Category Archives: Gung Haggis Fat Choy DINNER 2009

2009 Year of Gung Haggis Fat Choy from Royal BC Museum in Victoria to Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

2009 was an amazing year for Todd Wong and Gung Haggis Fat Choy

2009 opened with a life-size picture of Todd Wong included in “The
Party” exhibit at Royal BC Museum, and by November 30th – Todd was
encountering a life-size picture of himself at Scottish Parliament in
Edinburgh for the exhibit This is Who We Are: Scots in Canada.

It was an exciting year for the Joy Kogawa House Society, as the long sought dream of a writer-in-residence program became a reality.  Montreal Arab-Canadian author John Asfour became the inaugural writer-in-residence and helped writers at Kogawa House as well as hosted events at the house, Vancouver Public Library's Central and Carnegie branches.  By Christmas time author Joy Kogawa was enjoying her first Christmas season living in the house (temporarily) since she and her family had been forced to move in 1942 when they were sent to Internment Camps during WW2.

On November 28th, I set foot in Scotland for my first time ever.  Since first wearing a kilt in 1993 for the SFU Robert Burns ceremonies and hosting the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner since 1998, I no longer have to say that I've never visited Scotland before.  It was a short but exciting trip as I attended the closing night reception at Scottish Parliament for the exhibit This Is Who We Are: Scots in Canada – co-hosted by the Scottish First Minster and Presiding Officer.  I also visited Edinburgh Castle and many things Robbie Burns, as I made my way to Alloway in Ayrshire to visit the birthplace of Robert Burns at Burns Cottage.  It had only just re-opened to the public and I had a special tour by manager of the Burns National Heritage Park.

This is a review of some my my favorite stories and events from 2009.

January 1st, 2009
A life-size picture of Todd Wong aka “Toddish McWong” is included in Free Spirit exhibition at Royal BC Museum.  The exhibit closed on January 14th 2009.

Photo Library - 2907 by you.


January 20th

VisitScotland comes to Vancouver to celebrate Homecoming Scotland with Toddish McWong and Gung Haggis Fat Choy
and brings special limited edition of 37 year old Famous Grouse whisky to auction off at the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

Raise Money for your Favourite Charity with Limited edition bottles of The Famous Grouse up for Auction


January 20th
Georgia Straight news article
 

Georgia Straight: Why Canada will never have an Obama, except maybe Todd Wong


January 22nd

Westender: Gung Haggis celebrates Canadian interculturalism – article by Jackie Wong


January 25th Robbie Burns Day 250th Anniversary celebration at Burns Statue in Stanley Park


250th Anniversary of Robert Burns recognized with poems at statue in Vancouver's Stanley Park

2009_January 178 by you.


January 25th Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner
The
2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's 250th Robbie Burns Birthday
Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner was a big success – worth 2 ceremonial
haggis.

DSC_3928_103489 - Mayor Gregor Robertson doing the honours by FlungingPictures.

February 4th
Louis Lapprend makes a youtube video of the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner event


Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2009 Dinner highlights on Youtube

February 15th
Seattle Gung Haggis Fat Choy, Sunday February 15th.

3rd annual Gung Haggis dinner in Seattle Washington, hosted by Bill McFadden of the Caledonian and St. Andrew's Society of Seattle.  Bagpiper Joe McDonald and Todd Wong travel to Seattle to perform and MC the event.

March 15th

Gung Haggis Pipes & Drums & dragon boat paddlers… brave the snow in the Vancouver Celticfest St. Patrick's Day Parade

2009_March 104click here for Flickr photo set


April 6-11th Tartan Week in Vancouver


Tartan Day and Scotland Week celebrated by SFU's Centre for Scottish
Studies with Michael Russell, Scottish Parliamentary Minister for
Culture!

April 20th
Al
Purdy Party at Joy Kogawa House with Shelagh Rogers, John Asfour &
3 nominated poets for BC Book Prizes: Daphne Marlatt, George Stanley
and Nilofar Shidmehr

2009_April_Kogawa 059

May 19th

John Asfour, Kogawa House writer-in-residence gives reading at
Vancouver Public Library with Marcus Youssef and Adrienne Wong of
Neworld Theatre

2009_May_KogawaHouse 020

May 22nd – Todd and Deb go kayaking on Mayne Island

Kayaking in the Gulf Islands: we visit Belle Islets Chain

and visit

May 30th – Final event for Kogawa House inaugural writer in residence John Asfour with Gary Geddes, Ann Erikson and Shelagh Rogers

Another Magical Evening for final event of Historic Joy Kogawa House's inaugural writer-in-residence program

2009_May_KogawaHouse 101

June 20/21

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team has a great weekend at Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival

2009_June 060 click for Flickr pictures

July 18th

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team places 4th overall at Richmond Dragon Boat Races


July 24/25

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team heats up Vernon Races

2009_July_VernonDragonBoat 005


August 8th


Todd Wong elected to board of The Land Conservancy of BC

2009_Aug_TLC 052

October 10

Gung Haggis paddlers compete at Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta: 1st in B Final 5th in A Final

2009_Oct_Ft_Langley_cranberry_canoe_race 111

November 29
Todd's first day in Scotland
I start off in Glasgow, visit a Haggis exhibit at Kelvingrove Museum, take the train to Edinburgh and attend the official Homecoming Finale ceilidh on the Golden Mile.

2009_Scotland_1 101


November 30
Toddish McWong arrives in Scotland for inaugural visit and reception at Scottish Parliament for “This is Who We Are”

2009_Scotland_ThisIsWhoWeAre 097 by you.

November 30

CBC Radio interview from Scottish Parliament – On the Cost with Stephen Quinn
“Vancouverite Todd Wong has been celebrating Scottish culture in this
city for years with his Gung Haggis Fat Choy celebration. Now he's in
the home of the Highlands. Stephen caught up with Todd to find out what
he is doing in Edinburgh this week. Listen to the interview.(runs 6:58)”

December 4th
Todd Wong visits Robert Burns Cottage in Alloway Scotland.  After extensive renovations, Burns Cottage is reopened to the public on Nov. 30th.  Todd Wong has a special tour with Caroline Green, manager of Burns Heritage Park.

2009_Scotland6 105


December 21st
Christmas Party at Kogawa House

This is the 1st Christmas season, that author Joy Kogawa has spent at her childhood home, since they were removed and sent to WW2  internment camps in 1942.  Friends and family of both Joy Kogowa and Kogawa House attend. 

December 31st
Todd does a short CBC Radio One interview for On the Coast – answering
questions about the Scottish origins of singing Auld Lang Syne.

To be continued

Thank you to our sponsors and prize donors from Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns & Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner!

We had the biggest silent auction and raffle prize draws this year for the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.

DSC_4217_103769 - Gerry O'Neil & Stuart MacKINNON, winning bid CAD 750 & losing bid by FlungingPictures.Gerry O'Neil and Stuart Mackinnon were the staunchest bidders for the special limited edition of 37 year old Famous Grouse blended whisky valued at $800 CDN… in the end there could only be one winner – photo Patrick Tam Flunging Pictures.

Every year we receive incredible prize donations for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.  This contributes a lot to our fund raiser, as the dinner itself costs quite a bit, production costs include sound and equipment rental, poster and program production, and we always have complimentary tickets for our headline performers and special guests.
The Famous Grouse whisky 37 year old blend
This year featured some very special big ticket items in our silent auction, which was capped by the live auction of a rare and very special 37 year old blend of “The Famous Grouse” whisky, specially created for the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.  Only 250 bottles were made, valued upwards
of £400, to be auctioned off at Burns Suppers all over the world
helping to raise a minimum of £10,000 for their chosen charities.

The winner of this special bottle at the live auction at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner was Gerry O'Neil.  Mr. O'Neil is president of AAA Horse and Carriage, whose horse and carriage rides in Stanley Park walk past the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park every day.  Inspired by the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, this first time attendee spontaneously donated a private horse and carriage ride to our silent auction.

Proceeds from the Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year go to:
Historic Joy Kogawa House Society
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop – publisher of Ricepaper Magazine
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

We also acknowledge our 2009 partnership with the Vancouver Chinatown Lion's Club, celebrating their 49th annual Burns Supper.

Our sponsors and donors for 2009

VisitScotland – special limited edition “The Famous Grouse” 37 year old blended whisky – one bottle for auction

Maxxium Canada – whisky tasting of Famous Grouse blended whisky and single malts The Macallan and Highland Park.

Royal BC Museum – admission passes and loan of display figures from “The Party” display from “Free Spirit” exhibit: 1st BC Governor James Douglas, 1st BC Premier John Foster McCreight, Mungo Martin, King Freezy, James Cleland Richardson (Richardson bagpipers), Emily Carr, Nellie McClung, Emery Barnes, Joy Kogawa and Todd Wong

The Land Conservancy of B.C. – 2 Nights at Baldwin House

Dennis Goodman Studio Gallery – Golden Sunrise painting

Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancity Theatre 10 Movie Ticket Pack

PuSh Festival – 2 Tickets to the Show of your Choice

Cheuk Kwan, Tissa Films – DVD Chinese Restaurants

Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel – 1-Night Stay for 2

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens – 10 Passes

Vancouver International Children’s Festival – 2 Tickets to a Show

Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society
– 2 DVDs Heroes Remember + DVD Chinese Canadian Citizenship Celebrations

DOXA Festival
– Two Tickets + Two Memberships to Opening Night Gala

Vancouver Museum – Family Admission

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum & Archives – 10 Passes

Electronic Arts – 2 XBOX Video Games

Harbour Publishing – “Spirit of the People” by Jean Barman

Pacifique Cinémathèque – 10 Movie Ticket Pack

Videomatica – Gift Certificate

Chan Centre – 2 tickets to a show

Vancouver Opera – 2 Tickets

Neworld Theatre – 2 Tickets to Mixie & the Half-Breeds

Vancouver International Wine Festival – 2 Tickets to the Tasting Room

Listel Hotel
– 1-Night Stay for 2

Ricepaper Magazine – Subscriptions

Floata Seafood Restaurant – gift certificates

Firehall Arts Centre – gift certificates for upcoming shows

Vancouver Fringe Festival
– Tickets

Nightwood Editions – “Forage” by Rita Wong

SFU Continuing Studies – Gift Certificate

Wesley Lowe – DVD “I Am the Canadian Delegate

AAA Horse and Carriages – private horse and carriage ride in Stanley Park.

Maclean's Magazine: “Hold the sheep's stomach lining” – mentions Todd Wong and Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Macleans Magazine cites Gung Haggis Fat Choy's Todd Wong in article about the intricacies of Haggis for Robbie Burns' 250th Anniversary.

RL102 by you.

Deep-fried haggis & shrimp won ton dumplings were served up with some “Famous Grouse” scotch, when Visit Scotland's Chief Executive, Phillip Riddell, came to Vancouver to meet Todd Wong, creator of Gung Haggis Fat Choy. The special limited edition 37 year blend of Famous Grouse was one of 250 bottles made, and sent to Burns Dinners around the world, to be auctioned off for Charity.  – photo Rich Lam

It was last week when Pamela Cuthbert phoned me up for her story in Macleans Magazine.  She had heard bout the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner and that we served up deep-fried haggis won ton.

“Won Ton is the Chinese equivalent of the Mars Bar,” I joked, making reference to the Scottish predeliction of deep-fried Mars chocolate bars.

I explained how we came up with the idea to create haggis won ton, and told her about the first time we tried haggis won-ton soup.

“We spit it back,” I exclaimed, “It was way too haggis-sy.  But the deep-fried haggis, and the haggis spring rolls were great. 

Today at the Floata Restaurant we will also be serving up haggis & pork su-mei dim sum dumplings.  Everybody remarks that they've never seen people eat so much haggis, especially when they roll the haggis up with the lettuce wrap, with Chinese Hoi-Sin bbq sauce.  It's delicious!

Check out the article below – I am mentioned in the 3rd paragraph.  Click on the link to read the full article.

Arts & Culture – Written by Pamela Cuthbert on Wednesday,

January 28, 2009

Hold the sheep’s stomach lining

It’s the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’s birth: deep-fried haggis won ton, anyone?

Hold the sheep’s stomach lining

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Now’s the time to toss prejudice aside and try haggis. Never mind
that this humble pie is a steaming mound of ground organs, suet,
assorted spices and oats, all boiled in the lining of a sheep’s
stomach. Ever since Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns, immortalized haggis,
it has become the dish that launched a million parties—and possibly
about as many interpretations. This is the 250th anniversary of the
poet’s birth, so the annual celebration of Burns Night, on Jan. 25, is
promising more invention and revelry than ever.

“The meat in a haggis is brilliant,” says chef Craig Flinn of Chives
Canadian Bistro in Halifax. “It’s like the meat in a tourtière pie.” He
prepared the sausage-like food once, when he cooked in a hotel kitchen,
but then forgot about it. This year, Flinn will serve a Burns Night
appetizer: traditional haggis sausage with tattie ’n neep purée,
caramelized onion balsamic jam and grainy Dijon veal jus that he calls
“a bit cross-cultural.” He’ll use a mixture of lamb and pork trimmings
with back fat and “more palatable” entrails such as lamb kidneys and
pork tongue and cheek.

Todd Wong started the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Vancouver, a
Scottish-Chinese Burns Night banquet, in the late ’90s. He sees it as
“an integration, a reflection of Canada’s inter-cultural nature.” This
year (which is also Chinese New Year’s Eve), the menu features
deep-fried haggis won ton, lettuce-wrap haggis, and a traditional
variety.

read rest of story: http://blog.macleans.ca/2009/01/28/hold-the-sheep%E2%80%99s-stomach-lining/#comment-86659

What is the “Best Photo” from Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2009 Dinner? Time for a photo contest!

IMG_0291 by Lydia Nagai.

Emily
Carr, Toddish McWong, James Cleland Richardson, Joy Kogawa, John Foster
McCreight (BC's first Premier), King Freezy (Songhees Chief), Emery
Barnes… courtesy of the Royal BC Museum
– photo Lydia Nagai.

The picture in front,
of Robbie Burns' house, was donated by a resident of PAL Vancouver,
(Performing Arts Lodge Vancouver – where Deb works).

I am thinking of creating a photo contest for Gung Haggis Fat Choy.  You can vote on the pictures of our 3 official photographers… or submit one of your own.

I think this picture captures the “Spirit of Gung Haggis Fat Choy.”  It has elements of Chinese, Scottish, Robbie Burns and BC multicultural/intercultural history.  How can you argue against Klee-wyck (Emily Carr)?

Okay… the only thing missing from this picture is the haggis and the scotch drink.

Check out the photo sets by our official photographers.
then send me an email and vote!
We do have some prizes to give away!!!!

Best “Spirit of Gung Haggis Fat Choy”
Best portrait
Best group
Best still life
Best photo submitted by a dinner guest

Patrick Tam – Flunging Pictures 
661 – 20090125 – Robbie Burns’… – Patrick Tam photo set.

Lydia Nagai – Lydia Nagai Photography

Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2009 – Linda Nagai photo set.

VFK
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24064901@N00/sets/72157613036584552/

Photos from 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is always a wonderful event for photographs.  Special thanks to our incredible photographers Patrick Tam, Lydia Nagai and VFK.

If you like their photos, please contact them and purchase them.  We have asked them to put “water marks” on their photos, so that we will advertise and promote them.

They help us with our event, because they believe in the community work and social consiousness raising that we do.

DSC_3928_103489 - Mayor Gregor Robertson doing the honours by FlungingPictures.
A wonderful job by everybody last night –
Veteran Gung Haggis performers Joe McDonald and Heather pronounced last
night as “The Best Gung Haggis Dinner yet”

And Dr. Leith Davis
(Director of Centre for Scottish Studies, Simon Fraser University) said it was the best Burns Supper she had ever attended – and she just
spent 2 weeks in Scotland for Homecoming Scotland!

Congratulations
to everybody.  The energy was brilliantly contagious and fun.  There
were lots of nice surprises in the program, with the Mayor reading a
Burns poem, a treatise on the details of scotch drinking, Parks
Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon singing A Man's A Man For A' That, and
hip hop artist Ndidi Cascade coming up from the audience to rap a verse
of Burns' Address to A Haggis.

But it was the performances by
Silk Road, Joe McDonald, Adrienne Wong, Jan Walls, Tommy Tao, Rita
Wong, Catherine Barr, Heather Pawsey & DJ Timothy Wisdom, Bob
Wilkins & the Gung Haggis Fat Choy pipe band,  supplemented by
Alland & Trish McMordie with Don Scobie from Seattle… and an
immortal address by Dr. Leith Davis – that knocked the audience over!

With wonderfully warm co-hosting from Gloria Macarenko and Catherine Barr….

And strong support from stage manager Charlie Cho, and sound technician Carl Schmidt.

Many
Many thanks…. to helping rise funds for Historic Joy Kogawa House,
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop/Ricepaper Magazine and Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dragon boat team.

We will have some pictures available for you soon.

Thank yous and Blessings to
everybody!
Toddish

Patrick Tam – Flunging Pictures 
www.flunging pictures.com

DSC_3928_103489 - Mayor Gregor Robertson doing the honours by FlungingPictures.

661 – 20090125 – Robbie Burns’… – Patrick Tam photo set.

Lydia Nagai – Lydia Nagai Photography
www.lydianagai.com

IMG_0525 by Lydia Nagai.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2009 – Linda Nagai photo set.

VFK Photography

GHFC 2009 VF3_4418.JPG by vfk.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24064901@N00/sets/72157613036584552/

GHFC 2009 VF3_4664.JPG by vfk Silk Road Music performing in front of life-size photos of Nellie McClung, Mungo Martin, Emily Carr and Todd Wong – courtesy of Royal BC Museum.- photo VFK


The 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's 250th Robbie Burns Birthday Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner was a big success – worth 2 ceremonial haggis.

The 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's 250th Robbie Burns Birthday Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner was a big success – worth 2 ceremonial haggis.

DSC_3928_103489 - Mayor Gregor Robertson doing the honours by FlungingPictures.
Hi everybody…

A wonderful job by everybody last night –
Veteran Gung Haggis performers Joe McDonald and Heather pronounced last
night as “The Best Gung Haggis Dinner yet”

And Dr. Leith Davis
said it was the best Burns Supper she had ever attended – and she just
spent 2 weeks in Scotland for Homecoming Scotland!

Congratulations
to everybody.  The energy was brilliantly contagious and fun.  There
were lots of nice surprises in the program, with the Mayor reading a
Burns poem, a treatise on the details of scotch drinking, Parks
Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon singing A Man's A Man For A' That, and
hip hop artist Ndidi Cascade coming up from the audience to rap a verse
of Burns' Address to A Haggis.

But it was the performances by
Silk Road, Joe McDonald, Adrienne Wong, Jan Walls, Tommy Tao, Rita
Wong, Catherine Barr, Heather Pawsey & DJ Timothy Wisdom, Bob
Wilkins & the Gung Haggis Fat Choy pipe band,  supplemented by
Alland & Trish McMordie with Don Scobie from Seattle… and an
immortal address by Dr. Leith Davis – that knocked the audience over!

With wondefully warm co-hosting from Gloria Macarenko and Catherine Barr….

And strong support from stagemanager Charlie Cho, and sound technician Carl Schmidt.

Many
Many thanks…. to helping rise funds for Historic Joy Kogawa House,
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop/Ricepaper Magazine and Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dragon boat team.

We will have some pictures available for you soon.

Thank yous and Blessings to
everybody!
Toddish

Tickets for Gung Haggis Fat Choy are still available.

Tickets for Gung Haggis Fat Choy are only available now from organizers. 

Ticket sales from Firehall Arts Centre and Tickets Tonight are now closed, as we are very close to a sell out.  Firehall Box Office is always closed on Saturday.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy:
Toddish McWong's
Robbie Burns
Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner

SUNDAY
January 25th
5pm – reception

If you still want to come to the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner.
You will have to phone Todd Wong at 778-846-7090 – and make arrangements.

IF we are sold out there will be NO tickets available at the door on January 25th.
So call and confirm on Saturday.

It's going to be an INCREDIBLE evening of fun.
It is unlike any other Robbie Burns dinner you have ever attended or will attend.
There will be lots of food, music, poetry and scotch – all the things that were close to the heart of Robert Burns, including the issues of social justice, equality, political change, speaking up for others, and love of life.

It's the 250th Anniversary of Robert Burns…. what else would you expect?

And did we mention that The Famous Grouse scotch whisky is now a sponsor for the dinner?

And… I am HOT and IN THE ZONE…. after giving the “Address to the Haggis” at the 16th Annual Robbie Burns Dinner for the Vancouver & District Labour Council.  Many people came up to me after my performance and said it was the BEST reading they had ever witnessed.  Wow… what a compliment.  But nobody said it was Obama-esque… I guess Pieta Woolley wasn't attending. 

SFU's Leith Davis is creating a world wide Burns Statue recognition both in the real and the virtual world

2008_Dec 044 by you.

Todd Wong at the Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park – photo Judy Maxwell

It's the 250th Birthday of Robert Burns and he's looking a little bit worn for wear in Vancouver's Stanley Park. Robbie's been standing in Stanley Park since 1928.  I wrote a story about it in December 9th: Robert Burns Statue in Vancouver's Stanley Park,

The rededication plaque reads:

“This
statue of Robert Burns, Scotland's National Bard, was unveiled by J.
Ramsay MacDonald , a Prime Minister of Britain, on 25th August, 1928.
Robert
Burns's sincere desire for friendship and brotherhood among all peoples
is clearly shown in his many poems and songs.  His poetry and letters,
both serious and humorous are worthy of study by those who value
liberty and freedom. 
This memorial was rededicated on the 200th Anniversary of the Bard's death by the Burns Club of Vancouver.
21 July 1996
“Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a' that)…
that man to man, the world o'er
shall birthers be for a' that

I also wrote a story about all the other statues Vancouver's Robert Burns statue is a copy of the George Lawson original from Ayr Scotland with pictures of the same statue in Ayr Scotland, Halifax, Winnipeg, Montreal, Melbourne, Australia, Belfast and Paris. 

So this Sunday, at 12 noon. Leith Davis and I will meet to lay a wreath and flowers at the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park.  We'll read some poems and verses… and maybe sing Auld Lang Syne.

Leith wants us to meet at 11:45am and take a group picture, so we can send it to her contacts in the other cities with Burns Statues – all at precisely the same time.  And maybe while we are laying a wreath in real time, Leith will set it up to lay a wreath in virtual time, in Second Life. 

I'm really excited about this.  I haven't met Leith in person yet.  Leith will be a special guest at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner on Sunday January 25th.  We will have one of the largest Burns Suppers in Metro Vancouver with over 550 attendees. 

Check out the SFU press release below:

World to wish Burns virtual ‘Happy 250th’

January 15, 2009
The world will come together to celebrate Robbie Burns Day on Jan. 25 – the 250th anniversary of his birth – in a way Scotland’s national bard would never have conceived.

At precisely 12 noon p.m. (PST) – with a crowd assembled in Vancouver at the
Burns statue in Stanley Park – gatherings around the world will send
greetings and photos to each other via the internet, creating one
massive Burns celebration in cyberspace.

The virtual party has attracted participants from cities across Canada,
U.S., Britain and Australia. “It has been interesting developing this
network, as it suggests just how prevalent Burns’ influence is even
today,” says organizer Leith Davis, director of SFU’s Centre for
Scottish Studies.

There are also plans to create a memorial to Burns on SFU’s Second Life
website. The centre is holding a contest to find an appropriate 21st century image of the famous poet and song-writer (details are at www.sfu.ca/scottish)

The deadline is April 1 and the winner will be announced during the Robert Burns in Transatlantic Culture workshop
at SFU’s Harbour Centre campus April 7-9. The workshop is the first
event of its kind to focus on Burns in the Americas.

“We’re hoping to bring Burns into focus, not just as a nostalgic relic of the 19th
century but as a poet who has much to say in our time,” says Davis.
“Burns’ message was all about universal brotherhood, and sisterhood, by
extension, and that is still a vital message today.”

Davis is currently in Scotland to deliver a lecture, The Performance of Burns in Popular Culture, to the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s 2009 conference, Robert Burns and Global Culture.

Conference participants will share the latest research on Burns while
leading Burns scholars will reflect on such issues as the global
reputation of Burns, his influence on the image of Scotland abroad and
the continuing celebration of Burns in global culture through statues,
music and Burns Supper events.

Davis will return Jan. 24 for the Burns virtual event and the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy event Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Floata Chinese
Restaurant (see http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/)

No

Here is the latest Google News on “Gung Haggis Fat Choy”

Here is the latest Google News on “Gung Haggis Fat Choy”

Missing are television appearances or mentions.

City TV – Lunch Television
On Thursday I cooked haggis on City TV's Lunch Television with host
Michelle McDermott.  Kyle Donaldson came in to help taste the haggis
(from Peter Black & Sons – of course)

Shaw Multicultural television
I received a telephone call from one of the producers telling me that
they had been plugging our Gung Haggis Fat Choy event – especially
since Chinese New Year's Eve fell on Robbie Burns Day this year.   And
BCIT Magazine filmed a segment with me on Tuesday for broadcast this
week.  And… I also received a phone call from Global TV's Sophie Lui.

There are 4 related Gung Haggis Fat Choy events happening in Vancouver this week, that I will be at.

January 25th – 12 noon
– Wreath laying ceremony at the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park

January 25th – 5pm
– Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner – Floata Restaurant, Vancouver Chinatown $65

January 26th – 7:00pm
– World Poetry Gung Haggis Fat Choy Gala – FREE event of poetry and music

January 29th – 11:30 to 1:30pm
– SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival, Simon Fraser University.  Free
event featuring bagpipes, lion dance, dragon cart racing and human
curling.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy to all
News1130, Canada – 18 hours ago
Gung Haggis
Fat Choy, a combination of both cultures happening at SFU next week.
Organizer Sue Armitage says a former student came up with the idea came
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Simon Fraser University News, Canada – 22 Jan 2009
29 with a wacky blend of Chinese and Scottish food and fun at Gung Haggis Fat Choy. The frivolous foolishness runs from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm with events
FIVE THINGS: THIS WEEKEND
Globe and Mail, Canada – 10 hours ago
by Jim Byrnes at Barbara Jo's (bookstocooks.com), and the favourite Chinese/Scottish hybrid dinner, Gung Haggis Fat Choy (http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com).
Why Canada will never have an Obama, except maybe Todd Wong
Georgia Straight, Canada – 21 Jan 2009
Here’s my nominee for an Obama in Canada: Todd Wong, the founder of Gung Haggis Fat Choy. The wildly charismatic Vancouverite is a leader in bridging
Call to the Bard
Scotsman, United Kingdom – 21 Jan 2009
VANCOUVER: Gung Haggis Fat Choy is an annual cultural event in British Columbia city that blends Canada's rich Scottish and Chinese traditions.
Soaking up the Lunar New Year
Vancouver Sun,  Canada – 22 Jan 2009
The sixth annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night on Monday celebrates both “Chinese and Scottish traditions with a distinctly Canadian twist.
Reference Points
Baltimore Sun, United States – 18 Jan 2009
To cite one example, Heller profiles an annual dinner and performance event in Vancouver – dubbed Gung Haggis Fat Choy – that celebrates the city's Chinese
Spice is nice at Ashiana
Vancouver Courier,  Canada – 16 Jan 2009
25
is Robbie Burns' 250th birthday, yet one more good reason to head down
to Floata Restaurant for the utterly unique, “only in Vancouver,” Gung Haggis Fat
Five food and dining events
Georgia Straight, Canada – 22 Jan 2009
To celebrate, Todd Wong’s annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy banquet combines Chinese and Scottish food and entertainment. The 10-course dinner takes place at
Obama’s inauguration proves that poetry isn’t completely dead, yet
Georgia Straight, Canada – 20 Jan 2009
He has, however, written works for Gung Haggis Fat Choy, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, and other culturati events.

Westender: Gung Haggis celebrates Canadian interculturalism – article by Jackie Wong

West Ender newspaper celebrates Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Day with a profile on Todd Wong aka “Toddish McWong”

Jackie Wong interviewed me last
week, and asked me about my early years growing up in East Vancouver
and North Vancouver. This is a very nice interview that addresses some
of the cultural identity issues I faced growing up, that has led me to
creating Gung Haggis Fat Choy as an expression of BC's Scottish and
Chinese pioneer history.

Todd Wong established the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner — a merging of Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Day celebrations — in 1998. It now draws over 500 people. “People leave [the dinner] saying, ‘That is so Canadian,’” he says.

Todd
Wong established the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner — a merging of
Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Day celebrations — in 1998. It now
draws over 500 people. “People leave [the dinner] saying, ‘That is so
Canadian,’” he says.

Credit: Doug Shanks

NEWS: Gung Haggis celebrates Canadian interculturalism

Growing
up in East Vancouver in the 1960s, Todd Wong was one of many children
who had a surname in common with his classmates at Laura Secord
Elementary School. But when his family moved to North Vancouver when he
was 14, Wong’s Chinese ancestry distinguished him from his classmates
for the first time. “Suddenly, the only other Wong in the entire school
was my brother,” the 48-year-old librarian recalls over tea at a
Chinatown diner. “The other kids would ask if I was Chinese or
Japanese, because they didn’t know the difference at the time. I kept
being asked about Chinese culture because nobody else knew about it.”

Wong’s family has lived in Vancouver for five generations, and he
was raised in what he describes as a “Canadian” household. But it was
his immediate family’s move to North Vancouver that spurred him to
further explore his ancestry. His great-great-grandfather, Reverend
Chan Yu Tan, immigrated to Canada in 1896, and was part of Canada’s
vast pioneer history in which Chinese-Canadians are frequently
overlooked. “I’m one of the invisible-visible minorities,” he says.
“The Chinese culture I grew up learning from my families really doesn’t
exist anymore. [My ancestors] came over when China was still an
Imperial Qing dynasty.”

Wong’s curiosity about his family history led him to start
introducing Chinese New Year celebrations to uninitiated friends as
early as Grade 12. Years later, in 1998, he hosted a private dinner
that combined celebrations for Chinese New Year and for Robbie Burns
Day, the annual Scottish celebration marking the birthday of that
country’s national poet. The event gained momentum over subsequent
years as a restaurant-hosted fundraiser for Wong’s dragon boat team.

Word of the innovative celebration travelled fast, and within a few
years an annual inter-cultural celebration known as Gung Haggis Fat
Choy became a highlight on Vancouver’s cultural calendar, and has grown
to host as many as 590 attendees.

In 2008, Wong received a B.C. Community Achievement Award from
Lieutenant-Governor Stephen Point and Premier Gordon Campbell, and, as
part of B.C.’s 150th anniversary celebration, a life-sized photographic
rendering of Wong, also known as “Toddish McWong,” was installed at the
“Free Spirit” exhibition at the Royal BC Museum. Previous to earning
provincial recognition, Gung Haggis Fat Choy was the inspiration for an
annual cultural festival on SFU’s Burnaby campus, and was the subject
of a 2004 CBC television special.

“The Gung Haggis dinner is inclusive and it recognizes every part of
every person, and I think that’s important,” says Wong. “We don’t have
to be one or the other. We can be everything, all at the same time. I
don’t think we have a lot of events that speak to that.”

This year’s event, on January 25, rings in the Year of the Ox at
Floata Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown. Inter-cultural dinnertime
performers include the Scottish/Chinese Silk Road Ensemble,
multilingual opera soprano Heather Pawsey, DJ Timothy Wisdom, and
rapping bagpiper Joe McDonald. The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner is a
10-course traditional Chinese banquet that also features haggis, the
traditional Scottish dish that is a Robbie Burns Day favourite.
Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society,
the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop/Ricepaper magazine, and the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team.

“It’s about hybridization — Haggis wonton, haggis lettuce wrap —
where we purposefully put haggis in Chinese cooking,” says Wong.
“People leave saying, ‘That is so Canadian.’”

While Wong often finds himself “running to catch up” with the
momentum Gung Haggis has created over the years, the event shows no
signs of slowing down. It’s even spread to Seattle’s Chinatown, where
150 attended the first event there in 2007. “People are continuing to
discover the spirit of Gung Haggis Fat Choy,” he says. “It’s something
everyone can participate in. I would like to see Gung Haggis dinners
across the country. I think that’s how you contribute to Canada being
better. It’s the good-heartedness of how you describe Canadians, and
that openness to other cultures.”

The “good-heartedness” Wong describes as a trademark of his event
also translates to political points on the municipal scene. At the 2008
Gung Haggis dinner, Wong notes that the 10 Vancouver city councillors
who were later voted into office in the November municipal election
were at the event, including Gregor Robertson and a kilt-wearing
Raymond Louie. This year’s special guests include Musqueam elder Larry
Grant; Leith Davis of the SFU Centre for Scottish Studies; Jan Walls,
formerly of SFU’s International Communications program; and
poet-translator Tommy Tao. This year’s Gung Haggis dinner is also the
only dinner in the province to feature one of 250 limited-edition
bottles of 37-year-old Famous Grouse scotch, made in a limited batch
for Robbie Burns celebrations around the world.

“We’ve always attracted people who are good-hearted and open to
interculturalism,” Wong says proudly. “That’s the Vancouver I see. We
want to create the Vancouver we believe in.”

For more information on Gung Haggis Fat Choy and to buy tickets, visit www.GungHaggisFatChoy.com