Busy Weekend: Friday Night Canadian Club Gala, Saturday VAFF, Sat night Gonzo theatre
This weekend was very busy. Reviews of these events will be up as soon as I can.
Canadian Club Vancouver 100 year anniversary Gala was on Friday night, November
3rd. I am a board member, and am enjoying the friendship and
networking of these wonderful people devoted to helping make Canada
proud and recognizing our achievements as a nation and as a
culture. The event was at the Westin Bayshore, and featured a
keynote by Lt. Governor Iona Campagnolo, history of the Canadian Club,
dance demonstration from Dancesport BC, and the Dal Richards Orchestra.
It was a great fun evening that celebrated the history of the club, 100
years ago. Of course it was great for networking… But the
surprise feature was the re-patriation of the Richardson bagpipes from
Scotland, organized by Canadian Club Vancouver past-president Andrew
Winstanley, with an introduction told by Patrick Reid. MC was
club member Cam Cathcart, an ex-CBC news reporter/producer.
Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Saturday morning program featured films
Canadian-Chinese by Felix Cheng, and Between: Living in the Hyphen by
Anne-Marie Nakagawa, plus a panel discussion featuring UBC English
Assistant Professor Glenn Deer, author/editor Alexis Kienlen, UBC
English instructor Chris Lee, and Georgia Straight editorial assistant
The films each explored sensitive topics of identity.
Canadian-Chinese explored the relationship of language to first and
second generation immigrants, as director Felix Cheng interviewed his
parents and friends about the process of learning to speak Chinese and
his resistance of it when he was younger.
Poet Fred Wah, was featured in Between: Living in the Hyphen, speaking
about growing up mixed-race, and finding his own place in a Canada that
initially wanted to homogenize everybody into a White Anglo-Saxon
culture during the 1950's when he grew up. Several other
interview subjects discuss growing up as products of racial hybridity,
and how they move between the ethnic cultures of either parent, as well
as mainstream White Canada.
Saturday Night, we went to see the theatre play Gonzo. British
internees are housed in a Japanese prison of war camp in Shanghai,
China, and cared for a Japanese soldier named Gonzo. Written and
directed by Gordon Pascoe, who grew up in the Ash prison of war camp in
Shanghai. This play was based on his memories of actual
It is a lovely play that celebrates human kindness amongst the horrific
circumstances of WW2. Pascoe finds a way to intertwine the
evacuation of Jews from Europe to China, the internment of
Japanese-Canadians in British Columbia, the pivotal war battles in
Africa, Europe and the Pacific into the tiny confines of a camp housing
British women and children.