Category Archives: Scottish, Gaelic, Irish Celtic events and stories

Gung Haggis brings Chinese dragons and lions to St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragons invade St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Vancouver 

Lions and Dragons and more Dragons – oh My!  Gung Haggis Fat Choy entry in the CelticFest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Vancouver. “Perhaps
no group spoke to the modern mixing of cultures better than the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy revellers who wove in and out of the action Sunday
morning. The colourful Chinese dragons and green attire represented the
relatively new hybridized festival that originated in Vancouver. A
coincidental celebration of both Robert Burns Day and the Chinese New
Year brought the new celebration that
creates an interesting
mix of poetry, music and food every January.

“I think it’s an interesting idea — we have these Chinese unions combined with St. Patrick’s Day,” said Nick Hsu.

The 43-year-old was part of a group of family and friends who travelled up from Seattle to parade.

Vancouver St. Patrick’s Day parade takes over streets of downtown


It was one of the best entries yet for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy troupe in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade… Past years have seen a large Taiwanese dragon boat as a parade float.  But for 2012… we had 2 Chinese Lion dancers + 1 five-person parade dragon + walkers holding 5 more dragon hand puppets to help celebrate the Year of the Dragon.Paddlers from the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team in Vancouver were joined by martial artists friends from Seattle.  In Seattle, the 2012 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle dinner was a benefit for Belltown Martial Arts Club, which have participated in the Seattle multicultural dinner for most of the past six years.  The Vancouver Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner celebrated it’s 15th dinner in 20012, and the dragon boat team has been paddling since 2002.

For 2012, I brought some of my dragon boat hand puppets from home, as I did for the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, when I had walked with the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens.  We interacted with many of the children watching the parade, who were delighted to see the plushy dragon toys!  We encouraged them to “pet the dragon’s head for good luck”, which many children including adults such as CelticFest chair Joanna Hickey did.

Gung Haggis paddler Xavier MacDonald strutted the streets in his kilt with a Chinese lion head costume – photo Todd Wong


Decorating the car, and everybody wears a necklace with green hats optional!  What a great group of people!  We were entry #73, and we decorated the car from the middle of Granville St. Bridge – then moved onto the Howe St. onramp, as the parade filed into order starting at Drake. St.

Video from St. Patrick’s Day Parade – look for Gung Haggis Fat Choy sign at 0:19 + interviews at 9:36

of people have crowded downtown Vancouver’s Howe Street this morning to
watch as bagpipers, Irish dancers and hurlers–of the sporting variety
–paraded with dreadlocked dancers, green samba queens and even a roller
derby team.

Vancouver Opera reviews Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner event – turnabout not a Turandot!

Opera blog – gives a review of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner
 – and shared
multicultural respect… This is great – usually I am the one to write
reviews of the opera on MY blog at
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)

Robert Burns poetry – marathon reading!!!

A world record for the longest continuous reading of Robert Burns poetry will be set in Vancouver on Burns Day January 25th

This special message from Leith Davis, director for the Centre for Scottish Studies, Simon Fraser University.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 7:04:12 PM
A reminder to come and join us to set a world record for a marathon reading of
Burns's work! Participants include: Andrew Petter, President of SFU; Christopher
Gaze, Artistic Director of Bard at the Beach; Bob Lenarduzzi, President of the
Vancouver Whitecaps and many more!

The procession, haggis addressing and official opening ceremony will start at 8:00
am. See you there!

Marathon Reading of Burns’s Poetry for Burns Day, 2012

8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Opening Program: 8:00 am
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street

The Centre for Scottish Studies invites you to join SFU's bid to set a world record
for the longest recitation of Robert Burns's poetry and songs. Join us in reciting
the work of Scotland's bard for 4.5 hours!

Click here to participate:

This free event is open to the public so please come and cheer us on for the Robbie Burns Day celebration. There will be refreshments and entertainment for all!

Haggis, shortbread, coffee and tea will be served throughout the event.

*We would like to thank our sponsors of the event: The British Store; Goodricks Meat Products (New Westminster); and the West Coast Liquor Company (Vancouver); and Radio Dial Entertainment (Vancouver).

Enquiries: or 778.782.5313

Dr. Leith Davis
Professor, Department of English
Director, Centre for Scottish Studies
AQ 6111
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
778 782-4833
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Georgia Straight: Gung Haggis Fat Choy at Floata rings in the Year of the Water Dragon

the inaugural 
“Gung Haggis Fat Choy Intercultural Achievement Awards of
Congratulations to Vancouver Opera's James Wright,
Parliamentary poet laureate Fred Wah, and cultural organizer and poet
Jim Wong-Chu. These are people that inspire what we love in the BC Arts,
and what we create at Gung Haggis Fat Choy… and our intercultural
projects through the year.  Great that the Georgia Straight scooped this dinner highlight from our event last night.

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.

photo Charlie Smith

Georgia Straight: Gung Haggis Fat Choy at Floata rings in the Year of the Water Dragon

“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:

Gung Haggis Fat Choy on Global Morning News


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.

Click on 11:05 for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy segment on Global Morning News

2012 Gung Haggis Fat Choy press release

18th, 2012

immediate release



Toddish McWong’s

Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Dinner

photo Deb Martin

22nd, 2012


Dinner to 9:15pm – end time

Seafood Restaurant

– 180 Keefer St.



Ticket:  $65 + service Charge, prices for students
and children 

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
born –
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
Leo Awards

– 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
have included:

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:



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

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:

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.
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.

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.

you bought your tickets through Firehall Arts Centre, come to the
reception marked Will Call under the corresponding alphabet letters. 
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

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

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

expect a rush before the posted 6:00pm
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:

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.


This year haggis dim sum appetizers will
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.

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. 

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


Kilts & Ceilidh Music will take over
the Dr. Su
n Yat Sen Chinese Gardens

for the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival\


Oh look – a teapot ad cup lantern set… There will be incredible lanterns everywhere…  speaking of which… I wonder if I can get a “kilt lantern”.  The18th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, in partnership with Secret Lantern Society.

I am very excited to be part of the 18th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival this year. 
The Black Bear Rebels Ceilidh Music group will be playing traditional Celtic
& Scottish songs.  I have been playing my accordion with them for 2
years now, and they haven't stopped inviting me back, we have lots of fun, so I
must be doing something right. 

So we thought it would be great to bring this fun, and songs to share with the
Winter Solstice Lantern Festival.  And the chance to wear kilts in the
Chinese Classical Gardens just seemed like a very Gung Haggis type of thing to

Organized & produced by the Secret Later Society, their artistic director
and founder is Naomi Singer – whom I first met when we were both awarded the BC
Community Achievement Award
.  Since then, we thought it would be great
to participate in each other's events.  Naomi has helped out with last
year's Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner (secretly of course)… and while I have
attended past Winter Solstice Lantern Festival Events at The Roundhouse
Community Cetre, Granville Island ad Chinatown – this is the first time I will
be a performer!

We will be performing 2 sets in the Hall of 100 Rivers:

8:00 to 9:00pm

Please wear kilts if you have them – we will do a photo op for 6:15 or 7:45

Here is the full schedule

6:00 pm Procession
Procession from Strathcona Community Centre to Dr.
Sun Yat-Sen Garden
Shumsky & Friends (drummers); Procession leader: Terry Hunter
Zodiac Courtyard
6:30 – 7:00pm             Russell
Shumsky & Friends (drummers)
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese
Hall of 100 Rivers
6:30 – 7:30pm             The
Black Bear Rebels                        
7:30 – 8:00pm             The
Real Treble Makers Choir                      
8:00 – 9:00pm             The
Black Bear Rebels                                              
9:00 – 9:30pm             The
Real Treble Makers Choir                      
Southern courtyard
7:30 – 8:15pm            Drum
8:45 – 9:30pm            Drum
Scholars Study
6:00 – 10:00pm            Replay
Your Tea With Me                                             
China Maple Hall
6:00 – 10:00pm            Community
Lantern with the Community Arts Council                                     
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park
6:30 – 7:30pm             Saul
Berson & Paul Blaney – jazz duo
7:30 – 8:00pm 
8:00 – 9:00pm             Saul
Berson & Paul Blaney – jazz duo

Accordions at Heart of the City Festival

Accordions took over Carnegie Centre
for the Heart of the City Festival event
“Accordion To Immigrants”

Vancouver Squeezebox Circle performed Nov 5th at Carnegie Centre – l-r special guest Renee de la Prade of  “Accordion Babes” from California, Rowan Lipkowits, Ans, Glen, Todd Wong, Franz Gerber, Halke Kingma, (missing from photo is Alan Zisman) – photo Deb Martin

Fantastic accordion concert at Carnegie Centre…. with Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. We alternated solos and group songs. 

The inspiration for the event was to tell the story of 125 years of immigrants to Vancouver's Strathcona and Downtown East Side neighborhoods.

My solos were: St. Louis Blues and JS Bach's Tocatta in D Minor – +
Hungarian Dance #5 (turned into a duet with Halke Kingma whom I had never played
with before, and who hadn't played the song in 15 years.

Best unexpected moment was when Renee de la Prade joined us on stage to sit in – and I asked her if she would like a solo spot.  She stood up to play and sing an Irish whiskey song, then followed up with a Celtic Reel.

“How do you follow that?” I asked the audience, and performed JS Bach's Tocatta in D Minor, which the sound tech added some reverb through the microphone and sound systems to make the performance sound like we were in a big church.  Renee later complimented me on the performance, saying she really liked it.

2nd Best unexpected moment – was acknowledging that Jimi Hendrix had lived in Strathcona / Hogan's Alley at his grandmother Nona Hendrix's home, then having Rowan performing “Purple Haze” with a surprise bridge excerpt of “Star Spangled Banner”