2007 Highlights for Todd Wong: lots of media interviews + CBC documentary + Vancouver Library Strike + Gung Haggis Fat Choy goes international

2007 Highlights for Todd Wong: lots of media interviews + CBC documentary + Vancouver Library Strike… and Gung Haggis Fat Choy goes international

Here's a picture of Rory, Becca and Todd Wong at the inaugural Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Seattle.
– photo courtesy of Becca Fong

January 15th
Erin Cebula did a Global Village spot about Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner on January 15th, just prior to our Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night event at the Vancouver Public Library. Malcolm Parry also dropped by for some pictures and quick interview.

January 24th
Gung Haggis RAP Choy... It's Robbie Burns Eve, and we released a Rap version of Robbie Burns immortal poem Address to the Haggis. It is produced by Trevor Chan of No Luck Club and features myself and Joe McDonald on vocals.  The backing track features Joe on bagpipes and is titled “Gung Haggis Fat Choy.”  Click on this article to download our MP3 file.

January 25th

SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival – Dragon Cart Races + Human Curling.
It's the second annual installment of a new SFU tradition organized by the SFU Recreation Department and based on my Gung Haggis Fat Choy events.

CBC Radio interview with Priya Ramu + Ming Pao interview with Eric Chan.  Priya plays the Haggis Rap.  CBC Radio International also airs a previously taped interview I did with them which sends Toddish McWong and Gung Haggis Fat Choy out to the world on satellite.  Oy!  The world gets a dose of The Haggis Rap.

January 28th
Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.  The best one ever – according to bagpiper Joe McDonald who has performed at 8 GHFC dinners since 2001.

February 15th
Kyoto Journal features an article about Todd Wong and Gung Haggis Fat Choy – by author Jean Miyake Downey

February 18th
Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle: Scots-Americans enjoy a big success for a first initiative south of the border!

March 19th
Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour given by Mayor Sam Sullivan to Save Kogawa House Committee & TLC: The Land Conservancy of BC.  I accept on behalf of Joy Kogawa House committee, with Bill Turner executive director of TLC.

Todd Wong, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, Bill Turner TLC executive director – photo Deb Martin

April 5th
It's Tartan Day Eve… and Kilts Night in Vancouver.  Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team takes part in a kilt fashion show, and ends up becoming featured on the poster for Kilts Night at Doolin's Irish Pub.


April 14th
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team is filmed for ZDF German Public Television.  We participate in the ADBF sprint regatta. Afterwards we celebrate with a Scotch tasting, and cooking up deep-fried haggis won-tons for the cameras.  BC Royal Museum later asks if they can use the picture below for a display

(clockwise) Todd Wong, Stuart Mackinnon, Steven Wong, Stephen Mirowski, Tzhe Lam and Julie Wong partake in scotch tasting and eating deep-fried haggis won-ton for ZDF German Public Television film crew – photo Deb Martin

April 29th
I post an article about James Erlandsen requiring a Bone Marrow transplant from a Eurasian Donor. This begins a relationship with James, his family and especially his cousins Aynsley and Hillary and Aunt Bev. 

May 7th
I do a City TV interview with James Erlandsen, about his fight with leukemia, my own cancer experience and how I am trying to help his
his need for a bone marrow transplant by blogging about his cause.  In May, we name James Erlandsen as honourary drummer for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team.

June 15/16/17
The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team races in the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.
On Friday, we take part in the Opening Ceremonies and also become emergency volunteers for the ADBF VIP Party.

June 28th
Georgia Straight features a memorial article about Roy Mah, and interviews me for two articles: Roy Mah strove to transcend race & What do you remember about Roy Mah?  The City of Vancouver pronounces July 12th as Roy Mah Day, and
I attend memorial service.


July 4th
Generations: The Chan Legacy airs on CBC Newsworld.  It is the documentary about my seven generational family history descended from Rev. Chan Yu Tan who arrived in Canada in 1896.  I was the lead contributor and helped to guide producer Halya Kuchmij as she interviewed family elders Victor Wong, Helen Lee, Gary Lee as well as artist/author Janice Wong, myself and one of our youngest family members Tracey Hinder.  I watched the live television broadcast with my grandmother, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The Chan Legacy will air six times throughout July and August. 

The documentary films me attending the 2006 Taiwanese dragon boat races, Terry Fox Run in Richmond, and the first open house event at Joy Kogawa House where I perform with my accordion, and Joy says kind words about my involvement saving her childhood home.

Chan family

July 28/29
Gold medals for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team in the Greater Vernon Dragon Boat Races.  Our Vernon raised steersperson Deb Martin is featured in the local Vernon Morning Star paper.  Our dragon boat team is hosted and housed by Deb's parents in their Kalamalka Lake-side home.

July 31
North Shore News interviews me, my mother and cousin Tracey Hinder for an article about Generations: The Chan Legacy. It's a great interview.  Tracey and I were both featured in the CBC documentary.  My mother was a great support and appears a few times as we do family activities together.
Three generations of the Chan family: Tracey Hinder (left), Betty Wong and Todd Wong look over their family's impressive legacy.

August 23
“Library workers picket with pizzazz!” Globe & Mail interviews me and takes my picture. The Vancouver Library workers are on strike for the first time in our 77 year union history.  I help organize a writers' series at Central Branch inviting well known writers as Terry Glavin, Stan Persky, Tom Sandborn, Hiromi Goto, Fiona Lam, Daniel Gawthrop, Rita Wong and George McWhirter the Vancouver Poet Laureate to come read to Vancouver Library workers.  I maintain stories about the strike on my blog, and am interviewed by different media such as CBC Radio, NW98, Co-op Radio, CBC TV etc.

Read a recap of my involvement with the Vancouver Library strike with pictures.

August 30
Georgia Straight interviews me for an article: Boss and union tell different tales and asks to use my photo of myself, city librarian Paul Whitney and librarian Alexis Greenwood.

Todd Wong, an accordion-playing library employee, picket captain Alexis Greenwood, and city librarian Paul Whitney remain on friendly terms.
Wong, an accordion-playing library employee, picket captain Alexis
Greenwood, and city librarian Paul Whitney remai
n on friendly terms.

September 7th
This was a very busy Friday.  I started off by introducing Vancouver poet laureate George McWhirter who gave a reading to our Vancouver library workers.

Next I attended the opening ceremonies for the Douglas Jung Building, where Jung's son Art Calderwood gave a speech.  Art is also a paddler with the Gung Haggis Dragon boat team and several team members were there to support him.

It was the 100th anniversary of the Anti-Asian riots that attacked both Chinatown and Japantown in 1907.  I attended the 1907 Riot: The Walking Tour.  That evening I attended the
Reconciliation Dinner: Addressing the 1907 Anti-Asian riot and a century of change


September 27th
I speak at Cleveland Elementary as a Terry's Team cancer survivor as part of the National Terry Fox Run Day.  I have spoken at Terry Fox Run events since 1993, when Terry's brother Darrell Fox asked me to become a Terry's Team member – cancer survivors who serve as living proof that cancer research makes a difference.

September 28th
I host the
Music Cabaret for Vancouver District Labour Council at the Rhizome.
An amazing event organized by Earle Peach.  Lots of incredible songs and performers about the labour movement and history.  Because of my participation, the Vancouver District Labour Council decides to donate all the proceeds to CUPE 391, Vancouver Library workers.

September 29th

Word on the Strike…CUPE 391 picket line adds creativity to annual Word on the Street event
– I do double duty performing my accordion for Word on the Strike, as well as staffing the Joy Kogawa House booth for Word on the Street.
IMG_0112 IMG_0127


Joy Kogawa House Society is now legal…. next step – restore the house

October 13th
I write a “Dream Statement” for the Dream Vancouver conference that takes place October 21st.  Of course I address racial and cultural diversity.

October 10th

Vancouver IAM agregattor Blog Features www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com story as one of the TOP BLOG REPORTS

November 8th

Geist Magazine features Todd Wong's photographs of Vancouver Library workers' strike Haiku poetry

took many pictures during the Vancouver civic strike.  I received many
requests for permission to print them in Georgia Straight + on-line
newsblogs – but Geist was the only magazine request.

November 10th

Ruth Ozeki and Shaena Lambert read at historic Joy Kogawa House –
Wonderful community chemistry for Vancouver's new literary landmark
. I am one of the hosts for this event, as a member of the Historic Joy Kogawa House committee.  At a following meeting, I am voted president.  Shaena Lambert and Ruth Ozeki were both incredible readers.  They brought so much energy to the event, and they loved what we are doing with the house to turn it into a writer's retreat centre.

November 22nd

Eating Stories with the Chinese Canadian Historical Society – book launch
I am one of the authors included in this incredible Chinese-Canadian and aboriginal anthology about family and food.  Authors book launch takes place at the Rhizome Cafe, and the official book launch happens at the Vancouver Museum.

December 14th
I am a guest panelist on CBC Radio's The Current discussing Canada's 3rd official language?  We debate whether Canada should have a 3rd official language.  Chinese is now the 2nd most spoken mother tongue language outside of Quebec.  I suggest a different alternative

December 15th
I discover that I am featured in a grade 5 school text book. It is called Literacy in Action and I was interviewed and asked for photos last year… but through all the library strike action, I never saw the book until today.

December 24th

Todd Wong's Favourite Christmas Dish read on CBC Radio's “Flavour of the Week” by Maragaret Gallagher

It's my final media spot of 2007. 

Wow…. what a busy year!  Time to start it all up again.  Press releases for 2008 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner going out this week.

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