Monthly Archives: February 2010

Gung Haggis Fat Choy SEATTLE!!! Feb 21, 2010

Gung Haggis Fat Choy in the USA

Sunday, February 21st 2010    5-9pm
Ocean City Restaurant
609 S. Weller St.
Seattle Chinatown, WA

Ticket Price US$35
Reservations
required


Scottish Troubadour Red McWilliamsBelltown Martial Arts Lion Dance Troop 
Master, David Leong
 

Pipers Don Scobie & Paul Vegers
Drummers Thane Mitchell & Steven Wheel


Kenmore and District Pipeband 
Pipe Major, Jim McGillivray

The Asian Youth Orchestra 
Director, Warren Chang

Scottish Highland Fiddler Susan Burke  with Bill Boyd


Here's the information from the Caledonians Website

Gung Haggis Fat Choy!  Huh?!  In 2007 Bill
McFadden, President of the Caledonian & St. Andrew's
Society, introduced Todd Wong's  trademarked production of “Gung Haggis
Fat Choy” to Seattle.  Billed as “A Celebration of Chinese New Year and
Robert Burns' Dinner”, the laughter-filled evening included haggis, a
delicious Chinese dinner, Pipes & Drums (traditional and fusion
style), sing-alongs (including “When Asian/Scottish Eyes are Smiling”
and “My Haggis/Chow Mein Lies Over the Ocean”), Poems, The Address tae
the Haggis (delivered in rap to an enthusiastic and responsive crowd)
and Auld Lang Syne sung in both Mandarin Chinese and English.  

For February 21st, 2010
BIll has worked out improvements, and Gung Haggis Fat
Choy IV will be the best year!  We will celebrated the
251st Birthday of Robert Burns and Chinese Lunar New Year Year of the
Tiger with an 8 Course Chinese Dinner, Haggis, Raffle/Door Prize, and
musical entertainment featuring: Emcee “Toddish McWong” and
his inimitable “Address tae the Haggis Rap”, “Red” McWilliams, Sifu
David F. Leong's Belltown Martial Arts,  Kenmore & District Pipe
Band, Piper Don Scobie and Asian Youth Orchestra – Warren Chang, Director

     
  Toddish
McWong's
2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy IV (Seattle style)
Produced by Bill McFadden

The fourth
annual event has been scheduled for
Sunday, February 21st 2010    5-9pm
Ocean City Restaurant
609 S. Weller St.
Seattle, WA

Ticket Price US$35
Reservations
required

For tickets and additional information
please contact
Bill McFadden
(206) 364-6025
bill@gunghaggisfatchoy-seattle.com

Please click here to go to the gunghaggisfatchoy-seattle.com web site.

ToddishMcWong.jpg


Todd
Wong (aka “Toddish McWong”) of Vancouver, B.C., creator of Gung Haggis
Fat Choy.  Recognized in the Scottish Parliament's exhibition:  “This
is Who We Are:  Scots in Canada”.  Photo taken in Edinburgh, October of
2009.

Please click here to view photos in our Gallery from the '07 event in Seattle.

Please click here for a sample of “Toddish McWong's” Haggis Rap!

Please click here for additional information on Todd Wong's annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy held in Vancouver, BC.

 Contact Info for some of our past,
present, and future Featured Entertainers:
 

Todd “Toddish McWong” Wong
 
http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/

Red McWilliams, “America's
Celt”
http://home.flash.net/~celtsong/

Master
David Leong's
Martial Arts & Lion Dance
School
http://www.belltownmartialarts.com

Kenmore & District Pipe Band
http://www.kdpipeband.com

Karen Shelton Highland Dancers
sheltonhighlanddancers.com

  Washington Chinese Youth Orchestra, Director Warren Chang via chinamusic@comcast.net
 
Don Scobiehttp://www.bagpiperdon.com 


Melody Dance Group
Melody
Xie, Director
http://www.melodyinstitute.org 

Northwest Junior
Pipe Band
http://www.nwjpb.org

Ben
Rudd 
Lensey Namiokahttp://www.lensey.com 

Susan Burk http://susanburkeonline.com


More media stories about “lack of colour (and bagpipes)” in Vancouver 2010 Opening ceremonies

Stories critical of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies are in Vancouver Courier and Georgia Straight blogs.

Vancouver Courier: Allen Garr's

Much is continuing to be written about the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies that took place with great hoop-lah on Friday February 12th, in BC Place Stadium.  Yes, there were the Four Host Nations welcoming the world to their ancestral (and unceded) lands.  Yes, there were Canadian Aboriginal peoples from all across the nation, dancing and drumming, while Bryan Adams and and Nelly Furtado took the spotlight and sang a new Adams' song “Beat the Drum.”

And then…. a show that has brought complaints from across the country, as Federal Minister James Moore has said “there wasn't enough French-Canadian content.”

Even Quebec Permier Jean Charest, as he sat next to
VANOC CEO John Furlong at a news conference Monday said, “Not at the level we were expecting,” said “It wasn’t
sufficient.”

I admit that enjoyed watching the show. And my girlfriend and I watched
it twice… but we were also playing video and computer games during
the second time.

But we cannot ignore that so many people are
speaking out, and to so is to risk great peril. Clearly there is a
schism in the understanding of what make's us Canadian… as understood
by new immigrants of both Asian and Celtic origins, as well as
multi-generational Canadians of First Nations, Asian, Celtic, Gaelic,
British, French and European heritage.

Maybe like at Expo 67, we are discovering the point of how we see ourselves in the world, and in our own country.

I
especially liked Shane Koyczan's poem. He is indeed addressing the
values that push us to do better, to be more inclusive, and to always
try harder – just like my personal hero Terry Fox, who is very dear to
me, as I hold the SFU Terry Fox gold medal, as a recipient “for courage
in adversity and dedication to society.”

Remember what happened after the Closing Ceremonies in Turin?
Even
Premier Gordon Campbell criticized Turin closing ceremony display by
saying, “I thought there were lots of stereotypes that are not what the
new Canada is.” http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=8a6a6c72-05f7-4a8d-91a1-60f2ebe27219&k=96687

Yes,
I too understand that we cannot please everybody all the time, and that
some cultural groups will cry foul. But my experiences are also tainted
by growing up in a deliberate exclusion of systemic racism, where my
born-in-Canada grandmother could not vote in this country until after
her brothers and cousin had been reluctantly accepted into the Canadian
Forces due to pressure from Great Britain, and then sent on “Suicide
Missions” to be behind enemy lines in Burma.

For these reasons
I knew it was important to help save Joy Kogawa's childhood home from
demolition, where she was forced to leave at age 6 due to internment of
Japanese-Canadians.

For these reasons, I know it is important
to support my cousin Chief Rhonda Larrabee whose mother's people had
their ancestral lands taken away from them, to create BC's first
capital city of New Westminster. And then to add insult, had their
reservation taken away, and their band name of Qayqayt was said to not
exist, because the people didn't live there anymore.

If we don't
speak out on these issues, now – then it is like the silence that
watches the Japanese Canadians put on trains and sent away, or like
knowing that First Nations children are in Residential schools. We know
something is wrong, but dare not speak.

I have tried to embrace
this country and it's foibles, despite hating the bagpipes when I was
little because it represented Colonialism. I speak better french, then
I do Chinese.

I understand the the Ceremonies wanted to emphasize “The Land” rather than the cultural diversity.  Even Margaret Atwood's great book “Survival” argues that there is indeed a distinct Canadian literature, with its own preoccupations, themes, and ideas specific to its history, geopolitics, and landscape.

But that was so 20th Century… Now in the 21st Century, it is about the geopolitics, our cultural diversity, and our place in the global world.

Yes John Furlong has done and amazing job with
VANOC. It is a very challenging, almost impossible task – But John
Furlong's terrible french pronounciation seems to be an apt metaphor
for VANOC's ceremonies team of understanding and including Canada's
multicultural history and culture.

But come on VANOC…. We Are More!!!!

Furlong doesn't get it. I doubt Closing Ceremonies will be more inclusive of Vancouver's Multicultural Diversity

I
don't think Furlong “gets it”.

Reflecting multicultural diversity isn't
about presenting stereotypes to the world or having “token heads of
state” – It's about how we as generations of so-called “visible
minorities” live our lives and make ourselves included in the
mainstream.

My God… even bagpipes weren't included
somewhere in the opening ceremonies, and our first Canadian Prime
Minister, first BC Premier and first Vancouver mayor were born in
Scotland. We have more bagpipers in Canada than there are in Scotland.
And the Chinese immigrants played major roles in BC history including
the railway, the head tax and chinese food restaurants.

Furlong
assures closing ceremony will reflect everyone

 

Visible-minority
groups, francophone leaders complained of opening ceremony snub

 

By Randy
Shore , with files from
Lindsay Kines, Vancouver Sun; with files from Canwest News Service
February 18, 2010

Vancouver
Olympic CEO John Furlong will not make changes to the closing ceremony of the
Winter Olympic Games despite complaints from leaders of the city's ethnic
groups about the content of the opening ceremony.

High-profile
members of some ethnic communities — including Sukhi Sandhu and S.U.C.C.E.
S.S. chairman Peter Kwok — had complained that the opening ceremony omitted a
crucial aspect of Canadian life, the culture mosaic and the role of immigrants
in Canadian society.

Sandhu,
an anti-racism activist and community volunteer who lives in Surrey ,
wrote to Furlong seeking a meeting with the Vancouver Organizing Committee to
air their concerns, but four days later Sandhu has no reply.

Sandhu
and others had hoped that visible minorities could be better showcased in the
closing ceremony.

Furlong
stressed Wednesday that the closing ceremony is already planned and that it
will leave little doubt about “who we are and who is here.”

He said
telling the story of a country made up of people from all over the world is a
complex task, but the opening ceremony did a good job of reflecting
Canada .

“We
feel like having a good cry,” said Sandhu. “We are surprised that it
takes this much energy to bring some common sense to people.”

“I'm
not going to call any more, I'm not going to beg,” Sandhu said.

The
opening ceremony included strong first nations participation both in the show
and the dignitaries box. Four local first nations chiefs sat as heads of state
to welcome the world along with Canada 's
Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean and Premier Gordon Campbell.

But the
show contained little to represent the country's other major ethnic groups,
critics said.

Canadian
Heritage and Official Languages Minister James Moore, Liberal leader Michael
Ignatieff and Quebec Premier Jean Charest complained that the ceremony didn't
include enough French language content.

Canada's
Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser will be investigating the
complaints, but because his mandate only allows him to probe federal institutions,
he will confine his investigation to Moore 's
heritage ministry, according to an e-mail sent to Canwest News Service by
Fraser's office.

Fraser
will release a preliminary report on the level of bilingualism at the Games
following their conclusion.

The
complaints hinge on the $20 million in funding that Heritage Canada gave to the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the opening ceremony, the most-watched
televised event in Canadian history.

“There
is an agreement between the federal government … and Vanoc that came with a
certain amount of funding,” said Robin Cantin, a spokesman for the
language commissioner's office. “And that agreement came with some
language provisions.”

Langara
College sociologist Indira Prahst will watch the
closing ceremony carefully for signs of respect to
Canada 's visible minorities, but
she is not satisfied with Vanoc's response to complaints.

“I
want to be blunt: This should have been addressed at the very outset,” she
said. “We should have showcased our diversity. Is this just a quick
response meant to pacify the community?”

“That's
really not enough,” she said. “I told Sukhi and the others that they
were unrealistic to expect major changes [to the ceremony] because there is so
much work, planning and technology that goes into it.”

“But
they could have a person from a visible minority speak.”

rshore@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver
Sun

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/2010wintergames/Furlong+assures+closing+ceremony+will+reflect+everyone/2579637/story.html

 

More visible minorities at closing, VANOC
hints

Last Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2010
| 9:26 AM PT
Comments14Recommend22

CBC News

VANOC CEO John Furlong is hinting
Canada 's racial
diversity may be better represented in the closing ceremony of the Winter
Olympics after criticism that ethnic minorities were mostly missing from the
opening.

With its large South Asian and Chinese
communities, Metro Vancouver is one of
Canada 's most diverse regions.
Forty-one per cent of residents are part of visible minorities. But none of
that diversity appeared in the big show that opened the 2010 Winter Games on
Feb 12, critics say.

'We can't force ourselves on VANOC
if they don't welcome us.'
— Charan
Gill, CEO of Progressive Intercultural Community Services

Canadian-born Sukhi Sandhu wrote a letter
to Furlong, saying Olympic organizers missed an opportunity during the final
torch-lighting ceremony “to represent our nation's diversity.”

Sandhu said he and his family are proud
Canadians and excited to attend events at the Games, but he was disappointed
visible minorities were excluded from key roles during the opening ceremony.

“If I look at the eight individuals
who carried the Olympic flag and the final torchbearers, who are all rightfully
outstanding Canadians — no one is disputing that — however, out of
13 people there isn't one outstanding visible minority that you could think of
— David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Jerome Iginla or Daniel Igali,”
Sandu said.

Closing ceremony could offer more

It is not the first time the opening
ceremony has been criticized for its lack of diversity. Federal Heritage
Minister James Moore said earlier this week that “there should have been
more French.”

On Wednesday, Furlong defended the opening
ceremony but hinted the closing on Feb. 28 will be different.

“We did a very good job of showing
Canada and we
had a goal to tell a story, and at the closing ceremony … we will have a
very certain kind of celebration, and I don't think you'll have any doubt when
the ceremonies are over who we are and who's here.”

Sandhu said he doesn't want to just see
bhangra dancers or hear drumbeats. He wants to see accomplished visible
minorities represented in the closing ceremony.

“Our nation is a cultural mosaic, and
our diversity is our strength and frankly I am surprised in 2010 we need to
continue educating our leaders on this Canadian value,” he wrote.
“There is no shame or justifiable reason to not showcase this significant
part of our nation’s identity.”

His concerns are echoed by Peter Kwok, the
chairman of the immigrant services organization SUCCESS, which provides
services for new Chinese Canadians.

“You know we have Chinese New Year,
just a few days ago and when attending all those New Year's celebrations I have
been chatting with people and I've heard from quite a few people that they,
too, feel that it was a spectacular show,” Kwok said. “And they only
wish that they had a bit more portrayal of the multiculturalism in
Canada .”

Charan Gill, the CEO of the Progressive
Intercultural Community Services, an immigrant organization based in
Surrey , B.C., said he tried to reach out to VANOC to
encourage more visible minorities to get involved and volunteer for the Games
but got no response.

“We can't force ourselves on VANOC if
they don't welcome us,” he said.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/18/bc-visible-minorities-olympic-ceremonies.html#ixzz0fuevX1Y4

  http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/18/bc-visible-minorities-olympic-ceremonies.html

   

Vancouver
2010 Opening Ceremonies: What's wrong with this picture?

by Todd
on Sat 13 Feb 2010 11:27 PM PST 

I watched the opening ceremonies of the
Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and something didn't sit right with me. 
Vancouver is always being
touted as a multicultural city.  It is the “most Asian” city in
North America .  It is the city with the most
mixed-race relationships.

It was very nice to see a welcome from the Four Host Nations of Lil'Wat,
Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh nations.  Four totem poles were
raised, and each host nation welcomed the world in their own language, followed
by English and French.  And then other First Nations groups from across
Canada , were
also recognized: from the North; the East; and the Prairies.  It was a
wonderful way to acknowledge and infuse First Nations culture into the Opening
Ceremonies.

I also enjoyed how the many regions of
Canada were represented during the
Opening ceremonies.  The prairies of W.O. Mitchell's “Who Has Seen
The Wind”… the snow of the north… the fiddling of the Maritimes,
Quebec and the
East.  The killer whales were my favorite part.  Projected images of
light, moving across the floor, punctuated by actual puffs of water, to
simulate the exhaling of the whales.  But during after the fiddling was
over, I asked myself – “Where are the Chinese fiddles or erhus that are
part of Vancouver 's
multicultural music scene, and it's cultural history of 150 years of
immigration.  Where is the erhu from Madeleine Thein's children's book
“The Chinese violin”

It was an exciting moment to recognize and identify each of the flag carriers,
as the Olympic flag was brought in.  Donald Sutherland, Betty Fox, Barbara
Ann Scott, Gilles Villaneuve, Bobby Orr, Julie Payette, Anne Murray and Gen.
Romeo Dallaire.  I was especially excited to see Betty Fox, because I have
personally met her many times, as I have been a member of Terry's Team since
1993 – cancer survivors who speak at Terry Fox Runs and at schools.

Then anticipation for the final torch bearer.  A silouette of a man in a
wheel chair! Yay! It is Rick Hansen – my favorite choice to be the lighter of
the cauldron.  Rick passes the flame to Catriona Le May Doan, who passes
the flame to Wayne Gretzky, who passes the flame to Nancy Greene Raine. 
All four stand, as the caudron rises from the floor.  All four light the
cauldron together.  Whoops, only 3 light the cauldron, because one pillar
didn't rise out of the floor.  Was this a sign?  Was it a symbol?

But, I also saw a lack of diversity in the flag carriers and final torch
bearers.  While recognize and admirer each of the chosen flag carriers and
final torch bearers for their individual accomplishments and contributions to
Canadian society.

But…. if all the flag carriers, and final torch bearers had been male, we
would hear women complaining.  If all the flag carriers and final torch
bearers had been Anglophone, then the Francophones would be complaining. 
And if all the flag carriers and final torch bearers were blonde, would
brunettes, red heads and black haired people be complaining?  Yes!

Part of the selling point for winning the Olympic bid, is that Vancouver
is a multicultural city, and Canada 's
“Gateway to the Pacific.” Politicians and VANOC have been proudly
telling the world that every athlete from every competing nation will find
somebody in Vancouver
that speaks their language, cooks their food and could welcome them to their
home.

And yes, David Suzuki, is a wonderful choice. He was the top living
“Greatest Canadian” in the CBC show and #5 overall.  Tommy
Douglas was #1 (whose son-in-law was flag carrier Donald Sutherland) and Terry
Fox was #2 (whose mother was Betty Fox, another flag carrier).  Wayne
Gretzky was #10.  Romeo Dallaire was #16, Bobby Orr #19 and Rick Hansen
#30. Chief Dan George was #80, Donovan Bailey #89, and Anne Murray #94.

There are many past gold medalists that could have been included.  Lori
Fung (gold LA 1984 Rhythmic Gymnastics).  Alwyn Morris (Gold & Bronze
LA 1984 Kayak-pairs) who had held up an eagle feather on the podium, Donovan
Bailey (Goldx2 Atlanta 1996 100m + 4X100 Relay), Daniel Igali (Gold Sydney 2000
Wrestling), Carol Huynh (Gold Beijing 2008 Wrestling), and Jerome Iginla (Gold
Salt Lake City 2002 Hockey).  Just the inclusion of one of these
medalists, or all of them, passing the flame onto the final four would have been
a tremendous inclusive moment.

Remember that Sydney 2000 chose Cathy Freeman, an aboriginal to light the
cauldron.  Atlanta 96 had Muhammad Ali.

VANOC opening ceremonies missed a chance to showcase the diversity of both
Vancouver and
Canada , and that we are just as
proud of ALL our Canadians too!

Maybe many people would have said “Who?” if Alwyn Morris had been
holding an eagle feather in one hand, and a torch in the other, if he had
walked into BC Place with the Olympic Flame – but it would have been both an
educational and a proud moment for all Canadians.  Morris is the first and
only Canadian aboriginal to win an Olympic gold medal.

It could have been a proper bookend to the inclusion of First Nations people –
in how we have overcome Canada's racist history of residential schools and
apartheid reservations, head tax and exclusion acts, internment camps and
property confiscation – not how we still portray First Nations peoples as
stereotypes in traditional costume, dancing and beating drums.

http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2010/2/14/4455481.html

 

 

Chinese New Year welcomes Year of the Tiger in Vancouver Chinatown

It looks like a Tiger of a year… with the Olympics in town, and lions running everywhere at Vancouver's Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade

2010_Olympics_Feb14 033

Lions were everywhere in Vancouver Chinatown, celebrating the Year of the Tiger.

2010_Olympics_Feb14 023

All the celebrities, politicians and VIP's walk at the beginning of the parade. 

2010_Olympics_Feb14 018

Next come the Chinese Canadian veterans of Pacific Unit 280 (minus my uncle Dan, who passed away less than a month ago).  But the veterans all wore red Olympic mittens!

2010_Olympics_Feb14 030

Here's a Chinese parade dragon.  How to tell a dragon from a lion?  You wear the lion costume over your body, while the dragon is always held up on poles!

2010_Olympics_Feb14 016

The Kitchen God always marches in the parade.  The trick is to put honey on the Kitchen God's lips before he makes his report to heaven about your kitchen, so he can only say sweet things with honey on his lips.

2010_Olympics_Feb14 015

Here I am with my friend Georgia, who paddles with us on the Gung Haggis dragon boat team.

2010_Olympics_Feb14 051

The Carnival band all tried to dress up as Tigers….

2010_Olympics_Feb14 036

City Councilor Kerry Jang hands out lucky red envelopes called “li-see” for good luck!

2010_Olympics_Feb14 055

Here I am dressed in my kilt and red Chinese dragon vest.  I met this fellow in his black utility kilt outside the skytrain stop at The Bay.  Kilters greet each other, and I invited him to join us for the next kilts night.  Since it was Chinese New Year we took a picture of him waring my Chinese jacket.  Very cool.

Women's Hockey: Canada 18 Slovakia 0

Canada 18 Slovakia 0 – Women's Hockey fills GM Place with red and white, and more red and white.

2010_Olympics_Feb13 068

It's a new Olympic record… 18 goals in a women's hockey game!

2010_Olympics_Feb13 041

Captain Haley Wickenheiser wins another face off.

2010_Olympics_Feb13 063

Agosta scored a hat trick

2010_Olympics_Feb13 047

The Slovakian goalie faced over 50 shots, and stopped almost everything she had a clear shot on.

During the 2nd and 3rd period, when it became obvious the score was heading towards 20-0, we started cheering for every save the Slovakian goalie made.

2010_Olympics_Feb13 029

Here I am wearing the red maple leaf, with my friends Mel Lehan and Stuart Mackinnon!

Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies: What's wrong with this picture?

I watched the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and something didn't sit right with me.  Vancouver is always being touted as a multicultural city.  It is the “most Asian” city in North America.  It is the city with the most mixed-race relationships.

It was very nice to see a welcome from the Four Host Nations of Lil'Wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh nations.  Four totem poles were raised, and each host nation welcomed the world in their own language, followed by English and French.  And then other First Nations groups from across Canada, were also recognized: from the North; the East; and the Prairies.  It was a wonderful way to acknowledge and infuse First Nations culture into the Opening Ceremonies.

I also enjoyed how the many regions of Canada were represented during the Opening ceremonies.  The prairies of W.O. Mitchell's “Who Has Seen The Wind”… the snow of the north… the fiddling of the Maritimes, Quebec and the East.  The killer whales were my favorite part.  Projected images of light, moving across the floor, punctuated by actual puffs of water, to simulate the exhaling of the whales.  But during after the fiddling was over, I asked myself – “Where are the Chinese fiddles or erhus that are part of Vancouver's multicultural music scene, and it's cultural history of 150 years of immigration.  Where is the erhu from Madeleine Thein's children's book “The Chinese violin”

It was an exciting moment to recognize and identify each of the flag carriers, as the Olympic flag was brought in.  Donald Sutherland, Betty Fox, Barbara Ann Scott, Gilles Villaneuve, Bobby Orr, Julie Payette, Anne Murray and Gen. Romeo Dallaire.  I was especially excited to see Betty Fox, because I have personally met her many times, as I have been a member of Terry's Team since 1993 – cancer survivors who speak at Terry Fox Runs and at schools.

Then anticipation for the final torch bearer.  A silouette of a man in a wheel chair! Yay! It is Rick Hansen – my favorite choice to be the lighter of the cauldron.  Rick passes the flame to Catriona Le May Doan, who passes the flame to Wayne Gretzky, who passes the flame to Nancy Greene Raine.  All four stand, as the caudron rises from the floor.  All four light the cauldron together.  Whoops, only 3 light the cauldron, because one pillar didn't rise out of the floor.  Was this a sign?  Was it a symbol?

But, I also saw a lack of diversity in the flag carriers and final torch bearers.  While recognize and admirer each of the chosen flag carriers and final torch bearers for their individual accomplishments and contributions to Canadian society.

But…. if all the flag carriers, and final torch bearers had been male, we would hear women complaining.  If all the flag carriers and final torch bearers had been Anglophone, then the Francophones would be complaining.  And if all the flag carriers and final torch bearers were blonde, would brunettes, red heads and black haired people be complaining?  Yes!

Part of the selling point for winning the Olympic bid, is that Vancouver is a multicultural city, and Canada's “Gateway to the Pacific.” Politicians and VANOC have been proudly telling the world that every athlete from every competing nation will find somebody in Vancouver that speaks their language, cooks their food and could welcome them to their home.

And yes, David Suzuki, is a wonderful choice. He was the top living “Greatest Canadian” in the CBC show and #5 overall.  Tommy Douglas was #1 (whose son-in-law was flag carrier Donald Sutherland) and Terry Fox was #2 (whose mother was Betty Fox, another flag carrier).  Wayne Gretzky was #10.  Romeo Dallaire was #16, Bobby Orr #19 and Rick Hansen #30. Chief Dan George was #80, Donovan Bailey #89, and Anne Murray #94.

There are many past gold medalists that could have been included.  Lori Fung (gold LA 1984 Rhythmic Gymnastics).  Alwyn Morris (Gold & Bronze LA 1984 Kayak-pairs) who had held up an eagle feather on the podium, Donovan Bailey (Goldx2 Atlanta 1996 100m + 4X100 Relay), Daniel Igali (Gold Sydney 2000 Wrestling), Carol Huynh (Gold Beijing 2008 Wrestling), and Jerome Iginla (Gold Salt Lake City 2002 Hockey).  Just the inclusion of one of these medalists, or all of them, passing the flame onto the final four would have been a tremendous inclusive moment.

Remember that Sydney 2000 chose Cathy Freeman, an aboriginal to light the cauldron.  Atlanta 96 had Muhammad Ali.

VANOC opening ceremonies missed a chance to showcase the diversity of both Vancouver and Canada, and that we are just as proud of ALL our Canadians too!

Maybe many people would have said “Who?” if Alwyn Morris had been holding an eagle feather in one hand, and a torch in the other, if he had walked into BC Place with the Olympic Flame – but it would have been both an educational and a proud moment for all Canadians.  Morris is the first and only Canadian aboriginal to win an Olympic gold medal.

It could have been a proper bookend to the inclusion of First Nations people – in how we have overcome Canada's racist history of residential schools and apartheid reservations, head tax and exclusion acts, internment camps and property confiscation – not how we still portray First Nations peoples as stereotypes in traditional costume, dancing and beating drums.

Todd Wong appearance on CTV Canada AM for Sunday Feb 14th

Todd will be on Canada AM
on CTV, Sunday morning

– must be there at 5am so Toronto people can see
a brief interview between 8 and 9am.. I will do the interview at Robson Square, which is part of the the BC Canada Pavillion.

Then will do an interview and
filming at Chinese New Year parade with ZDF tv from Germany.  We will meet at 8:30am, as the parade starts at 9:30am in Vancouver Chinatown.

Now….Must get
ready to attend the Women's hockey Canada vs Slovakia today at 5pm

Olympic Torch carried on Dragon Boat and Voyageur Canoe on Final Day

Olympic Torch carried on Dragon Boat and Voyageur Canoe on Final Day

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Olympian Hugh Fisher carried the Olympic Torch on a dragon boat on part of the final leg of the Olympic Torch Relay that has traveled from sea to sea to sea and all across Canada.  He passed it on to Olympian kayaker Kamini Jain in the middle of False Creek, as she stood on a voyageur canoe.

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I was part of the 6 dragon boat and 6 outrigger canoe accompanying flotilla, that followed the torch bearing boats.  We all stood for a photo op with torch bearers Hugh and Kamini, after it was over.

Pictures and more stories coming later 

2010_Olympics_Feb12 192 Todd stands with Kamini Jain, Olympic torch bearer for 2010, Olympic kayak racer in Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000.

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Alwyn Morris won gold and bronze partnered with Hugh Fisher in the Mens K-2 events in LA 1984.  Alwyn is the first and only gold medalist Aboriginal Canadian, and he held up an eagle feather when he ascended the podium in 1984.

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Geo, Lisa and Todd hold the Olympic flame with torch bearer and gold medalist Olympian Hugh Fisher (LA 1984).

If Terry Fox could light the Olympic caldron, would he?

Who will light the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Caldron?  The Spirit of Terry Fox?

At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the Olympic Caldron was lit by Stephane Prefontaine and Sandra Henderson, two teenage athletes.  At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the caldron was lit by Robyn Perry, a 12 year old figure skater.  If this trend continues, it could be a baby lighting the flame in Vancouver's Opening Ceremonies.

Maybe it will be the baby of figure skaters Jaime Sale and David Pelletier, as a “get-you-back” at the Olympic figure skating judges at Salt Lake City in 2002.

But Canadians don't think like that… We aren't revengful, mean or spiteful.  We are polite, sharing, compassionate and caring.  We voted for Tommy Douglas as our Greatest Canadian.  Terry Fox was number 2.

Terry Fox inspired millions in Canada when he did his run… and
millions after he died. There are Terry Fox Runs all around the world.
 I have spoken at schools and Terry Fox Runs in BC, and also in Bejing,
as a Terry's Team Member – cancer survivors, for are living proof
that cancer research made a difference.  Terry worked hard at whatever
he undertook.  He was not a scholarship athlete at SFU. He was the guy
on the bench who was there to step in when you needed him.  And he
inspired millions.

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Fox-not-Gretzky-should-light-cauldron?urn=oly,218877

Todd Wong visits the Minus 5 Ice Bar at Monk's

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My girlfriend and I went to the “Minus 5”
ice bar at Monk McQueen's Restaurant – VERY COOL!

We also took a ride on the
Bombardier street car – also quite cool.  The street car follows historic street car tracks that are still in use for the summer.  It travels from Olympic Village station, just West of Cambie Str. Bridge, and ends at Granville Island.

On Granville Island, we visited Swiss Haus aka
Bridges Restaurant – mildly cool – but slow service – not cool!  I have been to Bridges many times, but mostly during the mid-80's, then again after dragon boat practices in the late 90's and early 00's, so I know it well.  It will now be a 2nd home to many of the Swiss athletes, and site of celebrations after medal ceremonies.

But we had the most fun at the Ice Bar!!! 
For $25, they give you a token for a special vodka martini, a parka and gloves to help keep you warm.  The gloves are important because the cups being used are all made of ice!

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There are fantastic ice sculptures!

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Our wonderful host Karlyn, and our bartender Jill.  Jill has worked ice bars in Montreal, and is thrilled to be back in BC, as she is a Victoria native.  She told us stories about working in the cold, and how it affects your physiology.  She warned us about drinking our drinks quickly, because the alcohol can melt through your ice glass cup, if you are not careful.

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These Vancouverites were doing the same thing we were: checking out venues before the crowds!

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We tried to see if our tongues would stick to the ice sculptures.

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Very cool was the bench made of ice, covered with caribou pelts…

Then I thought… “what if… we did a photo… with only the fur pelts?”

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Not bad for my age… I think… but I could have flexed my pectoral muscles more.

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Jill thanked us for creating the highlight of the evening for her.  It was a lot of fun.  I have now declared Jill to be my favorite bartender in Vancouver!