Interviews, Kogawa House, Gung Haggis Fat Choy taste testing, Bryan Adams

Wednesday prior to Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Busy busy days leading up to Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner event
now.  CBC Radio Freestyle called in the morning to find out more
about the dinner and to set up an interview for Friday morning to be
broadcast on Friday afternoon, January 20th.

The Courier newspaper phoned me, asking me questions about the status
of Kogawa House, and how the fund raising was going.  Still slow
on the major fronts, but The Land Conservancy is setting up some
displays in major book stores throughout Vancouver.  The Gung
Haggis Fat Choy dinner is donating partial proceeds to Kogawa House,
because “it is so dear to my heart,” and I have now set up Joy Kogawa
to be keynote speaker at the “Order of Canada/Maple Leaf” luncheon for
the Canadian Club.

I attended a meeting with new Vancouver City Councilor Kim Capri,
regarding status of Kogawa House.  She gave us some great contacts
and idea, as well as a donation.  While at City Hall, Ann-Marie
Metten and I bumped into Councillors Raymond Louie and David Cadman,
who had both voted to support Kogawa House back on Nov. 3. 
Raymond is coming to the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, so we gave him
his tickets, as well as dropping off tickets for Councillor Elizabeth
Ball, Suzanne Anton, BC Lee, Heather Deal, George Chow and Mayor Sam
Sullivan.

Chuck Lew, the organizer of the Chinatown Lions Club, phoned me back to
tell me that their annual “Haggis Night dinner” is on Thursday January
26th.  It's at the Floata I think.

We had taste-testing at the Floata Restaurant for the Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dinner tonight.  Attending was Roland Tanglao of
www.vaneats.com, chef Stephen Wong, dragon boat team members Dave
Samis, Daming and Deb Martin.  CBC radio reporter Margaret
Gallagher also dropped in to pick up some haggis won ton to use in an
on-air segment of “What's going on” and to give away 2 tickets for Gung
Haggis Fat Choy on 690 to Go!  More on our taste testing
tomorrow.

While at the Floata Restaurant, Mayor Sam Sullivan phoned me to check
on his part in the dinner.  Sam loves Chinese culture, and he
informs me that he has selected a short Tang dynasty poem to read in
Cantonese.  We have a short chat about how when he was in Grade 9
at Vancouver Technical Highschool, I was there in grade 8.  I tell
him we have a table of '77 and '78 Van Tech grades attending.  Sam
also gives me the lowdown on what is required to get him and his
wheelchair onstage at the Floata Restaurant.  We will need a
ramp.  Vancouver Mayors get invited many times a month to attend
events at Floata, especially as Chinese New Year approaches.  We
need a ramp.

Then we headed over to the Vancouver Public library, for a reading by Janice Wong, author of Chow from China to Canada: Tales of Food and Family.  Janice does a great presentation using a lap top
computer to do a slide show of family pictures, describing family
history and her father's restaurants in Prince Albert, SK.
Chef /food columnist Stephen Wong, Historian Larry Wong and myself join
Janice for a panel discussion about food, Chinatown restaurants,
Chinese Canadian history, and family.  I tell the story about how
I invented haggis won ton for a CBC Radio reception welcoming Shelagh
Rogers and Sounds Like Canada to Vancouver.  Stephen talks about
the origins of Chinese dumplings.  Larry talks about apple tarts
from the old Chinese restaurants.  Roland Tanglao of www.vaneats.com  posted Stephen Wong's Chinese restaurant picks

Then at 9pm, I am off to the Bryan Adams
concert.  Great concert.  Almost everybody is singing along
to every song.  The energy is high.  There is an octogenarian
couple sitting on the aisle seats on our row.  They are mouthing
the words to “Cuts Like a Knife” – hmmm I wonder if they are Bryan's
parents or relatives.  Adams finishes his first encore, then comes
back for a second encore with only an accoustic guitar.  He plays
about 5 songs unplugged.  What a great way to conclude a
concert.  Everybody is singing along to Heaven, Best of Me. All
for One, Room Service, Straight From the Heart.

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