LiterASIAN 2020 is Here! For Asian Heritage Month

Proud be part of LiterASIAN 2020

LiterASIAN Festival is the first of its kind within Canada, the purpose to promote and celebrate the works of Asian Canadian writers and artists through author readings, panel discussions, and workshop events.  We create important and unique networking opportunities between professional and emerging writers, students, and members of the broader public to learn and discuss topics of importance to Asian Canadian writing.

In 2013 . . . we featured C.X. Cheng, Terry Watada, Sarah Ling, Larry Grant, Ann Shin, Larry Wong, Janie Chang, Denise Chong, Laara Ong, David H.T. Wong, Julia Lin, Terry Woo, May Yan, Ann Marie Fleming.

In 2014 . . . we featured  invited Lily Chow, Edwin Lee, Amanda Wan, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Doretta Lau, Fred Wah, Tom Cho, Louise Bak, Elsie Sze, Raymond Nakamura, Corinna Chong, Kim Fu, Yasuko Thanh

In 2015 . . . we featured Derwin Mak, Tony Pi, Eric Choi, JF Garrard, Wesley Lowe, David Ng, Shirley Camia, Holman Wang, and Christina Park.

In 2016 . . . we featured Paul Yee, Denise Chong, SKY Lee, JJ Lee, Simon Choa Johnston, Jean Barman, C. Fong Hsiung, Edwin Lee, Larry Wong, Joy Kogawa, Judy Hanazawa, Larry Grant, Sarah Ling, Dan Seto, David Wong, Cheuk Kwan, Kwoi Gin, and Anna Wang Yuan 

In 2017 . . . we featured Jen Sookfong Lee, Julia Lin, Janie Chang, Terry Watada, Leslie Shimotakahara, Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell, Catherine Hernandez, Leanne Dunic

In 2018 . . . we featured Madeleine Thien, Kevin Chong, Evelyn Lau, Michael Kaan, Michelle Kim, Carrianne Leung, Vincent Ternida, Alice Poon, Cheuk Kwan, Katherine Luo

In 2019 . . . we featured Rita Wong, Fred Wah, Sally Ito, May Q. Wong, C.E. Gatchalian, Philip Huynh

In 2020 . . . we do it all again!  

THIS YEAR IS IT!  EVERY 60 YEARS ROBBIE BURNS DAY AND LUNAR NEW YEAR FALL ON THE SAME DAY!   IT ONLY HAPPENS ONCE EVERY 60 YEARS!

JOIN US for this cosmic countdown to start off your year!  And enjoy an evening of intercultural fusion at Gung Haggis 2020 with food, music, readings, and scotch!  

This year’s schedule of events include:

  • A dinner menu, with the now world-renowned haggis wonton
  • More readings, more music, and more fun!
  • sneak peak of the menu from previous Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners

About Gung Haggis:

It was 1998 and as the Chinese Lunar New Year fell only two days away from Robbie Burns Day, which is always January 25, Todd decided to celebrate the Scottish Bard’s birthday along with the Lunar New Year.  “Gung Haggis Fat Choy!” said Wong, “I can celebrate two cultures at the same time.”  And thus was born the Vancouver cultural premiere that culinary and media personalities have come to celebrate this cultural mashup that features deep-fried haggis wontons, haggis dim sum, and haggis lettuce wrap with a glass of scotch each year. 

 Gung Haggis Fat Choy started out as a small fundraiser of 16 people in 1998 in a crowded living room. Twenty years later it serves dinner at the biggest Chinese Restaurant in North America, and has spun off a CBC television performance special, and the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Canadian Games.   


“Gung Haggis Fat Choy is the ultimate fusion feast.” – Georgia Straight

“Haggis wontons? Robbie Burns Night meets Chinese New Year.” – Globe & Mail

“Gung Haggis Fat Choy: This Canadian Celebration Combines Robert Burns Night and Chinese New Year.” – Smithsonian

“Haggis and Chow Mein Collide at Seattle’s Gung Haggis Fat Choy.” – Vice

“Hold the sheep’s stomach lining.” – MacLean’s Magazine


For more information, visit https://www.gunghaggis.com/.

Apologies from Toddish McWong for being MIA

Hello to all,

Sorry I have been absent from my blog – for most of the past few years.
From 2012 to 2015 I was busy with Eldercare for both parents, and my father passed away in November 2015. A year later on Christmas Night, I went to Lions Gate Hospital Emergency, then was whisked away by ambulance, to Vancouver General Hospital Heart Trauma Unit – for emergency surgery for Aortic Dissection.

I just had my 3 year check up with my cardiologist – and things are going well. It has been a slower than expected recovery over the past 3 years. But I am now back to work full-time. I am playing music on accordion with my friends of the Black Bear Rebels Ceilidh Ensemble 2X month or more. The Asian Canadian Writers Workshop and Historic Joy Kogawa House Society, keep me on their board of directors.

I thank the many friends and family for helping me and my parents during these past few years. I especially thank my girlfriend Deb Martin, my cousin Gail Young, and special thanks to my ACWW partner Allan Cho & ACWW for keeping our ACWW and Gung Haggis Fat Choy events going, and to the Black Bear Rebels Ceilidh Music Ensemble for all that we do!

I am especially looking forward to this year’s 2020 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, when Chinese New Year’s Eve collides with Robbie Burns Day Eve – for the first time in my lifetime, since participating in the SFU Robbie Burns Day celebrations in 1993, and hosting a Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner in 1998!

Cheers, Todd

2020 Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner returns for January 24th, 2020

THIS YEAR IS IT! For the first time in 60 YEARS ROBBIE BURNS DAY AND LUNAR NEW YEAR FALL ON THE SAME DAY!
IT ONLY HAPPENS ABOUT ONCE EVERY 60 YEARS!

JOIN US for this cosmic convergence countdown to start off your year!
And enjoy an evening of intercultural fusion at Gung Haggis 2020 with food, music, readings, and scotch!

This year’s schedule of events include:

A dinner menu, with the now world-renowned haggis wonton
More readings, more music, and more fun!
A sneak peak of the menu from previous Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners

Tickets are available on Eventbrite – Sales end on January 23 – one day before event on January 24th.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/gung-haggis-fat-choy-2020-the-60-year-eclipse-tickets-83657304249

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dim sum lunch!

We are trying something different this year. Dim sum lunch.
Our menu features a variety of traditional dishes, often with haggis fusion cuisine.
We strive for a nice balance of vegetarian and meat dishes that many people can enjoy.
A Vegetarian soup and traditional Buddha’s Feast dish + seafood and meat dish.
This year we celebrate the Year of the pig.

Two of our featured guests include: Scottish-Canadian Author John Maclachlan Gray,
author of The White Angel – a mystery novel that is based on a true life unsolved murder
of Scottish Nanny Janet Smith, and the accusation and acquittal of her friend,
Chinese houseboy Wong Foon Sien.

Chinese born musician Zhongxi (Jonesey) Wu plays both bagpipes and traditional Chinese instruments.
He has performed at Gung Haggis Fat Choy events many years ago, for both our dinner and
an event for First Night Vancouver. He has even played Mull of Kintyre on stage with Paul McCartney.

House band is Black Bear Rebels Ceilidh Ensemble. My dear musical friends that I play celtic,
Scottish and Cdn songs with 2X months usually. They have taught me much about Celtic songs,
musicianship, and drinking scotch whisky.

More introductions to come.

Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy 2019 will be April 6th Tartan Day.

Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dim Sum is now set for April 6th Tartan Day.

Chinese traditional dim sum & food, combined with Scottish haggis.
Bagpipes, Chinese music, + ceilidh singalong
Robert Burns poetry & song
Chinese Canadian poetry and film
+ plenty of surprises and guests.

Floata Restaurant 180 Keefer St.
Chinatown Vancouver.

More info soon.

March 2019 will be next Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

The RETURN of Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Dinner will now be March 2019

The last time we did a public Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner was March 16, 2014.
On that day, we included a First Nations welcome, as we also celebrated Irish St. Patrick’s Day
and Persian New Year – in addition to Scottish Robbie Burns Day + Chinese Lunar New Year.

Our 2019 dinner will feature:
Scottish-Canadian & Chinese-Canadian authors and poets
Robert Burns poems and songs
something Irish, something Persian
our famous and popular deep-fried haggis wonton dumplings

Please stay tuned for more details

I thank you for your patience and understanding.
Thank you, Todd

Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy is back in action!

It’s been a challenging 4 years since I last posted. It feels like the world has shifted. I thank Allan Cho for posting from 2014 to 2016.

We regret to share that our mentor and dear friend Jim Wong-Chu passed away in July 2017. Jim was a co-founder and driving force of Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, Ricepaper Magazine and LiterASIAN: Festival of Asian Canadian Writing. He made invaluable contributions to Asian Canadian literature as well as the development of Asian Heritage Month. Jim was a tremendous supporter of Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy, he encouraged me in its development, attended many taste-testings, and always brought Ricepaper Magazine to promote. While he can never be truly replaced, we will ensure that his memory lives on, his legacies recognized, and that new writers will continue to be inspired.

My father, William (Bill) Wong passed away in November 2015. He was my life-long teacher and inspiration. He was the proprietor of Hopp Signs Ltd. and painted many signs throughout Vancouver, and also especially Chinatown. He loved attending my Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinners, and supported me when I spoke at Terry Fox Community Runs throughout Metro Vancouver. His memory and values continue to inspire me, and I thank my many cousins, aunts & uncles, my grandmother, my brother, my niece and nephew, our friends, for sharing our love of my father.

And on Christmas night, 2016, I survived an aortic dissection. I had emergency cardiac surgery on Dec 26th. I was in the hospital for 10 days. I especially thank my girlfriend Deb Martin for her love and support, as well my cousins Gail Young Mofrad who accompanied me to the hospital, and Shelley Ferguson who also helped care for me at home. My friends in The Black Bear Rebels, and ACWW were also especially supportive.

But while this blog www.gunghaggis.com has not been posting, it has still been busy providing information to people. Allan and I have still been active in the community. Our events and activities have also been posted on www.asiancanadianwriters.ca, literasian.com and ricepapermagazine.ca, as well as our facebook pages. Allan is Executive Director of ACWW, and I am President. We thank our wonderful board members, volunteers and staff, for keeping these important cultural institutions, societies, and events ongoing and growing.

Historic Joy Kogawa House is now owned by City of Vancouver, continues to operate by Historic Joy Kogawa House Society, and the website is www.kogawahouse.com. I stepped down as president after 10 years, but remain on the board.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about the Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner for 2019.