Sid Chow Tan



Artist, Technician, Videographer


"Hello everyone. I'm Sid Chow Tan from East Van, formerly out of Saskatchewan. A good time man. I'm a Gold Mountain dragon and a Rocky Mountain warrior. I was born in a mud and straw hut. Village Elders and farm animals were charmed when two bright stars rose high in the sky. Tough? The other day, my friends and I had a contest to see who could eat a live rat the fastest. I won. I've got steel wires for guts, concrete in my bones and fire in my blood. I've been called a Navajo. I've been called Juan from Mexico. I've been called Carlo the Filipino. My favourite is still Good Time Joe. That’s why I’m known around the world. I can cook better, eat faster, love longer, sleep deeper, yell louder and shout and act dumber than anybody I know apart from my Uncle Charlies—Quan and Chin; I learned it all from him. There's not a person alive who can't make a fool out of me. That's how tough I am. I learned this myself—the hard way.”

Sidney Chow Tan died Monday, September 26, 2022, at his home in Vancouver, British Columbia. Born in China, he was a year old when he came to Canada with his grandmother where she was re-united with her husband after decades of separation. The family was soon joined by his cousin, Dick Tan, who became his older brother. They grew up together in Battleford, Saskatchewan where, as the only Chinese family in the area, the family worked together running a corner store. Sid loved his grandparents and his brother, Dick. When older, he brought his parents and other siblings to Canada where, due to a falling out, he never really came to know them. This was due, in part, he believed, to intergenerational trauma as a direct result of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Sid was drawn to activism. He spent his life trying to solve injustice. Generous and charitable, he was an idealist who tried to practice what he preached. In 2012, in recognition of significant contributions of service to his fellow citizens, his community, and his country, he received Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee medal. He is pre-deceased by his grandparents (Norman Tan and Wong Nooy Chow), his ex-wife and mother of his children (Emi Carmichael nee Michaloski, later Tan), and his brother (Dick Tan). He leaves his children (Kalee and Jordan Tan) and his granddaughters (Zuva Turner-Tan and Alexandra Tan). Along with his niece and nephew (Jamie and Michael Tan), he leaves many friends. He will be missed. Sid was passionate. He liked to argue, and he was loving. He told his children and granddaughters he loved them every single time he spoke with them.

Obituary, 2022