is a greater sense of accountability. Somebody is expecting me to follow through and they can challenge me if it is not happening.

“Once I had set the right direction, it was not as difficult as one might think to fit exercise, whether the gym or the swimming or whatever, into my day, and I feel so much better for it. In the past, when I have neglected those things, I have really felt it and it has left me with less energy for work or life in general.”

Of course, a higher public profile in sports, business, the arts, or the media prompts requests from the full spectrum of community groups to support their efforts in raising awareness and, certainly, helping to raise funds.

On community involvement…

“There are always a lot of requests, and each one is in support of a worthy cause, so it is very hard to say no. At the same time, I have to be realistic about what I can and can’t do.

I try to help out whenever it is possible.

photo of Sophie wearing a dress and trench coat“Some groups I have been involved with over a number of years and because I have been part of their work through many events, I feel a special connection. There have been many opportunities, for example, to lend a hand to some of the local groups that are doing such great work related to HIV/AIDS. Even though no one in my family or close circle has been directly affected, I have developed a real sense of engagement with all of the people involved as I have gotten to know them and worked with them over time.

“For me, and I suppose for other people with a prominent public profile from the media or elsewhere, working for these causes it is relatively easy. We give our time and just show up for the event to lend our name and effort to increase whatever public awareness there might be of the issue. The people who organize these events are the ones I really respect. They put in untold hours over months and years with all of the preparation and organization before the events and all of the coordination and follow up that comes after.

“When you see that kind of commitment, it makes you want to do all you can.”

Dan Tidsbury - Copy Editor

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