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Sook-Yin Lee is a Canadian musician, filmmaker, actor and media personality.


Lee was the lead singer in the 1990s for "Bob's Your Uncle", a Vancouver alternative rock band. Lee often incorporated performance art techniques into the band's melodic rock. When that band broke up, Lee pursued a solo music career, releasing several solo albums and performing as an actor in theatre, film and television projects. She is now a singer for the band Slan.[1] Neko Case covered Lee's song "Knock Loud" on her 2001 EP Canadian Amp.

MuchMusic and CBC

In 1995, Lee became a VJ for MuchMusic, bringing her theatrical and musical background and her unique creative perspective to the channel. She was best known as the host of MuchMusic's alternative music show, The Wedge. (Now a weekly show, The Wedge was a daily series when Lee hosted.)

Lee has come out as bisexual. In 1995, the day that sexual orientation was added to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by the Supreme Court of Canada, Lee celebrated the decision by kissing a woman on the air.[2] She later appeared on the cover of Xtra! in 1997.

She left MuchMusic in 2001. During her last appearance as a MuchMusic VJ, Lee and her co-host turned their backs to the camera, and mooned the audience on live television.[3] The following year, she was named as the new host of CBC Radio One's Saturday afternoon pop culture magazine, Definitely Not the Opera.

Shortbus controversy

In 2003, she became the centre of controversy when the CBC threatened to fire her for taking a lead role in John Cameron Mitchell's sexually explicit film Shortbus (released 2006), in which she performs intercourse and masturbation on screen. When their position proved unpopular with the public,[4] and celebrities such as director Francis Ford Coppola, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, actress Julianne Moore and artist and musician Yoko Ono rallied behind her, the CBC backed down.[5] In 2007, Lee was subsequently honored for her work on Shortbus with a Best Supporting Actress award from the International Cinephile Society.

In the fall of 2004 she produced and hosted a documentary celebrating Terry Fox, as part of the CBC Television series The Greatest Canadian. Fox finished second in the voting to Tommy Douglas, whose advocate was another ex-MuchMusic VJ, George Stroumboulopoulos.


  1. Sumi, Glenn (2006-08-31). Sook-Yin Lee (profile). Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  2. Sheppard, Denise (2001-10-30). VJ looks back on her MuchMusic days. Retrieved on 2007-03-11.
  3. Hughes, Fiona (2001-12-10). The art of Sook-Yin Lee. Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on 2004-01-15. Retrieved on 2007-10-22.
  4. Stone, Jay (2006-05-22). Sook-Yin Lee's film debut definitely not CBC fare. The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
  5. Johnson, Brian D. (2006-06-02). Sook-Yin Lee shocker in Cannes. Retrieved on 2007-04-14.

External links

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