Monthly Archives: January 2004

Great Weekends for Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Both Sunday and Saturday dinners for Gung Haggis Fat Choy were incredible. Lots of positive comments. People who saw the CBC tv special also raved. 3 Nights of Gung Haggis. We had a rave comment from a Seattlite who watched the show and is asking for copies. I have passed on the message to CBC Regional Director Rae Hull. If you want to see the show re-run, or want to give compliments – please call CBC television in Vancouver. If you post comments on this web blog – I will forward them to CBC.

I will post a review of the Sunday show here later, as I am still very fatigued. But I am still hearing great kudos for our 3 wonderful co-hosts Adrienne Wong, Margaret Gallagher and Heather Pawsey, as well as Sound Engineer Noah Drew and Associate Producer Jim Wong-chu.

If you would like to see more of Heather – She will be performing the principal role in the Burnaby Lyric Opera production “The Elixir of Love” which opens Feb. 14 at the Shadbolt Centre and is also on Feb. 19 and 21 at 8:00 p.m. and Feb. 16 & 18 at 2:00.

Adrienne Wong is directing The Plum Tree at the Firehall Theatre – details tba.

And check out the production of “Sex in Vancouver: Chapter 2 (Other Women)” by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, opening on January 28th at the Roundhouse in Vancouver. We saw Chapter 1 and it was a lot of fun. For more information. Check the website for Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, otherwise known as VACT.

Cultures collide: Chinese don kilts, Scots try haggis wonton – Gung Haggis Fat Choy in Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Associated Press

Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2004 was in the Associated Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This is very appropriate because Todd has a Seattle familial connection which he will post about later.

From Cultures collide: Chinese don kilts, Scots try haggis wonton – written by Amy Carmichael and originally written for Canadian Press.

Here is an excerpt:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Chinese men don kilts and Scots try haggis wonton in the annual multicultural Chinese New Year party for Scottish poet Robert Burns – a 1998 college gag that's become a mainstream event.

More than 500 people so far have snapped up tickets for this weekend's celebration. The birthday of the 18th century Scottish bard is Sunday, at the dawn of the Chinese New Year.

“This is what Canadian society is all about, introducing each other to our cultures and celebrating more holidays,” said organizer Todd Wong.

He was dubbed “Toddish McWong” when he caved in to pleas from friends in a Burns club to help out with their annual reading. The fifth-generation Chinese Canadian was given a book of Gaelic-spiked poems to recite, and a crash course on Scots traditions: men wearing skirts, carrying swords and eating weird foods.

“People, especially Scottish Canadians, thought it was really cool to see a Chinese guy wearing a kilt,” he said.

for more… check out Cultures collide: Chinese don kilts, Scots try haggis wonton – written by Amy Carmichael and originally written for Canadian Press.


Wow! Oh Whatta Night! Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2004 Dinner Review

Every year… after Gung Haggis Fat Choy… we amaze ourselves at what just happened.  There is always such an atmosphere of wonderment, spontaniety and cross-cultural appreciation.

This year the bar was raised higher.  The production was more ambitious.  Professional musicians such as Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault of Silk Road Music, violinist Mark Ferris – concertmaster of Vancouver Opera and Sinfonia, Joe McDonald & Brave Waves – really pushed us to a whole new level.  And the Scottish dancing… Champion highland dancers this year – teen-aged brothers, Vincent and Cameron Collins – Double Wow!

Co-hosts Margaret Gallagher and Adrienne Wong bring such a sparkle to the stage, as well as their Chinese-Irish and Chinese-French-Canadian good looks and talents!  Poetry readers Neil Gray and Ian MacLeod share their Burns favorites.

The real hero of the evening was Noah Drew – working with a mixing board that was not working properly, so the sound system was not as even as we had planned it.  It is so challenging working our program that is trying to dove-tail with the delivery of the dinner courses, and has to jump around…  Deb Martin also did a great job as front of house manager – ensuring that ticket buyers had their tickets and their proper seats…

First Reaction to Saturday's Dinner

I will write more later about the food on VanEats and more later about the dinner in general on this blog, but here are some first, brief impressions:

The food was even better this year. Haggis Wun-Tun, and haggis spring rolls were new and excellent additions (even better than on our haggis test drive)! And I loved the crab and chicken.

As always I was blown away by Brave Waves! Their new tabla player blew Barb and I away. We liked their music so much we bought another one of their CDs. At $10, it's a bargain! One of the few CDs we will buy in 2004 since I no longer buy music from record stores because I don't want to support the music business. I only buy direct from artists at concerts or events like this where you know the artist not getting ripped off by a middle man.

Here are some of my GungHaggisFatyChoy2004 Sat24Jan2004 photos.

This year's program:

Deb, Todd's girlfriend, and grace under pressure:

Highland dancing from Cameron and Vincent Collins: