Monthly Archives: November 2007

Eastside Culture Crawl 2007: Gung Haggis paddlers invade 1000 Parker – meet artists Janice Wong, Arleigh Wood, Wendy Sexsmith, Robert Kwon, Kathryn Youngs, Rebecca Blair and Erin Williams

Eastside Culture Crawl 2007:

We met at Janice Wong's studio at 318-1000 Parker St.  It's a huge warehouse, a 4 story rabbit warren filled with artist studios. You can spot Culture Crawl first-timers by the glazed look in their eyes as they try to see everything in every studio.

Janice Wong is artist-cousin who also wrote the book C H O W from China to Canada: memories of food + family – which contains some history of her family growing up in Sask, and our revered ancestor Rev. Chan Yu Tan. She also knows our paddler Dan Seto because Dan and I took the CCHS writing workshop, and Janice came to give a talk.  Janice and I are also featured in the CBC documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy. She for her book and art work, me for my community service and Gung Haggis Fat Choy events.

This is the third year I have visited artist Arleigh Wood.  I really wanted our paddler Leanne to meet Arleigh, as they are both Japanese-Canadian internment descendants, as well as Hapa-Canadians. Leanne really appreciated how Arleigh has also drawn on her Japanese heritage to incorporate designs and photographs.  I really like her themes with ravens and trees.  This year her work also featured embossed patterns.

Erin Williams shared some space in Arleigh's studio and was launching her satin wear. She demonstrated her satin tool belt for “provocative play” and had an assortment of blindfolds and arm/leg restraints.  They are unlike anything I had seen before… Very interesting!

Wendy Sexsmith had some wonderful series of works using Asian themes, such as Buddha, Ganesha, a sumo wrestler and a couple in kama sutra poses.  Paddlers Wendy and Jonas bought the Buddha series as part of their quest for really cool christmas and wedding gifts. I asked Wendy why she had Asian themes, when she was so convincingly non-Asian looking.  She revealed that she had spent some time growing up in Japan, when her parents had worked there.  As well she had travelled and worked in India and elsewhere.  She loves Asia… so why not?  She had a great attitude and we loved speaking with her.

Robert Kwon had some lovely landcape pictures.  I loved how they were almost like colour field paintings – but expressed through nature.  When I told Robert that we had been visiting my cousin Janice, he said that he also liked Janice Wong's work.  We talked about her monotypes, and the relationship of modern expressionism and colour field paintings. Robert has Korean ancestry, and invited me to visit his Autumn Brook Gallery on 1545 West 4th Ave, just East of Burrard.

Rebecca Blair saw me and said “library guy” or was it “accordion guy?”  In addition to being an artist, and a part-time library worker, Rebecca is also a celtic harp player.  We didn't play any duets together while we were on the library picket line – but maybe for a future Gung Haggis Fat Choy event.  I have invited Rebecca to perform at the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry event at the Vancouver Public Library, Monday January 28th.  We will read Robbie Burns, as well as ontemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian poetry.

“You have to see this!” my girlfriend Deb exclaimed to me. “I love these!” She showed me a wall of ceramic hearts made by Kathryn Youngs.  Being a good boyfriend, I immediately said that I would buy her one.  Of course we decided we couldn't buy just one… we had to have one for each of us.

Kathryn's ceramic works are whimsical.  She creates ceramic fruits and flowers and even a kitty cat.  My girlfriend just had to take more pictures of her work. While in the store, we discovered we had a mutual friend in Sean Gunn, who posed with Kathryn. I have known Sean for many years.  Recently we were on the head tax redress campaign together.  Sean has also performed at my Gung Haggis Fat Choy events where he has performed his song “Head Tax Blues” and “Gim Wong.”

We went into The Mergatroid Building at 975 Vernon Ave. for the first time ever.  I was instantly fascinated by Joe Blow Glassworks.  There were $600 glass ray guns! Okay… I settled for the $25 Glass ornaments by Ilona.  I also liked the $95 gold leaf glass paper weights.  If you spent $150 in the store, they they would let you make your own glass paper weight.  Glass is cool.  Last year, members of the Gung Haggis dragon boat team when to Tacoma's Museum of Glass, and saw the incredible work of Dale Chihuly.  Maybe I will take a glass course one day.


Kroma Arttist Acrylics didn't have any artworks for sale.  Instead they sell acrylic paints.  For years they wondered how they could be part of the Eastside Culture Crawl happening around them.  Their idea was to open up the shop and let people use their paints.  This is now the favorite stop for kids.  I bumped into my library colleague Janis who said her young daughter kept asking “When are we going to paint?”  This was definitely a highlight for Deb and me – just sitting down, relaxing, and exploring colour and texture.  Of course I painted a dragon boat.

Falling for Grace: Chinese American Girl meets White-American Boy in New York City – Movie opens in Vancouver

Falling for Grace: Chinese-American Girl meets White-American Boy in New York City – Movie opens in Vancouver

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I met Fay Ann Lee, director of Falling for Grace, at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival.  It was Sunday, the final day of VAFF, and Fay had premiered Falling for Grace the night before.  Fay is a stunning woman, and very articulate, telling me about how she made the film. 

She tells me that across the USA, they have been slowly building the audience market by market.  We talked about how Falling for Grace is really a romantic comedgy, not limited only to an Asian audience, likening it to the success that Joy Luck Club had playing to White audiences across America.

Fay was excited by the Vancouver audience, and was looking forward to it's Vancouver general release.  And hey – Margaret Cho is in the movie!  Vancouver audiences like Margaret Cho.

The following is from the Falling for Grace press package:

CANADIAN PREMIERE – Falling for Grace





Harold, Fay Ann Lee, Christine Baranski, Roger Rees, Stephanie March,
Ken Leung, Clem Cheung, Elizabeth Sung, Ato Essandoh, Lewis Black and
Margaret Cho



Ann Lee has managed to not only write/direct/produce and star in a film
that's getting theatrical distribution across the U.S. but also
internationally. Lee's film, Falling For Grace, will have its Canadian
and International premiere at Cinemark's Tinseltown on Friday, November
16th. This would not be an extraordinary story if Falling For Grace has
Paramount or Focus Features behind it, but it becomes a remarkable
story when the distributor in this case is Fay Ann Lee herself.

to a NY Times article written in 2005, getting distribution for a film
for a first time filmmaker is about a 0.3% chance. So, getting into
Harvard, deemed one of the most competitive universities in the world
to enter, is far easier (10.8% acceptance rate for 2007). So what
exactly does it take for an Asian American woman to write, direct,
produce, act and now distribute a film not just in her own city, but
across the U.S. and internationally…on her own? It takes every ounce of
drive, tenacity, vision, talent and most of all, a heck of a lot of


started her career as a Broadway actress in Miss Saigon which led to
principal roles in regional theaters all across the U.S. As she
ventured into the world of television and film, she quickly realized
how few good roles there were for Asian Americans. Instead of playing
victim and whining about how unfair things were for Asian actors, Lee
decided to do something about it . Her goal was to write a classic
romantic comedy that happens to feature an Asian female protagonist.

a plot that's inspired by Lee's random encounters with John F. Kennedy,
Jr. in the mid 1990's, Falling For Grace premiered at the 2006 Tribeca
Film Festival and was a sold out hit. The word of mouth was so good
that the festival actually added an extra screening. But a dose of
reality hit when studios did not pick it up. Word on the street –
studios did not know how to market a mainstream film without mainstream
stars – and having an Asian American protagonist certainly did not


Lee's journey took a new turn – as Distributor. Instead of giving up
hope, Lee decided to test the film in two different cities, San
Francisco and Washington, D.C. The film tested so well with a
mainstream audience that theaters in nearby smaller cities started to
open up Falling For Grace (Sausalito, Grass Valley, Bryn Mawr,
Pennsylvania). And now other markets in the U.S. are requesting the
film – Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Maine, Texas etc. What's even more
unusual, is that other countries are hearing about this film from fans
who have seen the film and now want to open the film theatrically –
Austria, Ireland England are just a few that will most likely be
opening the film in 2008. The Falling For Grace website now receives
requests from as far as Australia, China, India, Japan, Hungary,
Germany, Italy and even Finland. Audiences all over the world are
starting to get the buzz on this little film that truly could.


achievement has been noted by some of the top colleges in the world.
Invitations have been extended by Yale, Johns Hopkins, Wharton, Temple,
Boston University, Columbia, Stanford and Berkeley for Lee to share her
remarkable story with future artists and leaders of America. Lee was
even invited to Tsinghua University in Beijing (the top university in
China) to screen the movie and speak to students. That the character in
the film, Grace Tang, achieves her goals is a comfort viewers return to
again and again. That Fay Ann Lee does could be the revelation that
forever changes the way students envision their own future. Fay Ann Lee
was a guest in Vancouver's own University of British Columbia, Simon
Fraser University and at the Emily Carr Institute.


Ann Lee is a wonderful speaker with a dynamic personality. Perhaps the
President of the Yale Film Society sums it up the best:

label Ms. Lee as an independent filmmaker is misleading. She does not
fit the mold of the starving artist, instead thriving as an ambitious,
Wharton-educated entrepreneur whose unorthodox approach to independent
filmmaking – one that has yielded a product with all the gloss of a big
studio flick – affords a rare angle on the world of filmmaking and what
it means to pursue your goals on your own terms.

On the one
hand, Ms. Lee and her film exude a comforting sense of optimism and
good humor; on the other hand, they speak to the importance of grit,
pragmatism, and hard-nosed determination. The balance of these values
is, essentially, what recommends Ms. Lee as a valuable guest.”

so many people around the U.S. that have heard her speak, your guests
will not only find her charming, funny and intelligent, but most
importantly, she will inspire them to believe in themselves and go for
their dreams!


Sarah Elmaleh
Promotions Director
Falling For Grace
Phone: 609-439-6430

Official Website:
Electronic Press Kit:

Iris Chang The Rape of Nanking: movie screenings are a benefit to BC Alpha

Iris Chang The Rape of Nanking: movie screenings are a benefit to BC Alpha

BC Alpha is an organization that has been a strong advocate both for the WW2 Korean comfort women, and the atrocities of the Japanese Army in China – including the rape of 80,000 Chinese women in Nanking.

Thekla Lit is president of BC Alpha.  I met her when she joined the Chinese Head Tax Redress campaign.  Thekla played an important role in speaking to Chinese Language media.  She is an avid human rights activist and respected by many people in the community.  Now she is continuing her campaign to raise awareness about “comfort women” and the “rape of Nanking.”

Check out Theckla's 2000 talk The Path to the Reconcilation and Peace for the New Millenium.

Iris Chang The Rape of Nanking is being shown in Vancouver as a series of benefit screenings for BC Alpha, at the Ridge Theatre, 3131 Arbutus St. (at 15th Avenue).

A film by Bill Spahic and Anne Pick

Iris Chang The Rape of Nanking is a moving and powerful
film on the story of Iris Chang who almost single-handedly brought this
forgotten Holocaust in Asia during WWII to the
awareness of the western world. Her book The
Rape of Nanking- the Forgotten Holocaust of WWII
made the best
seller list of New York Times for over 5 months when it was published in 1997. 
Until her untimely death in 2004, Iris had continued to be voice for the
voiceless victims, despite vicious vilifications from revisionists. 
Iris’ legacy for us all is the ray of hope, justice and peace.  This new
feature docudrama (105 min) in HD is a produced by Real sot Reel Productions
based in Toronto .


“You are going to find that we live in a world in
which international law has much less to do with actual justice than
international politics and money.  A world in which those who have power often
believe they are above the truth.  My greatest hope is that a few of you in
this auditorium today would actually serve as crusaders for truth, beauty and
justice in future.  People like that are needed to create a better world for
the next generations of humankind on this planet and to ensure the survival of
our civilization”
—- Quote of Iris Chang from the Movie

Venue: Ridge
Theatre – 3131 Arbutus
Street (at
15th Avenue )

Benefit Screenings:

November 15, 2007 (Thu)*
           7:15 pm $15  &

November 17, 2007 (Sat)
*            4:00 pm
$15  &  VIP$50

November 22, 2007 (Thu)
            7:15 pm $15

November 25, 2007 (Sun)
            4:00 pm $15

November 25, 2007 (Sun)
            7:15 pm $15

’s parents and actress Olivia Cheng
will be present for Q&A from the audience following the screenings on Nov
15 & 17.

are available at Ridge Theatre &
or call 604-247-0738

Let your friends know about this wonderful movie.  Attached please find the leaflets for more information. 
Proceeds from the benefit screenings of the movie go to support the works of
ALPHA such as:-

˙      Peace and
Reconciliation Study Tour for Canadian Teachers to Asia to learn about the
history and issues related to atrocities committed during WWII in

Working to get the
“Comfort Women” Motion 291 passed in the Canadian House of
Commons.  This Motion supports redress for former “comfort women”. 
Four survivors of Japan ’s
military sexual slavery from 4 different countries have been invited to bear
witness in Canada
in late November 2007.

Come to see a good movie and support ALPHA’s work! 
Please circulate this email to your contacts as broadly as possible.  Thank

Thekla Lit
President of
Co-chair of Canada
Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia)
604-436-3002 or 604-313-6000 (Cell)
Fax: 604-439-7738

P.S. For World Premiere of this movie in
Toronto , please visit

Check out Motion 291 – a Canadian Parliamentary motion asking Japan to apologize to “comfort women” and provide redress.

Eastside Culture Crawl Nov 16-18 – come visit my cousin – artist Janice Wong

Eastside Culture Crawl Nov 16-18 – come visit my cousin – artist Janice Wong

The East Side Culture Crawl is a lot of fun.  There are many studios to check out.  Some are in homes in Strathcona, and some are in big warehouses.

1000 Parker is a very big – very busy place.  My
cousin Janice Wong's studio is at #318.  She wrote the book C H O W from China to Canada: memories of food + family – which contains some history of her family growing up in Sask, and our revered ancestor Rev. Chan Yu Tan.

Check out the invitation below from my cousin Janice Wong – and please visit her studio at 318-1000 Parker.

Check out my blog story from last year's culture crawl.
GungHaggisFatChoy :: Eastside Culture Crawl: Visits to Gailan Ngan, Arleigh Wood and Janice Wong…

Culture Crawl invite - November

Salute to the Veterans by 78th Fraser Highlanders at BC Place Nov 3rd, during the BC Lions half-time show

Salute to the Veterans by 78th Fraser Highlanders at BC Place Nov 3rd, during the BC Lions half-time show


Musket smoke flares in BC Place, as the 78th Fraser Highlanders honour guard fires a “Salute to the Veterans” – courtesy photo by Vincent Chan at 

Guns, muskets firing, marching men in kilts, veterans and Remembrance Day ceremonies and beer in a football stadium… what could be better?

I have never been to a military tatoo at Edinburgh Castle, but after watching the video of the 78th Fraser Highlanders “Salute to the Veterans” at BC Place, during the Nov. 3rd BC Lions half-time show… and feeling the stirring sounds of bagpipes… I could well imagine.  I shoulda been there!!!

Maybe if I buy a new Roland electronic accordion with MIDI bagpipe simulations – I could join the 78th Fraser Highlanders.  Except my kilts are the Ancient Fraser of Lovat and the modern Fraser Hunting Tartan.

My friend Louise Lindgard, Vol. Sgt with the 78th Fraser Highlanders sent me the following account:

“The 78th Fraser Highlanders
participated last Saturday (Nov. 3, 2007) in the BC Lions Salute to the Veterans
which was held during the half-time show at BC Place Stadium.  The
half-time show was a tribute to our veterans and serving Canadian Forces

The Hon. Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs,
joined 1,000 people (veterans, cadets, Canadian Forces personnel, massed bands,
pipes and drums) to march on the field at half-time for a performance honouring
our veterans and Canadian Forces personnel.  The cadets unfolded a giant
Canadian flag and veterans who were unable to march were driven onto the field
in vintage cars.”

The attached video was made predominantly for the 78th Fraser
Highlanders as a promotional video as our Honour Guard fired some musket
volleys during the performance, which is always a crowd-pleaser.  Please
feel free to include it if you think it is appropriate and, if so, please give
credit to Paul Keenleyside as he shot the video.  Thanks.

The video
by Paul Keenleyside can be viewed at the following link:

I also attach four photos
of the 78th Fraser Highlanders courtesy of Vincent Chan at – so please
also include his name and website in the credits for the photos, if you use

Louise Lindgard

Vol. Sgt. – 78th Fraser Highlanders

Fort Fraser Garrison

Remembrance Day 2007 in Vancouver's Chinatown: building a new tradition to remember the contributions of the past

Remembrance Day 2007 in Vancouver's Chinatown: building a new tradition to remember the contributions of the past

The crowds are growing larger each year for the Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the Monument to Canadian Chinese at Keefer Triangle in Vancouver Chinatown – but the numbers of the veterans are growing smaller each year. photo Todd Wong

Everybody knows about the big Remembrance Day ceremony at Victory Square at Hastings and Cambie Streets in Vancouver.  But not everybody knows there are simultaneous ceremonies at the Japanese Canadian War Memoria in Stanley Park, or in Grandview Park, or South Memorial Park.  Left off the the Vancouver Park Board – 2007 Special Events Calendar was the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Monument to Canadian Chinese at Keefer Triangle in Vancouver Chinatown. 

It is the Chinese-Canadian veterans accompanied by First Nations veterans that attend two Remembrance Day ceremonies each year.  First they attend the Victory Square ceremonies at 10:30 am, then the now four year old ceremonies a the Monument to Canadian Chinese

I have attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies steadily over the past 7 years in support of my grand-uncle Daniel Lee who is one of the Victory Square event organizers.  His brothers Howard and Leonard and cousin Victor Wong also served in WW2 – all were descendants of Rev. Chan Yu Tan who came to Canada in 1896.  My father's brother James Wong also served in WW2. 

I know how cold the veterans can get in between the two ceremonies.  Usually after the Victory Square ceremony, they will head straight to Foo's Ho Ho Restaurant to get warmed up.  The clouds were threatening  rain, so I skipped the Victory Square Cenotaph
ceremony and drove home to North Vancouver to assemble my 8X8 tents,
and bring them to the Vancouver Chinatown Remembrance Day ceremonies
for 12:30pm.   This way the vets might have some added protection.  But the rains didn't happen, and I left the tents in the car.  But the organizers still appreciated the gesture.


My Grand-uncle Daniel Lee is once again president of Pacific Unit 280 Veterans Association.  He and his good friend Ed Lee (also a past-president) led the veterans, and the beavers, cubs and scouts in their parade walk across Columbia Street to the Memorial.

This year's ceremony involved more of a First Nations involvement.  Members of the Aboriginal Front Door Society brought their drums and sang a special song to honour the First Nations veterans and Chinese-Canadian veterans.


There were many wreaths to be laid this year.  The City of Vancouver wreath was laid jointly by Raymond Louie and B.C. Lee.  Raymond has attended every year since 2004.  A wreath was also laid by veteran Roy Mah's widow, as Roy passed away earlier this year.  Tung Chan and Ken Tung laid a wreath from SUCCESS and Wendy Yuan also laid a wreath.

After the ceremony all the veterans with their family and friends headed over to Foo's Ho Ho Restaurant for the traditional Pacific Unit 280 luncheon.  Members of our Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team also attended the ceremony and the luncheon.  Paddler Art Calderwood's father Douglas Jung had been a very active member of Pacific Unit 280 up to his death in 2002.  In May of this year, a film biography I Am The Canadian Delegate about Douglas Jung, was produced and directed by Wesley Lowe – who is also the chaplain of Pacific Unit 280.  On September 7th, the federal office building at 401 Burrard St was named after Douglas Jung, with members of Pacific Unit 280 in full dress kit.

Paddler Steven Wong's family also has deep Chinatown connections as his father Bill Wong operates Modernize Tailors with his brother Jack.  Veteran Alex Louie insisted I take him to say hello to Steven, when I told him which members of our dragon boat team were attending the luncheon.  It was Alex's daughter Jeri Osborn who created the NFB film documentary  Unwanted Soldiers, which told the story of how Canada did not originally want Canadian born Chinese to become Canadian soldiers.
Paddler Gerard Graal was born in Holland, so he and his family were very grateful for the Canadian troops that helped liberate Holland in WW2.  Also attending the luncheon was Gerard's paddler wife Keng, and paddler Cindy.

See my pictures at:

Remembrance Day, Chinatown 2007

Remembrance Day, Chinatown 2007

Origami to “bend the mind” found at the Pacific Coast Origami Conference held in Vancouver

Origami to “bend the mind” found at the Pacific Coast Origami Conference held in Vancouver

Todd Wong marvels at a Tyranosaurus Rex paper folded origami creation, at the Origami Masters exhibition at the Pendulum Gallery, organized by the Pacific Coast Origami Conference. – photo T. Wong collection

What is it about origami paper folding that inspires people to cult-like fanaticism?

a) beating human heart b) dragon c) dragon d) mask

It could be that is the act of creating something complex out of a simple sheet of paper, that “bends the mind” of people who can't fold paper!

a) dancing spirit bear b) dragon c) hippocampus d) origami creatures e) origami display

Pacific Coast Origami Conference was held in Vancouver Nov 9-11, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.  Classes were held to teach brand new creations – not published in books.

IMG_0307Volunteer Fulton Tom poses with origami insects!

I walked into the exhibition room of origami creations on display to discover my friend Fulton Tom.  Fulton's young teenaged son Harrison was one of the youngest participants at the conference.  Every last Saturday of each month, Harrison usually attends the PALM (Paperfolders Association of the Lower Mainland) meeting held at the Oakridge Branch Library in Vancouver.

IMG_0323Yukiko Tosa and Joseph Wu stand in front of Saturday's Vancouver Sun article about the Pacific Coast Origami Conference.

Yukiko Tosa and Joseph Wu are two of the many organizers that made this wonderful conference and exhibition happen. Joseph organized the Origami Masters Exhibition at the Pendulum Gallery at the HSBC building on 885 Georgia St.  You have to go see this exhibit… it is exciting… it is incredible.  You won't believe what can be done with paper.

IMG_0318 Eric Joisel's work is fantastical.  They resemble sculptures.

The conference brought many Origami Masters from around the world such as Eric Joisel from France, Robert Lang from USA, Yamaguchi Makoto from Japan. Eric Joisel folds incredible figures that resemble sculptures.

IMG_0342 Eric and Yukiko Tosa enjoy a joke and a laugh – exemplifying the friendly spirit of the conference.

Yukiko said that on Friday night, conference participants had been up
until 2am Saturday morning folding – such was their enthusiasm for
learning new folds.

Here are my pictures on Flickr

Origami at Pacific Origami conference in Vancouver Nov 9-11

Origami at Pacific Origami conference in…

Ruth Ozeki and Shaena Lambert read at historic Joy Kogawa House – Wonderful community chemistry for Vancouver's new literary landmark

Ruth Ozeki and Shaena Lambert read at historic Joy Kogawa House
Wonderful community chemistry for Vancouver's new literary landmark

Writers Shaena Lambert, Joy Kogawa and Ruth Ozeki were featured at the November 10th “War and Remembrance” event at historic Joy Kogawa House.- photo Deb Martin

Magic happens sometimes in unexpected places, and with unexpected people.  Joy Kogawa, author of Obasan and Naomi's Road, shared with the audience that she has been continually amazed at the way the universe has unfolded to not only save her childhood home from demolition last year – but also to continue build a foundation for the planned literary landmark and writers-in-residence program for historic Joy Kogawa House.

event was perfect with both authors Shaena Lambert and Ruth Ozeki
reading their most recent works that deal with the consequences of the
WW2 Hiroshima bombing.  How fitting that the stars aligned to have Ruth
come to Vancouver from between her busy commutes between Cortes Island
and New York City to settle in Kogawa House on the day before
Remembrance Day. 

The reading event went well tonight. 
80 people.  30 over the earlier cap of 50 people.  We had standing room
only upstairs, rather than turn people away.  Guess we will have to knock out the walls into the
former music room and take out bathroom – both added in 2004 by the
last owner… as we start our restoration early.

The audience was divided into two groups; Upstairs with Ruth Ozeki; and downstairs with Shaena Lambert.  Tamsin Baker of TLC (The Land Conservancy of BC) welcomed the upstairs audience and gave a brief history of the saving of Joy Kogawa House by the TLC and the Save Kogawa House Committee.  I added to that history, as a member of the now renamed History Joy Kogawa House Society, then introduced author Ruth Ozeki. 

Ruth is the descendant of Japanese-Americans who were interned during WW2.  Her grandfather was one of the few Japanese-Americans interned in Hawaii, while her mother was put under house arrest while attending university in Wisconsin.  Her book “My Year of Meats” was the 2007 choice for the One Book One Vancouver program at the Vancouver Public Library. 

IMG_0365Photo Library - 2786Photo Library - 2782Photo Library - 2772IMG_0382

Ruth read from “Click”, a special collaborative book for Amnesty International.  The first chapter was written by Linda Sue Park, and Ruth wrote the fourth chapter.

After a 40 minute session and an intermission, the authors switched locations with Ruth moving downstairs, and Shaena moving upstairs. 

Shaena read from her new novel Radiance, set in 1952 and based on true events in which Keiko Kitagawa arrives in New York City from Japan, as the “Hiroshima Maiden” who undergoes plastic surgery to remove a scar caused by the Hiroshima bomb.

After the readings, each author took questions.  Books were available for sale, including Click, Radiance and titles by Joy Kogawa.

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Following the close of the event, members of Joy Kogawa House Society hosted a dinner for authors Joy Kogawa, Ruth Ozeki and Shaena Lambert at the Red Star Seafood Chinese restaurant.  It was wonderful to see and talk with everybody in such good spirits after the successful event.  Everybody on this committee is dedicated to the cause of seeing Joy Kogawa House become a literary landmark for Vancouver and to develop a writers-in-residence program.  And they are all good-hearted people that trust and like each other.  What a joy it is to be on this committee.  It was particularly amazing to see the wonderful chemistry between Ruth and Shaena who had only met once before.

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Another unexpected twist of events happened when Todd Wong started telling Ruth about the Pacific Origami conference being held in Vancouver.  Ruth asked Todd to fold something, then suddenly Joy and Ruth were also very involved in folding, as a traditional crane base became an 8-point star, then finally a pegasus winged horse.  Simply magic.