– For immediate release –
January 25th, 2005
Haggis Lettuce Wrap and Dragonboat Go-Carts celebrate Gung Haggis Fat Choy in 2005
Haggis lettuce wrap and dragon boat go-carts are the birthday presents
to Robbie Burns created by Todd Wong to celebrate Robbie Burns Day (Jan
25) and Chinese New Year (Feb 9). What would Burns think? Would he roll
over in his grave if he knew that an annual dinner that pays tribute to
his birthday had been taken over by heathen Chinese?
Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong’s Robbie Burns Chinese New Year
Dinner has now inspired both the Leo Award nominated CBC television
special titled “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” to be re-broadcast on February
9th, and the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy “Canadian Games” an intramural
event that brings together the large SFU Asian population with SFU’s
Scottish heritage on January 28th.
“Burns would approve,” say numerous people including Robert Barr,
president of the Burns Club of Vancouver and Harry McGrath, coordinator
of SFU Centre for Scottish Studies. “It’s really good.,” said McGrath
of the Haggis Wun Tun that Wong presented him with last year, “I would
have eaten half the bunch if nobody else was standing there.”
Todd Wong aka “Toddish McWong” is actually the 5th generation
descendent of Rev. Chan Yu Tan, one of Vancouver’s first Chinese
ministers, arriving in 1896. Each generation has married non-Chinese.
Many have married Scots descendents and the 6th and 7th generation is
now only ¼ Chinese. First Nations Chief Rhonda Larrabee, is a Rev. Chan
great granddaughter and brings her family to her “cousin’s” annual
dinner to celebrate her diverse heritage and that of her children. This
dinner is also the result of asking “How do we create an inclusive
celebration for our families of mixed and cultural diversity?”
“You have identified Vancouver’s two solitudes,” Joan Seidl, Vancouver
Museum History Curator. McWong blends together traditions, poetry, song
and costume in this unique and quirky dinner event that has grown from
a private party of sixteen to an incredible event expecting up to 600
people at Floata Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown – the largest
Chinese restaurant in North America.
Vancouver's Mayor Larry Campbell is attending as a special guest, but
will he will his formal kilt or his Chinese outfit? Rumour has it that
MLA's Jenny Kwan and Joy McPhail are swapping costumes.
Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC Radio's “Sounds Like Canada”and comedian
Tom Chin of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre will co-host with
Wong. Performers include a Chinese bagpiper and two opera
singers, Fred Wah winner of the Governor General's Award for Poetry and
Joe McDonald & Brave Waves, musical fusion band.
Opera Soprano Heather Pawsey, will perform songs in Mandarin and
Gaelic, Dr. Jan Walls performs his clapper tales, Karen Wong &
Zhongxi Wu perform with celtic musician friends Alex Chisolm &
Carmen Rosen. Theatre.
LaLa is a contemporary East-West hip hop artist. Veera devi Khare is a
cSouth Asian lassically trained Soprano crossover singer. Vincent and
Cameron Collins, are the incredible high-stepping Highland Dancing
brothers that have won awards everywhere they go. Cameron this year
alone, won the US Western Open, Canadian Western Open, and BC Closed
January 30th, 2005, Sunday
Floata Restaurant, #400, 180 Keefer St., Vancouver's Chinatown.
Show starts at 6pm, doors open at 5:15
For Tickets contact Firehall Arts Centre Box Office: 604-689-0926 $60 adult, $55 student, $45 children 12 & under.
For more information contact Todd Wong 604-987-7124