This definitely a turnabout but not a Turandot! – even though the Black Bear Rebels ceilidh group did play the Chinese folk song Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower) which is the melody that Giacommo Pucinni pinched to use as the Princess Turandot them in his famous opera Turandot (hint: think Nessun Dorma)
Shigematsu (far left) and Todd Wong (right) granted the Gung Haggis Fat
Choy Intercultural Awards of Awesomeness to Vancouver Opera's James
Wright, poet Fred Wah, and Ricepaper founder Jim Wong-Chu.
“Politicians of all stripes must have had other business in this
postelection malaise, as the 15th annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie
Burns Chinese New Year dinner went off without them.
The only person to note this was Scottish-born-and-raised local political veteran Margaret Birrell, who told the Straight that Scotland is likely to vote for independence from the U.K. in 2014.
Other than Birrell, nobody seemed to mind too much, as there was music, poetry, whisky, haggis, banter, and fun a-plenty.
Tetsuro Shigematso and Gung Haggis creator Todd “Toddish McWong” Wong
made sure the night was seamless at the Floata Restaurant in Chinatown,
which culminated in a cross-cultural Mandarin-English version of “Auld
Lang Syne” (“Youyi dichang-tianju”), traditionally used to sing in the
New Year in Scotland and elsewhere.”
read more at:
Chinese New Year and the Robbie Burns Day: Gung Haggis dinner brings cultures together
by Benjamin Yong
Thank you everybody for performing / attending / volunteering at Gung Haggis Fat Choy
It was a really fun night… one of the most least stressed events…
And immediately after Carl Schmidt – who has been sound tech since 2005 – his 8th year in a row… said:
“This was the best one yet”
Great chemistry with co-host Tetsuro
wonderful readings by Fred, Larry and Jim (even though Jim didn't know we were going to be reading his poem!!!)
but hey – it's the 15th anniversary dinner.
The introductions were less rushed… and very good.
It was great to segue from O Canada, to a parliamentary poet….
from counting down Chinese New year in a different time zone – to celebratory music.
stories about food in Chinatown, while ate food in Chinatown…
and so much more!
And the production would never have happened without volunteer and supporters….
Thank you for decorating the room
setting up the tables
hosting the reception tables,
seeing people to their tables
selling raffle tix
bringing up the prizes
carrying the dragon!
Everything seemed to flow well…
I saw people selling tix, carrying the signs
soooo… everything worked.
So many people came up to me, to say 3 things:
1) they loved/liked the event
2) they liked the information we gave out
4) they liked being par of a multicultural community
Thank you again for supporting this event
Believing in what we do
and investing your time and energy.
Much appreciation, cheers, Todd
The Firehall Box Office is now closed for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner event.
Thank you for purchasing your tickets in advance.
If you would still like to attend the dinner – You will have to contact event producer Todd Wong for a wait list, and purchase tix directly from him prior to the event – if there is room. Contact Todd Wong at 778-846-7090
Our Box Office closes at 2pm Saturday, to help us facilitate seating arrangements for the event. Priority seating is given in order of ticket purchase. The earlier you purchased your ticket, the closer to the stage, your seats will be – then somebody who purchased tickets on the last day of sale.
All reserved tables of 10 will be included in the “Calling of the Clans”
Tomorrow night is going to be fun – see you there!
Lots of great raffle prizes for tomorrow's dinner event:
Firehall Arts Centre – Leonard Cohen Play
Wild Rice Restaurant
Floata Seafood Restaurant
Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre
Urban Ink Theatre – Confessions of The Other Woman
Chuck Davis' book “History of Metropolitan Vancouver” from Harbour Publishing
Daphne Marlatt edited book “Opening Doors” from Harbour Publishing
Lots of childrens books from Tradewind Books
new Paul Yee book from Tradewind Books
Lots of books from Arsenal Pulp Press including Charles Demers' “Vancouver Special”
Tix to new Royal BC Museum exhibit in Vancouver Chinatown
Tix to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens
“How the Scots Created Canada” from Lone Pine Publishing
“How the Chinese Created Canada” from Lone Pine Publishing
Allan McMordie and I took Haggis wonton
and Haggis shu-mei to Global Morning News. Sophie Lui and Steve Darling
said they were delicious, they even had seconds!
We did two segments. The first was cooking. I heated up some fried rice, and added haggis. Meanwhile, both Sophie and Steve tried the haggis wonton and haggis shu-mei that had been pre-prepared by the Float Restaurant the night before.
For the second segment, Allan played Scotland the Brave on his bagpipes, then I performed the first verse of Robbie Burns' immortal poem – The Address to the Haggis. We bantered a bit about how our event makes Chinese New Year safe for Scottish-Canadians, and makes Robbie Burns Day and haggis safe for Chinese-Canadians. Sophie ate the spicy jellyfish, but Steve politely declined.
We also talked about how we have set Robbie Burns lyrics to a Johnny Cash song and Allan lets me play my accordion in his celtic ceilidh group, The Black Bear Rebesl. Sophie said she loved all the fusion and fun of our event.
Toddish McWong and deep-fried haggis and turnip cake on Global Morning News tomorrow at 8:00am
I am bringing haggis and Chinese turnip cake to Global Morning news for some breakfast eats.
place in Desolation sound, and how the left over haggis has been used in
omelettes and hash the morning after.
Maybe we will try to get hosts Sophie Lui and Steve Darling into kilts.
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Dinner
photo Deb Martin
Dinner to 9:15pm – end time
– 180 Keefer St.
Ticket: $65 + service Charge, prices for students
of Ten is $625+ service charge.
Firehall Arts Centre 604-689-0926
25th, 2012 marks the 253rd birthday of the famous Scottish bard, two days
after January 23rd Chinese New Year welcoming the Year of the Dragon
– the most auspicious and sacred animal of the Chinese Zodiac.
Haggis Fat Choy has become synonymous with cultural fusion and fun. Often imitated, but never as successful,
musical, poetic, delicious, historical nor educative.
FEATURED 2012 Performers:
by Tetsuro Shigematsu and Toddish McWong
Wah – Parliamentary Poet Laureate
Walls – Chinese clapper tales and Chinese scholar
Harry McGrath – Robbie Burns Immortal Memory
Bear Rebels Celtic Ceilidh ensemble
Haggis Fat Choy Pipes & Drums
of dragons + surprises!
1998, “Toddish McWong” held a small private dinner for 16 friends with food,
haggis, poetry and songs – from both Scottish and Chinese cultures and thus was
Gung Haggis Fat Choy - Now it is a dinner for 400 people!
than a traditional dinner with music
and poetry. Gung Haggis Fat Choy
re-imagines a traditional Robert Burns Dinner format, within a BC or Canadian
historical context that puts Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian pioneers on
an inclusive and equal platform, while acknowledging historical racism and how
we move beyond it. This event has grown to also celebrate contemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian
artists and poets and their innovations to create something uniquely Canadian.
15 Years of Highlights for
Gung Haggis Fat Choy & Toddish McWong:
1998 – 1st Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner for 16 people in a living room.
– 1st Creation of deep-fried haggis won ton
- CBC tv television performance special “Gung Haggis Fat Choy”– nominated for 2
- SFU GHFC Festival with dragon cart racing + human curling
– GHFC photo included in Paul Yee book Saltwater City
– “Address to the Haggis” rap version performed by Todd Wong & Joe McDonald
- GHFC featured in CBC documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy
- Toddish McWong photo in BC Canada
Pavillion during Beijing Olympics.
- photo of Toddish McWong in the Royal BC Museum exhibit “The Party”
- GHFC written about in Charles Demers’ book Vancouver Special
- Toddish McWong featured speaker at Centre for Scottish Studies SFU conference
“Burns in Trans-Atlantic context”
- Toddish McWong photo featured at Scottish Parliament in the exhibit “This is
Who We Are: Scots in Canada.”
- GHFC dinner inspired Hapa-Palooza Festival for Vancouver 125 Celebrations
Featured poets and authors
Joy Kogawa, Fred Wah, Brad Cran, Larissa Lai, Rita
Wong, George McWhirter, Jim Wong-Chu, Lensey Namioka, Fiona Tinwei Lam, + Musicians
Silk Road Music, Heather Pawsey soprano, Lan Tung, and Blackthorn + Film makers
Jeff Chiba Stearns, Ann-Marie Fleming and Moyra Rodger.
of the dinner go to Historic Joy Kogawa House Society, Asian Canadian Writers'
Workshop/Ricepaper Magazine and Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team. Every dinner guest receives a gift
subscription to Ricepaper Magazine
Menu Highlights include:
haggis won ton + haggis pork dumpling (su-mei) and appetizer courses.
served Chinese style in the form of pan-fried turnip cake, dim sum style.
haggis is served with Chinese lettuce wrap.
we always feature fun singalongs such as Loch Lomand, My Chow Mein (Bonny) Lies
Over the Ocean, and When Asian Eyes Are Smiling.
lots of surprises… such as new for 2012 – a revamped version of Robbie Burns
lyrics set to Johnny Cash or Elvis Presley music.
media inquires contact: