Monthly Archives: May 2012

Movie Review: Tiara – Asian Canadian Beauty pageants

 

Special contribution from Allan Cho

On Saturday May 19, I attended the 10th annual Multicultural Festival “DiverCity”at New Westminster’s Fraser River Discovery Centre where I was treated to a slate of Asian Canadian films organized by ExplorASIAN.  One of them was Montreal-based director Monica Mak’s “Tiara.”  An impressive and insightful short film about Asian Canadian beauty pageants, Tiara reveals the complexities and tensions that young females must endure in a commercially and financially lucrative industry of beauty.

The experiences of five former beauty pageant contestants show just how divisive the industry can be: while winners can go on to wealth and fame – landing mega contracts and careers in Hong Kong and India, going onto to careers in law and medicine, others suffer the consequences of finishing poorly and vulnerability of being judged solely on their physical beauty (or lack of it).   Tiara made me think differently about beauty pageants, it never occurred to me that ethnic pageantry had such a darker, seamier side of global commerce.

After the movie, we had a nice dinner at Wild Rice at the new River Market.  This Wild Rice was spectacular as we watched with amazement as the chefs at Wild Rice performed their cooking magic to their audiences through the magic of a looking glass window.   We were treated to a delicious evening of Asian fusion cuisine!    (photos of Wildrice Restaurant & Monica Mak)

Jan Wong at Kogawa House tomorrow – wonderful turnout and talk in Vancouver Chinatown.

Sid Tan and Jan Wong wave for the camera… after a successful talk by the author of Red China Blues and former columnist/reporter for the Globe & Mail. – photo courtesy of Sid Tan

Jan Wong is coming to Kogawa House
Saturday May 26
12 noon to 2pm
“Lunch with Jan Wong”
$10 per ticket, including a light lunch
Reserve your place by e-mailing kogawahouse@yahoo.ca

Last night she did a dinner event with Asian Canadian Writers Workshop in Vancouver Chinatown… It was great!  We introduced her to some of Vancouver’s Asian Canadian authors, publishers, journalists and community activists.

Jan talked about her new book “Out of the Blue, A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness”

She talked about the story she wrote for the Globe and Mail, which became an issue.  She described how her editor did not support her, and the G&M did not support her sick leave.  It gets worse… She was denied long term disability, after going into a depression caused by the workplace issues.  And it gets further worse, after she discovered the insurance company Manulife, had hired investigators to take videos of her, to diagnose her “depression” and deny them.  But there is a happy ending.

“Jan Wong is a wonderful writer and, as she tells her own story, she speaks for me and for many. Some say depression is a gift. Well, it’s not. But this book is.”
— Shelagh Rogers, O.C., Broadcast journalist and recipient of the Champion of Mental Health Award

On Tuesday, she was in Victoria giving a talk and reading for 200+ people for the Chinatown Lionesses in Victoria Chinatown.

http://www.janwong.ca

 

I introduce Jan Wong at the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop event “Dinner with Jan Wong”
Jan Wong had a good connection with Joanna Chiu, who just graduated a few days ago from Columbia School of Journalism in NYC, which Jan graduated from 31 years ago.  It was also Joanna’s birthday, so we followed up Jan’s talk,  with a spontaneous singing of Happy Birthday to Joanna.  But, I also made Joanna “work” on her birthday… while we waited for dinner to arrive, Joanna interviewed Jan for a future issue of Ricepaper Magazine.
Globe & Mail just phoned to solicit subscriptions… I told them they were in my bad books… because G&M fired writer Jan Wong for her column. How can a newspaper put a gag order on their star reporter? then deny sick leave? Read “On the Record with Jan Wong” on the Canadian Journalism Project http://j-source.ca/article/record-jan-wong

j-source.ca

The Canadian Journalism Project / Observatoire du journalisme

“Flower Drum” Singalong to Rogers & Hammerstein musical about San Francisco Chinatown

 

You’ve heard of Sing-a-longs to the Sound of Music by Rogers and Hammerstein?

Check out this event on Saturday evening…

a sing-a-long to Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical about Chinese-Americans.

from the website of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre

www.vact.ca

Banner
This Saturday, May 26th!
VACT screens Rodgers & Hammerstein’s movie classic, Flower Drum Song!
WATCH the original 1961 movie trailer HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMdUVxOI3SU.TRIVIA Contest!

  1. What was Jack Soo’s (Sammy Fong Character) real last name?
  2. Finish this song lyric:
    If you want to have a rosy future
    And be happy as a honey bee,
    With a husband who will always love you,
    _____, ____ _____ ____.

Check for answers on Facebook on Friday!

Help the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT) raise some funds at their 50/50 draw, Silent Auction, White Elephant’s Table and Trivia Contest Game! Come in Costume and enter the Costume Parade contest to win a Prize! Lots of good old family fun!


Check out the costume style for those interested in the Costume Contest.
But WAIT!
$15 Ticket Price includes popcorn and a soft drink!

 

Buy your tickets NOW!
Or in Person at Denman Cinemas (1779 Comox Street, Vancouver)

Event starts at 7:30pm, movie begins at 9pm (superior film quality from blue ray projector).
2 hours of Validated parking on Denman & Nelson(hotel parking).

Bring Your Friends & Family!

For more information, visit www.vact.ca or visit our Facebook page


Beautiful Nancy Kwan as Linda Low singing “I Enjoy Being a Girl”
Many other memorable scenes waiting to be re-discovered on the big screen!.

Beaverspotting… How many Canadians have actually seen a beaver in the wild… in the middle of Metro Vancouver?

– photo Anne Cecile
We wanted to see that great Canadian icon, a beaver… in the wild.  So we rented canoes from Deer Lake at 5:30pm, put them on our cars, and launched them by 6:30 pm at the Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion – where a wedding reception was in place.  It was a beautiful warm late-spring day on May 19th, Victoria Day Weekend.  Our party of 10, included 6 members of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team + 4 family members, one of which was a small child.  This picture features Xavier and his wife Val in the left canoe.  I am in the canoe on the right with KK and Sam.
It was my idea to take people to Burnaby Lake and look for beavers.  From 1993 to 1998, I had lived in a house beside Burnaby Lake, next to the Wildlife Refuge Centre on Glencarin Dr.  We used to have a canoe at the house, and I would drag or carry the canoe down to the lake by myself or with friends.  I would see many beavers, and one summer I counted up to 12 beaver lodges.  During those five years, I also saw the lake become increasingly silt-ified – to the point I could no longer launch the canoe down from our house.  I would have to put the canoe in my car and drive it to the Burnaby Lake Pavilion.   In 2003, one of my first dates with Deb was on a canoe on Burnaby Lake with my friend’s dog… which would gently tip the boat as it would lean from side to side.
– photo T.Wong
Where are we?  The magnificent urban wilderness of Burnaby Lake is in the center of Metropolitan Vancouver, and it is part of the biggest urban watershed known as Brunette River Watershed that drains from Renfrew Heights in Vancouver; Metrotown, Capitol Hill, Deer Lake and Burnaby Mountain in Burnaby; then empties via Brunette River into the Fraser River.  You can see Grouse Mountain and The Lions in the background of this picture- not far away at all.
– photo T. Wong
We found a beaver house, but no beaver…  Everybody marveled at how big the beaver house was.  Big smiles from Xavier, Debbie, Marlowe, Val, Anne, while Deb keeps paddling.  Xavier had canoed many times in Algonquin Park in Ontario, but never seen a beaver in the wild before.  Anne is from France, and wants to see as much of Canada as she can.  Debbie has lived in Vancouver and Hong Kong, and never knew such wilderness existed before in the middle of Burnaby.  Deb saw a beaver last year on Kalamalka Lake, while swimming near her parents’ lakeside home.  The first time I saw a beaver in the wild was in Lake Louise.  A beaver house is not to be confused with a “beaver dam” which is built across a waterway to create a flooded area for the beaver to easily swim and navigate through.  See this link:  how to create a beaver house.
photo T. Wong
In search of the mysterious beaver, we paddled up Still Creek, and had to pass under the pedestrian bridge which is part of the 10km trail that circum-navigates Burnaby Lake.  It was a tight squeeze, but we got underneath the bridge by ducking… it was fun!  Still Creek is very interesting as it enters Burnaby Lake.  You might think you are in the middle of nowhere, but it is right beside the rugby fields, the traintracks, and Government Road.  We paddled under Sperling Road until we came to a dock that blocked the way.  I have paddled past the dock up to Willingdon St., but we decided this was far enough for our evening adventure, and we really hadn’t seen any beavers yet.
Paddling back downstream, I suddenly heard loud shrieking noises.  “Beaver! Look! Look!”  This was quickly followed by a loud “Splash!” as the beaver splashed its tail, and disappeared under the water.  Beavers splash their tails as a warning, to let other beavers know there is possible danger.  We quickly told the the females in our expedition to keep their voices down if they see a beaver, or they will scare it away again.  The next somebody saw a beaver, we alerted each other by quietly pointing in the direction the beaver was swimming on top of the water.
– photo T. Wong
Can you see the beaver in this photo?  You can see its nose, eyes and ears, as it swims with its head above the water.  We quietly watched it swim in front of the beaver house, then climb onto the shore.  It seemed to sit there posing for us for a good ten minutes or more.
– photo T. Wong
You can see how close we were to the beaver, as we sat quietly in the canoes.  It is the little dark spot on the edge of the water.
– photo – Anne Cecile
Mission accomplished!  Anne got this great shot of the beaver!

2 events at Kogawa House = Susan Aihoshi reading “Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi + Lunch with Jan Wong, reading “Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes Happiness”

Please join us for two events this week at Historic Joy Kogawa House:

 

Family Reading Event

Thursday, May 24, 7:30 to 8:30pm

Admission is free. Books will be for sale with proceeds to our writer-in-residence program

 

Author Susan Aihoshi will read from her new book, Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi, the latest title in the Dear Canada series published by Scholastic Canada.

 

Torn Apart is the fictional diary of a young girl growing up in Vancouver during the Second World War. Mary enjoys school, her family and friends, and going to Girl Guides. But Japan bombs Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and life for Mary, her family, and the entire Japanese Canadian community in British Columbia changes dramatically.

 

Susan’s reading will be followed by a short presentation of related photographs. She will also answer questions and sign books.

Lunch with Jan Wong

Saturday, May 26, 12 to 2pm

Tickets are $10 and include a light lunch

 

Journalist Jan Wong worked for the Globe and Mail, serving as Beijing correspondent from 1988 to 1994, when she returned to write from Canada. In 1996, she published Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, which was promptly banned in China. After a return trip in the late nineties, she produced a second book entitled Jan Wong’s China, a somewhat less personal account of social life, the economy, and politics in modern-day China.

 

Subsequent books include Lunch with Jan Wong, Jan Wong (2001), Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found Doubleday Canada, and her newest title Out of the Blues: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes Happiness. Ms. Wong will read from and discuss Out of the Blues over lunch at Historic Joy Kogawa House.

 

Please join us! Space is limited. To reserve a seat for either event, RSVP to kogawahouse@yahoo.ca.

 

 

Ann-Marie Metten

Executive Director

 

Historic Joy Kogawa House

1450 West 64th Avenue

Vancouver, B.C. V6P 2N4

Tel.: 604-263-6586

 

Please send mail to :

8107 Cartier Street

Vancouver, B.C. V6P 4T6

 

www.kogawahouse.com

www.conservancy.bc.ca

“Dinner with Jan Wong” in Vancouver Chinatown

Jan Wong is coming to Vancouver…. and we’ve created a fun event you can attend!

I first met Jan Wong in 1993, when she was bureau chief in Beijing for the G&M. I was the guest speaker at the Terry Fox Run, at the Canadian Embassy. Since then I have read her books “Red China Blues”, “Jan Wong’s China”, as well as her “Lunch with Jan Wong” features in the Globe & Mail.  Her books give a special insight to China, because she first was one of the first foreign students to study in communist China during the “1970”, overcame her Maoist beliefs, and saw behind the Chinese government presentations and propaganda.

A few days ago, Allan Cho and I were asked by Jim Wong-Chu to help create some events for Jan Wong, as she promotes her new book Out of the Blue: a Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes, Happiness.  Allan & I created 3 events within 24 hours, and they are going to be a special treat!  I hope you can join us at these events…

 

May 24th Thursday – 5-6pm Free Reading at UBC Main Library,free author talk, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Lillooet Room (Rm #301). Doors open to public 4.45pm.

May 24th  Thursday May 24: 7pm Asian-Canadian Writers Workshop “Dinner With Jan Wong” and author talk, Foo’s Ho Ho Restaurant in Chinatown, 102 East Pender Street. $30 RSVP

May 26th, Saturday 12 noon, “Lunch With Jan Wong” at Historic Joy Kogawa House. reading/chat with light lunch. 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver. Tickets: $10. RSVP to kogawahouse@yahoo.ca. All proceeds to writer-in-residence program www.kogawahouse.co

 

An Evening with Jan Wong

Join us for a dinner with Jan Wong, local writers, and friends on Thursday, May 24 at Foo’s Ho Ho in Vancouver, BC.

Jan Wong, a third-generation Canadian journalist, is most notable for her role as the Beijing correspondent for The Globe and Mail from 1988 to 1994.  Born and raised in Montreal, Wong graduated from McGill University, Peking university, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  She currently writes for Toronto Life and Halifax Chronicle Herald, and teaches journalism at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

As a self-proclaimed Canadian who does not consider herself “Chinese” or “Chinese-Canadian”, Wong seems to defy labels or stereotypes traditionally imposed on minorities and Asian –Canadians.  She has had an unconventional, if not radical, past.  In 1972 at the age of nineteen, Wong traveled to China during the Cultural Revolution to attend Beijing University.  There, she became the first of only two Westerners to study in China during this period.

Following her education in China, Wong worked as a correspondent in Beijing for six years where she fled the Tiananmen Square massacre, escaped from potential kidnappers, and caught Chinese officials driving her stolen Toyota as a squad car.

Wong started her career as a journalist in 1979 as a news assistant for The New York Times agency in Beijing.  She later returned to Canada, then studied at Columbia University where she received her Masters degree in journalism and worked for the Montreal Gazette, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal, before becoming a business reporter for the Globe and Mail.

Including her most recent book, Out of the Blue: a Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes, Happiness, published earlier this month (May 2012), Wong has written four other books.  They are:

– Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now (1996)

– Jan Wong’s China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent (2000)

– Lunch With Jan Wong: Sweet and Sour Celebrity Interviews (2001)

– Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found, published in the U.S. as Comrades Lost and Found and in the U.K. as Chinese Whispers. (2007)

Date: Thursday May 24.
Time: 7:00 pm
Price $30
Foo’s Ho Ho – 102 East Pender Street

Reserve your ticket with a credit card by phone (604-872-3464) or pay online here.

Check out these reviews of Out of the Blue

Maclean’s “Out of the Blue is the first of a new genre: the workplace divorce memoir.”

Q&A with CBC.ca “This is also a funny book. There’s a love story in there too, about the support that came from your sister, your husband and your two teenage sons.”

Ottawa Citizen “Jan Wong’s latest book should be titled: Reporter Eats Newspaper for Lunch… [a] gossipy, gripping page-turner”

Now Magazine “Tapping into her journalistic rigour, she gathers research on societal attitudes, symptoms and treatments – especially of the pharmaceutical variety – to give a complete profile of the disease and its history.”

Huffington Post “What happens when you’re a leading journalist at a national newspaper — and workplace stress leaves you too depressed to write? For Jan Wong … it meant completely re-evaluating her perspective on work, family and mental health.”

Dinner with Arlene Chan

Jim Wong-Chu, Arlene Chan, Todd Wong.  Jim is holding “Swallowing Clouds” which he co-edited and contributed poems to.  Arlene is holding up her newest book “The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle.  I am holding “Paddles Up!” co-edited by Arlene and she also wrote chapter 1: The Beginnings, to which I contributed a quote, and a picture of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team in the Vancouver Taiwanese dragon boat race.

www.arlenechan.ca

My writing career was launched in 1997 with The Spirit of the Dragon: the Story of Jean Lumb, a Proud Chinese Canadian. This children’s book tells the amazing story of my mother who was the first Chinese Canadian to receive the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour, for her community activism. The Spirit of the Dragon was selected as a Choice Book by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. My second book, The Moon Festival: a Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award. Awakening the Dragon: the Dragon Boat Festival was published in 2004 and as a paperback in 2007. My fourth publication was released in 2009 as the first book on Canadian dragon boating, entitled Paddles Up! Dragon Boat Racing in Canada. I am currently working on a second book for an adult audience. It is entitled The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle, to be launched in October 2011.
Back Row: Allan Cho, Sid Tan, Adrian Lee, Todd Wong, Sean Gunn, Bruce MacBay, Deb Martin
Front: Albert Lee, Beverly Nann, Arlene Chan, Mary Wong, Jim Wong-Chu
 Here is a youtube video of Arlene Chan talking about Toronto’s Chinese Canadian community, and it’s relationship with McGregor’s Socks, and how the clothing manufacturing industry brought the Chinese and the Scots Canadians together.

McGregor Socks: Arlene Chan

401 Wellington Street West At the former home of McGregor Socks, Arlene Chan tells the story of the Chinese community’s connection with Toronto’s

BC Book Prizes

The BC Book Prizes took place on May 12, at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at SFU Woodwards, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.  I always enjoy this event probably because 1) I enjoy books a lot 2) because the books and the authors themselves address what it means to be Canadian and a British Columbian.  Even if they are writing about Paris or elsewhere… there is still as sense of pride that the authors are from BC, and they are addressing world issues, or simply creating joy for young readers.
Host Charles Demers poses with Brian Brett – winner of the Lt. Governors Award for Literary Excellence, while Alan Twigg snaps a picture for BC Book World.  Alan is one of the founders of the BC Book Prizes.   In 2010, Charles’ book “Vancouver Special” was a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.  It is a special book for me, because Charles writes about Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner and “Toddish McWong” in his section about Chinatown.
Grant Laurence, his wife Jill Barber, and Todd Wong.  Last year Grant won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award for his book “Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound,” which was also a finalist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize.   Last year, we tried to invite Grant to a Desolation Sound version of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner in Okeover, while I was attending Okeover Ceilidh Weekend at the summer home of my friend Allan McMordie.  But a week later, Allan kayaked by Grant’s cabin, and they chatted.
JJ Lee strikes a pose with Linda Johnston, a board member for the BC Book Prizes. JJ’s book “The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit” was nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize.   I have known Linda for many years, initially as a fellow board member for Canadian Club Vancouver.  I first met JJ when he was a member of the Hot Sauce Posse, a skit comedy troupe composed of writers and producers from CBC Radio in Vancouver.
Ann-Marie Metten, Todd Wong, JJ Lee and his wife Melissa.  Ann-Marie served on the board of the BC Book Prizes for many years.  In fact, she is the reason why I first attended in 2006.  We met in 2005 and joined forces to re-create and re-invigorate the Save Kogawa House committee.   In 2006, the house was saved from threat of demolition and purchased by TLC: The Land Conservancy of BC.  Now she is our volunteer Executive Director, and I am Chair of the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society.  We work with the literary community and help to present events, and create the writer-in-residence program at Historic Joy Kogawa House.
Here is a list of winners and notable intercultural finalists:

Half-Blood Blues Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize Winner! Half-Blood Blues – by Esi Edugyan

this is notable because it tells the story of black-American jazz musicians in the salons of Paris and the cabarets of Germany in the 1940’s of WW2.

 Eating Dirt  Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize Winner! Eating Dirt – by Charlotte Gill

 Drink the Bitter Root  finalist -Drink the Bitter Root by Gary Geddes

this is notable because Gary Geddes traveled to Africa to explore the post-genocide, post-Somalia Affair and child soldier issues in Rwanda, Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somaliland.  Gary won the Lt. Governor’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2008, and read at Historic Joy Kogawa House in 2009 with his friend and inaugural writer-in-residence at Kogawa House, John Asfour.

 The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit  finalist The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit by JJ Lee

This is notable because JJ Lee tells the story of his Chinese immigrant father, and how he apprentices as a tailor at Vancouver Chinatown’s last tailor shop “Modernize Tailors”, run by my family friends Bill and Jack Wong.  This book was also a finalist for  Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction (2012) and Governor General’s Literary Award – Non-Fiction (2012).

 Something Fierce  finalist Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

This is notable because Carmen writes about her childhood growing up as a revolutionary in Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile.  She describes fleeing Chile to Canada as a child, then returning to Chile to become part of the resistance movement.

crawlspace  Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize Winner! crawlspace by John Pass

Demeter Goes Skydiving  finalist Demeter Goes Skydiving by Susan McCaslin

This is notable because it conjures up all the gods, goddesses and demi-gods of ancient Greece.  And Susan used to teach Joy Kogawa’s book Obasan

Discovery Passages  Discovery Passages  by Garry Thomas Morse

This is notable because “With its continuous poetic dialogue of “discovery” and “recovery”, Discovery Passages sets out to recover the appropriated, stolen and scattered world of the author’s ancestral people, the Kwakwaka’wakw.”

The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver  Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver  by Chuck Davis

This is notable because the history of Japanese, Chinese, First Nations and South Asians are all included in the history of Metropolitan Vancouver, as well as the history of Scots, Irish, Italians, Jewish and English immigrants and descendants.

 

Blood Red Road  Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Winner! Blood Red Road  by Moira Young

 

When I Was Small   Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize Winner! When I Was Small by Sara O’Leary – Illustrated by Julie Morstad

 

 

 

The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed 65 years ago today

The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed 65 years ago today:
After the Chinese-Canadian veteran soldiers came back from serving overseas in Asia and Europe, fighting for Canada, they helped to launch the appeal of the Chinese Immigration Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Starting in 1885, a head tax of $50 was imposed on Chinese immigrating to Canada.  Only Chinese – no other nationality was taxed in this manner.  In 1900, it was increased to $100, and to $500 in 1903.  Then on July 1st, 1923, the Chinese Exlusion Act was passed in Canadian Parliament, effectively banning any immigration from any person of Chinese ancestry – even if they were born in the USA.
After WW2, Canadians understood the atrocity of racism, having witnessed the liberation of Jewish Internment camps and mass graves in Nazi Germany.  But it still took a concerted effort of Canadian born citizens of Chinese ancestry to challenge Parliament and demand equality.   I am proud to say the my grand-uncle Daniel Lee was one of these Canadian veterans, along with his friend Roy Mah.
The following was compiled and written by Victor Wong on the Not Too Asian Facebook site:
http://asian.ca/law/cia1923.htm
http://asian.ca/law/ia1947.htm
http://www.mhso.ca/chinesecanadianwomen/en/downloads/education/immigration_laws_handout.pdf

On May 14, 2012 (today), the federal Parties are expected to make
Statements in the House of Commons at 3pm after Question Period to recognize
this important anniversary.

CCNC pays tribute to the families and groups that lobbied over decades to repeal this racist legislation. The Chinese Exclusion Act separated families and some were never able to reunite. The community stagnated as few families were formed due to an unbalanced gender ratio, aging, and some Chinese leaving Canada.
Some Canadian-borns volunteered and fought overseas for a country that didn’t even recognize their basic rights. Here is the story of the late Sgt Louis King and Operation Oblivion (written by Gary Gee): http://ccnc.ca/entryContent/08d45b830c5eb287.pdf.

Sgt. King fought two wars: the military conflict abroad and the war against racism at home. He and his generation won them both

Doxa Film Review – Ai Wei Wie: Never Sorry

DOXA Film Festival – Review of Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry

written by guest contributor Allan Cho

Ai Wei Wei is one of China’s most famous contemporary artists.  He is also known as one of China’s most most fearless dissidents.   His controversial art includes shattering priceless Han Dynasty urns and defacing these urns with paintings of Coca Cola logos on them as a protest to the contradictions of Chinese authoritarianism.

This past Saturday my friend Callan Tay of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival and I saw the fantastic documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry as part of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival.   We loved the film.

Directed by Alison Klayman, this film is an in-depth look into a complex man whose life treads on the margins of contradictions.  As artist whose famous Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing stands as one of the greatest art projects commissioned by the Communist government, Ai Wei Wei also stands as the Birds Nest’s staunchest critics.  Foregoing the possibilities of wealth with his new found fame, Ai instead chooses to use that fame to his advantage, mobilizing countless of his followers to political action.

Using art as a form of communication, Ai Wei Wei has a large cult-like following throughout China who adhere to his politics and art.  With his Twitter account and Sina blog, Ai’s every action is transmitted to his fans within the constraints of China’s firewall of censorship.  What happens when Ai Wei Wei gets followed by police and monitored by the state?   He turns around by recording his opponents every action and turning it into a political statement.  What happens when he is detained and charged for tax evasion?  He blogs about his experiences while his followers rally around him as a staunch reminder of the grassroots democracy movement brewing underground in China.

Presented by the Documentary Media Society, the DOXA film festival has been promoting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences since 1998.   Former Canadian ambassador to China and Japan and current fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Joseph Caron was on hand to give an introduction of the film.  The film did not disappoint at all.

YouTube Link to embed: http://youtu.be/5WtgxUnZDqE