Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
To Whom It May Concern:
Re: David Lam Multicultural Award
Google the words “dragon boat” and “multiculturalism” and the 1st entry is Gung Haggis Fat Choy.
Ask anybody on the street to tell you about “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” and
they will pause, smile, then say: 1) It’s that Robbie Burns Chinese New
Year Dinner in Vancouver; 2) it’s that CBC TV special that mixes Scots
and Chinese music; 3) Wasn’t that the dragon boat float in the St.
Patrick’s Day parade?; 4) I heard about Gung Haggis Fat Choy on the CBC
radio; 5) Isn’t it that crazy Dragon-cart race up at Simon Fraser
University? 6) It’s that guy Toddish McWong, who invented “haggis
Indeed Gung Haggis Fat Choy is known across Canada, and all around the
world. CBC Radio’s Shelagh Rogers co-hosted the our infamous
Robbie Burns Chinese New Year fundraiser dinner, that has now grown to
600 people. People in China, Scotland, California and New Jersey
have all posted links to www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com – our website that
highlights our favorite cultural fusion events. This crazy boat
of Canadians is led by the Gung Haggis of Clan Gung Haggis – otherwise
known as “Toddish McWong.” This team for the past 3 years has
embraced Canada’s Scottish and Chinese heritage, based on the unlikely
but coincidental conjunction of Robbie Burns Day on January 25th and
Chinese New Year (late January/early February).
But it is with humour that we celebrate Canada’s cultural diversity.
Vancouver Museum Curator Joan Siedl says, “I think you’ve identified
Vancouver’s “two solitudes.” But in reality we celebrate
everything in-between and everything beyond. Our team’s members
claim birthright from all around the world. Russian, Japanese,
African, and even mixtures of ancestries. This is very “Gung
The first time a dragon boat was featured in a Vancouver parade, was at
the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2004. The Gung Haggis
Fat Choy entry was especially solicited by the Celtic Fest organizers
to bring their special multicultural energy to the parade. We
were asked to return and for 2005 we featured City Councilor Ellen
Woodsworth on the drum and CBC radio host Margaret Gallagher who is
Chi-rish (Chinese and Irish), with a paddle.
Last year, Gung Haggis Fat Choy was the dragon boat team chosen to
represent multiculturalism in the television documentary series
“Thalassa” filmed by France 5, public television, at the 2004 ADBF. The
team was used to demonstrate how ethnicities from around the
world, live, work and paddle together as one community, as one team, in
the very multicultural city of Vancouver. The Director and producer
Anne Gourmand felt this was important to show not only France, but to
francophone communities all around the world.
Our logo features a chinese dragon wearing a Scottish tam hat.
Our team uniform features Chinese “lucky coin” designs. Every
member of the team wears a cloth swath of the “Fraser Hunting tartan”
and some of our members will even be wearing kilts! We are
inclusive and welcome everybody and anybody to our team.
Please consider the Gung Haggis Fat Choy to be the 2005 recipient for
the Hon. David C. Lam Award, for all the continual multicultural
ambassadorship this team has done all around the world.
for articles on the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team:see http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2006/3/29/1847817.html
Peace and Blessings,
Coach and Founder of Gung Haggis Fat Choy