Todd Wong & David Philip perform at COPE summer BBQ at Vancouver Rowing Club

Todd Wong brought his accordion repertoire from the CUPE 391 Library Square strike line to the COPE summer bbq at the Vancouver Rowing Club

It was a sold out Thursday night for the COPE annual summer BBQ at the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park, on July 17.

Who showed up?  Why there was COPE city councilor David Cadman, MLA
Adrian Dix, MLA David Chudnovsky, Vision city councilors Heather Deal, George Chow, Tim
Stevenson, COPE parks commissioner Loretta Woodcock, COPE school board trustee Allan Wong, and Vision
mayoralty candidate Gregor Robertson. There were also lots of candidates such as recently declared Council candidates Andrea Reimer, Kerry Jang, Meena Wong and Parks Board candidates Stuart Mackinnon, and Aaron Jasper + parliamentary candidate Don Davies.

Here is a group of wannabe politicians for the Vancouver civic election: 1. Gregor Roberson –
Vision Mayoral candidate
2. Sarah
Blythe – Park Board candidate
Aaron Jasper – Park Board Candidate, 4. Meena Wong – COPE City Council candidate, 5. David Eby City Council candidate  – photo Patrick Tam

Labour Unions were also represented.  Attending were David Walker the new BCGEU president,  Bill Saunders president of the Vancouver District Labour Council, and CUPE 391 Vancouver Library workers.


The CUPE 391 table featured vice-presidents Laura Safarian, Inder Pannu and Library shipper/film maker David Philip.  Fellow CUPE 391 library workers not in the photo are Mark Whittam, Margaret, and yours truly Todd Wong – photo Patrick Tam

CUPE 391's presence was very special because not only did the Vancouver Library Workers sponsor a table, they also represented a good portion of the featured entertainment with Todd Wong (of Gung Haggis Fat Choy fame)  also newly elected to the CUPE 391 executive as member-at-large.

DSC_777742628 - Adrian's kenote speech – photo Patrick Tam

MLA Adrian Dix speaks to the sold out event, as keynote speaker.  He addresses the inequalities in the city. He also shared a secret with the NDP friendly crowd – but I can't reproduce it here, because he didn't want to share it with the media… not just yet.

DSC_765642516 - MC Carlo BODROGI – photo Patrick Tam

Carlo Bodrogi did a fine job MCing the
event. I discovered that he is half-Phillipino and the other half is Jewish and Hungarian…
very Gung Haggis, as I explained to him the term “Hapa” which is a
Hawaiian term that means “half Asian”

DSC_781142662 - Todd WONG's act– photo Patrick Tam

Todd Wong reprised selections from his “Library Square strike-line repertoire” as David Philip shared his films made during last year's CUPE 391 Vancouver Library Workers strike.  Todd shared stories about what it was like on the strike line, as CUPE 391 made media headlines and waves in the labour movement because of their creative and innovative strike line activities, which included “flying bicycle pickets,” knitting groups, musicians, video films, and a writer's reading series – organized by Wong. 

“The accordion and music made it easier to interact with the public,” said Wong telling tales of the songs he would play as pedestrians made their way to the ballet, the hockey game, or attended “Word on the Street” literary and book fair. 

Philip's videos demonstrated not only the creativity of CUPE 391 picketers, but also the resolve to deal with the stress and challenges of a 3 month strike.  They are filled with anger, compassion, humor and the strength of human spirit. 

Rachel Marcuse was event organizer, and she said “People told me it was the best entertainment we've had yet at our events,” as Wong was able to blend together the art forms of music and video with the politics and pathos of the strike line.

Watch some of David Philip's videos on you tube:

DAY 43

See more of Patrick Tam's pictures at:

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