Monthly Archives: February 2011

Gung Haggis Fat Seattle V – a great success in new venue

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle V was amazing!

Feb 20th @ China Harbour Restaurant
Lake Union
Seattle Washington

IMG_0106 by Toddish McWong

The Seattle version of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner has an edgy feel, which pushes the boundaries of both traditional Robbie Burns and Chinese New Year dinners.  Scotland's favorite son Robbie Burns is compared to China's most famous poet Lao Tzu.

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Children of all ages enjoy this multicultural, intercultural event, which has featured the Washington Chinese Youth Ensemble in past years, and was a fundraiser this year for the North West Junior Pipe Band.

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A young drummer keeps up with the older drummers around him.  This cultural fusion event opened with the North West Junior Pipe Band.

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Pipe Major gives signals to the band, and demonstrates good poise.
  The band is a mix of male and female, older and younger, and often comes up to Vancouver area, to compete at the BC Highland Games in Coquitlam.

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The dance floor was soon invaded by 6 Chinese lions – two were lion cubs.

Belltown Marshall Arts

Bell Town Martial Arts is led by Sifu David Leung, who once studied with Bruce Lee.

The haggis, with sweet & sour sauce & plum suace.
Haggis is served out of their casings… and heated in aluminum
casserole plates.  But thankfully, a traditional haggis in it's casing
was used for my Address To The Haggis.

Jamie Foster
Jamie Foster sings the Burns song, “Ae Fond Kiss”, then helped lead a singalong of Loch Lomand, with musicians Todd Wong on accordion, Red McWilliams on guitar and Susan Burke on fiddle.

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Todd Wong and Red McWilliams, hosting and singing + comic relief.  We led an interesting diversion of kilt tartan identification.

IMG_0125 by Toddish McWong
Lauren Black, premier Highland Dancer, from Toronto.  What was she doing in Seattle?  She specifically came out to perform at the Seattle Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner because her mother is 2nd generation Chinese-Canadian, and her Scottish-Canadian father plays bagpipes, and it was a good excuse to come visit relatives.  Last year she found out some of her friends, who live in Seattle had danced, and she decided she wanted to, too!

IMG_0108 by Toddish McWong

Rock & Roll bagpipes from Don Scobie's band “Nae Regrets”

IMG_0144 by Toddish McWong
Todd Wong presents a kilt wearing Quatchi to Gung Haggis Seattle organizer Bill McFadden.

IMG_0142 by Toddish McWong

Seattle Met magazine discovers Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Seattle!

Seattle Met magazine features a story
about Toddish McWong
and Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner in Seattle!

Check out this story in the Seattle Met magazine, about Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner history, Toddish McWong origins and the upcoming Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinner in Seattle.

http://www.seattlemet.com/arts-and-entertainment/category/special-events/articles/gung-haggis-fat-choy-0211/



Adventures in Multiculturalism

A Vancouverite brings his Chinese and Scottish mash-up to Rain City.

By Hilary Meyerson

Seattlemetmcwongf

Illustration:
Meg Hunt

WHAT DO ROBERT BURNS,
haggis, lion dancers, and the Chinese New Year have in common? That
would be Toddish McWong, aka Todd Wong, a fifth-generation Chinese
Canadian. Wong created Gung Haggis Fat Choy, a Scottish and Chinese
cross-cultural holiday that has spread from Canada to China and
Scotland, and earned him an introduction to the Scottish First Minister.
In 1993, as a student at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia,
Wong was asked to slip on a kilt and help out with a campus Robert Burns
supper, a nod to the eighteenth-century Scottish poet.

Wong took a shine to the poetry recitations—including Burns’s
“Address to a Haggis”—but not to the music (bagpipes) or the food
(haggis: sheep innards minced with oatmeal and simmered in the animal’s
stomach). He donned the tartan, but complemented his costume with
elements of the Lunar Chinese New Year—he covered his face with a lion
mask and carried Chinese food instead of haggis. “I thought, This is a
really interesting way to look at multiculturalism—to flip stereotypes.
So I called myself Toddish McWong.”

He hosted the first public Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Vancouver,
BC, in 1999, celebrating Scottish and Chinese cultures. And people from
all over the region have flocked to it, including Bill McFadden of
Seattle’s Caledonian and St. Andrew’s Society (he’s Clan MacLaren).
McFadden convinced Wong to bring the event to Western Washington in
2007. Since then hundreds of Seattleites have showed up to devour
deep-fried haggis wontons, sing along to “My Haggis-Chow Mein Lies Over
the Ocean,” and hear McWong perform his “Address to a Haggis” rap,
surely the way the Scottish bard intended.

Thanks for reading!

Electric Scotland come to SFU with Vancouver's Gaelic Choir


Electric Scotland come to SFU
with performance by Vancouver's Gaelic Choir


Dr. Leith Davies cuts the haggis “with ready sleight” at the 2011 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner. – photo by Lydia Nagai


– message from Scottish Express and Dr. Leith Davies, director of Centre for Scottish Studies, SFU

Got an interest in Scottish history, genealogy, travel, etc? Come hear
Scotland Electrified at SFU:

The Centre for Scottish Studies is
pleased to invite Alastair McIntyre, the founder and editor of the
website Electric Scotland, to SFU. He will be giving a talk and
demonstration about the terrific resources available on Electric
Scotland. We will also be thanking Alastair for his continuing support
of the endowment fund for a designated Chair of Scottish Studies at SFU
and celebrating SFU's mirroring of the Electric Scotland site. A
performance from the Gaelic Choir starts us off. 8:00-9:30 (note
difference in time from other programs), Thursday, February 17, 2011:
Room 1400, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings Street.

Programme:

8:00-8:30
pm. Welcoming remarks and short performance by the Gaelic Choir

Gleann
Baile Chaoil Ian Cameron / arr. Stephen Smith

Westering Home
Hugh S. Roberton / chorus traditional / verses H.S. Roberton /
arr.
Ken Johnston

O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast Robert Burns / Felix
Mendelssohn

Na Maragan aig Ruairidh Traditional Strathspey / arr.
S. Mac an T-Sagairt

8:30-9:30 pm: Alastair McIntyre talks about
and demonstrates his website about the history of Scotland and the
Scots, Electric Scotland ( www.electricscotland.com )

9:30-10:00
pm Reception

Dr. Leith Davis
Professor, Department of English
Director,
Centre for Scottish Studies
AQ 6111
Simon Fraser University
8888
University Drive
778 782-4833
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6
CANADA
http://www.sfu.ca/personal/leith/
http://www.sfu.ca/scottish

Seattle Gung Haggis Fat Choy V – February 20, 2011

Seattle celebrates
5th Anniversary of
Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner


My parents tell me that I first visited Seattle, Washington, when I was a year old.  We would drive south from Vancouver BC, in Canada, cross the international border at the 49th Parallel, and visit both family and friends in Seattle.

In the 1980's I would drive down on my own to visit with friends, see concerts, and go skiing.  In the 2000's I would travel to Seattle for dragon boat racing.  From 2007 to 2011, I now cross the border wearing a kilt to emcee the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle Dinner event.



Bagpiper Don Scobie, Todd Wong (me), event producer Bill McFadden, and young bagpiper – all playing with a kilted Quatchi Olympic mascot.

The Seattle Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner is different but similar to the Vancouver Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner.  Bill McFadden organizes the dinner food, and the entertainment.  The food is simpler than what we have at Vancouver's Floata Restaurant, and the entertainment is more traditional – both Chinese and Scottish.  But I am still the emcee, and I bring in the poetry, some of the Vancouver elements, and of course my characteristic “Toddish McWong” energy!!!! to perform my rapping version of the famous Robbie Burns poem “Address to the Haggis”.  And there are always lots of surprises.  Last year, I challenged an member of the audience to a hockey shoot-out, to avenge that day's preliminary Olympic hockey game loss by Canada to the USA.  But because I forgot to bring a puck – we used the Olympic mascot wannabe – Muk Muk as a puck!

Seattle's Gung Haggis Fat Choy V
February 20, 2011 5-9 pm

8 course dinner with haggis, great entertainment, and too much fun!

China
Harbor Restaurant
2040 Westlake Ave N.
Seattle, WA

$35 per person – Tickets now available
 Reservations required
Seating limited to 360

Additional details available at: www.gunghaggisfatchoy-seattle.com

Entertainment includes:

Belltown Martial Arts Lion Dance Troop with Master David Leong ,

Red McWilliams, Scottish Troubadour

Susan Burke, Cape
Breton Fiddler 

Piper Don Scobie & Nae Regrets, 

Northwest Junior Pipeband*
with Director,
Kevin Auld,

Lauren Black** Premier Level Highland Dancer
from Ontario, Canada

This
year's event will be a fund raiser to help send the NWJPB to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow Scotland, August 2011.

Organizer Bill McFadden writes a Special Note:

Lauren Black and her family will be joining us
this year, all the way from Ontario.  Lauren's mother is second
generation
Chinese.  Her father is a “recreational”
piper of Scottish ancestry.  Her grandfather served with a kilted
regiment, The Toronto Scottish, during the
war.  Lauren is “Gung Haggis Fat Choy”! 
Her photo will grace the cover of this year's program.

Beautiful new location on Lake Union:

China
Harbor Restaurant
2040 Westlake Ave N.
Seattle, WA

$35 per person –  Reservations required

Additional details available at:  www.gunghaggisfatchoy-seattle.com 

or email
Bill McFadden at
bill@gunghaggisfatchoy-seattle.com

For
tickets, please send a check made out to
“Gung Haggis Fat Choy”
for $35 per ticket (or $350 for a table
of 10) to:


Last year, the Asian Youth Orchestra, under Director Warren Chang performed.


The Kenmore & Distric Pipe Band performed traditional Scottish pipe songs.

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.

Novus TV: story about Gung Haggis World Poetry Night at Vancouver Public Library

Gung Haggis World Poetry Night
@ Vancouver Public Library

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Poster

It was January 24th, Robbie Burns Eve, at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch.  And Novus TV came to video us.  A special blend of contemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian poets, mixed with ancient Scottish and Chinese traditions
of Robbie Burns Day and Chinese New Year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBhsb2xIYZ4
Thumbnail5:54  Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2011

Gung Haggis Fat Choy has become an annual tradition fusing Scottish and Chinese Cultures into a an inspiring evening of song, dance, and of course

Hosts: Todd Wong, Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Mujica-Olea

Special guests:

Michael Morris

James Mullen

Cara Kauhane

Steve Duncan- host of Co-Op Radio Wax Poetic

Dr. Ray Hsu – author of Anthropy, Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon

Joe McDonald – bagpiper


Expect bagpipes, a Chinese dragon, and verbal fireworks!

For origins of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year celebrations – click here
http://www.gunghaggis.com/blog/OriginsofGungHaggisFatChoy/_archives/2004/1/16/14225.html

restaurant review: East Is East – Chai Gallery on Main St.

I had the Silk Road Feast at East Is East Restaurant on Main Street.

I was walking down Main St. looking for a “Main Streetish” place to eat lunch.  It was my last day for working part-time at the Riley Park Branch Library @ Main & 23rd Ave.  On Wednesday, I had eaten at Splitz Grill for the $5 burger specias, which is delicious!  And great value, with your choice of sauces and basic add ons.

But on Friday Feb 11th, I was looking for something different.  I walked past the Hawker's Delight, where I had previously eaten.  The Italian Deli, that I liked for pasta was closed.  I walked past Saltspring Island coffee.  I stood across the street from the Honolulu Cafe, and a Thai Restaurant.  But soon, I found myself outside the East is East Chai Gallery Restaurant where a woman offered food samples from a plate.

http://www.eastiseast.ca/

These are the roti pancakes that are offered as appetizers…  The host was friendly, and I knew I had found the right place for lunch.  She explained to me that the owners were Afghans who had lived in India, and that their food was a blending of the two cultures.  They are also involved in the Main St. Community, and host evenings of music and other events.

Here was the first course of the Silk Road Feast:  Wild Salmon, Lamb with the basics of rice and the spice dishes…  My next order included the butternut squash, deep-fried tofu,  chicken masala, whipped spinich and Indian cheese.


Chicken Masala, eggplant, butternut squash are on the main plate – beside is the whipped spinich with Indian cheese, and more roti roll.

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Here is the menu selection for the Silk Road Feast- a sampling of many flavours – for only $16.

One year ago… I was paddling a dragon boat flotilla to accompany the

One year ago…  An Olympic flame was carried by an Italian-South Asian-Canadian Olympic kayaker on False Creek…..

and I was paddling in the accompanying flotilla from the dragon boat and outrigger canoe community.

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Olympic gold medalist canoeist Hugh Fisher carries the Olympic Flame, along Granville Island.  Hugh helped to found the False Creek Racing Canoe Club for the inaugural Vancouver dragon boat races in 1986, held during Expo 86.

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The Olympic torch has been passed – to Kamini Jain, Olympic kayaker @ 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games, from Hugh Fisher, gold and bronze medalist paddler at 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. – photo Todd Wong.


We launched the 6 dragon boats and 6 outrigger canoes from Vanier Park, @ Kits Point, right beside the Coast Guard Station @ Burrard Marina.  I was lead stroke with Marina McCready, formerly of the False Creek Women's Team.

we were part of a flotilla of 6 dragon boats + 6 outrigger canoes,
that accompanied the torch bearers in a voyageur canoe and a dragon
boat = 140 dragon boat paddlers + 45 canoe paddlers = 185 paddlers + 2
torch bearers!

Hugh Fisher with his 1984 kayaking medaling partner Alwyn Morris.  Morris is Mohawk First Nations, and was a torch bearer on the Kahnawake Reserve outside of Montreal.  It was Morris, a full-blooded Mohawk who held up an eagle feather on the medal podium, after they received their gold medals for the Men's K-2 1,000m race at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Kamini took a picture with me and my friends Lisa and Gio – who was born in Italy!  Kamini was born in Tripoli, Libya, with South Asian and Italian ancestry.  Lisa and I are both multi-generation Canadians – she was born in Winnipeg, and I was born in Vancouver.

see more pictures on my Flickr account:

Feb 12 Dragon boat for Olympic Torch Relay

Feb 12 Dragon boat for Olympic…

149 photos, 3 videos
|
http://www.flickr.com/photos/53803790@N00/sets/72157623432548394/with/4354930022/

See last year's story:

http://www.gunghaggis.com/blog/_archives/2010/2/13/4455195.html

“The Matrix in 59 Seconds” at Virgin Radio Fake Film Festival

The Matrix in 59 Seconds – Virgin Radio Fake Film Festival's Photos – Follow the White Rabbit


My friend Tricia and her friends entered Virgin Radio Fake Film contest and made it to the top twenty finals on January 28th.  Their film “The Matrix in 59 Seconds” came fourth.

To be the top, non-ex-flm student/actor/special effects entry is #1 in my books.  Their film had cross-cultural flair with Asians in non-Asian roles… and
just being mainstream is great.

Tricia's role in the film was to play Trinity, the role created by Canadian actress Carrie Moss.
Tricia wrote to me about the experience:

In fact we did the best we could… fourth place!!!  The top three
spots were nabbed by amazing films, created by ex-film
students/actors/special effects people, and we really didn't stand a
chance against them. Out of 197 films, to be in the top 4 was an
unbelievable honour.

Photos of us with the trophy are on:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=189454827739604&id=185974568087630&aid=46451

The
films were for the Virgin Radio Fake Film Festival, first time they ran
the contest. The top 20 films were first selected by public voting
(which was a bit of a gong show… there were some people who kept
making accounts to vote their own films as 5 and vote all the high
ranking films as 0.). So we were lucky to have friends and fans to bump
us past this hurdle of making top 20.

The top 20 were then judged
for accuracy, quality and promotion by 3 main judges (a film critic
from Vancouver Sun, a writer from the Province, a radio host's mom) as
well as the Virgin Radio promotions department.

The top three
films were no doubt, amazing in cinematography, effects, acting and
plotline, and I had predicted they'd come in top 3. Beyond that was
really anyone's game. Watch them, and you'll see that they're quite
professional: http://vancouver.virginradio.ca/FakeFilmFestival/Top10.aspx
There were also a ton of other professional-looking films that didn't
make it to top 10 either.. I'm glad they looked at them from a fairly
level playing field.

On the contrary, our video was directed and
filmed by an incredibly creative sister duo, Julie Ng (dentist) and
Natalie (accountant), and the cast consisted of an occupational
therapist, financial advisor, engineers… none of whom had any previous
experience in film or acting. We found out about the contest really
late… ended up filming over two weekends and promoting non-stop the
third week.

The origami rabbit doubled as a promotion tool
because there's a quote in the movie that says “Follow the white
rabbit”, and also, this year happens to be the “year of the rabbit”
(Natalie & Julie)

See the amazing “The Matrix in 59 Seconds”:

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The Matrix in 59 Seconds – Virgin Radio Fake Film Festival

Watch Neo discover the Matrix and fight the computer-generated dream world enslaving mankind, in 59 seconds. A fourth place finish out of 197


Of course, I loved the amazing origami rabbits that they folded as part of their promotions project. – photo courtesy of Tricia.

see more pictures:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=188443317840755&set=a.188444034507350.46091.185974568087630

Vancouver Opera: La Clemenza di Tito – Leadership or culture bending subtlety?

Vancouver Opera: La Clemenza di Tito – Leadership or culture bending subtlety?


Women playing male roles create some interesting cultural questions.  Photo credit: Tim Matheson – courtesy of Vancouver Opera

Expect an evening of subtlety and sublime beautiful music.  No big action scenes or over the top drama of people taking 10 minutes to die.  It's a salon-style opera with beautiful and exquisite Mozart music.  Do pay attention to the costume changes, and the spiritual metaphor of the Greek-style chorus.  Also keep your eyes open for gender bending roles, as castrato singers are now non-existent, but replaced by female sopranos.. The story is about the “clemency” or “mercy” of Emperor Tito.  As he strives to be a leader for all of the empire, valuing forgiveness and belief in the goodness of others, he faces the ultimate challenge – the betrayal of a loyal friend, and a chosen consort.

An All-Canadian cast give strong lead performances as Toronto's Krisztina Szabo as “Sesto”, carries out the wicked revenge plot of New Brunswick's Wendy Nielsen as Vitellia against Edmonton's John Tessier as Emperor Tito. The roles of Sesto and also Servilia (Campbell River's Kathleen Brett) were originally written for castrati males, but now played by female mezzo-soprano and soprano, made for some interesting gender bending romance.  As in traditional Chinese opera, female roles were traditionally played by males, because “only men knew how women should act”, according to the line in the David Henry Hwang play and movie “M. Butterfly.  Technically, the roles are male, but it's interesting to play with a female + female context.  And of course we go to opera for the music!  But in a town such as Vancouver with a large GLBT population, this is a good market for such a piece.

Vitellia has her eye on the crown of the empress, and has been passed over by Tito several times, in favor of other women such as  Servilia.  She takes advantage of Sesto's “love” for her, and asks Sesto to murder Titus.  But before this can happen, Servilia admits to Tito that she is actually in love with Vitellia's brother Annio (Calgary's Norine Burgess – in the 2nd castrato role). This is all acted and sung out in lovely tension-filled arias, as the plot unravels up to the intermission.

Titus preaches forgiveness as a leader – like Mandela preaches forgiveness in the movie Vindictus, as he struggled to move South Africa beyond Apartheid – so suggested Michael Byers @ Opera Speaks panel discussion at Vancouver Public Library

Taking a bow by VancouverOpera

Picture of the Chorus costumes, while taking bows, from the Vancouver Opera flickr stream.

The chorus is presented in the style of a editorializing Greek Chorus, that comments on the actions and thoughts of the lead characters as if they are the gods, that these Romans blame or pray to.  Interestingly, they are dressed in toga-like robes of saffron, orange and reds that would seem to be more commonly found on an ashram in India.  A gold dot also adorns the forehead of each chorus member.

The background of this rarely performed Mozart opera is very interesting.  Not as bombastic as Don Giovanni or The Magic Flute, or as full of musical flurries such as Cosi Fan Tutte, La Clemenza di Tito is a delight in its subtlety.  Supposedly written in three weeks while Mozart was ill, and while he was still working on the Magic Flute.  It was a rush job, for the coronation of Emperor Leopold II as the new king of Bohemia.

The libretto was adapted from a fifty
year old work by the Viennese court poet Metastasio (Pietro
Antonio Domenico Trapassi) that had already been used many times by
other composers – but as I sat in the theatre, all I could hear was Mozart.  From the opening bars of the overture, it reminded me of how much Mozart has meant to both my musical education and pleasure.  It recalled the days of my youth when I played Mozart's Titus Overture in an accordion ensemble, and in my college days, when I performed the Sallieri soliloquy from the Peter Shaffer play “Amadeus.”  And like so many of the audience, I became lost in the beauty of the music, as the orchestra dissolved to the simplicity of a solo piano forte performed by Conductor and musical director Jonathan Darlington, accentuated by solo cello, clarinet or basset horn. We were very pleased to see the soloists from the orchestra, Ari Barnes, Mary Backun and Caroline Gauthier brought up on stage for bows along with Chorus Director Leslie Dala.

Check out the wonderful videos from the Vancouver Opera website
http://www.vancouveropera.ca/la_clemenza_di_tito.html

Clips from VO's La Clemenza di Tito

La Clemenza di Tito

Watch scenes from VO's La Clemenza di Tito

Interesting tidbits….

Last week CBC Radio One was discussing the opera audience as white-haired and caucasian (which I don't fit into – okay maybe the age demographic since I turned 50 last May).  The Vancouver opera is very aware of trying to reach a more culturally diverse audience.  While some of the bloggers commented that it was a very mixed ethnic crowd on opening night Saturday on Feb 5th, the audience that I saw on Tuesday Feb 8th, was very white haired and caucasian.  But I did see a number of gay and lesbian couples. 

Cultural diversity can take many forms.  If the opera does want a more ethnic mix in the audience, the best route to go is to feature more ethnic leads in key roles, not just in Madame Butterfly and Turandot, or Nixon in China – but in all productions.  Afterall opera in Hong Kong, and Japan feature Asian singers in many roles.  The costumes in La Clemenza di Tito were 18th Century, while the opera is set in Ancient Rome.  In the first half, the principles are wearing black, in the second half they are wearing white.  The chorus appears to be wearing South Asian style religious robes, all in the name of artistic merit – not historical accuracy.  Female singers have replaced male in the original castrato roles.  A few singers of colour in lead roles would not look out of place in this production.

Chinese Lunar New Year parade in Vancouver Chinatown

Great pictures of rabbits in the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade in Vancouver Chinatown

It is always a wonderful photographic exercise at the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade in Vancouver Chinatown.  While the rain scared many people away, it wasn't more than a light drizzle.  I always like to walk around the marshalling area and photograph the groups getting ready for the parade. 

It is always most crowded along Pender St.  So this year, I went to stand along Keefer St, opposite the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park , along the street.  Some people stood behind us along the rise of the Andy Livingston Park, just East of Columbia St.  I bumped into my friends Sonny and Ernesto, who had cycled down to avoid parking hassles.  It was good to catch up on chatting, as well as talk about the parade.  Sonny's niece was dancing with the Vancouver Academy of Dance, and we also waved to his sister-in-law.  I knew many people in the parade, and it was nice to wave, greet them, and take their pictures as they walked by.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge.

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Toy stuffed rabbits decorate the hood of a car for the Vietnamese community entry. – photo T. Wong

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V3 – Community youth group gather to relax and eat before the start of the parade.  – photo T. Wong


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Miss Vietnam Friendship

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Chinatown Revitalization Committee + BOB.  My friends Bob Sung and Shirley Chan are in this group. photo T.Wong

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Seymour Taiko is a children's Taiko drumming group for Japanese drumming. – photo T.Wong

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V3 and Miss Vietnam all take a picture together – photo T.Wong

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The Easter Bunny arrives early and takes pictures with children! – photo T.Wong

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The Fortune God waves to the audience. – photo T. Wong

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The Fortune God, waves a Canadian flag. – photo T. Wong

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The Chinese Canadian veterans of Pacific Unit 280.  Frank Wong, who landed at Normandy Beaches on D.Day walks behind the flag. Following behind on the right is Col. How Lee, who helped found the Chinese Canadian Military Museum.  This is the 2nd year that my grand-uncle Daniel Lee hasn't been in the parade, as he passed away last year.  I am glad to have met all his friends in Pacific Unit 280, and now count them as my own. photo T. Wong

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The City of Vancouver Police Pipe Band – the only Pipe Band in the parade. – photo T.Wong

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The best dragon in the entire parade – photo T.Wong

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The dragon head is carried by a non-Chinese person, as many of the martial arts clubs have a diversity of membership – photo T.Wong.

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Some of the parade organizers walk with VIPs.  Here is Ida Chong, MLA for Oak Bay/Gordon Head, and Minister of Sciences and Universities, walking with some of the leaders of the Chinatown organizations that organize the parade. photo T.Wong

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Here is a God of Fortune, portrayed by Caucasian-Canadian, demonstrating that the festival is multicultural – photo T.Wong

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Federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff wore red for the Vancouver Chinatown parade, photo T.Wong

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CBC Radio One host/producer Sheryl MacKay of North By Northwest, came over to say hello. photo T.Wong

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The Carnival Band always dresses up as the animal of the Chinese Zodiac year.  This year it is the year of the Rabbit. – photo T.Wong.

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Vancity decorated two Smart cars as rabbits. – photo T.Wong

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Even the car had a rabbit tail to go along with its ears – photo T.Wong.

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Another Fortune God, who walked along with the dancers from the Vancouver Academy of Dance – photo T.Wong

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The Vancouver Academy of Dance featured my friend's niece in the front row. – photo T.Wong

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Young dancers from Vancouver Academy of Dance – photo T.Wong

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A flag dancer from Vancouver Academy of Dance – photo T.Wong

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Lion dancers were everywhere – photo T.Wong

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Rabbit masks from the Community Arts Council of Vancouver – photo T.Wong

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Big huge puppet of the Fortune God – photo T.Wong

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My friends who support the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, My cousin Hayne, Allan Cho, and Chris Lee. – photo T.Wong

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The Chinese Revitalization Committe: my friends Glenn Wong, Bob Sung and Rick wave back at me – photo T.Wong

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First Nations drummers lead the Canadians for Reconciliation, marching in solidarity for First Nations peoples – photo T.Wong

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Bill Chu, of the Canadians for Reconciliation waves back – photo T. Wong

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Shane Simpson MLA for Vancouver Hastings, shows the red envelops that he was handing out along the parade route – photo T.Wong

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Vancouver City Councilor Kerry Jang and his two children give out lucky red envelopes – photo T.Wong

Here are all my photos from the parade on my Flickr account:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/53803790@N00/sets/72157625993620790/

Vancouver Sun story:
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Crowd+greets+soggy+Year+with+high+spirits/4233477/story.html