Category Archives: Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner

Gung Haggis Fat Choy CBC tv special was created in 2004

Gung Haggis Fat Choy – the TV special!!

Will it ever be shown again?

In 2004 CBC Vancouver created the Gung Haggis Fat Choy television performance special – it ran again in 2005.  Producer was Moyra Roger who was nominated for 2 Leo Awards for her wonderful work.


View Clip
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Chinese New Year.
Robbie Burns Supper. Gung Haggis Fat Choy fuses the two unique cultural
events in a celebration of music, dance and tradition. Featuring
performances by The Paperboys, Silk Road Music, George Sapounidis, Joe McDonald & Bravewaves

A CBC Television production.

It was a lot of fun consulting for this project.  Moyra was great to work with, as was executive producer Rae Hull.  And I also became friends with Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibuault of Silk Road Music, George Sapounidis of Ottawa, and also got to know The Paperboys.  Neil Gray gave the Address to the Haggis.  And my longtime bagpiper friend Joe McDonald and his band Brave Waves was featured performing Auld Lang Syne with singer La La – who was also featured later at Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner events.

In 2007 CBC created a documentary series about long time multi-generational families across Canada.  The Rev. Chan Yu Tan family and descendants were selected to be the family from BC.   This was also due to the work I had done in organizing Rev. Chan family reunions, blogging about the family, and helping create a photo exhibition at the Chinese Cultural Centre titled Three Pioneer Canadian Chinese Families in 2002.

Some of the footage from the 2004 Gung Haggis Fat Choy tv performance special were included in the Generations: The Chan Legacy documentary, as well as footage from a 2004 interview I did with Peter Mansbridge for CBC's The National news show.

Here is the picture of me and write up about the Generations: The Chan Legacy documentary

Chan Legacy

The documentary begins with Todd Wong playing the accordion, wearing a
kilt. He promotes cultural fusion, and in doing so, he honours the
legacy of his great, great, grandfather Reverend Chan Yu Tan. The Chans
go back seven generations in Canada and are one of the oldest families
on the West Coast. Reverend Chan's granddaughter Helen Lee, grandson
Victor Wong, and great grandson Gary Lee recall being barred from
theaters, swimming pools and restaurants. The Chinese were not allowed
to become doctors or lawyers, pharmacists or teachers. Still, several
members of the Chan family served in World War II, because they felt
they were Canadian and wanted to contribute. Finally, in 1947, Chinese
born in Canada were granted citizenship and the right to vote.

Today, Todd Wong, represents a younger generation of successful
professionals and entrepreneurs scattered across North America. He
promotes his own brand of cultural integration through an annual event
in Vancouver called Gung Haggis Fat Choy. It's a celebration that joins
Chinese New Year with Robbie Burns Day, and brings together the two
cultures that once lived completely separately in the early days of
British Columbia.

Photo session for Globe & Mail of Toddish McWong

Snow and Kilts and Accordion and Toddish McWong at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Garden

photo by Deb Martin

The Globe and Mail is doing an interview profile on me for Tuesday January 17th, by journalist Sarah Hampson, and asked photographer Raphael to take pictures of me for the article.  Hampson asked me lots of questions about the hows and whys of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.  She wanted to get the behind the scenes story of my personal motivations, and my community work.  Here is a link to the Hampson article Haggis wontons Robbie Burns night meets Chinese New Year  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/news-and-views/sarah-hampson/haggis-wontons-robbie-burns-night-meets-chinese-new-year/article2304305/

The Globe & Mail editor had suggested having the pictures taken in Vancouver Chinatown.  I suggested to the photographer that we meet at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens – currently nominated as one of the Great Spaces in Canada.  You can vote here for the Gardens

photo Deb Martin

Deb took some pictures of Raphael taking pictures of me.  The top and bottom pictures were posed exclusively for Deb, after Raphael had left, as we took advantage of the wonderful setting.

photo Deb Martin

This is me reading Robbie Burns' poetry to the pet dragon on my right shoulder.  Somehow, I thought this would make me more scholarly if we took the picture inside the Scholar's Study.

The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens looked incredible with the freshly fallen snow, and the red lanterns set up for the Chinese Lunar New Year season.  On January 29th, I will be returning to the gardens to play accordion with my fellow musicians in the Black Bear Rebels Celtic Ceilidh ensemble for the Chinese New Year celebrations.  We play 2 sets at 2:30 and 3:30pm.  The parade starts at 12 noon and goes to 2pm, so be sure to visit us!

More photos on my Flickr account here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/53803790@N00/sets/72157628876393873/show/

“How the Chinese Created Canada” and “How the Scots Created Canada” books will be prizes at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

15
copies of “How the Chinese Created Canada” have just arrived.
via UPS,
thanks to Lone Pine Publishing… and publisher Shane Kennedy.
destined as prized for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner, as we like to promote both the Scottish and Chinese pioneer history in Canada.
How the Chinese Created Canada provides an in-depth look at the triumphs
and struggles of one of Canada's most vibrant communities.

It's possible that Chinese sailors landed on the shores of the country
that was to become Canada long before Captain George Vancouver set foot
on the west coast, if research proves to be true. But even if the impact
the Chinese had on this land was not felt until they came in larger
numbers to mine for gold or to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, their
influence is seen in every city from Victoria to Halifax. Chinese
culture has permeated the fabric of Canadian society with bold, exciting
cuisine, art, music and alternative approaches to medicine and healing.
Talented and creative individuals have made these concepts an integral
aspect of everyday Canadian culture.

Regardless of the hardships they endured–hazardous work conditions on
the railway line, the government-sanctioned racism of the head tax, the
lack of suffrage in a country where they were supposedly citizens–the
Chinese persevered and forged a new chapter in our collective legacy.
And some of Canada's most influential and interesting people have
emerged from the families of Chinese immigrants–Adrienne Clarkson,
former Governor General; Norman Kwong, lieutenant-governor of Alberta;
Alfred Sung, fashion designer; Stephen Yan, chef and TV host of Wok with
Yan; Patrick Chan, Canadian figure skating champion and so many more.

15 copies of “How the Scots Created Canada” have just arrived too.
destined as prized for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner
thanks to Lone Pine Publishing… and publisher Shane Kennedy.

www.lonepinepublishing.com

The Scots who populated the New World that became Canada brought
vitality and a unique character to a vast land. Adventurous, hardworking
and sometimes outrageous, the earliest Scots settlers were rejuvenated
by later waves of immigration. Their spirit epitomized a central theme
of progress and development that permeates our culture and sense of
home.

Some even believe the Scots from the Orkney Islands were the first
Europeans to land here. Or did they crew boats with the Vikings or St.
Brendan?

Their numbers filled every province, and we remember famous and familiar
names, such as Sanford Fleming, Hugh Allan, Alexander Keith, Robert
Service and Alexander MacKenzie. The rogues and scallywags might be less
well known, but their stories give great colour to our past. Even Sir
John A. MacDonald, Canada's first prime minister and the best-known
Father of Confederation, faced scandal and turmoil during his tenure.
Still, Canada's Scots brought you the RCMP, the telephone and standard
time.

Paul Cowan takes us on an insightful, often irreverent journey from the
earliest days of exploration and fur trading through the centuries of
Canadian history. Sit back and pour yourself a nip of Scotch while he
tells tales filled with bold and outrageous characters, the Scots who
really did create Canada.

Happy Gung Haggis Hogmanay 2012

Scottish Hogmanay New Year
+ Chinese-Canadian History

Gung Haggis Fat Choy


2009_Scotland_ThisIsWhoWeAre 098

Todd Wong in Edinburgh, at the 2009 Scottish Parliament display for This Is Who We Are: Scots in Canada

It seems like only last year, when I was in Scotland for my first visit…
Actually,
I was in Edinburgh, Scotland for Homecoming Finale on November 30, 2009 – now two years ago.  Since then, I have lots lots more about both Scottish and Chinese New Year traditions.

Right now I am in Vernon BC, while planning the 2012 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year event for January 22nd 2012, as well as a smaller dinner for Victoria on January 28th.  There will also be large dinner in Seattle organized by my friend Bill McFadden with the Seattle Caledonian and St. Andrew's Society.  Right now.  I am listening to BBC Radio Scotland through the internet, as I have done many times over the years.  Midnight in Scotland is 4pm Pacific Standard Time, so this gives me plenty of time to relax and enjoy the New Year's Eve Day… as the sun starts to set over the ridge across Kalamalka Lake. 

Tonight I am going to Silver Star Ski Resort.  We like to watch the 8pm torchlight parade down the ski runs, followed by a torchlight parade.  You can see my pictures from past years here:

dec 31 Silver Star Mountain

Dec 31 2010 Silver Star Mountain

photo


It can be cold wearing kilts in winter, but here are Joe McDonald, Bruce Clark, Todd Wong and Xavier MacDonald at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens for the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival.  Joe, Xavier and myself with The Black Bear Rebels music ensemble helped to create a Winter Solstice Music Ceilidh on December 21st for the event.


DSC_5772_143286 - end of day jam session by FlungingPictures

Members of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Pipes & Drums – included Dan Huang of the Kelowna Pipes & Drums

New
years are new beginnings, and every culture celebrates them differently
and similarly.  That's the great thing about being in a multicultural
nation such as Canada.  All of the world's cultures live inside our
borders and we can freely share and partake of each other's cultures. 
Yes, there are still racist bigots and idiots out there, and that is why
it is so important for us to embrace cultural harmony and help to build
a country we want to be proud of.

The origin of Gung Haggis Fat Choy
started when I was asked to participate in the 1993 Robbie Burns Day
celebration at Simon Fraser University.  In 1998, I decided to
host a dinner for 16 guests that blended Robbie Burns Day(January 25th)
with Chinese lunar New Year (late January to early February).  Now the
dinner event that has grown to an size of almost 500 guests, a CBC
television special, an annual poetry night
at the Vancouver Public Library, a recreation event at Simon Fraser
University…. and media stories around the world!


Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year's Eve, and it is celebrated on New Year's Eve with a Grand Dinner. It can be very similar to Chinese New Year's in many ways:


1) Make lots of noise. 
Chinese like to burn firecrackers, bang drums and pots to scare the
ghosts and bad spirits away.  Scots will fire off cannons, sound
sirens, bang pots and make lots of noise, I think just for the excuse
of making noise.

2) Pay off your debts. 
Chinese like to ensure that you start off the New Year with no debts
hanging onto your personal feng shui.  I think the Scots do the
same but especially to ensure that they aren't paying anymore interest.

3) Have lots of good food.  Eat lots and be merry.  Both Scots and Chinese enjoy eating, hosting their friends and visiting their friends.


4) Party on dude!  In
Asia, Chinese New Year celebrations will go on for days, lasting up to
a week!  Sort of like Boxing week sales in Canada.  In
Scotland, the Scots are proud partyers and are well known for making
parties last for days on end.

Come to think about it… the above traditions can be found in many
cultures… I guess the Scots and Chinese are more alike than different
with lots of other cultures too!

What to expect at the 2012 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner


What to expect at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2012 Dinner…


DSC_3644_103213 - view from middle of the hall by FlungingPictures. picture by Patrick Tam from the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

Special for 2012
Every year, we invite new people to perform and co-host. For 2012, there is Chinese New Year theme emerging… because midnight will be the start of Chinese New Year's Day, Year of the Dragon!!!

Tetsuro Shigematsu
– Co-hosting duties are the responsibility of the inscrutable and irreverent samurai expert from the tv show “Deadliest Warrior” – better known as a comedian, writer and film maker.
  Tetsuro
himself is very intercultural, very Gung Haggis.  While he is technically of
Japanese ancestry, he was born in London England, and raised in Quebec. 
I first got to know Tetsuro back in
the early 2000's when he was a member of the sketch comedy group, The
Hot Sauce Posse.  Soon after he was the new radio host for CBC Radio's
“The Round Up” replacing Bill Richardson.

Fred Wah is the just announced Parliamentary Poet Laureate.  He is winner of both the Governor's General Prize for Poetry (Diamond Grill) and BC Book Prize (Is A Door). Fred is a true Gung Haggis-Canadian with both Scottish and Chinese ancestry, all dominated by his Swedish mother.

Dr. Jan Walls is beloved in both Chinese and Academic and other circles.  He is a scholar of Chinese language, as well as a former cultural attache for the Canadian Embassy in Beijing.  We love him because he performs the ancient tradition of Chinese clapper tales.  We are daring Dr. Walls to set the poetry of Robert Burns to the rapping beat of Chinese bamboo clappers.

Other
performers include Gung Haggis Pipes & Drums, and the Black Bear Rebels celtic ceilidh ensemble… 
More on them in later posts…

The Arrival

What are you wearing?  Kilts and tartans, as well as Chinese jackets and cheong-sam dresses are preferred. But our guests are dressed both formal and casual – be comfortable, be outrageous, be yourself.  If you want to wear a Chinese jacket or top, paired with a kilt or mini-kilt… that is great! 

We might have a kilt fashion show for 2012… we might have a Chinese cheong-sam fashion show… we will see what happens.  One year, one guest dressed up like a Chinese mandarin scholar.  Another year, two guests dressed up as cowboys.

Arrive Early: 

The doors will open at 5:00 pm, All tables are reserved, and all seating is placed in the
order that they were ordered.

If
you bought your tickets through Firehall Arts Centre, come to the
reception marked Will Call under the corresponding alphabet letters. 
We
have placed you at tables in order of your purchase.  Somebody who
bought their ticket in December will be at a table closer to the stage
then somebody who bought it in mid January, or on the day before the event.  We think this
is fair.  If you want to sit close for next year – please buy your ticket
early.

If
you are at a table with one of the sponsoring organizations: Historic
Joy Kogawa House, ACWW/Ricepaper Magazine, Gung Haggis dragon boat team –
then somebody will meet you at the reception area and guide you to your
table.

The Bar is open at 5:00 and Dinner Start time is 6:00

We
expect a rush before the posted 6:00pm
dinner
time. We have asked that the 1st appetizer platter be placed on the
table soon after 6pm.  Once this is done, we will start the Piping in of
our performers and head table.  We sing “O Canada” from the stage, and
give welcome to our guests. “Calling of the Clans” is done for sponors, and reserved table clans – if you would like to have your clan or group announced, please reserve a table of 10.

Buy Your Raffle Tickets:



Please
buy
raffle tickets… this is how we generate our fundraising to support
this organizations dedicated to multiculturalism and cultural harmony. 
Food prices have been rising, but we have
purposely keep our admission costs low so that they are
affordable and the dinner can be attended by more
people.  Children's tickets are subsidized so that we can include
them in the audience and be an inclusive family for the evening.
We have some great door
and raffle prizes lined up.  Lots of books (being the writers we
are), gift certificates and theatre tickets + other surprises.

FREE Subscription for Ricepaper Magazine:

Everybody is eligible for a subscription to RicePaper Magazine,
(except children). This is our thank you gift to you for attending our
dinner. And to add value ($20) to your ticket. Pretty good deal, eh?
Ricepaper Magazine
is Canada's best journal about Asian Canadian arts and
culture, published by
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop,

This dinner is the primary fundraising event for:

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team
continues to promote multiculturalism through
dragon boat paddling events. Some paddlers wear kilts, and we have been
filmed for German, French, and Canadian television documentaries + other

Since 2001, Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop,
has been a partner in this remarkable dinner event. ACWW works actively
to give a voice to ermerging writers.  ACWW is the publisher of Ricepaper Magazine.

Historic Joy Kogawa House committee joined our family of recipients in 2006, during the campaign to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home from demolition.  The Land
Conservancy of BC
stepped in to fundraise in 2005 and purchase Kogawa House
in 2006 and turn it into a National literary landmark and treasure for all
Canadians. In 2009, we celebrated our inaugural Writer-in-Residence program.


The FOOD

This year haggis dim sum appetizers will
again
be served. Haggis is mixed into the Pork Su-mei dumplings which we introduced a few years. This year we are adding vegetarian pan-fried turnip cake to represent “Neeps and Tatties.”  Our signature dish is our deep-fried haggis won-tons served with a special sauce.

Soon
after 6:00 pm the dinner formalities begin. People
are seated, and the Piping in of the musicians and
hosts begins.  We will lead a singalong of Scotland the Brave and give
a good welcome to our guests, and have the calling of the clans – all
the reserved tables and large parties of 10.  This is a tradition at
many Scottish ceilidhs (kay-lees), or gatherings.

From then on… a new dish will appear somewhere around 15 minutes –
quickly followed by one of our co-hosts introducing a poet or musical
performer.  Serving 40 tables within 5 minutes, might not work
completely, so please be patient.  We will encourage our guests
and especially the waiters to be quiet while the performers are on stage.
Then for the 5 minute intermissions, everybody can talk and make noise
before they have to be quiet for the performers again.

Check this video from past year's Dinner


07:59 – 

The Performances

Expect the unexpected:  This year's dinner event is full of surprises. Even I don't know what is going to happen.  The idea is to recreate the spontaneity of the very
first dinner for 16 people back in 1998 – but with 400+ guests.  For
that very first dinner, each guest was asked to bring a song or a poem to share.  I
don't want to give anything away right now as I
prefer the evening to unfold with a sense of surprise and
wonderment.  But let it be known that we have an incredible
array of talent for the evening. 


Poetry
by Robbie Burns and Chinese Canadian poets.  What will it be?  We often
like to read “Recipe for Tea” – a poem by Jim Wong-Chu, about the
trading of tea from Southern China to Scotland

Our non-traditional reading of the “Address to the
Haggis” is always a crowd pleaser.  But
this year, audience members might also be reading a different Burns poem to
tie their tongues around the gaelic tinged words.  Will it be “A
Man's A Man for All That,” “To a Mouse,”
My Luv is Like a Red Red Rose,” or maybe even “Tam O-Shanter?”

The evening will wrap up somewhere
between 9:00 and
9:30 pm, with the singing of Auld Lang Syne – we start with a verse in Mandarin
Chinese, then sing in English or Scottish. Then we will socialize further until 10pm.  People will
leave with smiles on their faces and say to
each other, “Very Canadian,”  “Only in Vancouver could something
like this happen,” or “I'm telling my friends.”

Tickets now on sale
through Firehall Arts Centre

https://tickets.firehallartscentre.ca/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent526.html

Tetsuro Shigematsu returns as co-host to Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

Tetsuro Shigematsu (actor/writer/comedian/former CBC radio host) will
be returning to co-host the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.

photo


Tetsuro Shigematsu (centre) tells wild and crazy stories about co-hosts Toddish McWong (left) and Jenna Chow (right), as Todd and Jenna prepare to read the poem “Recipe for Tea” composed by Jim Wong-Chu, one of our traditional Gung Haggis Fat Choy poems – photo Lydia Nagai

We love
Tetsuro, and he always brings lots of great energy and enthusiasm to the
stage.  He is a very talented entertainer with a gift for the gab.  He is comfortable with a large audience.  And outrageous when he is old friends with his co-host and fellow stage performers.

Tetsuro himself is very intercultural, very Gung Haggis.  While he is of Japanese ancestry, he was born in London England, and raised in Quebec.  His wife is Persian… He speaks Persian as well as English, French and Japanese…  And his beautiful spirited children are Japanese-Persian-Canadians.

I first got to know Tetsuro back in the early 2000's when he was a member of the sketch comedy group, The Hot Sauce Posse.  Soon after he was the new radio host for CBC Radio's “The Round Up” replacing Bill Richardson.

In February, Tetsuro was a speaker for TedX – the topic sounds soooo Gung Haggis.  Chinese in Kilts?  A walking Oxymoron?

TEDxTerrytalks 2010 – Tetsuro Shigematsu – The Awesomeness of Your Contradiction

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHlSuPe0imA22 Feb 201117 minUploaded by TEDxTalks
Stick out your thumb. That's the thickness of my press package. If you flip through it, fanning past you would

This past summer Tetsuro has been very busy.  He hosted the Asian Comedy Night by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre in June.

But in August, I saw Tetsuro in the play Salmon Row, about the history of the Steveston community in Richmond.  It was a brilliant play that told the history of BC and the salmon and cannery industry which also focused on the interactions of the non-White communities.  The audience witnessed the effects of the provincial legislation against Chinese workers such as the head tax and Exclusion Act, against the First Nations workers such as the Potlatch Law and Residential Schools, and against the Japanese fisherman such as reduction of fishing licenses, and the internment during WW2.  Tetsuro did an incredible job, playing multiple roles and

For 2012, we hope to get this UK born example of “Sexy Asian
Man” (as featured in Ricepaper Magazine) to wear a kilt and show us his
legs!!!

Enjoy this clips from Tetsuros's video website www.shiggy.com

Racism?


History of the World Part 1


China VS Japan – Who is Smarter


Thumbnail

UBC's Way Too Asian, Macleans

This is the video that went viral – a response to the Maclean's article “Too Asian?” – As
seen in the National Post, Global Television, Vancouver Sun, Geist
Magazine, Epoch Times, Vancouver Observer, etc. 

Tickets now on sale
through Firehall Arts Centre

https://tickets.firehallartscentre.ca/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent526.html

2012 Tickets now on sale for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner on sale next week

Tickets for
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Robbie Burns Chinese
New Year
now on sale
through Firehall Arts Centre


https://tickets.firehallartscentre.ca/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent526.html

CULTURE: Our Performers create something special for us every year with
traditional and contemporary performances featuring everything
in-between and beyond!

FOOD: A quirky fusion/mix/buffet of Scottish Canadian and Chinese Canadian culture 10 course Chinese banguet dinner

January 22nd is Chinese New Year's Eve.
The 2012 Dinner is going to be special.

There
are surprises in store… so telling you who is coming would be like
reading the fortune cookie, before cracking it open… or without having
the wonderful 8 course dinner that precedes dessert.

information on performers is presently top secret and will be revealed on the website www.gunghaggis.com

Floata Restaurant # 400 – 180 Keefer St
Doors open at 5:30. Dinner & entertainment start at 6:00pm.

Please call the Firehall Arts Centre for tickets 604.689.0926

$65 Regular (+ $5 service charges/ $6 online)
$50 Student (+ $5 service charges/ $6 online)
$40 Children (+ $5 service charges/ $6 online -13 years or younger)

$625 Table of 10 (+ service fees) – Please call the Firehall Arts Centre to book for Tables of 10.

Tickets can be picked up at the Firehall Arts Centre during office hours before Jan 20.
Or picked up at the door at Floata Restaurant 5:30pm January 22.


Gung Haggis Deep-fried haggis wonton from Nanaimo's Tasty Wok restaurant… the best we have ever had!  Taking Haggis to the next level of culinary enlightenment!

stay tuned for announcements!

Here are some videos from past years events – special thanks to videographers

2010-01 – Gung Haggis Fat ChoyHaggis Rap

Robert Burns : 'Address to a Haggis' 1. Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner 2011 GHFC

The haggis is introduced and addressed to the dinner guests at the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Burns supper in Vancouver, Canada.

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.

IMG_0049
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.

IMG_0073

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

IMG_0131
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.

IMG_0061A

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.

IMG_0088

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!

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.