Monthly Archives: May 2007

Chinese Canadian Veterans dinner May 12 – celebrating 60th anniversary of Canadian Citizenship

Chinese Canadian Veterans dinner May 12 – celebrating 60th anniversary of Canadian Citizenship

This Saturday I have organized a table for the Chinese Canadian Veterans celebrating 60th anniversary of Canadian Citizenship.

it has been 60 years since Chinese Canadians actually have citizenship
and voting rights – largely due to the lobbying and enrollment of
Chinese Canadian veterans of WW2.

Please join me in recognizing the achievements of the vets for our community.

call me to join my table… or so I can make arrangements for another table.

Cheers, Todd

Below is the invitation from the Chinese Canadian veterans, Pacific Unit 280.

Dear Friends:

For the last several years, I have been the Chaplain for Pacific Unit 280, Chinese Canadian WWII Veterans.  

As we look at the vets now, most in their eighties and nineties, it's
hard to believe that this group of “grumpy old men” helped transform
Canada. Before WWII, Chinese couldn't vote, be a doctor, lawyer – or
even work at the Post Office or go to a public swimming pool.  Worse,
many had immediate family in China that were not allowed to come to
Canada.  All this changed because in WWII, these men and women were
willing to fight and prove themselves honourable to a Canada, that did
not treat Chinese, honourably.

On Saturday, May 12th, as part
of Asian Heritage Month celebrations, the Chinese Canadian Military
Museum and SUCCESS are hosting a citizenship affirmation and dinner to
celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Chinese getting the vote and the
formation of Pacific Unit 280.  It will be held at the Continental
Seafood Restaurant at 11700 Cambie Road, Richmond.   Tickets are $45
which include dinner and a a new DVD of twenty three vignettes of some
of the vets DVD of Heroes Remember, as well as other gifts.

For many, this is a last hurrah and I'm hoping you might be able to
come and say a word of thanks to the vets.   If you are interested, you
can get tickets from me or Lt. Colonel George Ing at (604)271-0197.

Blessings all.

Wesley Lowe (604) 739-9725

explorFILM workshop with Mina Shum and Greg Chan for Asian Heritage Month

explorFILM workshop with Mina Shum

and Greg Chan for Asian Heritage Month

sounds like a fun workshop for Asian Heritage Month.  I loved
Mina's films Double Happiness.  This message is from Don
Montgomery, executive director of explorASIAN.

explorFILM: Workshop | Panel Discussion | Film Screening |
Q&A – May 12

Saturday – May 12 – 9:30am to

Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour Street (at Davie)

Tickets: On sale at the door on the day of the event starting
at 9:00am

FREE admission for explorASIAN Members with presentation of
2007 Membership Card at the door. explorASIAN 2007 Memberships available at the
door (CASH only)

Non-members: $10/person without membership (CASH

Ticket price includes admission to the Greg Chan Acting for
Beginners Workshop (9:30am-10:30am), the Industry Panel Discussion
(11:00am-12:30am), and the film screening/Q&A with Mina Shum (1:00pm to



> > > > >

Acting for Beginners Workshop with Greg Chan

9:30am – 10:30am

got his big break in 1994 when he was cast as Uncle Bing in Mina Shum's first
feature film, Double Happiness. Since then, he's gone on to a number of roles in
television, movies and commercials.

His credits include “Once A Thief”
(1996; dir: John Woo), “Seven Days” (2001), “Dark Angel” (2001), “Da Vinci's
Inquest” (2004), “Intelligence” (2005), “Live Feed” (2006), and “Dragon Boys”

In addition to screen and TV acting, Greg has experience doing
voice-overs for animation projects. Hear Greg share his passion for acting and
his strategies for success in the film industry.

> > > >

explorFILM: Industry Panel Discussion – “So You Really Want to Get
Into the Film Industry?”

11:00am to 12:30am

Meet some of the Lower
Mainland's leading industry professionals and find out what it really takes to
make it in the film industry. Q&A follows panel


Olivia Cheng – Actor/Journalist (Broken
Trail, Entertainment Tonight
Canada )

Jason Furukawa – Director (Robson Arms,
Godiva’s, Cold Squad)

Derek Lowe – Producer/Actor (Dragon
Boys, Romeo Must Die, Crying Freeman)

Andrew Ooi – Talent Management (Echelon
Talent Management)

Darryl Quon – Stuntman/Actor (Alien vs
Predator 2, Night at the Museum, Dragon Boys)

Rick Tae – Actor (Robson Arms,
Intelligence, Godiva’s)

Debbie Walker – Publicist (Translucent

Katie Yu – Still Photographer (Kickin’
It Old School, Dragon Boys, Everything’s Gone Green)

> >
> > >

explorFILM: Mina Shum's “Long Life, Happiness &

1:00pm to 2:30pm 5th Anniversary Film Screening of “Long
Life, Happiness & Prosperity”

2:30pm to 3:30pm Q&A with Director
Mina Shum and some cast and crew members from the film

> > >
> >

explorFILM 2007 is presented by Shaw Multicultural Channel
(Channel 109)

Hope you can join us on Saturday.  Please pass
this email forward to anyone who is thinking of working in the film
industry.  Thanks!
Don Montgomery
Executive Director

110 Keefer Street
Vancouver, BC   V6A
Office 604.677.1383
MAY is Asian Heritage Month in
Celebrating our 11th Anniversary in 2007

Cherry Blossoms at Kogawa House

Cherry Blossoms at Kogawa House

The cherry blossoms have been out everywhere in Vancouver since late
March.   In mid-April I was driving through Vancouver's
Marpole neighborhood, when I thought I should go visit Joy Kogawa's
childhood home at 1450 West 64th Ave.

It had been back the summer of 2005, when I had received an e-mail from
Ann-Marie Metten that Joy Kogawa's beloved cherry tree was diseased and
dying.  She and a group that included then Vancouver city councillor
Jim Green, gathered grafts from the cherry tree to try to preserve it
for future incarnations – because it was feared that the owner would
not give up the house.

This was the house that the Save Kogawa House Committee,
which I was part of, had worked so hard to save from demolition, when
the owner decided to draw up plans to demolish the house and build a
new one.  It was an intensive awareness campaign from September to
December when The Land Conservancy of BC decided
to step in and take on this project, deeming it a worthy Vancouver
landmark of cultural and historical importance.  Then it was from
December until May, as we tried to raise funds to save the house…
almost taking a mortgage out before an anomynous donor stepped in with
almost $300,000 to allow TLC to purchase the house. 

But now the task is to continue raising funds and awareness to both
renovate the home and restore it to the qualities it had before Joy and
her family were forced to leave their house due to enforced internment
of Japanese Canadians during WW2 – even though they were born in
Canada!  We also want to build an endowment and create a
writers-in-residence program as well as community programming.

Last spring, Joy was living in Vancouver, and she went to visit the
cherry tree to find a few spare blossoms.  The tree was
sickly.  At the open house in September – Joy placed manure around
the tree's base, spoke kind words and blessings for the tree.  Joy
soon returned to Toronto, but has returned to Vancouver briefly for
Christmas with her daughter and grandchildren and recently at the end
of March to see relatives and to give a reading for the Alcuin Society
at Kogawa House on March 30th.

I drove past the front of the house… everything looks nice, except the white picket fence has fallen down. 

I drove around the back of the house… and saw a most beautiful sight.  The cherry tree was in full bloom.

It is like the tree (and the house) knows it has a new life.  It is an old tree but heavy and full with blossoms.
Beautiful… I know if Joy saw the tree with its blossoms, there would be tears of happiness in her eyes.

Jen Sookfong Lee featured at CBC Radio Studio One Book Club – we check it out!

Jen Sookfong Lee featured at CBC Radio Studio One Book Club
– we check it out!

Sookfong Lee holds her first novel “The End of East”, after signing
copies for Dan Seto, Christine Lee and Todd Wong – photo by Julie Wong

Jen Sookfong Lee – CBC Studio One Book Club
May 2nd, 2007
CBC Studios

Each month CBC Radio Studio One Book Club features a different author
and book.  The hosts are Sheryl Mackay, host of CBC Radio's North
By Northwest, and John Burns, book editor for the Georgia Straight.

I have attended past Studio One Book Clubs featuring writers such as Douglas
Coupland with Terry

Yee with Saltwater City: The Story of Vancouver’s
Chinese Community
which actually contains a picture of me performing at the 2003 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

Host Sheryl Mackay with the Ricepaper/ explorASIAN crew – Don Montgomery, Krystal and Annabelle – photo Todd Wong

On May 2nd, Wednesday, Jen Sookfong Lee
was the featured guest, to help CBC Radio celebrate Asian Heritage Month, so explorASIAN was one of the sponsors.  The book club took place in one of the tv
studios – I guess Studio One is part of the renovations as the CBC
building is being dug up along Hamilton St. 

The format is this:
Sheryl and John introduce the show, talk about their guest, then
introduced Jen, and invited her up from the audience.  They ask
Jen a number of questions and discussed her book.

It's about Samantha Chan who tries to run away from Vancouver to Montreal to
escape her “Chinese-ness” but ends up returning when she discovers her
grandfather's head tax certificate.  Her novel tells a dual story of the early Chinese pioneers
to Vancouver during the time of head tax (1895-1923) and the 1923
exclusion act while also telling a contemporary story of present
day Samantha Chan dealing with her identity and family history. 

Jen says that her first novel took 7
years to completion.  She took the Master of Fine Arts for
Creative Writing at UBC and was writing a lot of poetry.  Soon she
got a job in Chinatown.  She walked its streets and breathed its
history.  She photocopied her grandfather's head tax certificate
and hung it up on the wall.  At the time, the head tax redress
movement had been rearing its head here and there, but gained steam as
Jen was refining her final drafts.  As head tax redress became an
exciting election issue during the 2005 federal election, she was
finishing her seventh and final draft.  She decided that the novel
was finishing itself and would not be influenced by the current events. 

As usual, audience members are invited to ask the author
questions.  I introduced myself, and told Jen I had written about
her novel on my blog.  She said she had been reading my
articles.  I told her that like her, I am also a head tax
descendent.  And then I asked her my question…. You can hear my
question on the upcoming Jen Sookfong Lee CBC Studio One Book Club event, part of Vancouver's Asian Heritage Month celebrations, will be broadcast the third and fourth Sundays of this month, on May 20 and 27 in British Columbia on the North by Northwest program between 8:00am and 9:00am.

Author Jen Sookfong Lee signs a copy of “The End of East” for Julie Wong – photo Todd Wong

Check out some reviews of “The End of East”

March 23, 2007
“The End of East is just her start”
Jen Sookfong Lee profiled in 7 section of The Globe and Mail

March 22, 2007
“End of East chronicles immigrants' gamble”
The End of East reviewed in The Georgia Straight

March 22, 2007
“Vivid Vancouver”
The End of East reviewed in NOW Magazine

March 17, 2007
“Uprooted from Vancouver”
The End of East reviewed in The Globe and Mail

March 10, 2007
to the archived conversation of SPiN talking with Sheryl
MacKay on North by Northwest at CBC Radio One's archive,