Monthly Archives: September 2004

CBC Radio's Musical Fusion cabaret: featuring VISHWA, Veera Devi Khare, Paul Pahal + more!





Vancouver, B.C. September 9, 2004: A sitar and a Scottish fiddle. Saris and hip-hop dance moves. Shadow puppets and story telling. Old and new blend Friday September 17 at 7:30 pm at the Surrey Arts Centre when CBC Radio presents From the Indian Ocean To The Pacific Shore, an evening celebrating artists of South Asian heritage. Admission is free, but tickets must be picked up in advance. For information call 604-501-5566. The Surrey Arts Centre is located at 13750 – 88 Street.

Imagine opera mixed with hip-hop and traditional chants from India. Add in jazz dance movements, silken costumes and a love of art that crosses the barriers between stage and audience. Meet Veera devi Khare, a classically trained singer, songwriter and producer. Born in Prince George, her versatility is legendary encompassing all areas of music and performance. She divides her time between Vancouver, New York and soon will be in Las Vegas developing new projects.

Vishwa’s three young musicians fuse Indian classical music with Celtic styles. Sunny Mathara, Neetu Mathara and Max Ngai play sitar, tabala and violin. They performed the original music that threads its way behind the radio drama A Fine Balance, which airs at 10 pm October 3 on CBC Radio One 690. The group has just released their first CD called Vishwa, which has been getting airplay across Canada.

The Maharaja’s Daughter is a fabulous true story based on the meeting between the daughter of an Indian Maharaja and a village girl in Gujarat, India at the turn of the 20th century. This meeting resulted in all the village women being taught to read at a time when very few peasants could even dream of being literate. Using shadow puppets, one of South Asia’s oldest form of entertainment and storytelling, a collaboration of Vancouver artists has created an inspiring piece. Composer and musician Joelysa Pankanea is the great-granddaughter of the village girl.

“CyberRAJ” is the collaboration of Paul Pahal and Stefan Cilhelka. Their interest in writing, producing and performing has evolved around the ideas of both western based electronic music and the classical traditional elements of Indian music. Their philosophy is simple, to blend, connect and intermingle many aspects of music into one. CyberRaj incorporates modern 'CYBER' technology with the traditional “RAJ” culture where Computers and Drum Machines share the stage with live musicians.

Actor Raahul Singh reads from The Cripple and his Talismans, a novel by Vancouver author Anosh Irani.

Two very funny characters from A Fine Balance play host to our evening of entertainment. Actors Seth Ranaweera and Parm Soor in the guise of Ishvar and Omprakash make lighthearted fun of the proceedings as they lead us from act to act.

For more information:

Joan Athey, Program marketing Coordinator

CBC Radio British Columbia 604-662-6605


Pictures of Vancouver Intl Taiwanese Dragon Boat Races – Sep 4 & 5

There are some great pictures of the Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race on the Web.
Check out:
If you want to know how close the race with Nancy Lord Momentuum?
check out:
pic # 7 & 8  our drummer doug is sitting calmly – while Leah Nagano,
the drummer for Nancy Lord Momentuum is leaning agrresivey into each 
call she makes!
Here’s a picture of me:
calling for Spirit of Vancouver
# 30
Check out
pic #36,37 & 38 of Tom, Nick and Naoko paddling with a winning Spirit 
Vancouver team – really pumped after winning their semi-final heat to
make the medal round for Division C.
Check out photographer Ray Shum
pic # 57-60, 62-70,
pic 124 for a great shot of Bob Brinson
pic 146 of Francis Lee

Weekend Racing Summary for the combined team of Centre for Spiritual Living / Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

Our Saturday was an exciting first day of racing. After our first race around 11am, the team was all pumped up. Several rookies said “I want to do that again.” They really caught “Dragon Fever” that carried over to the entire team. In the afternoon we raced the Taiwanese Boat that featured somebody standing at the front of the boat behind the dragon head, but in front of the drummer… reaching out to grab a flag before crossing the finish line. Thank you to Judi Letawsky for stepping in to be a flag grabber!

We also did a “barrel race” racing around 3 different designated floats simulating a chuck wagon racing around barrels in a rodeo. The trick was to make your turns as tight as possible. We closed off the day by doing a blindfolded race (yes paddling 500m with a blindfold) – we visualized we were Luke (Use the Force) Skywalker. Then some paddlers helped to take members of the public out paddling… This is the only festival that invites members of the public to try out a dragon boat.

For Sunday Morning: We recognized the Church of Dragon Boating! We gathered our dragon boat team brothers and sisters together, and demonstrated a spirit lifting… It was the ritual of lifting a team mate up in the air with only ONE finger. Our drummer Doug, lay down on the ground on his back, and every team member surrounded him and placed one finger beneath his body, which represented our dragon boat. Each finger represented one paddle, and together, each paddle would move the boat. After repeating affirmations: “I believe in you and me, I believe in us and we, One finger, One paddle, One boat, One team. Doug is going to the sky, our boat is going to fly fly fly.”

On a count, we lifted Doug up into the air and above our heads. We shouted “I believe!” and we rejoiced in the raising of our spirits!

Next came our Rec D semi final race.

We made it to the medal round for D division. This is the 4th group of 7 teams out our 28 teams total. In our morning race, we went head to head with the Nancy Lord Momentum team (formerly University Women's Team) which has paddled for many years… We were both behind the Strathcona Dragaons Junior team, and so we were paddling for 2nd place to go to the medal round. We edged them out by one second. WOW! What a race…. side by side the entire time. They had a better start then we did, but we caught up to them by the mid point, and pulled ahead slightly at the finish.

In our 2nd race of the day – for the medals at 2:10 in the afternoon. We raced against Strathcona Dragons (a junior team), Eh Team (a seniors team) and Naluwaan II. Both Strathcona and the Eh Team have been practicing probably since early March… Naluwan had 6 practices for a brand new team with maybe 6 people who had paddled in last year's race. CSL/Gung Haggis had a boatload of 10 rookies with only an average of 4 practices ever in a dragon boat, supplemented with 8 experienced paddlers.

Strathcona took an early lead, followed by the Eh Team… CSL/Gung Haggis trailed slightly after the start to Naluwan. But unlike a practice race we did with Naluwan two Sundays' previous, we did not easily overtake them. At the midpoint we still trailed after catching up to them… at the finish, our team surged to catch up to them. But didn't have enough… Naluwan caught the flag, then crossed the finish line just ahead of us… A very good close race.

I am very proud of the accomplishments of the combined Centre for Spiritual Living / Gung Haggis Fat Choy team. Everybody pitched in to help. They demonstrated a shared value of unselfishness and good hearts. The team looked after each other, with veterans supporting and setting examples for the rookies. It was a terrific blend of two teams, and again I cannot express my gratefulness to be blessed coaching and befriending such wonderful human beings.

A special thank you to our paddling friends from the Spirit of Vancouver Team: Tom, Jerry, Janice, Brenda: +  Sha-wa and Jeremy from Saints Preserve Us

To Rev. Candace, Chip, Ernie, Judy, Sharon, Marlene, Laura, Sean, Dawn, Helen, Louise, Paul, Kai, Kristine, Naoko, Mio, Tom, Nick, Dave, Doug and Bob – I salute you all!

Peace & Blessings, Todd

10am race for Ctr for Spiritual Living / Gung Haggis dragon boat team – meeting at 9am for 9:15 marshalling for 10:00 race

Hi All (for one and one for all)….. like a dragon we ROAR!!!
Glad to hear so many people had a great time for Saturday.  Thank you to the many people who stepped up to the plate in leadership, in my absence.  Truly you are all leaders, and a team, and I am very pleased you are working so well together.  I had dinner tonight with Tom, Nick and a past Gung Haggis member, and we talked about how well this team meshed, especially with so many beginners.  It is very heartening to see people willingly help out taking the public paddling… very good karma points, and demonstrates the good heart this team has.
Race time for Sunday morning:
10am… I think….(not certain, but very probable)
so please arrive before 9am…  8:45 to help set up tent etc…
We must be ready to marshal at 9:15am…
We are in Division D
7 teams in each division.
There will be two races for division D, at 10:00 and 10:15.  We are in one of them.  Only the teams finishing 1st or 2nd will advance to the medal final.  Let's make it happen!
Nick, Tom and I will also be racing with Spirit of Vancouver in Division B.
Candace and Chip will be unable to join us, as they will be at service on Sunday – hopefully they will join us as soon as they can.
Medals at 4pm to 5pm… I think….
I will be the MC for medals… I know my voice will hold after yelling a lot while drumming and steering for 2 teams.
After dinner – we go to FLOATA for a team dinner. 
cost is aprox: $15 to $20 gratuities and taxes included.
Cheers, Todd

Racing at Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race 2004

Lots of fun today… lots of smiles and compliments on the races.  Where else can you go for a 2 day dragon boat race, and race in 5 races for both days, with the same team?

Personally I raced 7 races today.  1 race each in a Taiwanese and a Hong Kong boat in seeding races for Gung Haggis Fat Choy / Centre for Spiritual Living, as a steers.  Then drumming for Spirit of Vancouver, in a Taiwanese and a Hong Kong boat. Steering for the Naluwan II team.  Then steering for GHFC / CSL in the barrel race and the blindfold race.

The races were:

1) seeding races to determine placement of 28 boats in 4 divisions.  Each team got to race in both a Taiwanese flag grabbing boat, and a Hong Kong teak boat.

2) fun races – including a “barrel race” that consisted of making 3 turns around floats in a cloverleaf pattern – just like a chuck wagon “barrel race” at a rodeo.

3) the fun NOGARD race, in a Taiwanese boat.  The teams must paddle past the flag, stop, paddle backwards, then grab the flag.  There was one team that missed the flag paddling backwards, and by the time, the had paddled forwards, they lost 1st place, to come in 3rd.

4) Mens and Womens races.  The Mens race featured the most testosterone laden competition and it went neck and neck from start to finish.  The two teams were SUCCESS and Scotiabank, with their respective buddy teams.

5) The Blindfold Race.  Yes the teams paddled blindfolded from start to finish.  The timing goes in and out.  My amalgamated team of Gung Haggis Fat Choy and Centre for Spiritual Living did well for a boat almost entirely composed of rookies, with only 4 to 6 practices under their belt.  They found this race relaxing once they settled into doing the Luke Skywalker “Use the Force” visualization.

Racing continues from 10am to 4pm, Sunday.  Followed by paddling for the public after the races on Sunday, at from 12 to 4pm on Monday.


Info for Vancouver Intl Taiwanese DB Race

There is no managers' meeting.  The racers' village and race operation areas are very close to each.  If info needs to be transmitted to the teams, we will use a megaphone and let everyone know.  If you want to ask any questions relating to certain areas of race operations, please ask the following people in their related area.  Remember that the finish line area and judges are extremely busy.  Please keep the questions short and limited.
Trev –  Finish Line
John – Finish Line and pre-race registrations
Richard and Jerome – Race Directors
Francis – Dockmaster
Kat – Volunteer Coordinator
Todd – Public Announcements and Race Commentaries
Starter – at Science World – Connie, Evan and Washington
Marshall – Kurt
Karen – Registration desk outside the Festival Venue on Saturday
Registration Desk is at the DBA booth inside the Festival Venue
Referees – Bob, Rob and Mike
There will be a DBA registration desk outside the festival venue entrance on Saturday from 9 to 10:30 am for teams who have not pick up their passes.  There is no racers' entrance.   Public and paddlers enter into the festival venue through the same gate.  Again, there is a free parking lot at Ontario and 1st Avenue.   A shuttle bus will run from the parking lot to the Plaza from 9 am on.  Walking  distance from that parking lot to the Plaza is between 10 to 20 minutes depending on how fast you walk.
All fun races and the barrel races, please register at the registration desk, DBA booth.  There should be info on the barrel races there.  The barrel race is one team of 10 paddlers racing against time around 3 barrels(buoys).  All fun races are free. 
Thanking for entering our Races and have fun,

Dragon Boat Association
Phone: 604-339-8555

Race Visualization for CSL/GHFC dragon boat team

Imagine you are getting into the boat – find your seat – settle yourself in.

Paddle our for the warm-up – Focus on your foundations.

Snap your Recovery – use your body not your arms

Rotation – chest to chest with your partner

Reach – like holding that bow & arrow – REACH for greatness

Clean entry – Spear and catch Top hands outside the boat, leaning out –

Falling on the blades Hammer it down – Drive Those Legs!.

Come into the warm-up area to practice starts.

1 stroke only – as if this is the only stroke in the race

6 strokes only – 6 and 6. – watch the transition

1-16 Ready and reach– heads up watch the timing – Good!

Sit and Wait – move the boat – settle in .

Call on your power word – Call on your power animal – Mastery Experience

Take a deep breath – Bubble around our boat.

Starter has the Race – Attention Please

Go! 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Up, Up, Up, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,

Ready and reach with power! Reach with Power!

Heads up – Eyes forward – Lean out – Top hands out of the boat

Drive those legs – Hammer it down

Series in 3-2-1.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – Ready and Reach with Power!

Looking good guys – Feel the Surge – Keep it steady

Use the hips – Drive those legs – Hammer it down

Rotation – Reach it out – Reach for Greatness

Series in 3-2-1.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – Ready and Reach with Power!

Looking good guys – Feel the Surge – Keep it steady

Use the hips – Drive those legs – Hammer it down

Rotation – Reach it out – Reach for Greatness

This is easy! – Focus in the boat

Heads up – Eyes Forward – follow the lead strokes

Finish it now!

Power Power Power

Drive Drive Drive

Hammer Hammer Hammer

More More More

Yes Yes Yes

Let it Run….

Good race everybody

Pat each other on the back

Racer's Village location – aerial map

Racer's Village is located South East of Pier Restaurant, and West of the trees.  I will have a tent set up for us.  The area is unsecured, so please do not bring valuables.  The area is ideal for storing food, clothing, umbrellas, deck chairs etc. 

Ideally, we will have to count on volunteers to watch or hold onto our valuables while we race.  Please bring some family & volunteers to help us in this way eg. Kai's Mother, Debbie's friend Allison, Peggy's son Tagan.

Race Course & Racer's Village

Here is the race course for the Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race, for Sep 4 & 5, 2004.

This is the race course. Lane 1 is at the south side of the Creek and lane 4 and 5 is at the north side of the Creek. Listen to the Water Marshall as to how to enter the start area. All boats will be asked to leave the dock and go to the South side of the Creek to head down to the Start area.

The boats line up at the Creekside Park waterfront, just north of Science World.  It is a tethered start – meaning all steerspeople will hold onto a tether to ensure and even and fair start. 

Teams will then be told: 1) release tetheres 2) paddlers ready;  3)attention please;  – then an airhorn will sound to start the race.

Teams proceed Westward, past midpoint lane markers, to the finish line, marked by flags.

If it is a flag grabbing race, on Taiwanese Boats, Each team's designated flag grabber must grab the flag.  Nobody else may grab the flag.  If the team misses the flag, it must back up and grab the flag before crossing the finish line.