Monthly Archives: August 2005

Gung Haggis paddlers win Gold medal with Concorde Pacific Flying Dragons in San Francisco

Gung Haggis paddlers win Gold medal with Concorde Pacific Flying Dragons in San Francisco

Congratulations to Dan Seto, Pam Huey and Kristine
Shum – who all went down to San Francisco and are
coming back with Gold Medals in the Rec divsion.  It
was a tight race with only 29/100ths second behind
them for silver medal and 42/100ths second behind them
for bronze medal.

The team raced 4 races each on Saturday.  2 mixed
races, + visiting team + Men's and Women's races – but
only 2 X on Sunday for Mixed Semi-final + medal round
finals.  Flying Dragons combined with Calgary Paddling Club for Men's and Women's races.

This weekend:
Taiwanese Dragon Boat Races
Sunday Night Dragon Boat Rodeo Party @ The Roxy!!!

Cheers, Todd

Below is Kristine's report:

Hi Todd and Bob.  Great news…we won gold in REC A

Division.  We were behind, but caught up at the

halfway mark and surged ahead of CCSF near the end.

1. Concord Pacific Flyer Dragons – 2:24:28
2. CCSF 1 (City College of San Fran) – 2:24:57

3. Castaways (Portland) – 2:25:10

4. Vancity Thunder – 2:28:05

5. Extreme Currents (Kamloops) – 2:28:24

6  Killer Guppies Blue (LA) – 2:36:02 (I think.

Couldn't quite read my writing on a serviette.)

Didn't do so well in the Men's, Women's and Visiting

Team Cup race — in tough against Roli and Subaru.

For results, visit

Sunday dragon boat practice: Gung Haggis meets the Pirates

We had a nice interesting practice on Sunday…

6 Gung Haggis paddlers + drummer Deb & Coach Bob (Peggy, Natalie, Naoko, Ernest, Daming and me)

+ 13 Chilliwack paddlers (The Pirates dragon boat team)

+ 6 Kung Fu club first time paddlers

+ 2 flag grabbers 13 & 14 years old.

Many of our Gung Haggis paddlers were on vacation in San Francisco,
Penticton, England, France and elsewhere… so we invited some paddler
friends from Chilliwack to join us.  But we had too many for one
boat – so we went out in two!

Coach Bob took the Chilliwack
paddlers in a teak and Taiwanese boat to teach them
is expected next week.  And… he taught them some of our race
strategies… naughty Bob!  We will have to discipline him later…

We took out the new paddlers for some practice to
teach them to paddle.  We wouldn't normally add first time
paddlers to a team one week before the race, but they are trained
atheletes and in good shape… plus, I have always wanted to have some
paddlers who knew how to perform a Lion Dance or a Dragon Dance!

The two boats met up together towards the end of the practice and
we exchanged some paddlers to even out the two teams – then we did two
races grabbing for the flag – very exciting.  The kids were
GREAT as flag grabbers…   Very enthusiastic, very agile,
very fearless… very LIGHT!

For the first race – our boat took the lead early and sustained it to
the flag.  But our steersperson, Coach Bob, steered away from the
flag to let the other team grab it as they followed in our wake. 
Naughty Bob!  But he figured since we won the race, grabbing the
flag was the consolation prize. 

We proposed a second race, and allowed the Pirates team to choose
anybody from our boat to join their team.  They could have chosen
any number of strong male paddlers including myself – but
Nooooo…..  they made a strategic choice to disrupt our chi, and
they chose our lead stroke Natalie.  No problem, our second seat
moved into the 1st seat, and we won another race.  And this time
Steerer Bob redeemed himself and let our 14 year old flag grabber do
his job.  Very happy he was too, waving the flag in the air!

Then we went to our favorite Sunday afternoon restaurant, Carlos and
Bud's for $2.49 drink and appetizer specials.  So sad to here that
they are closing in 3 weeks to make room for yet another hi-rise condo
in Yaletown.  Aren't there enough down there yet?

Heart Beat opens up new possibilities for Chinese Drumming, Dance and Music

Heart Beat opens up new possibilities for Chinese Drumming, Dance and Music

is the 4th and lastest “action-musical” from producer Dr. Dennis Law at the Centre in Vancouver For Performing Arts
The story is basically a drum and dance fantasy structured loosely on
the premise that a young girl named Jade has a dream in which the god
of dragons leads her through the history of drums in China.

Again, I was amazed at the sheer spectacle of this show combining
Chinese acrobatics, dance, music and martial arts.  With the
recent accessibility of Chinese artists and performers, Dr. Law is able
to bring together top Chinese talents and push them in directions never
before created. Several times my mouth dropped open at the sheer
acrobatic abilities of the dancers and what they were able to

The show is also a showcase for the many different dance styles and
drum styles throughout China's four thousand year history through the
Bronze Age, and the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. 
Drumming styles on stage include Tibetan drums,  hanging drums,
long drum dance, and eight-cornered drums.  Dances include fan
dance, hair dance, Dragon dance,  Monkey King and White-Boned
Goddess, and martial arts dances.

The live percussionists are a show unto themselves. Set up on each
corner are huge drums, bells and chimes.  In the open orchestra
pit are 4 drummers, magnificient to watch.  All these percussion
is balanced by the lyrical instruments of flute, roan (chinese guitar)
and chinese zither.  Anybody remotely interested in drums should
see this show!

Everytime I have gone to see one of the action-musicals, I have
learned more about Chinese culture.  I remarked to my companions
that I grew up disdaining Chinese culture, as my 5 -generational family
had been subject  to racial discrimination and we wanted to
assimilate into Canadian culture.  Our Canadian society, and
indeed our global culture is still very much euro-centric and ignorant
of the riches that Chinese culture and history have contributed –
witness the debate about the Chinese navigator on

Here are HEARTBEAT video clips for you to watch as well

Definitely go see the show….

Thursdays in August with Karen Lee-Morlang at the Silk Purse in West Vancouver

My friend Karen Lee-Morlang, pianist/singer is artist-in-residence for
the Silk Purse Arts Centre in West Vancouver. For the month of August
she lined up some great performers.

Check out the remaining performances:

August 25th 10:30am

an evening of fun songs by Cole Porter, Ivor Novelo, George Gershwin,
Noel Coward and Stephen Foster – featuring baritone Joel Klein

September 1st, 7:30pm
Seven sassy women brought together by their love of soulful singing,
good wine and laughter.  The Shirleys sing a cappella versions of
whatever moves them, from Graham Central Station to Afro-Cuban Orisha
songs to Native American lullabies – featuring Y. Blum, S. Fletcher, K.
Lee-Morlang, Karla Mundy, Keona Mundy, D. Pemberton, N. Rendell.

Below is a picture of me with the No Shit Shirleys at a fundraiser event at the W.I.S.E. Hall where we both performed in June.

Enchanted Evenings at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens: Music concerts

Check out these special concerts at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens in Vancouver's Historic Chinatown.

The Enchanted Evenings concert series was originally created by my friend Qiu Xia He of the Silk Road Music
ensemble.  July 29th featured Qiu Xia's other group Joutou – which
blends together music and style from Quebec, China, Ireland and South

And I can proudly say that my cousin, architect Joe Y. Wai was one of the main architects designing the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens.  I absolutely love the gardens, and each year I take my dragon boat team there for a tour and tai chi lesson.

Check out these very special remaining concerts!

August 26 – Sawagi Taiko
Canada's first all-women, all Asian taiko drumming
group strives to encourage cultural connections among different
Asian Canadian communities and explores members’ ancestral
legacies. The instrument originates in China but the artistic
form comes from rural communities of Japan.

Sept. 2 – Silk Road
An award winning ensemble that takes Chinese music
in daring new directions, incorporating jazz improvisation,
Latin rhythms, French Canadian folk elements and Celtic strains.
These world musicians are Qiu Xia He (pipa), Zhi Min Yu (ruan),
Feng Jun Wang (vocals), Willy Miles (bass and vocals) and
Andre Thibault (guitar, oud, percussion). They will present
new works from a CD being compiled and due to be released

Sunday Gung Haggis Dragonboat team practice

We've moved our dragonboat practice to 12 noon for Sunday, August
21.  This is to accomodate a Sunday afternoon bbq/picnic following
practice as one of our paddlers Ashleigh is moving to Montreal for a
year-long job placement.

We meet 12 noon at DBA/MATCON docks – 215 West 1st Ave. @ Cook St. – just West of Columbia St.  Park on 1st.

Our dragon boat practices are lots of fun – good combination of
experience and rookie enthusiasm.  Bring a dish to share for the
picnic afterwards.

You can reach me on my cell phone
Todd Wong

Asian traditional dancing meets high-tech light and sound! VIDEO clips

Video clips are great ways to experience multicultural performances
My dragon boat buddy Ian Paul of the Pirates dragon boat team just sent me a video clip (at the bottom of the page).
It's a video of an Asian Dance troupe mixing traditional movements with high tech light and sound technology.

Makes me look forward to going to see the Heartbeat show at the Centre in Vancouver For Performing Arts later this week.

Here are HEARTBEAT video clips for you to watch as well

Ian… where did you get this?