Monthly Archives: May 2007

8th Annual Asian Comedy Night – May 18 & 19 – 8pm

8th Annual Asian Comedy Night – May 18 & 19 – 8pm

The Vancouver Asian Canadian
Theatre presents:

Etch-Your-Sketch SKETCHOFF!#$%!!
8th Annual Asian
Comedy Night

May 18 and May 19
Roundhouse Community Centre
Theatre, Vancouver

It's comedy night time again and this year, we have 6
new sketch groups competing for the coveted Vancouver Rice Bowl.
Etch-YOUR-Sketch SKETCHOFF!#$%!! – 8th Annual Asian Comedy Night is happening on
Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th. The first night, the teams are judged
by people in the industry and on the 2nd night, the audience is the judge with
their applause and measured with a decibel reader. Teams have a chance to win up
to $350!

With names like Slant Eyed Peas, Sfuu Man Chu, Bananadrama,
Yangtzers, Lick the Wax Tadpole and Disoriental, it surely will be a night full
of laughs.

If you're not going away this long weekend, and you want
something that will make you laugh … check out the 8th annual Asian Comedy
Night. A guaranteed night of some pretty funny stuff. Help support Asian
Canadian Theatre in Vancouver.

SKETCHOFF!#$%!! has been a sold-out event
every year and the annual show has provided a rare showcase for various Asian
stand-up comedians and sketch groups
from all over Canada and the US. As a
developer of new talent, VACT had previously
incubated such successful local
Asian-Canadian sketch comedy troupes as HOT SAUCE POSSE and ASSAULTED FISH.

Come cheer the Etch-Your-Sketchers on! HA HA's are guaranteed a night
filled with HaHaHa's!

$12 in advance in person at the
Roundhouse Theatre,
by telephone 604.713.1800, or online on
$15 cash at the door
14+, some coarse language and sexually
suggestive content


Centre A – Limits of Toderance: Re-framing the Multicultural State Policy

Centre A –  Limits of Toderance: Re-framing the Multicultural State Policy

Here's an interesting art presentation at Centre A, the Vancouver International Centre for Contempory Art.  They always have rotating presentations as well as special one-off presentations that make for an exciting vibrant Pan-Asian-Canadian and Canadian arts culuture.  Check it out!


Limits of Tolerance:

Re-framing Multicultural State Policy


EXHIBITION: May 19 – June 23, 2007

OPENING: Friday May 18, 8pm

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday,

11:00 -18:00

Sunday-Monday closed


SYMPOSIUM: Saturday May 26,

14:00 – 17:00, UBC Robson Square theatre

Speakers: Laiwan, Candice Hopkins and Keith Langergräber

Free to the public

Guest Curator: Liz Park


Presented with support from the Alvin Balkind Fund for Student
Curatorial Initiatives, the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and
Theory, and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University
of British Columbia.


A group exhibition with works by Dana Claxton, Stan Douglas,
Laiwan, Paul Lang and Zachary Longboy, Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew, Anne
Ramsden, Ruby Truly, Henry Tsang, and Paul Wong.

a country that has touted its multicultural policies, the resurgence of
racist attitudes after 9/11 prompts critical assessment of race issues
today. In an effort to review race politics in the context of Canada's
colonial and immigrant policies, the exhibition Limits of Tolerance examines a period in recent history when cultural diversity became Canada's state policy with the 1988 Multiculturalism Act.

the late 1980s, an increasing number of artists explored and questioned
their own identity based on race, gender and sexuality, as lobby
efforts and activism of people of colour and aboriginal ancestry gained
momentum. With the 1988 Multiculturalism Act demanding government
agencies to reform or invent equity policies, the arts and culture
sector in particular underwent a turbulent period in which comfort
zones of liberal attitudes were challenged. The present exhibition Limits of Tolerance
re-presents a selection of artworks produced in Vancouver in the late
1980s and early 1990s when artists, writers and academics engaged in
intense debates about identifications based on race, gender, and
sexuality. This selection emphasizes the various and often contrasting
ways in which artists deal with issues of identity and critique social
structures which inform their identity.

artists featured in the exhibition used non-traditional visual media
such as video, performance, and photo-installation to push the limits
of art production at a time when the concept of a singular culture was
under scrutiny. While some artists actively identified their subjective
positioning and sought to speak from within communities defined by
race, gender, or sexuality, other artists deliberately avoided such
self-identification or resisted being categorized under a homogenous
group. The differing strategies deployed in dealing with the question
of identity have insulated discussions of certain artists' works from
others. Yet this exhibition brings together these works in renewed
discussions of identity and reflects on the common place and time
shared by each artist despite his/her distinct experience of race,
gender and sexuality.

alongside the artworks are archival materials from the cultural equity
caucus for the former Association of National Non-Profit Artists'
Centres (ANNPAC), Minquon Panchayat (1992-1993), the film festival In Visible Colours (1989), and the exhibitions Yellow Peril: Reconsidered (1990), Self Not Whole (1991), Racy Sexy (1993).
 The records of these cultural activities help reframe the presented
art works in broader terms, which include social and political history
of Canada, and the changing questions of community in an increasingly
globalized world. Revisiting this recent past sharpens a critical lens
through which one can see how race politics is played out in art and
the sociocultural and political arenas today.

symposium will be held on Saturday, May 26, 14:00 – 17:00 at the UBC
Robson Square theatre, featuring Laiwan, Candice Hopkins, and Keith
Langergräber as speakers.  The symposium will explore questions around
issues of difference and marginality and analyze the present state of
the arts and culture field in Canada.

Centre A gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its patrons,
sponsors, members, partners, private foundations, and government
funding agencies, including the Canada Council for the Arts, the
British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver through the
Office of Cultural Affairs.


For more Information, please contact the gallery:


Tel: 604-683-8326


Liz Park, Guest Curator:

Makiko Hara, Curator:

Joni Low, Public Relations:

I have four stitches on my baby finger

I have four stitches on my baby finger

Todd has 4 stitches in his pinkie finger after paddling tonight – photo Deb Martin

It was a freak accident.  I was paddling lead stroke on the left side of the
dragon boat.  Since I was also coaching, I looked over my shoulder, and
lost my paddling focus. I must have lost my bottom hand grip on the paddle, because I have a very strong top arm drive… and as my top hand came down,
I smashed my little finger between the paddle handle and the boat. I have never
known anybody to have an injury like this. 

Julie… thank you for suggesting Mt. Saint Joseph's. It is the perfect
hospital for a dragon boat injury. After the stitches were done and
cleaned up – we walked out the door, and noticed a mural with dragon
boaters and the name Saints Preserve Us – which is the name of the
dragon boat team of hospital workers of Providence Health Care.

I always emphasize
paddlers to keep their top arms out of the boat… and bring it down –
outside the boat. Maybe this will serve as a lesson to what happens if
you bring your hand down inside the boat… or take your eyes off the
lead stroke. I should have kept my eyes on Wendy – my bench mate!

Deb has been great – driving me to the hospital and everything… 
There were no line-ups and a very short wait at the emergency room.   Mt. Saint Joseph's. It is the perfect
hospital for a dragon boat injury. After the stitches were done and
cleaned up – we walked out the door, and noticed a mural with dragon
boaters and the name Saints Preserve Us – which is the name of the
dragon boat team of hospital workers of Providence Health Care.  I have been friends with organizer of the team Susan Hyde for several years, and bumped into her at St. Paul's Hospital last week when I went to see leukemia patient James Erlandsen (we taped a City TV interview to help publicize James' need for a Eurasian bone marrow donor).  The “Saints” often practice at the same time on the water as Gung Haggis.

I even had my finger sewn up by a famous doctor.  Dr. Daniel Kalla is author of  Pandemic.  Even then, Deb still wouldn't go get the camera…even after I told her I wanted before and after photos of my finger. Deb is a big fan of television shows such as Gray's Anatomy, House and ER  Upon arrival, I kidded with her asking where were all the great looking doctors and nurses?  She begrudginly agreed that Dr. Kalla fit the bill, in an ER Goran Visnjic kind of way.

have to keep the bandage on for at least a day.  But I think I will be
very careful with it.  We shall see how it feels for race day on
Saturday.  Maybe I will steer or drum, or do lead stroke with a rubber
glove on it.

Thank you everybody for your support.  I know Jim thought I should go to the hospital right away… even though the accident happened 2/3 of the way through practice.  My bag was passed up, and I wrapped up my finger in one of my stretchy paddling shirts to keep the tension on my finger, prohibiting the bleeding.  We did some more races pieces, and a cool down – then our regular practice debriefing – before going to the hospital.  Unfortunately, I had to miss Tuesday Night Food Club with the gang.

But I now have a Hello Kitty band-aid on my right shoulder for the tetnus shot…. thank you for the band-aid Julie!

Vancouver Sun: story on James Erlandsen and his search for a Eurasian bone marrow donor

Vancouver Sun: story on James Erlandsen and his search for a Eurasian bone marrow donor

check out this story in the Vancouver Sun by Pamela
Fayerman.   It's a good story about the need to find Eurasian
donors for bone marrow – because it is so rare.

When I look in my own family.  I have maternal cousins who are
Eurasian, and all of my Chinese maternal cousins  married
Caucasians (except the two who are unmarried) and have had little
Eurasian children including my brother.  That's what happens in a
5th generation Canadian family.  And most of my paternal cousins
married causcasians and had Eurasian children – many of whom are young
adults and starting to get married.

To me James is almost like family… and I was very honoured to meet
his aunt and uncle on Saturday night.  His Auntie Bev gave me a
great big hug, and thanked me for my assistance and support in
spreading the news about James throughout my community network and
media connections, as well as in providing a social support and
resource for her and her family.

I know that Bev and her daughters have been postering post-secondary
campuses and putting announcements on web discussion boards etc. 
It was her daughter Aynsely who first contacted me about putting a
poster and an announcement about James Erlandsen on  I was so moved by the story and the
similarites of our life stories – that I just had to do more!

Check out the Vancouver Sun article by Pamela Fayerman:

Check out stories in Georgia Straight New Blog

Check out storis in Ming Pao

Courier: Rally clebrates 60 years of rights – interviews with Gim Wong and Sid Tan

Courier: Rally clebrates 60 years of rights – interviews with Gim Wong and Sid Tan

Here's a Friday May 11th article in the Vancouver Courier that interviews both Gim Wong, WW2 veteran, and Sid Tan, head tax redress activist.  When Gim rode his motorcycle across Canada in 2005, I blogged the reports that I received from across Canada and from the CCNC. 

Gim Wong, 84, fought in the Second World
War but wasn't allowed to vote. Last year, he rode his motorcycle to
Ottawa to press then prime minister Paul Martin for redress.

Photo by Dan Toulgoet

Rally celebrates 60 years of rights

By Cheryl Rossi-Staff writer

When families who were
affected by the Chinese Head Tax celebrate 60 years of citizenship
Saturday, they'll be recognizing how far they've come in gaining rights
and respect for Chinese people in Canada.

But according to Sid Tan,
co-chair of the Head Tax Families Society of Canada, they'll also
highlight problems migrant workers face today as echoes of what their
families endured.

“The issues of guest
workers, the issues of seasonal and temporary employment, live-in
caregivers and domestics, all these issues are not that different from
what the early Chinese suffered,” said Tan. “These are people that are
good enough to come to Canada and do the dirty and menial work or the
work that a lot of Canadians won't or aren't willing to do, and they
have no rights. There's something wrong with the picture, and a hundred
years ago this is what happened to the Chinese.”

The Head Tax Families
Society is organizing a rally Saturday at the Chinatown Memorial to
Chinese Canadian War Veterans and Railway Workers at the northeast
corner of Keefer and Columbia. The society became a registered
non-profit last August after Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized
to Chinese-Canadians. The apology included a symbolic payment of
$20,000 to those Chinese, or their surviving spouses, who had paid the
head tax.

When the Canadian Pacific
Railway was constructed between 1881 and 1885, more than 15,000 Chinese
came to Canada to help build the railway. But when the track was
completed, the federal government moved to restrict Chinese
immigration. Starting in 1885, people of Chinese origin entering the
country had to pay a $50 head tax, which increased to $100 in 1900. In
1903, it reached $500, the equivalent of two years wages of a Chinese
labourer at the time. Chinese people were denied Canadian citizenship
while the government collected millions.

On July 1, 1923,
Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act excluding all but a few
Chinese immigrants from entering Canada. It was repealed in 1947, and
Chinese-Canadians were allowed to vote 60 years ago this May.

Tan said the society formed to tell the federal government its settlement is incomplete.

“They are redressing just a
little under 600 families, that's 0.6 per cent of all the
families-82,000 families paid the tax,” he said. “But what about the
elderly sons and daughters who were separated from their fathers for
25, 30 years? What about elderly seniors who were born in Canada [and
had no rights until 1947]?”

Gim Wong, a Canadian-born
Second World War veteran who was barred from voting until after the
war, says he knows all too well how the head tax hurt families.

His father was 14 when he arrived in Canada in 1906. His mother arrived in 1919. Both of his parents paid the $500 head tax.

In 1937, when his parents
had seven children, they couldn't afford to buy the house they were
renting, which in those days cost $700.

In January last year, the
Burnaby resident road a motorcycle to Ottawa to appeal to former prime
minister Paul Martin for redress, but the RCMP intervened and he never
got to meet Martin.

Wong wants villages in China that contributed money to send young men to Canada compensated for the head tax.

Saturday's event begins at 9 a.m.

published on 05/11/2007

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Veterans fought for Respect – recognizing the contributions of Chinese Canadians

Veterans fought for Respect – recognizing the contributions of Chinese Canadians


Veterans fought for respect

News Features By Matthew Burrows

Publish Date: May 10,

A younger George Ing (left) joined the Canadian military in peacetime, and to this day salutes the pioneering Chinese Canadian vets of the Second World War.

A younger George Ing (left) joined the Canadian
military in peacetime, and to this day salutes the pioneering Chinese Canadian
vets of the Second World War.

Retired lieutenant-colonel
George Ing knows how much 2007 means to Chinese Canadians.

On Monday (May 14), the 73-year-old
Richmond resident will join other army, navy, and
air-force veterans at a proclamation ceremony at
Vancouver City Hall
at 10:30 a.m. The day marks the 60th anniversary of the repealing of the
Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 (the Exclusion Act) in 1947, after many Chinese
Canadians had fought in the Second World War on two fronts–to defeat the
spread of fascism and to be recognized as equal citizens in Canadian society.

“I joined in peacetime, 10 years after
the war,” Ing told the Georgia Straight. “When they [Chinese
Canadians] went to war, part of their aim was to show they were worthy
citizens. When they came back, they would take up the task of lobbying to get
us the franchise, which they did. Most of us who weren't around and weren't of
age to do anything are grateful to these guys. We're very aware that it's 62
years now since the end of the Second World War.”

According to Wendy Au, deputy city clerk at
City Hall, the city proclamation Ing has helped organize is not part of Asian
Heritage Month but “coincides with it”.

“This year is significant because of all
the anniversaries,” Au told the Straight. “There will be a dual
ceremony on that day. There will be an official swearing-in
[Canadian-citizenship] ceremony, and we will be honouring
the Chinese Canadian veterans.”

The cities of Burnaby
and Richmond will join
Vancouver in proclaiming May 14 to 21 Chinese
Canadian Citizenship Week. It is 60 years since Chinese Canadians received the
right to vote, and it is also the 50th anniversary of the election of the first
Chinese Canadian MP, Douglas Jung, in Vancouver Centre. In 1907, anti-Chinese
riots took place in Vancouver 's
Chinatown .

Victoria-born Ing said his father died when he
was three, and his family knows little about him. Now a grandfather himself,
Ing said he does not know for sure whether his grandfather, an immigrant from
China , was a head-tax payer on arrival in
Canada . In
1903, the Canadian government raised the head tax on Chinese immigrants to
$500. In 1923, Ottawa prohibited new Chinese
settlement in Canada ,
only lifting the ban in 1947.

“I grew up as a kid in
Victoria , and I think we were all aware of
our status in the community,” Ing said. “We weren't regarded well. I
personally grew up with my family on welfare. I can recall a lot of people
making comments like, 'You're a burden on society.' I was a little bit too
young to do anything about it at that time.

“I did make the vow that this is not
going to happen to my kids,” Ing added. “I had to go and pick up a
welfare cheque as part of my responsibilities. Even
at my age, and I was a teenager, I found it humiliating. Yes, the family had to
survive and that was part of my job, but I did not like doing that. It was just
something inside. But we have broken out of that now. My family has done well
and we have broken out of the cycle. I'm proud of that.”

David Wong, 49, grew up on
Union Street in Strathcona.
He has a Web site ( that neatly documents a rich
family history spanning multiple generations in China and Canada, including the
fact that both sides of his family paid the head tax.

“Head tax is a whole other story,”
Wong told the Straight. “Overall, what is really important is that people
know the history of our nation. Whether that's Chinese Canadians or other
community groups, it's important that people realize how the nation got to
where it is today and where it comes from. Younger people take for granted a
lot of the things we have now, such as the ability to become professionals.
This essentially came at a price. These [Chinese Canadian] vets fought for the
right to become full-participating citizens and be accepted.”

My Birthday for 2007

My Birthday for 2007

I spent the afternoon playing with my “almost 4” year old nephew.
We went shopping for a birthday cake “so we can have a feast.”
We went to Earl's Downtown on Hornby St. for dinner
Saw Spiderman 3 at the Paramount
Then off to Bacchus Lounge at the Wedgewood Hotel for desserts, drinks and late night pizza.
Friends and Food – Wonderful!