The Hon. David Lam Multicultural Award, at the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival – nomination for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Kogawa House team
Every year, the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival has special team awards. The Hon. David Lam Multicultural Award” honours the team that “best represents the multicultural spirit of the festival.”
In 2005, the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team won the award.
In 2000, its forerunner team, Celebration Dragon Boomers won the award. Back in 2000, our annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner only seated 60 people at the New Grandview Restaurant on Broadway.
Below is the 2006 nomination letter for the David Lam multicultural award.
Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
To Whom It May Concern:
Re: David Lam Multicultural Award
Google the keywords dragon boat and multiculturalism and the 1st entry is Gung Haggis Fat Choy.
anybody on a Vancouver street to tell you about Gung Haggis Fat Choy and
they will pause, smile, then say:
1) It's that Robbie Burns Chinese
New Year Dinner in Vancouver;
2) it's that CBC TV special that mixes
Scots and Chinese together;
3) Wasn't that the dragon boat float in
the St. Patrick's Day parade?;
4) I heard about Gung Haggis Fat Choy
on the CBC radio;
5) Wasn't it that crazy Dragon-cart race up at Simon
6) That's that fun dragon boat team that wears
tartans while paddling!
This year we have changed our name to
Gung Haggis Fat Choy Kogawa House. This is to help promote the
campaign to save author Joy Kogawa's childhood home from demolition.
Joy is one of Canada's most important authors, and was removed from
her home at age 6 due to the internment of Japanese Canadians during
WW2 in 1942.
love Joy, and in January 2006, we featured her as our special Poet of
the evening at our annual Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinner aptly named “Gung Haggis Fat Choy.” Joy is our honourary drummer, and
we will be inventing haggis sushi in her honour.
Haggis Fat Choy is known across Canada, and all around the world People
in China, Scotland, California and New Jersey have all posted links to
www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com. Our website that highlights our favorite
cultural fusion events. This crazy boat of Canadians is led by Toddish McWong.the
coach and chieftain of Clan Gung Haggis Fat Choy. This team for the past 5 years has embraced
Canada's Scottish and Chinese heritage, based on the unlikely but
coincidental conjunction of Robbie Burns Day on January 25th and
Chinese New Year (late January/early February). Our annual dinner now
attracts an average of 500 people each year to sing songs and eat
haggis won-ton together.
it is with humour that we celebrate Canada's cultural diversity.
Vancouver Museum Curator Joan Siedl said, “I think you have
identified Vancouver's “two solitudes.” But in reality we
celebrate everything in-between and everything beyond. Our team's
members have claimed birthright from all around the world: Russian,
Japanese, Italian, Indonesian, and even mixtures of ancestries.
seen a dragon boat featured in a Vancouver parade? Welcome to the
world of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Kogawa House. Every year since the
inaugural St. Patrick's Day parade in 2004. The Gung Haggis Fat Choy
entry is especially invited by the Celtic Fest organizers to bring our
special multicultural energy to the parade.
In 2004, Gung Haggis
Fat Choy was the dragon boat team chosen to represent multiculturalism
in the television documentary series “Thalassa” filmed by France 3,
public television, at the 2004 ADBF. The team was used to demonstrate
how ethnicities from around the world, live, work and paddle together
as one community, as one team, in the very multicultural city of
Vancouver. The Director and producer Anne Gourmand felt this was
important to show not only France, but to francophone communities all
around the world.
logo features a chinese dragon wearing a Scottish tam hat. Our team
uniform features Chinese “lucky coin” designs. Every member of the
team wears a cloth swath of the “Fraser Hunting tartan” and some of
our members will even be wearing kilts! We are inclusive and welcome
everybody and anybody to our team.
Please consider the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy to be the 2006 recipient for the Hon. David C. Lam
Award, for all the continual multicultural ambassadorship this team has
done all around the world.
Coach and Founder of Gung Haggis Fat Choy