Monthly Archives: August 2006

Check out Orchid Ensemble and Tandava – performing this weekend

Check out Orchid Ensemble and Tandava – performing this weekend

There is some great intercultural East-West music happening this weekend.

Orchid Ensemble/Tandava Newsletter, Aug 2006.
 
Orchid Ensemble and Tandava are now promoting their events together.
Both groups have recently updated their website with new designs and info, as well as music and video. Please visit www.orchidensemble.com and www.tandava.com
 

Upcoming Events

 

Enchanted Evenings

7:30pm, Sept 1, 2006
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden. 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC
Tandava gives a concert of music from its debut CD, plus brand new compositions, at the beautiful Chinese classical garden. www.vancouverchinesegarden.com
co-presenter Vancouver World Music Collective. www.vancouverworldmusic.org
$15 non-members and $12 members. 604 662-3207.

 

The 6th Silent Summer Nights

8:15pm, Sept 2, 2006
Grandview Park (Commercial Dr. at the end of William Street).
Joined by Vancouver guitarist Ron Samworth, the Orchid Ensemble
is performing live sounds to two Chinese animations made in 1979 and
1980: ¡§Three Monks¡¨ and ¡§Nezha Conquering the Dragon King¡¨. This
event is presented by Radix and Rumble Productions and free to the
public. Bring a blanket and the whole family!

Taiwanese Cultural Festival and Dragon boat races: Look for Gung Haggis dragon boat team


Taiwanese Cultural Festival and Dragon boat races:
Look for Gung Haggis dragon boat team



It is the 4th annual Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race, held in conjunction with the award winning Taiwanese Cultural Festival.  Come watch the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team race on Saturday and Sunday at Plaza of Nations.

Taiwanese Dragon boats are different from the Six-Sixteen boats
normally raced in the Vancouver area, or the Millenium Boats raced in
Victoria and Kelowna.  18 paddlers on a boat made of Alaskan
Cedar, with a big dragon boat head – the better to climb on top
of.  Why?  to grab the flag!  The race is won by
grabbing a flag sticking out of the water, and being the first to cross
the finish line.  If you miss the flag… stop, go back, grab the
flag, then paddle forward.


Here's a picture of last year's Gung
Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team with our drummer Naoko pointing to the
flag   photo Ray Shum

The Taiwanese Cultural Festival is pretty interesting.  It reminds
me of what the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival used to be many years ago,
when it was still focussed on bringing Chinese cultural performances
and food to mainstream Vancouver audiences.  The focus of the
festival is to celebrated Taiwanese culture for ex-Taiwanese families,
and to share it with Vancouver residents.  Taiwan really does have
it's own separate history and culture separate from Mainland
China.  I spent weeks in Taiwan back in 1980 on a student culture
and language tour.  With about 200 other 20-something students
from across the USA, Hawaii and with a contingent of 30 Canadians, we
stayed in Taipei, and travelled across the beautiful island in our
final week.

The Taiwanese dragon boats first came to Vancouver as a gift from the
Taiwanese government and people in 2003.  I was part of the
inaugural race committee and a board member of the CCC Dragon Boat
Association, that worked together with the Taiwanese Cultural Festival
to bring “flag grabbing” dragon boats to Canada.  The boats
arrived by container only 10 days before the first race.  The
first boat was in the water on Thursday night, and on Friday morning we
had a demonstration race for media.  The first flag grabbers were
Vancouver City Councillor Raymond Louie, and Olympic medalist Lori
Fung.  I taught them both how to climb onto the dragon head and
Lori asked me if they were our guinea pigs.  I corrected her and
said “No… you are pioneers for dragon boating!” Lori caught the first
flag, as her boat crew paddled by False Creek Grand Dragons, narrowly
beat the Eh Team.

On Tuesday night, the 2006 version of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon
boat team went out paddling in a Taiwanese dragon boat for the first
time.  For many people, it was their first time ever in a
Taiwanese d-boat.  About 1/3 of our paddlers had been in the boat
before.  We took turns giving people a chance to try climbing onto
the head a being a flag grabber.  No flags were set out to
practice with… so we pretended.

A Taiwanese dragon boat sits higher off the water than most other
dragon boats, and there is very little gunnel above the seat.  You
literally are sitting on the side of the boat, and could slide off your
seat if you are not careful.  It's a whole different paddling
style, and our paddlers have to adapt.


Last year we missed grabbing the flag.  We had to stop, paddle backward, then draw left to grab the flag. – photo Ray Shum

We did our race pieces, and called a power series.  The flag
grabber would rise from their crouched position behind the dragon head
and nimbly pull themselves up onto the dragon head, raising one leg
above the horns, and tucking in their feet, then the other…. or
not!   One by one, Julie, Ashleigh, Ann-Marie and Jonas each
climbed onto the dragon head, as we paddled the boat at top
speed.  They reached out to grab an imaginary flag, then hold it
out straight as we crossed the imaginary finish line, and each paddler
waved the imaginary flag to the imaginary crowd, as all our paddlers in
the boat cheered.

Our crew is amazing… we might not be the fastest on the water, but we
have an incredible attitude to share our experiences with each other
and be good friends.  After Ann-Marie came down off the dragon
head, she declared that it was an amazing experience, and that
everybody should take the opportunity.

Check out articles and pictures from last year's Taiwanese dragon boat race



Taiwanese Dragon Boat races… Gung Haggis wins BRONZE medal!

Congratulations everybody!!!
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team won our first medal this year –
Bronze in Division D. Lots of fun & PICTURES   more »

Come cheer the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team
at the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and Dragon Boat Races!
When to meet – what to do…
   more »

Redress Application Process Announced for Head Tax Payers – CCNC Seeks Inclusion of All Head Tax Families

The
Redress for the highly discriminatory Chinese head tax, designed to
deter Chinese from coming to Canada, is finally moving ahead.  The
Conservative government apologized and announced plans for redress back
on June 22nd, but no clear plan was in process yet. 


The government has still limited redress only to surviving head tax
payers and spouses, despite calls from head tax redress and human
rights activists to compensate all families who paid the head tax. The
Chinese Canadian National Council and the BC Coalition for Head Tax
Payers, Spouses and Families is still calling for one payment for each
certificate, as a direct symbolic redress.  Over $23 Million was
collected in the Chinese Head Tax, enough to pay for the building of
the trans-Canada railway, when only Chinese were deliberately
targeted.  No other ethnic group was discriminated against in this
way to deter them from coming to Canada. 


Immediate Release

August 29, 2006

Redress Application Process Announced
for Head Tax Payers 

CCNC Seeks Inclusion of All Head Tax Families

TORONTO: The Government of
Canada today released the application process for
Chinese Head Tax payers
living as of February 6, 2006. As per the redress announcement of June 22,
2006, living Head Tax payers who paid the Dominion of Canada Head Tax
(1885-1923) or the Dominion of Newfoundland Head Tax (1906-1949) are eligible
for ex-gratia payments of $20,000. Please see:
http://www.pch.gc.ca/newsroom/index_e.cfm?fuseactionfiltered=displayDocument&DocIDCd=CBO060709

 
“The Canadian Government has today
taken the first concrete step in implementing the redress announcement of June
22nd,” Colleen Hua, CCNC National President said today.
“We urge the Canadian Government to be inclusive of all head tax families
in this process of reconciliation and extend redress payments to families where
the Head Tax payer and spouse have both passed away.”

 
CCNC and redress-seeking groups have
identified 34 head tax payers across
Canada this year and will endeavour
to contact the surviving head tax payers and their families. “Already one
Head Tax payer we identified has passed away but his estate will be
eligible,” Victor Wong, CCNC Executive Director said today. “We
will continue to work collaboratively with the Government to restore honour and
dignity to all head tax families and to the community.”
 

Application forms and an applicant's guide
are available in English and French on the website of the Department of
Canadian Heritage at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca.
Forms and guides are also available by phoning the Canadian Heritage Help Line
at 1-888-776-8584 or by visiting a Service Canada Centre near you
(www1.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/gateways/where_you_live/menu.shtml).

Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) continues to work with other
redress-seeking groups including the Ontario Coalition of Chinese Head Tax
Payers and Families (Ontario Coalition), Association of Chinese Canadians for
Equality and Solidarity (ACCESS), B.C. Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses
and Descendants (B.C. Coalition), Calgary Chinese Head Tax Redress Coordinating
Committee, Edmonton Chinese HTEA Redress Committee, Saskatchewan Chinese Head
Tax Redress Committee, Chinese Canadian Redress Alliance (CCRA), Halifax
Chinese Redress Committee, and the Steering Committee on Chinese Newfoundland
Head Tax in the campaign to redress the Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion
Act.
 

– 30-

 

For more information, please contact:

Colleen Hua, CCNC, (647) 299-1775

Victor Wong, CCNC, (416) 977-9871


CBC “On this Day”: Martin Luther King's “I have a Dream” speech

CBC “On this Day”:  Martin Luther King's “I have a Dream” speech

Yesterday, the CBC website marked “On This Day” with Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  This is such an incredible speech.  It still sends shivers down my spine.  Especially with my experiences over this past year, becoming surrounded by the Chinese Head Tax redress movement as well as the campaign to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home, and bringing up all the issues of the Japanese Canadian internment.

This morning I have been reading the first chapter of David Suzuki: the autobiography, titled “My Happy Childhood in Racist British Columbia.”  It has been very moving, as he describes the experiences that shaped his perceptions of the world, both against Canadian white society, and the Japanese community – to which he felt an “outsider.”

Martin Luther King was assinated on April 4, 1968.  Suzuki writes about his experience:

Students at UBC organized a rally on the steps of the library to express our sorrow.  I was an associate professor and spoke out, telling British Columbians that this was a time for us not to smugly reaffirm our sense of superiority over Americans but to reexamine our own society.  I reminded them of the incarceration of Japanese Canadians during World War II, the treatment of Native people, and the fact that Asians and blacks wer not allowed to vote in B.C. until the 1960's.  The Vancouver Sun wrote a scathing editorial that chastised me for opening old wounds, for raising issues that were not relevant on the occasion of a King memorial.  It was then that I realiszed how important tenure was as I was subtly informed that university administrators were nervous about faculty members who might attract negative publicity.
                    – page 52-53  David Suzuki the Autobiography

Suzuki writes an autobiography that is both gripping and enlightening.  He shares how events shape his life and perceptions.  He demonstrates how action or inaction both have consequences.  And most importantly how Canada has a racist history, and it is recent, and the victims are still walking amongst us, still hurting and suffering. 

Meeting so many head tax descendants and hearing their family stories, of how separation makes you ask what kind of human beings did we have running our governments.  The same kind that kept African Americans segregated in the American south, or kept First Nations Canadians segregated on reserves.

See the special article that my friend Ian wrote for the David Suzuki event for the CBC Book Club
http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2006/5/8/1942735.html

John Rutherford's Check Your Chart, for the Week of 28 August 2006

John Rutherford's
Check Your Chart, for the Week of 28 August 2006

Told ya so, told ya so (gloat, gloat)!  I’ve only been saying
Pluto is a minor Planet for 30 years.  It’s about time the
Astronomers got it right.  Don’t you think it’s about time
Astrologers got it right, too?
When Pluto was first discovered out in the dark reaches past Neptune, it
was supposed to be so massive it perturbed the orbit of Neptune, and if
so it therefore had the density of pure gold!  Hence it’s early
reputation as Ruler of the Underworld with its deep dark secrets,
including all the wealth that could be dug up, gold, jewels,
secrets…
On closer inspection, no such luck.  Pluto is a dirty snowball, not
dense, and definitely not as dense as gold.  Yes, Pluto is rather an
Alien, the Lord of Lonely, but as for the power of transformation? 
Poppycock!  It is only a shallow caricature of the legend.  So
has been its supposed Astrological influence.  Besides, for most of
the time since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has been in a running sextile
with Neptune, the Pest.  Over 30 years ago, I suggested what was
attributed to Pluto was really from the influence of Neptune, Lord of
Extremes and Exaggeration.
Though there are still more technical problems to consider, my last point
is about aspects, the angular relationships measured between the Planets,
and the foundation of the forecasts for Check Your Chart.  Yes,
precisely measured angles.  Since Pluto’s orbit is so radically
tilted to the Zodiac, the path the rest of the Planets follow through the
Heavens, what by longitude only might be called a trine (120 degrees), to
Pluto would in reality be a sesquiquadrate (135 degrees).  Or, since
orbs should be rather tight for aspect analysis, how could anyone
properly say Pluto was conjunct anything if it was 15 degrees above the
Planet in question???  Told ya so, 30 years ago.
Now for the global perspective re last week: Monday’s sour news (Merc –
Nept), the world’s biggest economy is soon to drop, particularly the US
housing market with a “hard landing”.  US growth will be down
2%.  Not a blue chip Monday.
Tuesday’s “mud fence” day cobbled just enough support for the softwood
deal for the Tories to risk a confidence vote in October.  The Lib’s
are not nearly ready to risk that, so let’s eat the deal and like it,
with dry toast of course.  And, private clinic owning, profit
making, Dr. Day is now head of the CMA.  How universal will care
remain?
Wednesday’s New Moon, more properly called the Dark Moon, signified many
shifts in global connections, the biggest being announcement of the ASEAN
Free Trade Zone.  First it was the EU, then NAFTA, now it’s South
East Asia, each mega-country with a GDP over $10 trillion.  So,
maybe we won’t mind that Ottawa wants to rely on market forces to the
“maximum extent feasible” as US buyers of Canadian assets rose from 51%
in 1990 to 62% in 2003.
Venus triggering the Saturn – Neptune opposition on the weekend could
have been a petty thing, or a personal bummer, but as we all get
Pluton-ised, er, isolated, we can realise the beauty of peace, quiet and
simplicity.  But, don’t forget your iPod.
 
Nota Bene:  Priorities: Earth first, Moon second, Sun third,
the rest of the Planets fourth, minor Planets fifth.  Again, so much
for your Sun Sign.
Check Your Chart focuses on Planetary aspects, effective to one degree
only
, affecting only a tenth of any Sign of the Zodiac.  Get
your Horoscope read.  Learn Your Four Personal Points. 
Contact me at (604) 521-3235 or
johnrutherford@shaw.ca.
 
This Week:  “Oh, Moo-oonie Pie, come baa-ack.”  The Moon
was rather out of touch last week, being so distant.  Sunspot 905
broke up over it.  Whew!  There goes some of the tension. 
Jupiter trines Uranus Tuesday, making for a good party time, ease of
negotiations, and gatherings of friends and allies.
There’s a snag, the Brothers Grim, Saturn opposed Neptune Thursday. 
That pest called “reality” just won’t go away.  The Emperor still
has no clothes.  How can there be laws with selective
enforcement?  T’ain’t fair!  Tainted processes will have to
pay.  Read all about it (some more) as Mercury blows the covers off
next Sunday.
 
Monday, 28 August.  (Moon in late Libra, early Scorpio.  Sun
aspects Mars / Saturn-Neptune.  5 Mut, 20 Card)
Grind it up or grind it down.  Go at this with a vengeance,
you’ll soon realise your limits.  Go at it at all, resources get
easily crunched.  Go slow, steady, and quiet, OK?
 
Tuesday, 29 August.  (Moon in Scorpio.  Jupiter trine
Uranus.  13 degrees of All Signs)
Indulge
in a major Planetary aspect, triggered by the Moon this
afternoon.  The symbol is “Go for all the goodies you can find, and
pick up support as you go!”  So, GO BIG!
 
Thursday, 31 August.  (Moon in Sagittarius.  Saturn opposed
Neptune, aspect Venus / Jupiter.  17 Fix, 2 Card)
“It’s too late, Ebenezer.”  You selfish jerk, spirits of Dirty
Deeds Past revisit, and you’ll have to pay.  The meek, the many, get
assured, but is it more empty Platitudes?
(Mercury conjunct the Sun.  8 Mut, 23 Card)
There go the Platitudes if words are not met with change, real change
of behaviour.  “Stay the course” is no option.  Mercury goes on
the far side, showing an attitude of reaching out, setting up true
dialogue.  No trade and exchange both ways, no deal.
 
Sunday, 3 September.  (Moon in Capricorn.  Mercury opposed
Uranus, sextile Jupiter.  17 Fix, 2 Card)
Something has to be said, blurted out, thrashed about, so don’t get
in the way.  Don’t expect Jupiter to help ease anxieties, though he
will protect.  He supports this outburst.

If you want the “horrible-scopes”, go somewhere else. 
If you want the meaning behind them, stay on. 
 
Is your Number up?
  Check Your Four Personal Points for
every day, see below.  If the numbers match, this day is for
you.
 
Each forecast shows: the Moon Sign, the Planetary Aspect, and Numbers
of degrees in Signs for the Planetary Aspect.
The Moon Sign is the Sign the Moon is in for that day. 
The Moon Sign gives advantage to the Sign it is in, puts extra
pressure on the opposite Sign, and tends to cross up or neutralise the
Signs at right angles.  For example, with Fixed Signs, if the Moon
is in Taurus, Taurus has the advantage, Scorpio gets challenged, and Leo
and Aquarius get shifted or crossed up.
The Planetary Aspect is where action is released.  It's the
Excuse.  Unlike daily Horoscopes that suggest each day has the same
level of influence, this is the core of changes in the daily
energies.
The Sign Numbers are the degrees in the Signs of the Zodiac being
emphasised.  If the degree for any day is close to any degree of
Your Four Personal Points (see below), within a degree or so, THIS
IS YOUR DAY.  Pay extra ATTENTION.
You may have several days in the week activated for you, or you may have
none.  As a degree hits one of Your Four Personal Points, the
forecast tells about the important things in your life.  The daily
forecasts tell you when.  The overall story comes through over
time.  Sooner or later, the degrees of the Forecast catch up to
you.

Your Four Personal Points are, in order of importance:
The Ascendant, the Mid-heaven, the Moon, and the
Sun.
These are the most important Points of your Horoscope, calculated
from your birth date, your birth-place, and the time of day you drew your
first breath.  The first two Personal Points, the Ascendant
and Mid-heaven, are the points that fix the
Earth in space for your birth time at your specific birth
place.  We live on the Earth, not the Sun or the Moon.  The
Ascendant, also called Your Rising Sign, is more important
than your Sun Sign.
 
Simply, and generally only, forecasts that affect your:
Ascendant     relate to matters in your
environment.  Use it to see what's in your “face”.
Mid-heaven  relate to matters in your personal
life.    Use it to see what's in your mind.
Moon          
relate to matters in your emotional life.   Use it to see
what's in your heart.
Sun
            
relate to matters in your physical
life.        Use it to see what's in
your core.

The Signs of the Zodiac are:
Card:
Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)
Fix: Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius)
Mut: Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces)

Heaven, Help Us!  The forecast is the mood of the
moment
. For example, if it rains, we all get wet, no matter
what “Sign” we are.
If you like this forecast, let others know.  SEND IT TO THEM. 
If you have comments or questions, LET ME KNOW.  Check Your Four
Personal Points
each week if any of them is targeted, and… 
PAY ATTENTION!

Your Horoscope is the picture of the Heavens the moment you were
born.  Using the latest advances in Astronomy and Astrology, you can
get a Horoscope reading with accurate, up-to-date detail.  Contact
me at johnrutherford@shaw.ca or call 604-521-3235.
John Rutherford, Western Canada’s most successful Horoscope Reader,
since 1971

A North Vancouver weekend – what to do? Explore Lonsdale Quay!

A North Vancouver weekend – what to do? Explore Lonsdale Quay!

It was a North Vancouver weekend that had started on Thursday night with dinner at West Vancouver's Beach House restaurant, which I first remembered as Pepe's back in the late 1970's.  Cultural entertainment was provided at The Silk Purse, with Romanza (formerly the Canadian / or Maple Leaf Tenors).

Friday was much more laid back… starting with pizza for lunch from Little Caesar's from Edgemont Village.  They had customer appreciation day with any size, and unlimited toppings for $9.99.  Edgemont Village is a nice little neighborhood shopping area.  My favorite places to visit are: Village VQA Wines, 32 Books, Vancouver Kids Books.  There is a very cosy small town feel to this little jewel of a shopping area.  There are quaint shops and eclectic shops such as horse and riding tack shop.  I often drop into Paws and Claws to pick up food or toys for my kitty cat. And then coffee at Delaney's… or that really cute restaurant around the corner, across from the Capilano branch library. 

On Saturday, we went over to Lynn Valley to pick up my new order of contact lenses at  Westlynn optical.  Owner Debbie Fisher is always very helpful, and the store was extremely helpful when I once  phoned them from San Francisco trying to get my prescription because I had accidently ripped the only lenses that I had with me, while on a dragon boat road trip.  Last year, they even gave me a sample of blue contact lenses – that was fun!  Westlynn Bakery always has a special for each day.  Their blueberry and pumpkin pies are delicious.  We bought their carrot cake.

Next down to Lonsdale where my girlfriend had to check out the Echoes store where they sell and trade china sets and place settings.  We next parked on Esplanade and walked down to Lonsdale Quay – playing “tourist in your own town”.  We visted Celtic Connections which had lots of books on Scottish tartans and weddings.  I didn't know that there was a proper dress code for kilted weddings before!  I wanted to buy the tin whistle – maybe that will be the first step for me to learn to play bagpipes.  Deb was delighted to discover there was a Cheshire Cheese Inn – with a menu full of British food dishes such strange sounding dishes such as “bangers and mash”, “toad in the hole” as well as “shepherd's pie.” This might be a place to bring the Gung Haggis Fat Choy for a traditional British /Scottish meal, since we often go to eat Chinese/Japanese/Cambodian after Tuesday night practices. It was interesting to find these two British cultural specialty stores – but nothing Persian at Lonsdale Quay, although there were plenty of Japanese and other Asian restaurants in the food court.

We looked through the stores on the 2nd level, and strolled through the market section.  I spent some time looking at cookbooks, as well as the fresh seafoods, as I contemplated what to cook for dinner.  It was a delight to discover a brand new Mark Anthony wine story that specialized in Mission Hill wines, as well as Okanagan Cider.  We had a lovely chat during a wine tasting with the manager, sampling the Mission Hill Reisling.  A special surprise was that Mission Hill had just released their premium 2003 Occulus Wine and was on sale for $49, instead of $60.  Okay, I picked up a bottle – I still have the 1999 Occulus I picked up in 2002 – still waiting for a special occasion.

Fresh herb fettucini from Duso's was perfect for the evening meal.  It is light and flavourful – definitely a treat from dried pasta.  I was sorry not to see my high school friend Susan there.. as she married Duso – and I sometimes see her there behind the counter with a big big smile for me!  Anyways… dinner was pan-fried prawns in a sweet Thai chili sauce, encrusted with black sesame seeds, served on top of a bed of herb fettucini with ginger soy marinated beef slices, accompanied by stir fried zuccini, carrots and portabello mushroom.  A mix of Asian, and Italian cooking sensations… Marvelous! More things in life should revolve around food and wine.

Head Tax Hip Hop for Redress in Saltwater City: No Luck Club to play at Vancouver's Carnegie Centre on Sept 10

Head Tax Hip Hop for Redress in Saltwater City: No Luck Club to play atVancouver's Carnegie Centre on Sept 10

Here's an announcement for a fun and politically charged event for Sept 10th, at Carnegie Community Centre in Vancouver.  The
No Luck Club
will play an event attended by the CCNC national president Collen Hua.

It's time that the Head Tax Redress movement took it to the streets to engage the youth, the people who have benefitted the most from growing up in a less-racist era, post-head tax, post-exclusion act, and post-systemic racism.

So far, most of the head tax redress events have been meetings, forums and protest marches that brought out the surviving people who were most affected the head tax and the exclusion act – the sons and daughters of the head tax payers, along with some grandchildren.  But Prime Minister Stephen Harper failed to include them in the redress package, because it was limited to “surviving head tax payers and spouses” – even though almost all of such people have died in the past 10 years, if not the previous 20 years when head tax redress first became an issue on parliament hill in 1984.

No Luck Club earlier this year created a riveting musical hip hop track titled “Our Story” Trevor Chan, the laptop samplist, of created a “mash-up” called “Our Story.”

It address the head tax issue and 62 years or legislated
racism.   It is an amazing aural soundscape that splices
together historical and documentary sound bites including quotes from
Martin Luther King Jr.  The juxtaposition of positive and negative
statements for racial equlality is striking. Click here to listen to it: http://newmusiccanada.com/genres/artist.cfm?Band_Id=5120

Listen to such quotes as:

“We don't want Chinamen in Canada.  This is a white man's country and white men will keep it.”

“The people of Canada do not wish to make a fundamental alteration to the character of our population”

“Large scale immigration from the Orient would change the fundamental composition of the population the  of Canada”

“He's telling us what he wants us to know.  That's his story not our story.”

“The government passed a special
legisalation which places a tax of $50 on every Chinese entering the
country.  The Head tax was raised to $100 and eventually in 1903
to $500.”


“We have suffered political
oppression, economic exploitation and social degradation.  The
government has failed us.  You can't deny that.”

Vancouver seethed with racial hatred.  An Anti-Asiatic league was formed.”

Media
Advisory
August 25, 2006

Head
Tax Hip Hop for Redress in Saltwater City:

no
luck club (NLC) and Funk In
Da Attic at Carnegie
Hall!

Vancouver,
BC
  BC
Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants invites citizens to a
petition signing and letter writing dance party with music by no luck club
(NLC) and performance by Funk in Da Attic. Colleen
Hua, president of the Chinese Canadian National Council, will also be in
attendance.

Date:   Sunday, September 10, 2006

Time:  10:00am call time
program to begin shortly after

Place:
Carnegie Community Centre Main Hall

      
401 Main Street
at Hastings, Vancouver

The
Conservative government's unilaterally imposed redress
package ignored and rejected repeated calls from head tax families for a just
and honourable redress.

no
luck club
(NLC) is an instrumental hip hop group combining turntable improv with sample-based rhythms. Founded by the Chan
Brothers (Matt & Trevor), Vancouver DMC DJ champion Paul Belen (Pluskratch) joined the group in 2004.

Funk
In Da Attic is a local
recreational dance troupe with steps to put “move” into the redress
movement. They are Nicole Chubb, Gary Quon, Cathy Jupista, Julie Miller, Ikue Ueno,
Megan Hui and Hersie Init.

The
BC Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants are today's Canadians
on a two decade plus quest for justice and honour for
Chinese adventurers and pioneers and their families.

– 30 –

Romanza: Three Canadian Tenors at the Silk Purse

Romanza: Three Canadian Tenors at the Silk Purse

A beautiful day in West Vancouver… how to celebrate it?  Last Thursday, August 24th, it was dinner at the Beach House restaurant beside West Vancouver's Dundarave Pier and an intimate vocal concert at Ambleside's Silk Purse performing venue.

My girlfriend's father was in town to see friend Phil Grant perform.  It just so happened that he was performing with my friend, Karen Lee-Morlang – who was the piano accompanist for Philip Grant, Ken Lavigne and Frederik
Robert, have been identified as “three talented, young, classically
trained tenors who have separately been delighting audiences across
North America and Europe.”  Sometimes called the “Maple Leaf Tenors, Thursday evening's performance was billed “Romanza.”  It was an evening of Italian light opera and popular songs such as Finiculi Finicula, La Donna e Mobile, and closed with a  show-stopping O Solo Mio, during which the tenors mimicked the sun
breaking through the clouds then fading away – which happened during an
actual performance they did in Italy..

These three young and handsome tenors are wonderful showmen, both kidding and flirting with the audience.  And pianist Karen Lee-Morlang holds her own with them, in beauty, musicianship and with witty stage banner. Their humor and warmth shined through, as they interspersed stories about their singing experiences.  And they are “friendly” – Phil Grant waved at my girlfriend, as he recognized her from when he had stayed at her parents home on Kalamalka Lake for the very first Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival.  And pianist Karen waved to me as they walked out to their performance “stage,”  and later questioned through hand motions, if we could hear the performance allright.

The Silk Purse is a very tiny performance venue.  It's really a converted cottage beach house just West of the Ambleside Pier.  The performance was sold out, so Deb and I sat on the porch, watching and listened through the open doors and window, while waves lapped on the seashore, sea planes and boats  travelled in the distance, and sea gulls cries all created an ambient soundscape to the beautiful music happening in this warm little cottage.  As I strolled along the pebble beach, standing on a log, if seemed almost surreal.  A wonderful little jewel of a “Vancouver experience” outside of mainstream entertainment

Accompanying us to dinner and performance was Edette Gagne, who had recently conducted the “Mikado” for OVAF, and is herself a gifted singer and conductor.

CBC web site posts article (does exercise prevent cancer)

The CBC, that wonderful source of info for Canadians, has posted an article that describes some of the research that is going on to see if exercise prevents cancer.  The article mentions how breast cancer survivors were to do little physical exertion and how that idea has changed.  And… the article is highlighted with dragon boating!!!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/cancer/index.html

Stephen Mirowski
(my first post!!)

Thanks Stephen for finding the article.  I have known the breast cancer paddlers since 1997, when I first met the Abreast in a Boat team at Alcan Dragon Boat Festival that year.  It was very heartening for me to meet them, since I am a survivor of a grapefruit sized cancer tumor that was behind my breast bone in 1989.  The real great thing about the breast cancer dragon boat teams, is also the positive effect that the team bonding plays, similarly to social support groups for cancer patients.  While I was studying Health and Sport Psychology at Simon Fraser University, I had always thought that this would make a good research topic.  The women I meet are very positive despite sometimes losing their team mates to cancer remissions.  I regulary recieve greetings and hugs from paddlers such as Deb, Debbie, Judy Letawski and Coro. 

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team has also had a number of non-breast cancer paddlers over the years.  Past years have also included a quadripeligic drummer, a paddler with multiple schlerosis, as well as paddlers with depression.  To join check out our GHFC dragon boat team information page

Victoria: intercultural or a faux British tourist trap or hotbed of Chinese history?

Victoria: intercultural or a faux British tourist trap or hotbed of Chinese history?

Just back from a wonderful and fun dragon boat weekend in Victoria, which seems to be in the tourist news a lot right now.  On the Friday, the headlines were that the Empress Hotel had lost a “signed” major convention because the “convention scouts” didn't like the “agressive panhandlers.”  On Monday, another newstory targeted the “tacky tourist” shops on Government St, with “50% Off” and “Clearance” signs used to draw in tourists.

For some of the paddlers in the Gung Haggis Fat Choy / Pirates dragon boat team who had never been to Victoria before – it was a wonderful weekend.  We walked around the inner harbour, enjoyed the Dragon Boat festival activities, walked through the shopping district, and through Chinatown.  We experienced the nightly streetlife with the pubs, restaurants and buskers along the inner harbour.  Were there panhandlers?  Yes.  Have we become immune or desensitized to them?  Maybe.

The visiting Californians from the DieselFish team were all very enthusiastic about Victoria.  During their 2002 visit, they raved at Victoria's cleanliness.  This year they stated that Victoria was the “total package” – everything interesting and within close walking distance.  They enthusiastically want to come back for next year.

The faux British thing?  They were amazed all the stores with British references such as “Irish Linens” and the “Irish Times” pub, and of course “The Empress Hotel.”  They didn't make it to “High Tea” or a visit to the Royal BC Museum – but they did want to go for “Fish and Chips.”  They also visited the “Sticky Wicket” pub both on Friday and Saturday – known for its preponderance of paddlers hanging out during a dragon boat weekend.

For myself, following our mini Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner at the Golden City Restaurant on Fisgard St, near Chinatown – our Gung Haggis group went for a walk through Chinatown, looking for some ice cream, then along the Inner Harbour sea walk.  On the way back I dropped off from the group, and went to the Irish Times Pub.  There was great fiddle music and I quickly struck up conversations with some ladies about my kilt.  Where is but Victoria, could you meet a Chinese-Canadian wearing a kilt during a dragon boat festival weekend, or have haggis in a Chinese restaurant?

My family has a lot of history in Victoria on both my father's side and my mother's side.  Victoria used to be the largest Chinatown in North America at one time.  It was the first landing site for all boats coming in across the Pacific Ocean, and my father's father Wong Wah, used to manage the largest Chinese dry goods store.  My great great grandfather Rev. Chan Yu Tan, spent some time ministering to the Chinese community, and his daughter Rose settled in Victoria.  Whenever I visit, I always try to contact my grandmother's cousins – my “Auntie” Roberta, and “Uncle” Victor.  Uncle Victor Wong fought during WW2 and was stationed in Burma with special forces, during the time when Chinese Canadians born in Canada, could not vote in BC.  Times later became less prejudiced and my Auntie Roberta's brother-in-law Ed Lum became the mayor of Saanich.

On the Sunday evening, I had dinner with my cousin Winston's family and their dinner guests.  Of course they asked me about the dragon boat races and the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.  Before the evening was over, we had made plans to hold a dinner event for next January, and I had brought out my accordion to lead singalongs of When Asian Eyes Are Smiling, and Scotland the Brave – as well as a mini version of Hungarian Dance No. 5.  The conversation included topics such as our multi-generational Chinese Canadian heritage, and the Chinese head tax.  On Monday before I left Victoria, my cousin took me to 2-for-1 Fish and Chips at the Picadilly Pub in Oak Bay – an English Pub, owned by the same owner as the Irish Times.  When I returned to Vancouver – I met some friends at Doolin's Irish Pub after 9pm,  for my pint of Guinness.