Sunday, May 9, 2010

Babz Chula Passes

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved Vancouver actor, Babz Chula. Ms. Chula was a multiple-award winning actor of stage, screen and television. She has been fighting two forms of cancer since 2002, and on May 7th, 2010 she passed away at home, surrounded by her family.

Ms. Chula was born in Springfield, MA, the eldest daughter of an amateur actress. She went on to a singing career with the band “Streethearts,” and starred in The Vancouver Opera’s Threepenny Opera. She had regular and leading roles in Vancouver-shot television series like Madison, The Commish, Cold Squad, and These Arms of Mine (which netted her a Gemini Award). The queen of independent film, her credits include: Bruce Sweeny’s Dirty, Live Bait, and Last Wedding, Ben Ratner’s Moving Malcolm, and Carl Bassai’s Mothers and Daughters (which won her a Leo Award), and Fathers and Sons (which is yet to be released).

Ms. Chula was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2002, and in 2005, was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. She beat the Breast Cancer for several years, but in 2008, learned that it had returned. At that time, a group of her friends formed The Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society, ostensibly to help with Babz’ medical expenses, but it was always her wish that the Society become her legacy. Recently, the Society has undergone changes to allow it to support other artists. Ms. Chula continued to work during her Cancer treatment, which encompassed traditional and alternative healing methods. She recently returned from an Ayurvedic healing centre in India, where she had spent 6 weeks with her friend, filmmaker Anne Wheeler, who filmed the process for an upcoming documentary about Babz’ journey.

Ben Ratner was Babz Chula’s close personal friend and colleague, and president of The Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society. “Babz and her family are deeply grateful for the love and generosity the community showed her throughout her illness. Though we have lost a true artist, friend, mentor, and matriarch, our beloved Babz will never be forgotten.”

“She died like she lived; with dignity, grace, and humour,” says Babz’ son, Aviv, on behalf of the family. “We thank her for being an inspiration, and she will be greatly missed and loved forever.”

Ms. Chula is survived by her husband, Larry Lynn, her children Jordana, Aviv, and Orpheo, and her grandchildren Mason, Devon, Jake, and Kyler.

There will be a memorial service to celebrate Ms. Chula’s life on Sunday, May 23 at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society: