My 1st priority when I arrived at the Oct 21 Wayson Choy and Isabel Huggins event at the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival www.writersfest.bc.ca, was to enjoy a nice glass of red wine.
My next priority was to find a seat at the Waterfront Theatre for the event. After taking my time finishing my wine, I walked into the Theatre and surveyed a glance for still available seats.
“Todd!” a voice called out to me, as my eyes adjusted to the semi-darkness. I searched the crowd a recognizable face calling my name.
“It's Shelagh!” said the voice right in front of me. I looked down, and there was a famililar smiling face that I recognized.
Everytime I meet Shelagh Rogers she is warm and effusive. The first time we met was prior to my interview on CBC Radio's “Sounds Like Canada” on January 21, 2003. http://www.cbc.ca/insite/SOUNDS_LIKE_CANADA/2003/1/22.html Upon arriving at the Roundhouse Community Centre where the show was being taped on location, I looked over where Shelagh was sitting with guests between the tapings. Suddenly she looked towards me with a big smile and started waving. I look behind me wondering who she is waving at, because surely it can't be me. I haven't even been introduced to her yet.
Bumping into Shelagh at the Writers Fest is now like meeting an familiar friend. She is very excited about being able to co-host Gung Haggis Fat Choy for January 2005 with me. “Anything you want me to do I can do,” she says. “I can be as Scottish as you want me to be,” says this Ontario raised woman who grew up attending Robbie Burns Dinners with her sister.
I jokingly tell her that our 3rd co-host will be Tom Chin of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, and she will be our token “white babe chick,” as we will help to offset the stereotypes that Asian men are not sexy, and that the dominant inter-racial couple are white males and Asian females.
Shelagh laughs as we joke about my “demand” that for Shelagh to co-host Gung Haggis Fat Choy as part of her CBC community outreach, that “my conditions” were that her sister Margot had to attend with her. A good thing that the Sounds Like Canada producers were familiar enough with my humour and Shelagh's relationship with her sister.
Having Shelagh Rogers co-host the 2005 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner will bring not just the presence of a nationally recognized Canadian media star that truly understands the nature and nurture of Canada, but more importantly a wonderful sense of humour and new friendship.