Jenny Uechi and Michelle Siu
For Immediate Release
RICEPAPER Magazine Celebrates 10 Years of Publishing!
It all began 10 years ago, when a motley crew of artists, writers, and
would-be lawyers got together one night and decided to give a voice to
one of the largest and most eclectic demographics in the nation--Asian
Canadians. Photocopied painstakingly on 8x11 paper and stapled together
by a crew of volunteers, the original newsletter "Rice Paper" was born.
Fast forward to 2005. Lined up along the magazines at Chapters,
Ricepaper has evolved into the authoritative chronicle of Asian Canadian culture:
from Wayson Choy to Joy Kogawa, Kid Koala to Sook-Yin Lee, the magazine
covers major and emerging artists, while its hard-hitting articles speak of
the issues that are changing Canadian society as we know it. From
interracial marriages to head taxes, Ricepaper leaves no stone unturned in the
Asian Canadian experience.
Still driven by a crew of passionate volunteers, Ricepaper is proud to
celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.
Join us on September 24, 2005 at Wild Ginger to celebrate
Ricepaper Magazine's 10th Anniversary along with some very
special guests - Joy Kogawa, Scott McIntyre, and Gim Wong
JOY KOGAWA, born in Vancouver in 1935, is a Nisei - a second-generation
Japanese Canadian and one of Canada's most significant writers. When
World War II broke out, she, like the rest of her family, was forced from the
coast. Canada and its allies were at war with Germany, Italy, and Japan
and regarded Canadians of Japanese heritage with suspicion. Due to these
circumstances, Kogawa had to attend grade school in the internment camp
at Slocan, British Columbia. Joy has published numerous collections of
poetry, essays, children's literature and the novels Obasan, Istuka, and The
Her novel, Obasan tells the story of the Japanese Canadian
internment through the eyes of a child. Obasan has been named the
eleventh most influential novel of the twentieth century by "Quill and Quire".
Joy is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates as well as national and
international awards for her writing. She was awarded the Order of
Canada in 1998. The clarity of her poetry and prose continues to influence a new
generation of young minds.
The Vancouver Public Library (VPL) selected Joy Kogawa's Obasan as its
One Book, One Vancouver selection for 2005. One Book, One Vancouver is an
award-winning book club for the entire city, designed to create a
culture of reading and discussion in Vancouver by bringing people together around
one great book. The program aims to encourage people to read, create a
common topic of conversation and create opportunities to engage people in
reading and discussion about a variety of topics.
One Book, One Vancouver is presented by Vancouver Public Library with
support from Penguin Group (Canada), the Vancouver Opera, 32 Books, and
media partners CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Two, Word on the Street, and
The Vancouver Sun.
"Obasan is one of the most powerful books about the Japanese Canadian
experience ever written," said City Librarian Paul Whitney. "The story
and its message about the consequences of war and prejudice are as relevant
today as they were when this book was first released in 1981. We're
delighted to introduce Obasan to some readers for the first time, and
give those who've read Obasan the opportunity to rediscover the novel
SCOTT McINTYRE, born in 1944 and raised in Vancouver, graduated from
the University of British Columbia with an honours fine arts degree in
1965. He entered publishing at McClelland & Stewart in Toronto in 1967,
returning to Vancouver early in 1970 to join Jim Douglas and to co-found the next
year what has become Douglas & McIntyre. He is Douglas & McIntyre Publishing
Group's current President and CEO.
Douglas & McIntyre has had a long-standing and continuing commitment to
publishing the voices of Asian Canadian writers. In 1988, the company
published Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese in
Vancouver, by Paul Yee-the first such illustrated history. This was
followed in 1991 with the first novel by a Chinese Canadian in English,
Disappearing Moon Cafe, by S.K.Y. Lee, which received critical acclaim. It was also
short-listed for the Governor-General's Award and won the City of
Vancouver Book Award. The book is still in print and selling steadily. The next
year, Douglas & McIntyre published the first anthology of Chinese-Canadian
writing, fiction and poetry titled Many-mouthed Birds: Contemporary
Writing by Chinese Canadians, edited by Bennett Lee and Jim Wong-Chu.
Since then, the company has published Chinese Canadians: Voices from a Community by
Evelyn Huang and Lawrence Jeffery; Ingratitude by Ying Chen; Heartsmart
Chinese Cooking by Stephen Wong; and the much acclaimed best seller,
The Jade Peony, by Wayson Choy. It was the co-winner (with Margaret Atwood)
of the Trillium Book Award and the City of Vancouver Book Award. In 2002,
The Jade Peony was chosen as the inaugural title for the Vancouver Public
Library's "One Book, One Vancouver" reading program. Future releases
include a new updated and redesigned edition of Paul Yee's Saltwater City
coming out in the autumn of 2005.
Eighty-two year-old GIM WONG, a World War II Air Force veteran and
Canadian-born son of two Chinese head taxpayers, set off on a
cross-Canada motorcycle ride on July 1, 2004. Mr. Wong rode his motorcycle across
Canada to call upon the federal government to redress the Chinese Head Tax and
Chinese Exclusion Act, sixty-two years of legislated racism endured by
the Chinese in Canada from 1885 to 1947.
Gim Wong's neatly pressed RCAF uniform and glossy shoes are a
not-so-subtle reminder that he was ready to put his life on the line for a country
that denied him, a native son, the rights and privileges of citizenship
until 1947. He trained as an air gunner for the war in Europe and as a flight
engineer for the Japanese campaign, both of which ended before he could
be posted overseas. In 1941, when he was 19, he was riding his motorcycle
with a friend in South Vancouver. The police confiscated his motorcycle, and
that of his Japanese friend. "I had to prove I wasn't Japanese," he says.
Gim, a native of Vancouver, didn't have to pay the tax himself. But
coming up with $500 in head-tax money meant his father had to wait 13 years
before he could afford to bring his mother over from China after he had
emigrated to Canada in 1906.
Gim Wong has been involved in the campaign for restitution since
it began in 1983 after the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was
Join us in honouring three community pioneers - Joy, Scott, and Gim -
and hear their unique and fascinating stories.
Meet the talented Ricepaper crew, dedicated volunteers, contributors,
celebrities, artists, writers, and supporters.
When: Saturday - September 24, 2005 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Cash Bar Reception 6:00pm - Dinner starts at 7:00pm
Where: Wild Ginger - Tinseltown - 2nd Floor, 88 West Pender Street,
FREE Validated Underground Parking (bring your parking stub with you)
Advance Tickets: $30 each
At the Door: $35 each
Includes delicious Buffet Dinner and 1 Year Complimentary Subscription
to Ricepaper (value $20)
Get your Advance Tickets from:
- Ricepaper Magazine 604.879.5962
- VAHM Society/explorASIAN 604.488.0119
- Wild Ginger Restaurant (in person only)
- Jim Wong-Chu 604.322.6616
- Don Montgomery 604.878.6888
- Sid Tan 604.433.6169
- Angela Leung firstname.lastname@example.org
- Todd Wong 604.987.7124
- Marisa Alps 1.604.885.5185 (Sunshine Coast)
Come and reunite with old friends! Book Signings! Door Prizes!
Great company and terrific food! Please come to our celebration!