Monthly Archives: April 2008

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat practices Sunday March 30, Tues April 1, Thurs April 3

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team practices in the sunshine this week.

We meet Sundays 1:30
Tuesday 6pm
Wednesday 6pm
All practices at Dragon Zone @ Creekside Park
just south of Science World
meet above the Dragon Boat/ Aqua Ferry docks
at the green trailer building that is Dragon Zone club house

Practices this past week.

Sunday March 30, we had 19 paddlers
GREAT PRACTICE in the sunshine.  This is what dragon boat practices are all about… great people, great weather, great
experience paddling on a Sunday afternoon.  We did our usual paddle around East Basin, then up to David Lam Park.

Tuesday Beginner night
paddlers out on the water Tuesday… and the boat felt strong, even
with 3 new rookies.  Joe Easton, a 6 year veteran on the Gung Haggis
team says the team is way ahead of where we were this time last year.

had the second Gung Haggis Food & Social Club after-practice meal
at Congee House on Broadway.  A great way to introduce non-Asian
paddlers to lots of Chinese food.

Wednesday Rec night
Killarney Cougar Dragons had their first practice with teacher sponsor
manager Stuart Mackinnon.  Coaches were Todd Wong, Gayle Gordon and
Kimm Mitchell, and steers Steven Wong.

These high school
students had 20 paddlers out on the boat.  After some confusing paddle
clashing at the beginning, we soon had them paddling in time and having
fun.  Gayle remarked that they were remarkably good for their first
time, and easy to see how the team won Junior D silver last year, when
we had only the veteran paddlers paddling.

Gung Haggis practice had only 10 paddlers out tonight.
waited for our 10th paddler to show up, so we could take a Gemini boat
out.  We transformed the disappointment of a small turn-out into a
positive experience with more one-to-one coaching.  We rotated two
paddlers to do some lead stroke work with Gayle Gordon, and Todd moved
from seat to seat, working with different paddlers.

We did some
4 person quad sections (much easier with less people)… but that's all
we had… a front half of  4 and a back half of 5.  We did some good
paddling work, and brought in some intensity pieces of 10 and 20
strokes. GOOD workout tonight.


Thursday April 3rd – 1pm
at Vancouver City Hall
Come join me for a ceremonial reading as the mayor proclaims  April 6th as Tartan Day in the City of Vancouver.
Bagpipe ceremony with Allan McMordie.  I snuck in the words “Gung Haggis Fat Choy tartan” into the proclamation – see

Thursday, April 3rd
8pm-8:30pm meeting time
Doolin's Irish Pub
KILTS NIGHT – 1st Thursday of each month.
9:30pm – live music with Halifax Wharf Rats.
This is an optional social event. 

FREE pint of Guinness if you wear a kilt.
We have 5 kilts for the team.  Tzhe Lam will have the Kilt bag, as I am working until 9pm.
This is a special Tartan Day event,

SUNDAY, April 6th.1:30
Dragon Zone @ Creekside Park
just south of SCIENCE WORLD

TARTAN DAY dragon boat paddle.
We will invite people to wear their tartans for paddling
invite your friends to join us for practice
hopefully we can have two boats on the water, for a photo opportunity for Tartan Day…. always good for recruiting!

This Sunday is TARTAN DAY. 
see for details.

celebrates the Scottish ancestry and contributions to Canada… and is
a good excuse for getting a free beer and a photo opportunity. See  The next celebration: Wearing the tartan

invite people to wear their polyviscous kilts, invite their friends to
come join us for paddling… and hopefully have a photo opportunity
with the media.  (all part of good community work and sets us up for
that very pretty Alcan Sustainability Award – cultural sustainability
is good).

will follow up a hard practice with well-earned carbohydrate
re-loading.  Sugars are carbohydrates.  Alcohol is a sugar.  Beer and
scotch are alcohols – a good way to replenish the body's carbohydrates
and celebrate Tartan Day.

APRIL 11th. 6pm-8:30pm
Dragon Zone
Special paddling clinic with Kamini Jain – 2 time Olympic paddler and coach of the False Creek Racing Canoe Club.
took a similar paddling clinic with Kamini last October and liked it so
much, I have signed up our team.  Kamini will give paddle instruction,
and we will video the team.  Then will watch the team, and Kamini will
critique each paddler.  Video can be a powerful tool.

Cost is
$400 for the team… so participants please bring $20 each. This is a
GREAT price.  I paid $75 for the workshop last year.

May 17th. Saturday Victoria Day weekend
Lotus Sports Club dragon boat regatta
Barnett Marine Park
Cost is $20 per person
have registered our team.  We will paddle some some friendly rivalries
with the Chilliwack Pirates.  Last year we came 1st in our final
race… but we didn't have the third fastest combined time – the
Pirates did.  Dinner Party at Raphael's in Port Moody following the

Cheers, Todd
h: 604-987-7124
c: 778-846-7090

I am Chinese-Molson-Canadian! Canada's latest census results on ethnicity

Are you calling me a Canadian? based on where I was born, or what I look like?

Canadian…. Hyphenated-Canadian…  Pioneer descendant Canadian… Multi-generational Canadian…  New Canadian…. Old Canadian…

How did we describe ourselves in the last Canadian census according to our ethnicitiy.

Octogenarian Gim Wong rode his motorcycle across Canada in 2005 to draw
attention to Chinese Head Tax Campaign.  He put a sign on his motobike that said “Am I CANADIAN?”

Wong was born in Canada, but
couldn't vote until 1947, after many Canadians of Chinese ancestry had
fought for Canaada in WW2, and Canada repealed the Chinese Exclusion
Act, and gave voting franchise rights to Canadians born in Canada…
who just happened to have Chinese ancestry.
pictures: 1) Gim Wong's motorcyle in Ottawa, summer 2005;  2) Gim Wong with head tax certificate t-shirt; 3) Victor Wong, Gim Wong and Sid Tan with (seated) Charlie Quan and the first Chinese head tax ex-gratia payment cheques on Oct 21, 2006.

Okay Victor Wong didn't say “I am Chinese-Molson-Canadian”
… and probably Gim Wong wouldn't either.

But here's what Victor Wong did say about his ethnicity:

'Canadian' ethnicity popular option, particularly among 3rd generation: census

Wed Apr 2, 8:41 AM

By Tobi Cohen, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – He doesn't fit the pasty white profile of “Joe” from the
famous Molson Canadian ad that promoted a cool new brand of patriotism,
but Victor Wong has a similar message – with a twist to match the new,
more colourful face of Canada.

“In terms of my nationality, I'm Canadian, but in terms of my
ethnicity, based on where I personally situate myself, I'm Chinese ”
said the second-generation immigrant and executive director of the
Chinese Canadian National Council.

“That is my mother tongue. It's the cultural group I identify with.
In terms of my typical features, others would identify me as a person
of Chinese descent.”

According to the latest census data released Wednesday, the number
of people who declared themselves Canadian, either alone or in
combination with another ancestry as did Wong, actually dropped
slightly since the last census.

But declaring oneself “Canadian” still remains a popular option.

In 2006, 32 per cent of respondents described themselves as all or
in part Canadian, slightly less than the 39 per cent who did the same
in 2001.

While 18.4 per cent declared themselves full-blooded Canadian, nearly 14 per cent opted for the hyphen.

Regions where people were most likely to declare themselves Canadian
tended to be those that were settled the earliest, or have had
relatively little recent immigration. More than 60 per cent of
Quebecers said they were at least partially Canadian, along with 46 per
cent of those in Atlantic Canada.

Statistics Canada analysts say the always fluid concept of ethnicity
has become even more complex in a country now made up of 223 different
ethnic origins.

“Respondents' understanding or views about their ethnicity,
awareness of their family background, number of generations in Canada,
the length of time since immigration and the social context at the time
of the census can all affect the reporting of ethnicity,” analysts said
in the census report.

The data shows third-generation Canadians – 90 per cent of them –
are most likely to identify themselves as at least partially Canuck,
putting Wong well ahead of the curve.

More than half of the second-generation immigrants reported a
European origin. First-generation immigrants were most likely to
identify themselves as Chinese, East Indian, Filipino or Vietnamese.

Whether born in Canada or elsewhere, visible minorities often have a
tough time shaking off the perception that they are an outsider, says
Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Winnipeg-based Islamic Social
Services Association.

A Pakistani native who has lived in Canada for the last 33 years,
Siddiqui said the “where are you from” question can be frustrating.

“I reach a point where I say I'm from Charleswood, which is a suburb of Winnipeg,” she jokes.

“It's important to people still to know where you're from because you look different.”

Siddiqui is also a Muslim and while she said her Canadian-born son
doesn't identify with Pakistan, he would use the hyphen to call himself
a Muslim-Canadian.

“One is faith, one is geographic identity,” she said.

Statistics Canada analyst Tina Chui said the census has been
collecting information on the ancestral origins of the population for
more than 100 years to try to capture the composition of Canada's
diverse population.

“We try to measure people's ethnic origins, not whether they are Canadian or not,” she said.

Some demographic experts have said answering Canadian to the
ancestry question on the census is more of a statement of patriotism
than a person's true ethnic origin.

Statistics Canada didn't list Canadian as an example until 1996 –
after a public campaign by some media organizations led to a large
number of write-in Canadian replies.

In fact, according to a 2005 Statistics Canada analysis, respondents
were for years “discouraged from describing their origins as Canadian.”

In 1996, when Canadian was offered as an example of ethnic origin
for the first time, some 31 per cent of respondents noted it as their
ethnic origin, a massive jump over 1991 when less than four per cent of
respondents described their roots that way.

Statistics Canada says it collects data on ethnic origins to meet a
widespread demand for it. The Department of Canadian Heritage uses it
to administer programs under the Multiculturaism Act. Governments,
community groups, ethnic and cultural organizations, school boards,
hospitals and researchers all use ethnicity data to assess how people
of different backgrounds have integrated into life in Canada.

“Ethnic origin data paints a picture of Canada's multicultural
communities and provides some of the most widely requested data from
the census,” said Chui.

University of Western Ontario sociology professor Rod Beaujot said
“Canadian” is meaningless and shouldn't be an option on the census.

“Canadian doesn't really help us with regard to understanding
ethnicity,” he said, recalling the census when the Sun tabloid
newspaper chain launched a campaign aimed at getting people to drop the
hyphen – an effort that totally skewed the data.

Canadian also has a different meaning in French, he said.

Whether it's meaningless or not, Australia and the United States –
two more countries built on immigration – also show an increasing
number of people reporting a national ethnicity.

According to the 2006 Australian census, 37 per cent of the
population reported Australian as their ethnic ancestry. Nearly 20
million people, about seven per cent of the population, reported
American as their ethnic ancestry in the 2006 American Community

Tartan Day (April 6th) proclamation passed today in City of Vancouver

Motion regarding Proclamation of Tartan Day in the City of Vancouver

Moved by Councillor Deal
Seconded by Councillor Louie  

WHEREAS:  The City of Vancouver is known world-wide for its dedication to and support for multiculturism;

WHEREAS: The City of Vancouver takes various measures, including
issuing proclamations, to stimulate pride in the diversity, harmony and
enjoyment of the many cultures which collectively comprise the
population of the City;

AND WHEREAS: Scots and the descendants
of Scots have in the past and continue in the present to contribute to
the building of a vibrant City of Vancouver;

historical enactment of the Declaration of Arbroath on April 6th  1320
A.D., the Scottish Declaration of Independence, is recognized as one of
the first significant steps on the long journey to Scottish democracy;

WHEREAS: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ontario, Nova
Scotia and countless municipal jurisdictions across both Canada and the
United States have officially proclaimed April 6th as Tartan Day in
recognition of the legacy that flows from the Declaration of Arbroath
and in recognition of the contribution of Scots and their descendants
to nation building;

AND WHEREAS: there are examples of other
communities in Vancouver wearing tartans including the Singh tartan,
the Irish Pipe and Drums tartan and the Gung Haggis Fat Choy tartan;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The City of Vancouver proclaim the date of April
6th to be TARTAN DAY “until tomorrow and so on forever”.

The above proclamation was drafted by Ron Sutherland of the SFU Scottish Studies program.  Heather Deal and I added the last “whereas” to include Vancouver's more multicultural tartan wearing communities. 

Thanks to everybody involved for their energies and support.  And to Vancouver Sun writer Chantal Eustace for reminding us that Tartan Day was coming up with her article The next celebration: Wearing the tartanwhich spurred us into action out of embarrassment, or because we felt challenged, or because we thought we could actually do something and have a reason to celebrate with a drink.
Todd Wong (centre right in red vest) wears the tartan on St. Patrick's Day, along with Nathalie Coulombe (right) and others at Doolan's Pub.
View Larger Image View Larger Image

Kilted events around town during Tartan Day week

April 3 – Thursday – 8pm onwards
Kilts Night “Tartan Day”
Doolin's Irish Pub
654 Nelson St. (at Granville St.)
– Kilt fashion parade – after the hockey game… or between periods?!?!
Live music 9:30pm with Halifax Wharf Rats
FREE pint of Guinness if you wear a kilt
Free admission

Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5
Halifax Wharf Rats Tartan Day Weekend
Dublin Crossing Pub, Cloverdale
188th and Fraser Hwy
More of the same good food and fun music, but in a different neighbourhood than downtown.

April 5 – Saturday – 8pm
Gaelic Society monthly Ceili
Scottish Cultural Centre.
8886 Hudson St (at 73rd Ave.)
Tickets at the door $12
Featuring: accordionist Sandy Black, musician Seumas Gagne; singer Doug
Barr + Highland Dancers from Angus MacKenzie's School of Highland

Sunday – official Tartan Day.

April 6 – 1:30pm

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team
“Tartan Day
meet at Science World dragon boat docks.
paddle from Science World to David Lam Park, Granville Island – and back.
Some of our team members will be paddling in our tartans!
FREE admission – come for fun!

Bruce Springsteen rocks Vancouver with two accordions on stage!

Bruce Springsteen Rocks Vancouver with two accordions on stage!

Bruce is looking a lot older than when I first saw him in 1984 from the 3rd row floor seats in Vancouver's Pacific Colliseum. Today, I wore the “Tunnel of Love Express Tour” shirt that I got from the Tacoma WA show in 1987.  While I was working at the library, during my four hour shift 10 people saw my t-shirt and asked me how the concert was.  Nine of the people must have been over 50 years old.  I started feeling dated. But then… it was great telling everybody what an incredible, wonderful and great concert it had been.

We sat up in the balcony row 10,
about 5 rows down from the very top.  But we were just in front of the
stage.  so it was still a good view.  I rarely used the binoculars
because there was large screen on the side of the stage.  I was really
glad not to be sitting behind the stage. My girlfriend looked at the people
standing like sardines on the General Admission floor (no seats) and wondered about who she would be willing to stand on the floor for. 
“Bryan Adams” was her answer.

Bruce opened with a full band version of “Atlantic
rom the 2001
New York concert cd,
which we had been earlier playing on my car cd player on the way to the show. Talk about coincidences and fate.

At times… watching the too many close-ups of his face on the big screen…. I thought “Gee… he looks like Neil Diamond.”

his energy is anything but Neil Diamond.  He comes walking out towards
the mic stand… grabs it in one hand, swings around it like a pole
dancer… certainly not acting his 58 years of age.

The crowd
really got going during the surprise song of “No Surrender” ressurrected
for this 2007/2008 tour.  On “Trapped” the crowd was punching air
towards Bruce everytime he sang the word “trapped.”  I remember hearing it for the very first time at the '84 Colliseum tour.  I was enthralled then.

Hearing the opening piano lines of “Because the Night” the crowd REALLY went wild.  The guy sitting in front of us to the left, went completely went nuts.  With his 2 buddies and one girl buddy, he had been singing along to every song.  Now he was dancing in the aisle.  He was hugging and hitting his friends everytime a “forgotten chestnut” of a song was played.  He was about 55 years old.  I worried he would get a heart attack.  But that's the kind of fervent fans that have made Springsteen concerts legendary.  They can sing every song.  They call themselves “tramps” from the “Born to Run” lyrics – “Cause tramps like us, Baby we were born to run!”

his 2005 solo tour for “Devils and Dust” album, he played the GM
concert bowl August 13.  There were only about 12 rows of seats on the floor and we sat right centre 3 rows up.  Amazingly close.  On the D&D
tour, in Vancouver… the last night of the 2005 summer tour – it was
the only night he played “Because the Night” sitting at the piano –
electrifying.  But last night with the live E Street Band band in GM Place in 2008, it was 9 X
electrifying with Nils, Little Steven, Clarence, Gary, Max, Roy, + Gary
on keyboards and Suzie Tyrell on violin/rhythm guitar.

The main set closed with Badlands… the lights dimmed and the crowed yelled Bruuuuuuce!!!!!

They returned for an encore including: Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Rosalita and Born to Run.  Then surprise…. Dancing in the Dark! 

Spot the accordion in the picture!  picture from the March 24th concert in Columbus Ohio – photo Ace Aceto

I saw a guy standing next to the stage wearing an accordion.  There had
been an accordion on stage next to Charlie
Giordano (taking the place of Danny
Federici) all night long… but never touched.  The guy was pacing, ready to run up the steps wearing the accordion.  The lights went dark as “Dancing in the Dark” ended.

One more
song.  The lights came up, and the band stood up front beside Bruce with two guitars, two accordions and one violin.  Two accordions side by side at a Bruce Springsteen concert. Wow!  Roy Bittan and Charlie Giordano wearing black piano accordions – just like mine!  They played the Pete Seeger song American Land
with a real celtic accoustic rave-up feel.  The lyrics played across
the screens, across the images of Bruce and the E Street Band having
fun on the stage.  It doesn't get any better… unless Bruce plays accordion on stage.  Heck, Sheryl Crow plays accordion!

Tartan Day proclamation for City of Vancouver

Tartan Day will be proclaimed in the City of Vancouver sometime this week

I solicited SFU Scottish Cultural Studies to created a proclaimation, which I passed to city councilor Raymond Louie.

Kilts Night “Tartan Day” celebration happening at Doolin's Irish Pub – after the hockey game… or between periods?!?!
details TBA

Sunday – official Tartan Day.
Vancouver Tartan Army is planning something details TBA
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team will wear the tartan to dragon boat practice 1:30pm at Science World dragon boat docks.

Ron MacLeod Chair V of the SFU Scottish Studies program writes:

Greetings, Tartan Day will soon be upon us – April 6th –  so
don’t forget to wear a bit of tartan in memory of an historic occasion
– the Declaration of Arbroath, 1320 A.D. This declaration was
Scotland’s Declaration of Independence. It has been hailed as a
significant step on a winding, tortuous and long road towards the
blossoming of democracy. If you want a copy of the Declaration, just
email me and it shall be delivered. Regards, the other Ron
Two messages from the Gaelic Society:
1. What: a reminder about the next Ceilidh:
Where: at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street (at 73rd Avenue)
When: Saturday, April 5th, 2008
Time: entertainment begins at 8 P.M.
Tickets: at the door
Entertainment: accordianist
Sandy Black; musician Seumas Gagne; singer Doug Barr; Highland Dancers
from Angus MacKenzie’s School of Highland Dancing.
Other: coffee, tea, scones, oatcakes and other delights. Wet bar.
All welcome.
2.  What: the Vancouver Gaelic Society’s 100th Anniversary Celebration
Where: Scottish Centre, 8886 Hudson Street (at 73rd Avenue)
When: Saturday, May 3rd, 2008
Time: doors open 5:00 P.M.; Dinner 6:00 P.M.
Tickets: $50.00 for adults & $25.00 for students. Order tickets from Murdo & Linda MacIver (604) 929-4781.
Entertainment: an array of talent including the
Royal National Mòd gold medal soloist Paul McCallum; Scottish
accordionist and entertainer John Carmichael; and, the Vancouver Gaelic
Other: dancing to follow the entertainment program.
All welcome as long as there is space available.
The following courtesy James Russell:
A Scots Toast:
May the best you’ve ever seen
Be the worst you’ll ever see;
May the mouse ne’er leave your girnal                 (pantry)
Wi’ a tear drap in his e’e;
May your lum be blithely reekin…………………..(chimney, smoking)
Till ye’re auld enough to dee;…………………….(die)
May you aye be just as happy
As we wish you now to be!