Gordana Petković Laković was born in Belgrade in 1960. Along with her family, she moved to Toronto (Canada) in 1994, where she still lives and works. She is a Serbian writer, journalist, theater actress, humanitarian and a prominent member of the Serbian community in Canada. By 2023, she had published fifteen books of prose and poetry.

She received her higher education in Canada in the field of informatics and business. She began her career in IT, working as a quality controller for computer programs, and later became a project manager for many different organisations, receiving multiple awards for her successes. She is the co-owner of a family-run business and works there as the Director of Procurement and Marketing.

She is a member of the Association of Writers of Serbia (since 2015), Association of Writers of Republika Srpska (since 2021) Association of Playwrights of Serbia (since 2020), Institute of Children’s Literature (since 2020), Serbian-Canadian Writers’ Association “Desanka Maksimović” from Toronto, a board member (secretary-general) of the Serbian Heritage Academy of Canada, a member of the Canadian Authors Association, the board of directors of the Nikola Tesla Educational Corporation, a member of Matica srpska and Matica iseljenika i Srba u regionu.

Gordana Petković Laković is an exceptional mother and wife, the pillar of the family, and remarkably still finds time to support the cultural and humanitarian life of the Serbian community in Canada. She has initiated and organized many events, not only for the Serbian community, but for all Canadians: fashion shows, recitals, exhibitions of paintings and books, theatrical performances and film screenings (at one point she herself was a member of the Serbian Theatre in Toronto), a series of classical music concerts (Clarinet and Piano Duo, Spring Concert, Winter Chamber Music Concert), and a concert given by a Serbian-Canadian contemporary music group. She was a sponsor of the 9th annual concert of the Kir Stefan the Serb choir and of Minstrelle, an album by Kristina Bijelić and Filipe Téllez; a patron of Vojin Vasović for the animated short film Twice Upon a Time; and a sponsor for the programme Biography of the Diaspora. She has collaborated with some of Toronto’s most renowned cultural organisations (Glenn Gould Studio, Isabel Bader Theatre, Opera House, etc.).

With the support of the Serbian Consulate General in Toronto, she succeeded in increasing the popularity of the Serbian tennis tournament and thanks to her it gained widespread acceptance. Through direct collaboration in the form of writing or sponsorship, she actively helped in the running of Serbian Television Toronto (STVT) until the death of its founder, Blagoje Ristić. However, she continues supporting the network in various ways even today. She also writes for the Novine Toronto, the newspaper of the Serbian diaspora.

She has been a co-organizer for many humanitarian causes, most notably For Vanja’s Heart and Put Tesla on the Map. She joined the Tesla campaign and had a definitive and notable impact in exceeding all fundraising expectations. Through her hard work and contacts, at two major fundraisers, hundreds of guest joined in on the festivities and donated. As the newest NTEC Director, she became very active, instrumental and driving force, playing a key role in NTEC’s achievement to rename Burlington Street, Hamilton Ontario to Nikola Tesla Blvd. She proudly participated, as one of the dignitaries in the ribbon cutting celebrations. Thanks to her initiative, as the Serbian flags flew on 10th July 2016 and to the strains of the Serbian national anthem and ‘Tamo daleko’ (‘There, Far Away’), the song played at Tesla’s funeral, the street was given the name of one of the all-time greats. The excess funds have permitted NTEC to introduce the Nikola Tesla Scholarship at McMaster University and offer over 100 additional awards in the name of Nikola Tesla. Gordana now has turned her attention to NTEC’s next initiative to name new school, in Hamilton, Nikola Tesla Secondary School. She has taken the initiative to reach out to people around the world in seeking their support on a petition to demonstrate how important Tesla truly is. Thousand, if not hundreds of thousands of children will learn about Tesla, thanks to Gordana’s effort and dedication to the cause.

She is the initiator, author and performer of the Literary Workshop for children “Caravan of Happiness”. Traveling through the cities of Canada and the United States of America, mostly on her own expenses, Gordana Laković fights for the preservation of the Serbian language, culture and tradition through an interactive and dynamic game and thus teaches the children born in this continent in the best possible way to learn more about their origins. So far, she has visited over 50 cities where thousands of children aged 4-12 attended her workshops.


  • Кolona, short stories (Studio “Znak”, Belgrade, 2015)
  • To nisam ja, drama (Studio “Znak”, Belgrade, 2015)
  • Dance of Life, short stories in English (autorsko izdanje, Toronto, 2017)
  • Zašto smo otišli, anthology (Ultimatum.rs, Belgrade, 2017) – editor
  • Кanadski bluz, short stories (Arte, Belgrade, 2019)
  • Neka raste naše drvo, children’s poetry (Arte, Beograd, 2019)
  • Radoznalica, children’s poetry (Arte, Belgrade, 2019)
  • Na raskrsnici, anthology (Svet knjige, Belgrade, 2020) – editor
  • Srcem u otadžbini, anthology (Čigoja štampa, Belgrade, 2021) – editor
  • Oklen City (Odakle si ti?), drama (announced)
  • Šumska zavrzlama, children’s drama (announced)
  • Potraga za Srećom, children’s drama (announced)

Awards and recognitions

  • Charter of the Matica iseljenika i Srba u regionu for her contribution to the improvement of relations between the state of Serbia and its citizens abroad (Belgrade, 2018)[13]
  • Rastko Petrović Award of the Matica iseljenika i Srba u regionu for the anthology “Zašto smo otišli” (Belgrade, 2018)[15]
  • Golden Badge of the Cultural and Educational Community of Serbia for the long-term contribution to the development of cultural activities (Toronto, 2019)[16]
  • Special Charter of the Serbian Spiritual Academy in Paraćin “for a wide range of patriotic activities in the all-Serbian community and the diaspora with special reference to the book of prose ‘Kanadski bluz’ and two anthologies of national and life reconsideration ‘Zašto smo otišli’ and ‘Na raskrsnici'” (2020)[17]
  • Certificate of Gratitude of the Literary Workshop “Kordun” (LWK) from West Chester, Pennsylvania for the successful cooperation and contribution to affirmation of the LWK (Paterson, NJ, 2019)[18]
  • Award of the Association of Montenegrin Writers for Children and Youth for the book “Radoznalica” (Podgorica, 2021)
  • Lukijan Mušicki Award of the Literary Society “Sunčani breg” for exceptional contribution and development of Serbian literature in the diaspora (Belgrade, 2021)
  • Certificate of Recognition by Tom Rakocevic, member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament, presented on the First Provincial Celebration of Nikola Tesla Day in Ontario, July 10, for important leadership and work on highlighting the life and achievements of Nikola Tesla (Humber River—Black Creek, 2021)

Within Gordana, there was a growing desire, in fact a need, to put the harsh side of life down on paper, a life darkened by wars and poverty, but also illuminated by the belief that one should always believe and hope. The writers Katarina Kostić and Labud Dragić were the ones who motivated her to write her first book, based on notes of true stories and events that she herself was a part of or a witness to.

Gordana Laković has dedicated this first collection of stories, Dance of Life, to her children Goran and Marija, with the message never to forget their native language or their roots and always to preserve the memory of their homeland; to relay wise stories to future generations; and to show them that the Lord works in mysterious ways, but always for a reason, emphasizing, ‘We cannot change the reason for our arrival in this world, but we are the ones who decide how we will walk these earthly paths – with pride or with shame, with our heads held high or bowed low.

She is included in the Biographical Lexicon of Serbian Writers in Diaspora 1914–2014 by Milena Milanović (editor).