What to expect at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2007 Dinner
Arrive Early: The doors will open by
5:15 pm. All seating is reserved, and all tables are placed in the
order that they were ordered (except for special circumstances such as
a major sponsor hint hint). We find this is the most fair, and it
encourages people to buy their tickets earlier to ensure a table closer
to the stage. We expect a rush just prior to the posted 5:30pm
time. This is the time to go to the bar and get your dram of
Glenfiddich or pint of McEwan's Lager – specially ordered for tonight's
dinner. Ohhh…. but we might be having a special sponsor for drinks. We're working on it.
tables will have two bottles of wine on each table. This is the
reward for purchasing tables closer to the stage and paying $10 more
each. This also means that you don't have to stand in line for your first drink.
Buy Your Raffle Tickets:
We have some great door
and raffle prizes lined up. Lots of books (being the writers we
are), gift certificates and theatre tickets + other surprises.
raffle tickets… this is how we generate our fundraising. We
purposely keep our admission costs low to $60 for advance regular seats
so that they are affordable and the dinner can be attended by more
people. Children's tickets are subsidized so that we can include
them in the audience and be an inclusive family for the evening.
This dinner is the primary fundraising event for
Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team. Since 2001, we have also given funds to Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, publishers of RicePaper Magazine.
The Gung Haggis team continues to promote multiculturalism through
dragon boat paddling events, and puts a dragon boat float each year in
the Vancouver St. Patrick's Day Parade. Rice Paper Magazine
highlights creative Asian Canadians – especially in the arts and
Last year, we added the Save Kogawa House committee as a beneficiary for the event, because I felt it was
important to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home from demolition. I
have been working on the committee, and I am pleased that The Land
Conservancy has stepped in to partner with us to save Kogawa House
and turn it into a National literary landmark and treasure for all
Canadians. Now that the house is saved, more money is still
needed to restore it to the 1942 qualities when Joy and her family were
forced to leave it, as well as create an endowment for future
Please support our missions of supporting and developing emerging writers,
organizing reading events, and to spread multiculturalism through
dragon boat racing – or come join our teams!
This year haggis dim sum appetizers will
be on a long buffet table – available at 5:30 pm. This is going
to be culinarily exciting. We have featured deep-fried haggis won
ton since 2004. In 2005 we introduced haggis spring rolls.
On City Cooks with host Simi Sara, we also introduced haggis stuffed tofu.
6:30 pm Dinner event begins. People
are seated, and the Piping in of the musicians and
hosts begins. We will lead a singalong of Scotland the Brave and give
a good welcome to our guests, only then will the dinner courses
appear. You want to eat, you have to sing for your supper! (which should appear by 6:45 pm).
From then on… a new dish will appear every 10 to 15 minutes –
quickly followed by one of our co-hosts introducing a poet or musical
performer. Serving 50 tables within 5 minutes, might not work
completely, so please be patient. We will encourage our guests
and especially the waiters to be quiet while the performers are on stage.
Then for the 5 minute intermissions, everybody can talk and make noise
before they have to be quiet for the performers again.
dinner show will emphasize the show over the dinner. In past
years, we have always tried to alternate food dishes with
performances. But with the high quality of artists, we need to
highlight them… so this year… the show takes priority!
Expect the unexpected: I
don't want to give anything away right now as I
prefer the evening to unfold with a sense of surprise and
wonderment. But let it be known that we have an incredible
array of talent for the evening.
Ramu, CBC Radio host for “On The Coast” will be co-host with me for the
evening. We have already created a mini-kilt for Priya and she is
looking forward to the event.
We welcome the return of Silk Road Music and Heather Pawsey to the Gung Haggis program. Qiu
Xia and Andre bring their musical fusion performed on pipa and
classical guitar. Opera soprano Heather Pawsey will perform in
Mandarin and a special suprise…
McDonald and his celtic-fusion band Brave Waves is again our “house
band.” We always delight in having Joe and his bagpipes. This
year Joe and the band will deliver a Canadian surprise with a
Lensey Namioka, author of the young adult novel “Half and Half” will
introduce us to the trials of Fiona Cheng growing up half-Scottish and
half-Chinese in Seattle. Her brother is red-headed and prefers
martial arts to highland dancing, and she really really would love to
wear his kilt and dance – but her parents and her grandparents would
prefer her to wear a chinese dress to go with her black hair.
Luck Club – the instrumental hip hop band, recently returned from a
cross-Canada tour will be providing “ambient groove music” during our
reception. But I think they might even get in on our version of
“The Haggis Rap.”
Our non-traditional reading of the “Address to the
Haggis” is always a crowd pleaser. But
this year, audience members will be reading a different Burns poem to
tie their tongues around the gaelic tinged words. Will it be “A
Man's A Man for All That,” “To a Mouse,” My Luv is Like a Red Red Rose,” or maybe even “Tam O-Shanter?”
hand-pick members of the
audience to join us on stage to read a verse. Past participants
have included former federal Multicultural Secretary of State Raymond
(New Westminster) First Nations Chief Rhonda Larrabee, , a
descendent of Robert the
Bruce, a doctor from White Horse, a UBC student from Scotland, somebody
doing a vocal impression of Sean Connery. Last year we invited
Faye Leung, Kelly Ip, Jim Harris (then national leader of the Green
Party) and NDP federal candidates Ian Waddell and Mary-Woo Sims – both
dressed in their Scottish and Chinese finest.
Who will it be for 2007? We leave it up until the evening to decide.
The evening will wrap up somewhere between 9:00 and
9:30 pm, then we will socialize further until 10pm. People will
leave with smiles on their faces and say to
each other, “Very Canadian,” “Only in Vancouver could something
like this happen,” or “I'm telling my friends.”