Chix w/ Stix caterpiller paddle at FC Women's Regatta – photo Stephen Mirowski
False Creek Women's dragon boat regatta: Gung Haggis races with Tacoma DBA
“Babes w/ Blades” drummed by Todd
Wong – Gung Haggis Fat Choy paddlers join TDBA paddlers. Lead
strokes are Merri and Jean. Kristine and Anne in row 2, 7th row Leslie
and Laurie in their 1st ever race, 10th row Sonja and Peggy, John
steers for us. – photo Stephen Mirowski
Gung Haggis paddlers did a great job racing today. We raced with Tacoma Dragon Boat Association's two teams: Babes with Blades, and Chix with Stix.
We had to adjust to
different paddling styles, race calls and strategies, seat placement,
new team mates etc etc. And our ladies did wonderfully.
from Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver were evenly mixed
throughout 2 teams resulting in 3 sets of paddlers with different
paddling styles, levels of experience and racing intensity.
GHFC paddlers use a traditional 6-16 start compared with TDBA's 4-20
start. Our paddlers followed the TDBA lead strokes and style,
with greater success in each race.
thank you to TDBA team, TDBA Coach Clem, and TDBA event organizer Merri
for inviting us to join them. I have known TDBA since 2001, and we
have often paddled together at events in Seattle WA, Kent WA, Penticton
BC + mens and womens races last year in Vancouver.
Oops! “Chix w/ Stix” with dreaded
caterpiller paddle. And they still finished 1st in their first
two races, demonstrating strong power on the team with potential timing
– photo Stephen Mirowski.
Race 1 was “Omigod – what is happening!”
Different calls, strategies – slight panic. And both boats still won
their races – despite caterpillering all the way to the finish line.
Race 2 was “Okay…. this is different…”
as we tried to adapt to the Tacoma style, minimize caterpiller, and
paddle as one. We also raced against each other
– Chix with Stix in
Lane 3 (drummed by Deb )
– Babes with Blades in Lane 1 (drummed by Todd )
Congratulations to Chix winning the race and moving up to the next higher level of competition.
Race 3 was “Let's focus and win this darn race.”
Best races of the day for each team.
Good strong long strokes.
Babes with Blades went all the
way to the finish matching Abreast in Barnet – pulling ahead slightly
at midway, then decisively with a strong early finish.
Chix with Stix had a tougher
race sandwiched between two teams who were just ahead on either side.
Very exciting! finishing a very close 3rd.
Very close race #22. Chix w/ Stix drummed by Deb Martin wins, Babes w/ Blades drummed by Todd Wong comes 3rd.
Deb and I
are really pleased that the our Gung Haggis paddlers were
able to rise to the challenge for this women's regatta. It is
always fun getting together with TDBA. In 2004, they
invited Gung Haggis down to Seattle for the first everdragon boat barrel races.
Some of the
Tacoma paddlers will be going to the World Club Crew Championships in
Toronto in August. There were also brand new
paddlers from Tacoma and Seattle who had never raced before, including
Laurie Anderson and Leslie Wait from Gung Haggis.
Thank you to our guy paddlers for showing up to support us. Stephen
Mirowski took great pictures and displayed them on his laptop
computer. Dan Seto arrived with a birthday cake for Laurie. Jonas,
Steven Wong, Jim Blatherwick all cheered us on.
Rita brought her multi-layered jello, Juliet made sandwiches, Leslie
brought the pasta salad. Peggy, Gail, Kristine, Naoko brought their
racing experience. Jennifer, Leslie, Ann-Marie, Sonja brought their
enthusiasm. Deb and Todd provided great drumming for each team, as
well as shopping at Costco and lugging lots of food and drinks for all
the teams members.
52 teams competed in 39 heats, racing 3 times each.
Our teams finished in race# 34 & #35, the top races for the 2nd tier teams. Top tier teams raced in races #36 to #39.
Gung Haggis paddlers all watched the final race of the day, heat #39
featuring the top 4 teams of the regatta. Wasabi Team Huge, False
Creek Women, North Shore Sirens and Roli Canada. It was a very
exciting race with FC Women in the lead, with Wasabi Team Huge close
behind. These are two of North America's premier women's teams – who
both went to the World Championships in Philadelphia in 2001, and
always compete hard against each other.
Crazy team photo with special “lips”
– Chix w/ Stix + Babes w/ Blades : paddlers from Tacoma, Seattle and
Vancouver – photo Stephen Mirowski
Sunday…. yes we have a practice – 1pm.
The men need to practice hard! along with women who did not race on
Saturday. Women who raced Saturday will focus on technique.
Lots of race strategies…. as we ready our team for the June 4 ADBF regatta.
Good job Gung Haggis & TDBA !!!!
Review: Asian Comedy Night – What are the 10 most misunderstood things about Asians?
At the afterparty – OPM with Vancouver's Charlie Cho (Hot Sauce Posse) back row: Charles
Kim, Charlie Cho; front row: Janina Gavankar, Ewan Chung, Vancouver's
Philip Gurney, and Jae-Suh – photo Todd Wong
A man steps into the spotlight with a guitar slung over his
shoulders, and a jet black pompadou hairstyle. The sound track is
Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” but the words are strange. It’s
about being Asian, racing “rice rockets” on “Streets of Fire.”
It’s comedian Tom Chin, doing yet another karaoke musical send up.
7th Annual Asian Comedy night opened on May 26th at the Round House
Community Centre, produced and presented by Vancouver Asian Canadian
Theatre. Flipping racial stereotypes is the norm, and white
actors are the exotic rarities. The mostly Asian crowd laughed,
tittered and guffawed. Even the white folks laughed and had lots
of fun identifying with the humour.
“Vancouver has a lot of inter-racial relationships…” starts Vancouver stand up comic Jeffery Yu,
a former social studies high school teacher. “Everybody thinks that
mixed race people are so exotic-looking,” he says and goes into a joke
about how Asian/White couples always seem to be Asian female / White
male. Yu has lots of jokes, and the audience gets lots of
laughs. Yu will be featured in a CTV comedy special later this
year, and was written up in the Georgia Straight last year.
just not french enough!” say three Asian casting directors who are
auditioning a white actor in a racial role reversal. “This is the
first time in a long while that we are casting an all-white cast in a
move. Try a little more Catherine Deneuve, a little more French
The female actor is clearly exasperated, trying to
please them, but clearly failing in her attempts to portray what they
“think” is French. Finally she says, “I really don’t want this
part that badly,” like so many Asian actors who get frustrated trying
to portray what white casting directors and producers “think” is Asian,
or Chinese, or Japanese, etc.
“Maybe we can get Keanu, or Meg
Tilly,” the directors decide. They’re half-white already, nobody
will know the difference.
People’s Minds) is a sketch comedy troupe now based in Los Angeles,
after first originating in Seattle. Charles Kim and Ewan Chung
are the leaders with Jae-Suh and new kid Janina Gavankar. They
also individually make the tv acting round in L.A. individually racking
up credits in ER, Strong Medicine, Girlfriends and Las Vegas.
This is one talented troupe!
The skits are fast and
furious. Kim plays a Japanese rapper named “50 Yen,” or was that
Chung who did it? Sometimes Asians look alike to me. But
there is no mistaking their abilities to quickly change characters from
one skit to the next. Omigod, it’s like an Asian version of
Saturday Night Live with an all-Asian cast, presenting stories with
Asian themes, as well as a wonderful skit about a male car mechanic and
a female car owner who (gasp!) took her car to a different mechanic for
a hose job, when he was too busy. The double entendres and the
acting were spot on!
Some of the better characters involved an
Iron Chef spoof featuring the North Korean leader dictator Kim Jong-Il
with a “Capote” accent,
and Savuri from “Memoirs of a Geisha,” the night’s performance who
tries her best to become an “exotic dancer.”
the Vancouver show, they are joined by Hot Sauce Posse member
Philip Gurney, their token white actor. Gurney was only able to
rehearse for about 40 minutes with OPM, but seemed to fit
beautifully. Saturday's show promises to be an even tighter
Jeffery Yu, Tom Chin and Kermet Apio – at the afterparty! – photo Todd Wong
grew up in Hawaii, a land and culture that I consider to be much more
interculturally and accepting of inter-racial relationships. He
now does stand up comedy in Seattle and tours nationally. “You
learn to laugh at yourself when your name is Kermet,” he says.
Apio spins jokes and stories about growing up named Kermet as well as
growing up Hawaiian.
“How was school today?” my parents would ask when I would come home.
“How do you think it went. I’m named Kermit,” he replies.
was first born,” starts Apio, “I was the guinea pig. My parents
learned with me as practice. My sisters got normal names.”
a friendly “in the know” crowd at the Roundhouse. They know what
it’s like to grow up Asian. But the comedy is universal.
It’s the situations that we laugh at. The stereotypes, the
mistaken identities, the misunderstandings. But Asian Comedy
Night goes beyond the obvious. This is also a night of social
commentary. Yes there is racial discrimination, but we don’t have
to get down about it. If we can laugh at the world and ourselves,
we’ll do okay.
Thanks to Vancouver Asian Comedy Night,
the world is safer for Asians and their friends, and hopefully the
world will understand better why Asians are such bad drivers, don’t
understand the concept of tipping, think White people all look alike,
and why we speak with funny accents.
Check out the Comedy
workshops at the Roundhouse on Saturday afternoon, as well as the final
show on Saturday night. It's well worth it. Take your white
friends… or your Asian friends… even if just to have an excuse to
make fun of each other later.
Ottawa's 'final decision' on Chinese head-tax due in
June, PM says
VANCOUVER — Chinese immigrants who were
forced to pay a blatantly racist head tax will learn next month how the federal
government plans to address the issue.
Chinese Canadians have been calling on Ottawa for several years
to apologize for the tax and to provide some form of redress.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated during the
recent election campaign that, unlike the previous Liberal government, he was
open to those requests. And he told reporters yesterday that the Chinese
community could expect a response in mid-June.
“We will be announcing our final decision on that
within the next month,” Mr. Harper said. “There have been extensive
consultations across the country. I will be continuing some of those today and
we're very close to a final decision.”
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Those who have been fighting for action on the head-tax issue said
they were encouraged by the goodwill extended by the Prime Minister when he met
with head-tax payers and their families in East Vancouver
later in the day.
“This meeting speaks to the sincerity and
personal commitment of the Prime Minister that head-tax redress remains a
priority of this government,” Susan Eng, the co-chair of the Ontario
Coalition of Chinese Head Tax Payers and Families, said in a statement.
“The hopes and expectations of these Chinese
Canadian pioneers and their families for fair and just redress are now placed
in his hands and we expect that he will not disappoint them.”
In all, about 81,000 Chinese immigrants paid
$23-million to enter Canada
under the head-tax scheme between 1885 and 1923. The Chinese Exclusion Act
followed, barring Chinese immigrants altogether until it was repealed in 1947.
Over the past 21 years, more than 4,000 head-tax
payers and families have registered with the Chinese Canadian National Council.
Many have died, and the council wants action while there are still a few
remaining to accept what the government is willing to offer.
But the government has had to determine how it can
properly apologize for the discriminatory tariff and its consequences. Canadian
Heritage Minister Bev Oda has been charged with
conducting national consultations on the issue, and her findings will heavily
influence the government's response.
hears first-hand of suffering caused by Chinese head tax
May 26, 2006.
VANCOUVER—Quon Chang Shee
Dere is 102. But old age couldn't stop the Vancouver resident from delivering a sharp
message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the issue of the Chinese head tax.
“I am going to
stay alive as long as it takes to get justice. How much longer would you expect
me to live?” she asked Harper in a meeting yesterday.
Dere's husband was one of some 81,000 Chinese immigrants who each paid a
$500 head tax to enter Canada
early in the century.
During a roundtable
meeting yesterday, Dere delivered a blunt appeal for justice in her own Chinese
dialect, said Mary Woo Sims, who sat in on the private meeting.
The Conservatives have
promised to deliver a formal apology for the head tax and redress to those who
paid it. Heritage Minister Bev Oda and Jason Kenney,
Harper's parliamentary secretary, have travelled the
country consulting with Chinese Canadians on the shape of the compensation
For the first time
yesterday, Harper sat in on one of those sessions, saying he wanted to hear
first-hand the tales of racism and hardship before deciding the government's
position on compensation.
Charlie Quan, 99, told Harper how he toiled without break in a Saskatchewan coffee shop
for four years to pay off the money he had borrowed to pay the tax.
“Very hard work to
get money … every day, even Christmas Day and New Year,” he said later.
The session at the Strathcona Community Centre in the city's Chinatown
stretched for 90 minutes, a half hour longer than scheduled.
In total, Chinese
immigrants paid $23 million to enter Canada under the head tax scheme
between 1885 and 1923, when the Chinese Exclusion Act came into effect and
barred Chinese altogether until 1947.
The previous Liberal
government rushed through an agreement before the election providing $2.5
million for an educational foundation but offered no apology or compensation.
That sparked widespread
outrage among community leaders, including Sid Tan, who protested during former
prime minister Paul Martin's visit to Vancouver late last year.
Yesterday, Tan was
among those who met with Harper. Later, he said the progress they've made with
the Conservatives on the issue has been “astounding.”
Prior to the meeting,
Harper said he expects to announce details of the compensation package in
Harper meets with Chinese head
PM Harper meets with Head Tax Survivors and community redress leaders in Vancouver
The BC Coalition of Head
Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants, quickly organized a meeting for
Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with surviving head tax payers
and descendants. This was similar to when the Coalition organized
a meeting of Head Tax payers, spouses and descendants to meet with
Parliamentary Secretary Jason Kenney, earlier the same day when Kenney
addressed the “town meeting” community consultation back in April.
Head Tax payer Charlie Quan was
there, as well as 83 year old Gim Wong, the WW2 Veteran who rode his
motorcycle to Ottawa last year to ask then PM Paul Martin for an
apology for Chinese Head Tax.
The BC Coalition had a meeting
following their meeting with PM Harper, and the atmosphere was very
jubilant. Head tax descendant and spokesperson Karin Lee
presented the BC Coalition's proposal directly to the PM, which calls
for redress compensation for each head tax certificate, rather than
limiting to only 1st generation descendants such as sons and
daughters. On the BC Coalition we feel that a “one payment – one
certificate” compensation package is the most fair. For example
in some families, only the grandchildren are the surviving descendants
now. As well, my 95 year old grandmother still holds her father's
brother's head tax certificate. Her uncle's wife and son died
before he could bring them to Canada due to the exclusion act. He
never saw his son.
Thursday » May 25 » 2006
PM Harper meets with head tax survivors in Vancouver to talk about
Asian Comedy Night is a tradition in Vancouver – started by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, seven years ago. It is great fun – poking at all the stereotypes of both Asians and White People.
This year, OPM (Opening People's Minds) returns, along with Vancouver
stand up comic, Jeffrey Yu, returning host Tom Chin, and Seattle's
Bring your friends, and see
how they squirm or laugh at the right or wrong places. Political
correctness? Asian Comedy Night re-writes it. Cheers, Todd
Below is from the www.vact.ca website
Get Addicted to OPM !
OPM- Asian Sketch Comedy Troupe – Returns to get “HIGH” lighted
in the 7th Annual Asian Comedy Night
Return of the Chung King – 7th Annual Asian Comedy
May 26 – 27, 2006
@ The Roundhouse Performance Centre, Vancouver
BC (April 24, 2006) – The coveted Rice Bowl that is awarded to the
funniest Asian Sketch Comedy Troupe at the Vancouver Asian Canadian
Theatre’s highly successful SKETCHOFF!#$%!! – sketch comedy competition, returns with the 3 time winners to Vancouver, to highlight this year’s Asian Comedy Night. OPM (Opening People‘s Minds)
will get you laughing, rolling in the aisles, and totally high for the
evening! It’s 120 minutes of craziness irreverence, as triple-crown
winner OPM present a semi-star studded show with appearances by 50 Yen,
Tyra Banks, Iron Chef Bobby Flay, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il,
Savuri from “Memoirs of a Geisha,“ and MORE!
The event, organized by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT), takes place May 26 – 27 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre, hosted by Tom Chin. This year’s Comedy Night showcases local favourite standup comedian, Jeffery Yu who has a CTV comedy special this Fall, and Seattle’s funniest comic, Kermet Apio.
you’re talking about entertainment value, we’ve got it with this year’s
Return of the Chung King Show,” says Joyce Lam, President for VACT. “We
are highlighting the Kings of Comedy. Jeffery Yu is my local favourite standup comedian while Kermet Apio from
Seattle had me laughing from the get go when he explained his unusual
name and how he was sent to preschool in green pants. Match that with
the fast pace hilariousness of OPM, back with new material from their most recent show Get Laughs or Die Tryin‘, and the very funny Tom Chin and you’ve got a wild night of mayhem, madness and hysterics!”
Also as part of this weekend of Asian Comedy, The Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre is hosting a community public forum, Dissection of Comedy, held
on Saturday, May 27th at 2pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre. This
forum will have the Asian Comedy Night comedians: OPM, Jeffery Yu, Kermet Apio and Tom Chin provide
insight on what is “comedy“. The audience will have a chance to see a
demonstration, hear a discussion and ask questions. Admission to this
event is free.
Party On! Join the performers and producers at 2 AFTER PARTIES:
- Friday Night at SHIRU-BAY with fighting Chef, Kodai Uno
- Saturday Night at THE DINER (both within steps from the theatre)
$5 gets you in. You hang with the comics, have some fun and become an
official OPM groupie. Join us for a good time! Cash Bar. AFTER PARTY Tickets available on-line
– online at www.vact.ca
– in person at the Roundhouse Community Centre
– by phone by calling 604.713.1800
$18 plus service charges in advance
$21 cash at door
Group Rate and/or Information 778.885.1973
Hip, Hapa and Interculturally Happening…. May 25th to June 1
I missed doing a HH&IH last week because I was consumed with
readying the Gung Haggis dragon boat team for their races of the season
at the Barnet Marine Park “Bill Alley Memorial Dragon Boat
Regatta.” This weekend, the team will be racing under the Tacoma
Dragon Boat Association banner on the boats named Chix w/ Stix, and
Babes w/ Blades. Each boat will have paddlers from Tacoma,
Seattle and Vancouver. Look for us Saturday racing from 9am to
3:30pm, as part of the False Creek Women's dragon boat regatta, at
Creekside Park (just south of Science World).
Asian Heritage Month continues with lots of great performances, workshops and exhibitions – check it out at www.explorasian.org
A program for Adults
Please join us for an evening of inspired music-making, as Vancouver's
acclaimed Orchid Ensemble performs works by composers Hope Lee and Mark
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month with an
evening of inspired music-making, as the Orchid Ensemble perfoms works
by Hope Lee and Mark Armanini. The composers will share their musical
journeys and discuss their works related to contemporary and ancient
Vancouver's acclaimed Orchid Ensemble
blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and
beyond, creating a beautiful new sound that is both creative and
Vancouver Public Library
at 604-331-3603 or
via email: email@example.com
|Thursday May 25
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
350 West Georgia Street
Author discusses his new book, Savage Breast: A Man’s Search for the Goddess,
the tale of one man’s discovery of the feminine divine through myth,
art, archaeology, and personal encounter. May 26, 7:30 pm, Vancouver Public Library (350 W. Georgia). Free admission, info 604-331-3602.
THE ROLE OF THE MULTICULTURAL WRITER IN SOCIETY: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
As part of the 20th-anniversary Conference of Italian Canadian Writing,
Ariadne Sawyer hosts a world-poetry roundtable with a panel including
Carmelo Militano, Pasquale Verdicchio, Diego Bastianutti, Anita
Aguirre-Nieveras, and Victoria Pescha. May 26, UBC (Anthropology-Sociology Rm. 203). Free admission, info 604-526-4729.
CHINESE OPERA DEMONSTRATION
Chinese Opera Demonstration
Afascinating introduction to Chinese opera,
presented by members of Vancouver Cantonese Opera. There will be a
make-up demonstration and display of costumes and accessories, followed
by a workshop with discussions about opera characters and performance
- Make-up Demonstration: 12:00 p.m. -2:00 pm., in the Promenade.
- Opera Workshop: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., in the Alma VanDusen and Peter Kaye rooms (lower level)
DISSECTION OF COMEDY
OPM, Jeffery Yu, and Kermet Apio share insights on their processes and
careers during this forum on sketch comedy, complete with
demonstrations. May 27, 2-3 pm, Roundhouse Community Centre (Pacific & Davie). Free admission, info 778-885-1973.
THE MULTICULTURAL CANADA CONFERENCE: OUR DIVERSE HERITAGE
Simon Fraser University hosts a conference with a focus on the
Multicultural Canada Digitization Project, which is committed to making
historical records of individuals and cultural communities available
online; speakers include historians Henry Yu (UBC) and Hugh Johnston
(SFU). May 31–June 2, SFU Harbour Centre (515 W. Hastings). Info ocs.sfu.ca/multiculturalcanada2006/.
WORLD POETRY READING SERIES
and Alejandro Mujica-Olea host a celebration of Asian Heritage Month,
featuring readings by Tibetan lama Pema, Kagan Goh (Singapore), Billy
Yizhong (China), Anita Aguirre Nieveras (Philippines), and Mandana
Rastan (Persia), plus songs in Tagalog performed by the Holy Rosary
Cathedral 12:30 Choir. May 29, 7:30 pm, Vancouver Public Library (350 W. Georgia). Free admission, info 604-526-4729.
Denise Chong: Asian Heritage Month at Vancouver Public Library continues
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia Street
Denise Chong is best known for The Concubine's Children, one of the first non-fiction narratives of a Chinese family in Canada, which tells of
her grandmother's life as a tea house waitress in the old Chinatowns.
It is an incredible book about how challenging life was like for the
Chinese pioneers, many of whom paid the head tax to succeed in Canada
despite rampant racism. This book won the Vancouver Book Award, and
was turned into a play 2 years ago, premiering in Nanaimo. I have met Denise a few times at readings at the library and also in Nanaimo.