What to expect at Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2008 dinner – how to enjoy and have fun!

What to expect at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2008 Dinner

The Arrival

Arrive Early: 

The doors will open after 5:00 pm, if everything goes well… All tables are reserved, and all tables are placed in the
order that they were ordered.

If you bought your tickets through Tickets Tonight, come to the reception marked Will Call – Tickets Tonight

We have placed you at tables in order of your purchase.  Somebody who bought their ticket in December will be at a table closer to the stage then somebody who bought it on the day before the event.  We think this is fair.  If you want to sit close for next year – buy your ticket early.

If you reserved a table, then come to the reception marked Will Call – Reserved Tables.  We will give the organizer the tickets to distribute… or check the guests names off as they arrive

The Bar is open:

We expect a rush just prior to the posted 5:30pm
time.  This is the time to go to the bar and get your dram of
Johnny Walker Red or your order of Guinness beer. – specially brought in for tonight's
dinner.  Diageo is the distributor of these fine spirits, and we are pleased they have become a sponsor for our event.

Johnny Walker Red is a favorite at Chinese New Year Dinners because the colour red is considered good luck in Chinese Culture. Johnny Walker Green is a special blend of four single malt whiskies: Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore and Caol Ila.  Diageo is donating some bottles of Johnny Walker to raffle/auction off, plus a special gift basket.  Please support our sponsor by purchasing their products at the bar.

Buy Your Raffle Tickets:

Please buy
raffle tickets… this is how we generate our fundraising.  We
purposely keep our admission costs low to $60 for advance regular seats
so that they are affordable and the dinner can be attended by more
people.  Children's tickets are subsidized so that we can include
them in the audience and be an inclusive family for the evening.
We have some great door
and raffle prizes lined up.  Lots of books (being the writers we
are), gift certificates and theatre tickets + other surprises.

Click here to see some of the prizes

FREE Subscription for Ricepaper Magazine:

Everybody is eligible for a subscription to RicePaper Magazine, (except children). This is our thank you gift to you for attending our dinner. And to add value ($20) to your ticket. Pretty good deal, eh? Rice Paper Magazine
is Canada's best journal about Asian Canadian arts and
culture, published by
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop,

Kogawa House 1944?

This dinner is the primary fundraising event for:

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team continues to promote multiculturalism through
dragon boat paddling events, and puts a dragon boat float each year in
the Vancouver St. Patrick's Day Parade. 

Since 2001, Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, has been a partner in this remarkable dinner event.  ACWW are the publishers of RicePaper Magazine.

Save Kogawa House committee joined our family of recipients in 2006, during the campaign to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home from demolition.  The Land
stepped in to fundraise in 2005 and purchase Kogawa House
in 2006 and turn it into a National literary landmark and treasure for all
Canadians. Now that the newly registered Historic Joy Kogawa House Society is registered, more money is still
needed to restore it to the 1942 qualities when Joy and her family were
forced to leave it, as well as create an endowment for future

Please support our missions of supporting and developing emerging writers,
organizing reading events, creating a literary and historical landmark in Vancouver,  and to spread multiculturalism through
dragon boat paddling!


This year haggis dim sum appetizers will again
be on a long buffet table – available at 5:30 pm.  This is going
to be culinarily exciting.  We have featured deep-fried haggis won
ton since 2004. Last year we introduced haggis pork dumplings (su-mei).  Don't worry – there is also vegetarian spring rolls and shrimp dumplings (haw gow).

Soon after 6:00 pm the dinner formalities begin. People
are seated, and the Piping in of the musicians and
hosts begins.  We will lead a singalong of Scotland the Brave and give
a good welcome to our guests, and have the calling of the clans – all the reserved tables and large parties of 10.  This is a tradition at many Scottish cailles (kay-lees), or gatherings.

If you want to eat, you have to sing for your supper! (which should appear by 6:30 pm).

From then on… a new dish will appear every 10 to 15 minutes –
quickly followed by one of our co-hosts introducing a poet or musical
performer.  Serving 40 tables within 5 minutes, might not work
completely, so please be patient.  We will encourage our guests
and especially the waiters to be quiet while the performers are on stage.
Then for the 5 minute intermissions, everybody can talk and make noise
before they have to be quiet for the performers again.

The Performances

Expect the unexpected:  This year's dinner event is full of surprises. Even I don't know what is going to happen.  The idea is to recreate the spontaneity of the very
first dinner for 16 people back in 1998 – but with 400 guests.  For
that dinner, each guest was asked to bring a song or a poem to share. 

We will alternate singalongs, poetry reading, musical performance,
movie excerpt, mini theatrical reading, along with a 10 course Chinese
banquet dinner.

don't want to give anything away right now as I
prefer the evening to unfold with a sense of surprise and
wonderment.  But let it be known that we have an incredible
array of talent for the evening. 

Todd Wong, aka Toddish McWong will be the host for the

and his celtic-fusion band Brave Waves is again our “house
band.” We always delight in having Joe and his bagpipes.  This
year Joe and the band will deliver a Canadian music with a
multicultural twist.

This year, Joe and Todd think they have perfected their rap version of Burns' immortal poem “Addres to a Haggis” and performed it LIVE on CBC Newsworld on Robbie Burns Day.  Last year they released an MP3 version produced by No Luck Club's Trevor Chan, which aired on CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Canada International and BBC Radio Scotland.

Blackthorn, the celtic music band, is
really looking forward to the cultural fusion mix that Gung Haggis Fat
Choy.  Vocalist/flautist Michelle Carlisle really loved the
taste-testing dinner and played a duet of Loch Lomand with host Todd
Wong on his accordion, for Shaw TV's The Express with Sukhi Ghuman.

Vancouver Poet Laureate George McWhirter really appreciates the energy
that Gung Haggis Fat Choy brings to Vancouver, and we are honoured he
is our featured author.  Born in Ireland, his family ancestors
travelled back and forth between Scotland and Ireland.  George has
written a poem especially for the occasion of our 10th Anniversary.

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by film maker Ann Marie Fleming
features a cinematic retelling about her great great grandfather
magician.  Fleming is a new board member for Asian Canadian Writers'
Workshop – a recipient for this increasingly famous fundraiser dinner.


Generations: The Chan Legacy

is a CBC documentary – which features Todd Wong and his Gung Haggis Fat
Choy creation.  Wong is a 5th generation descendant of Rev. Chan Yu Tan
who arrived in Canada in 1896.

Catherine Barr,
media columnist is going to introduce a Burns dinner tradition never
before presented at a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.  Watch out for a
Toast to the Lassies and Rebuttal, like you've never seen or heard
before.  Definitely YouTube worthy.

A sneak preview of The Quickie,
a new play by emerging playwright Grace Chin.  Burns so loved the
ladies.  But do Asian ladies prefer Chinese guys or White guys?

The Quickie cast:

Poetry by Robbie Burns and Chinese Canadian poets.  What will it be?  We often like to read “Recipe for Tea” – a poem by Jim Wong-Chu, about the trading of tea from Southern China to Scotland

Our non-traditional reading of the “Address to the
Haggis” is always a crowd pleaser.  But
this year, audience members might be reading a different Burns poem to
tie their tongues around the gaelic tinged words.  Will it be “A
Man's A Man for All That,” “To a Mouse,”
My Luv is Like a Red Red Rose,” or maybe even “Tam O-Shanter?”

hand-pick members of the
audience to join us on stage to read a verse.  Past participants
have included former federal Multicultural Secretary of State Raymond
Chow, Qayqayt
(New Westminster) First Nations Chief Rhonda Larrabee, , a
descendent of Robert the
Bruce, a doctor from White Horse, a UBC student from Scotland, somebody
doing a vocal impression of Sean Connery.

Who will it be for 2008?  We leave it up until the evening to decide.

The evening will wrap up somewhere between 9:00 and
9:30 pm, with the singing of Auld Lang Syne – with a verse in Mandarin Chinese. Then we will socialize further until 10pm.  People will
leave with smiles on their faces and say to
each other, “Very Canadian,”  “Only in Vancouver could something
like this happen,” or “I'm telling my friends.”

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