What Scottish clan is CBC TV News anchor Gloria Macarenko from?
Celebrity Media co-hosts are confirmed!
Gloria Macarenko, CBC TV News anchor “Vancouver at Six”
Catherine Barr, Metro News / Radio 650 AM
Gloria Macarenko from CBC TV's “Vancouver at Six”
Gloria first got to learn about deep-fried haggis won ton when I
brought some down to her newscast, when CBC was promoting the 2004 Gung
Haggis Fat Choy television performance special.
I'm really happy that CBC TV news anchor Gloria Macarenko is coming to co-host the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner with myself and Catherine Barr. It turns out that Gloria and Catherine also know each other and are really looking forward to having some fun at the Gung Haggis dinner.
I looked in a tartan clan wesbite and found MacA'chailles, MacAchounich, MacAdam, MacAdie, MacAindra, MacAldonich, MacAlduie, MacAlex, MacAlister, MacAllen, MacAndeoir, MacAndrew, MacAngus, MacAra, MacAree, MacAskill, MacAslan, MacAuselan, and MacAy… but no MacArenko!
What clan is Catherine Barr from? I found there are clans named Barrie and Barron, and of course there is MacNeil of Barra, or the Barra MacNeils. I know that Catherine's family has a family tartan… In fact, it was
her father Robert Barr that introduced me to the Burns Club of
Vancouver about 5 years ago. Last year Cat managed to get 10 kilted men on stage all singing a “Toast to the Lassies” – what will she lead us into this year?
Special musical performers:
Silk Road Music Ensemble:
Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault have become good friends since I first met them on the set of the 2004 CBC television performance special “Gung Haggis Fat Choy.” I really appreciated what they were doing musically, and they really appreciated what I was doing. They have performed at the Gung Haggis dinner in 2004, 2007. Qiu Xia plays virtuoso pipa (Chinese lute) and Andre can play fiery flamenco music – but they also play scottish and french-canadian reels and jigs too! For their 2009 Gung Haggis performance they are adding a Scottish-Canadian percussionist, Liam MacDonald.
Gung Haggis Fat Choy Pipe & Drums
Last year, Bob Wilkins approached me with the idea of creating a Gung Haggis Fat Choy pipe band… with lion dancers and chinese drums. Okay… I was hooked. Our paths have crossed in our mutual appreciation of BC Scottish and Chinese pioneer histories, and Bob has a vision of a multicultural pipe band that could also incorporate BC's Chinese cultural history and traditions. Okay… we have the pipers but are still searching for Chinese lion dancers.
Heather Pawsey opera soprano
Heather sings in Mandarin, Cree, Italian, French, German, Spanish and probably Russian and Scottish too! Heather has graced stages with Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Symphony and many other ensemble and chamber groups throughout BC. She always lights up the stage when she comes to Gung Haggis dinners, such as 2004 and 2007. Heather grew up wearing kilts on the Saskatchewan prairies, and she really loves the Gung Haggis concept. In 2008 she was paired with DJ Timothy Wisdom to create something new and exciting. She called me up and said “Todd – I've got something for you and Gung Haggis!”
Timothy Wisdom DJ
I only met Timothy last week, when he came to the Gung Haggis Fat Choy rehearsal dinner on January 11th. He brought with him a dvd of his performance with Heather Pawsey. What was on it? Opera with hip hop beats… Scottish and Chinese musical notes and references… And hopefully Timothy will spin some tunes after the Gung Haggis dinner, so we can party until midnight for a countdown to Chinese New Year! “Best Party Rockin DJ in Vancouver…a sonic genius” – Vancouver Folk Festival “so much exhilaration in his sets…slaying audiences” – E13 Records
Joe McDonald, our “rapping bagpiper”
I first met Joe McDonald when he performed with a South Asian tabla drummer in 2001. I saw the kind of world music sounds they were creating and three weeks later, his music ensemble Brave Waves was performing at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner. Joe has performed at every Gung Haggis dinner since, including the Gung Haggis Fat Choy CBC television performance special too! A few years ago, we starting “rapping” the Robbie Burns immortal poem “Address to a Haggis.” We created an MP3 file with Trevor Chan of the No Luck Club… and it is going to be played on BBC Radio Scotland's Robbie Burns radio special on January 25th for Burns' 250th birthday – Woo-hoo!
Adrienne Wong – Neworld Theatre actor/writer for “Mixie and the Half-Breeds“
Adreinne is a long time friend of Gung Haggis Fat Choy. She co-hosted the 2004 dinner, and in 2003 she paddled on the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team. Growing up with Chinese and French ancestry, heritage and culture, Adrienne knows what it's like to walk in both worlds, as well as in-between. She's written a new theatrical play called “Mixie and the Half-Breeds.” We think it's perfect for a Gung Haggis Fat Choy world… and she's going to give us a sneak preview before the show opens later this year. I saw Adrienne give a stage reading of “My Name is Rachel Corrie” last fall – fantastic!
Special guests include:
Larry Grant, Musqueam Elder
Rita Wong, 2008 BC Book Poetry Prize winner “Forage”
Dr. Leith Davis, SFU Centre for
Jan Walls, former SFU Director of International Communications
Tao, poet translator
Chuck Lew QC, keeper for the flame for 49 years of Burns Dinners for the Vancouver Chinatown Lions Club.
+ 1 bottle of 37 year old Famous Grouse scotch – one of only 250 made to be featured at Burns Suppers around the world.