Monthly Archives: May 2008

Unity Within Diversity: Chinese Canadian vets at Vancouver Library

Chinese Canadian Vets + Douglas Jung film at VPL

Here is an interesting event that Wesley Lowe has put together to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. 

May 31st, Saturday
Vancouver Public Library

Hello Everybody – please find attached the invitation to the “Unity
Within Diversity” event next Saturday, May 31st at 4:00 pm at the
Vancouver Public Library.

It promises to be a special event.  In particular, we are happy that
Major Harjit Sajjan who spent eight months in Afghanistan and Peggy Lee
who was with the Women's Ambulance Corps during WWII will be fielding
questions.  We will also see a short video clip of the late Douglas
Jung, WWII Veteran and Canada's first Chinese Member of Parliament.

During the reception, there will be ample opportunity to meet and
mingle with Asian Veterans of many heritages.   We will also have on
display the Display Panel of Chinese Canadian contribution to WWII and
there will be the Western Canadian premiere display of the Japanese
Diversity Panel.

The ever-able “Fiddlers on the Roof” string quartet will entertain us
and light refreshments from the “Lazy Gourmet, ” voted BEST
CATERER FOR 2007 AND 2008  will be served.

An RSVP is not required but if you are coming, let us know.

Look forward to seeing you there.

explorASIAN Family Day Saturday at Vancouver Museum

Celebrate Asian Heritage at the Vancouver Museum on Saturday

here is an event for explorASIAN:

Metro Vancouver community invited to participate in

explorASIAN Friends & Family


 explorASIAN celebrates the end of Asian Heritage Month in Metro Vancouver
with an exciting day of family friendly activities.  This free community event includes live
music concerts, magic shows, dance performances, arts and crafts, community
booths, and free giveaways.  
community is invited to enjoy this FREE multicultural event and meet the
talented Asian Canadian artists and diverse cultural and community


explorASIAN Friends & Family Day

Vancouver Museum, 1100 Chestnut Street (Vanier

May 31, 2008 Saturday

11am – 5pm

Free event | Free parking


performances for all ages:

  • International
    Champions of Magic Rod Chow & Company
  • Award
    Winning Elvis Impersonators: 
    Aaron Wong & Adam Leyk
  • Kathara
    Dance Theatre
  • Vandna
    Sidher Bharata Natyam Classical Indian Dance
  • Master
    Wilson Wu (kungfu)
  • Sifu
    Laurens Kam To Lee (tai chi)
  • DJ's
    Trevor Chan and MissBliss


  • Asian
    Canadian History Timeline Challenge Scavenger Hunt
  • Arts
    and Crafts displays and demonstrations
  • Caricature
    Drawings by Geoff Wong
  • and

community organizations:

  • Lang’s
    Mongolian Acupuncture
  • Powell
    Street Festival Society
  • Taiwanese
    Canadian Cultural Society
  • UBC
    Department of Asian Studies (KUNGQU)
  • C3
    Korean Canadian Society
  • Scripting
  • Dr.
    Lyla May Yip Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Master
    Wilson Wu Kungfu Ocean Academy
  • 411
    Seniors Centre Society
  • Kam
    To Tai Chi Chuan Association
  • Raymond
    Chow, Artist
  • Canadian
    International Dragon Boat Society



is sponsored by the



Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society is a registered non-profit society
that celebrates Pan-Asian arts and culture by presenting diverse educational and
community outreach programs.


Society presents and participates in many community ethnocultural events
throughout the year and produces the Asian Heritage Month festival known as
explorASIAN” in the month of May.


1996, the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society's “explorASIAN” Festival has
endeavored to explore the diversity of Asian Canadian life and culture and
promote the discussion of relevant issues and concerns within and beyond the
Asian Canadian community.   The
Metro Vancouver community

will share and experience Pan-Asian Canadian arts and culture at events
featuring emerging and established actors, artists, dancers, filmmakers,
musicians, performers and writers.

June 5th Gung Haggis dragon boat team fundraiser @ Doolin's Irish Pub

2007 Tartan Day celebrations at Doolin's Irish Pub – we became Kilts Night poster boys and girls!!!
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dragon boat team fundraiser
Doolin's Irish Pub

$10 for 1 beer + 1 burger
proceeds to Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team
June 5th

followed by

-wear a kilt get a pint of Guinness FREE

free music with
Halifax Wharf Rats
Celtic tinged folk and rock music

Doolin's Irish Pub
654 Nelson at Granville
Vancouver BC V6B 6K4

Tickets available from team members
for more information:

We will distribute tickets on SUNDAY

If 20 people buy tickets – we get $200
and we can buy food drink for festivals

If 40 people buy tickets – we get $400
– we can pay for the paddling clinic with Olympian Kamini Jain

if 60 people buy tickets – we get $600
– we can pay for early bird registration for Taiwanese Race

If 100 people buy tickets – we get $1000
– we can pay for all the above – if we also do a raffle or 50/50 draw.

THREE EVENING EVENTS at “Tracing the Lines: A Symposium on Contemporary Poetics and Cultural Politics to Honour Roy Miki”

“Tracing the Lines: A Symposium on
Contemporary Poetics
and Cultural Politics to Honour Roy Miki”:

Wednesday May 28: 7:30 PM:
Reading by Roy Miki

Reception to
@ Studio 41, CBC Building 775 Cambie Street (at Georgia)

1) seating is limited at this venue (because of fire laws)
2) sign-in is necessary
3) if you have not pre-registered for tracing the lines, it is a good idea to arrive early to
ensure that you get a seat

Thursday, May 29, 8:00 PM:
Gala launch/reading of West Coast Line,

The Roy Miki issue. Readings by Marie Annharte Baker, George Bowering, Colin Browne,
Jeff Derksen, Louis Cabri, Roger Farr, David Fujino,
Daphne Marlatt, Nicole Markotic,
Garry Thomas Morse, Kim Minkus, Mark
Nakada, Baco Ohama, Renee Rodin, Jacqueline Turner,
and Jonathon
@ The Anza Club, 3 West 8th (between Main and Cambie)

Saturday, May 31, 7:30 PM:
Talk by Smaro Kamboureli.

“‘i have
altered the tactics to reflect the new era’: Intellectuals, Accountability, and Politics.”
@ St. John’s College, 2111 Lower Mall, University of BC

All evening events are free and open to the public

See for more information.

Dragon Boat Nutrition: What to eat before a dragon boat race or practice?

Eating is important.  It gives us energy on a dragon boat. 
Dragon Boat Nutrition: What to eat before a dragon boat race or practice?


Dragon Boat racing is very short 2minutes to 4 minutes or even a longer 12 minute races,
depending if you are a competitive, recreation or novice paddler, or if
you are racing 250m sprint, standard 500m, 1000m, or 2000m Guts &
Glory races..  So it's neither a pure sprint or a marathon event.

During the first 6-8 seconds you use the ATP-CP energy (immediate/stored energy) systems in your muscles. 
So I will usually eat more protein the night before such as a steak or fish dinner. 

Next you use the short-term glycolytic energy system which usually lasts for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
lots of good carbohydrates, this will give you the energy for the
glycolytic and aeorobic energy systems.  This means lot of good fruits,
vegetables, pastas, rice, etc.

But this energy system also gives
you the lactic acid burn – so train for increased lactic acid
tolerance.  This means lots of short drills for 30 seconds, such as
interval training.  20 seconds paddle, 30-60 second rest, repeat.

you start using the long term aeorobic system – 60-90 seconds into your
activity –  which is why marathon bike racers do carb-loading by eating
huge pasta dinners before the Tour de France, because they want more
carbohydrate energy to burn in their bodies.  So again, eat lots of
carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, pastas, rice.  Ideal for any
paddler going into Guts & Glory.

RACE DAY: avoid
eating greasy fatty foods.  This will sit in your system for  4-6
hours.  Avoid being the paddler who orders a hamburger, then has to
scarf it down because the order came late, and their team has just been
called to marshall.   Confused

rice and vegetable dishes are ideal lunches for afternoon practices,
they are easily digested and you will have lots of energy to burn.

eating large amounts of refined sugars such as candy bars or soft
drinks just before going out on the boat.  It will affect your blood
sugar levels and actually weaken your strength, and take longer to
break down.  However, once you are actively working out, sports drinks
or juices are ideal for replenishing your system.  Drink lots of water
during the day to avoid dehydration especially on hot days.  Remember
that coffee, teas and alcohol can actually dehydrate the body.  Mad

a snack to eat and drink right after practice.  This will help prevent
carbohydrate depletion and offset fatigue.  Juices, fruits and energy
bars are ideal.  Bananas are always favorites of athletes.  Smile

favorite foods between races are Bananas, fruit smoothies or carrot
& fruit juices – easy to digest, and fast energy. You can also try
protein shakes.

After the last race of the day… carbohydrate replenishment choice is a nice dark beer!  Very Happy

Vancouver Sun: Dragon boats about to set sail – will dragon boat festival leave False Creek?

When will a boat house be built in East False Creek for dragon boats?

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team paddles into South East False Creek  dock near Science World. – photo Leanne Riding.

It's a big issue for the dragon boat community. 

Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat festival general manager Ann Phelps stated in
April at the Manager & Captains dragon boat meeting, that it is an
election year, and she needs help lobbying the city for help.

This morning Miro Cernetic wrote an article in the Vancouver Sun
Check out Saturday May 24th Vancouver Sun…. page D5.

Dragon boats about to set sail
Vancouver's development plans for False Creek leave out a very important institution

Here are my thoughts:

for dragon boats etc, has been in discussion since or before 1995.  It was on earlier plans for SEFC.  What happened to it?

UBC and City of Richmond have built a rowing centre near the Delta Airport Inn.  This area is now home to the Richmond Dragon Boat Festival.

There are proposals for False Creek East Bay (East of Cambie Street Bridge) to host a Motorless Marina – this is perfect for recreation and ecological impact.  Ideally East Bay should be MOTOR BOAT FREE to create Canada's first saltwater recreation civic park (okay… there are issues with it being a Canadian Ports jurisdiction… but have them donate the waterway to become a park – for paddling activities, similar to the former row boats in Lost Lagoon.)

Dragon boats are seen as an important symbol of Vancouver's multicultural diversity

  1. Dragon Boat racing first started in 1986 at Expo 86, when Hong Kong donated boats to City of Vancouver
  2. Vancouver dragon boat race featured on 2003 Canada Post stamp of Canadian tourist attractions
  3. Vancouver dragon boats featured in Feb 2008 Global tv news feature “BC World Class”  Gung Haggis dragon boat team is part of World Class BC on Global News show Feb 26
  4. dragon boat featured in Dec 2007 German public television documentary “From Toronto to Vancouver by Train” 
    Gung Haggis dragon boat team…. 200m sprints with a German TV cameraman in seat 1
  5. Canadian
    International Dragon Boat Festival (now called Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon
    Boat Festival) is one of Vancouver's oldest running festivals – 20
    years old – since 1988. 

I see two solutions.

1) A long planned and talked about boat house should finally be built in the East Bay.  It could be part of a park facility or a motorless marina.

2) Waterfront community centres should become dragon boat centres similar to False Creek Community Centre, home to False Creek Racing Canoe Club – the top dragon boat team in Vancouver, and one of the top teams in the world.  Coal Harbour and Roundhouse community centres have docks/marinas nearby, and the proposed Southeast False Creek Community Centre should similarly be used.

Vancouver Sun, May 24th page D5

Dragon boats about to set sail
Vancouver's development plans for False Creek leave out a very important institution
Miro Cernetig, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, May 24, 2008

dragon boat people drifted into the editorial board room of The
Vancouver Sun the other day with some worrying news: Vancouver's
floating dragons, if we don't act fast, are going to fly away to a more
hospitable harbour.

Dragon boating, a cultural phenomenon that
took root here 20 some years ago when Vancouver became North America's
first city to offer a permanent harbour for the Chinese-inspired sport,
is currently being overlooked in our current development boom. The
blueprints for the final build-out of the former site of Expo'86 and
False Creek are being etched out as you read: There's an Olympic
Village, a $350-million art gallery, phalanxes of towers and a public

there's no clear spot for our fleet of dragon boats or the much-needed
boathouse on False Creek. You've got to wonder when this city's leaders
and planners will realize they're about to lose an institution that
reflects the new Vancouver.

We're now what you might call the A,
A & A city — Atlantic, Asia and the Americas, all fused together
into Canada's West Coast metropolis that's known around the world. Yet
none of the city's cultural institutions come close to fully capturing
the 21st century complexion of Vancouver. With an exception — the
dragon boats, and the festival built around them.

The thousands
of people who take part in it — and the 100,000 who come out to watch
the annual races — are a true cross-section of the city. It's an event
— and sport — that has gone from being mainly Chinese to a
multi-ethnic and global phenomenon. There are at least 60 national
federations around the world and that number grows every year.

boating has its genesis in China, about 2,500 years ago, though the
history is complex and cloudy. One theory is that dragon boats began to
honour the great Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who waded into the Miluo River
to drown himself in a ritual suicide to protest a warlord's destruction
of his home province. The villagers tried to rescue him by taking to
the water in their canoes and hitting the water with paddles to scare
away evil spirits. The other is the dragon boat racing began as a
fertility and water ritual, carried out during the summer solstice to
pay homage to the dragon, believed to live in the water.

it was an ancient tradition well-known to millions of Chinese, dragon
boating became internationalized only a few decades ago thanks to Hong
Kong. In 1980 it began donating teak dragon boats to cities around the
globe. The sport crossed the Pacific and took root in North America
thanks to Expo '86 where four Hong Kong boats were put on exhibition
and then given to Vancouver.

was perfect timing. Vancouverites were just waking up to how Asia and
the Chinese would transform the city. They lined up by the thousands to
touch a brick from the Great Wall at the China pavilion. When the four
dragon boats took to the waters of False Creek, they were a sensation.

1989, a small group of locals seized on the idea of setting up dragon
boating as permanent cultural festival for Vancouver. Chief amongst
them were businessmen Milton Wong and Terry Hui, both of whom have
spent much of their life trying to bridge the gap between Metro
Vancouver's Asian and non-Asian communities. Wong himself has long had
his own dragon boat team, called “Paddling the Wong Way.”

took off. Vancouver's Dragon Boat Festival has grown from a handful of
boats and hard-core enthusiasts to an event with more than 180 racing
teams. The festival, which starts June 21, is so complex that the
Canadian Army often helps with the logistics of keeping the races
running on time.

from the festival, which costs about $1 million to put on and generates
about $3 million in annual economic spinoffs, dragon boating has also
become a part of the city's cultural tapestry. Stand on the Burrard
Bridge any day of the year and you will likely see one or two of the
dragon boats on the water. Climb aboard one of the 300-kilogram canoes
as it cuts through English Bay and you will observe Vancouver from a
thrilling new perspective.

Thousand of school children are also
introduced to the sport each year. Members of the public are welcomed
to join a racing team. And its also a sport that is amazingly
inclusive: Since there are 20 paddlers to a boat, as well as someone
doing the steering and another pacing the paddlers by banging a drum,
there's room for people who are blind, deaf or living with other
challenges. Being part of a dragon boat team is being part of a small
community, one that usually includes fellow paddlers from all walks of
life and cultures.

So why are we in danger of losing something that the city has taken 20 years to build?

years the dragon boat festival's organizers have been shuffled around
False Creek. Each new development has squeezed them out of their spot
and they've usually been able to find another spot to call home.

however, with the latest push to develop the eastern and northern
shores of False Creek, there will be no space left. If the dragon boats
don't get a permanent boathouse in this round of development there will
be no other place in the City of Vancouver with the sheltered water and
dock space the event needs. Richmond, now developing its riverfront,
would probably be the dragon boats' final harbour.

In its 20
years of existence, the Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival has never taken
a dime of public money. But it may be time for the City of Vancouver
and the provincial government to kick in to help launch a fundraising
drive. Give the dragon boaters a permanent anchorage in False Creek and
help them raise the $4.5 million needed to design and build a new
boathouse It should be a great piece of architecture, perhaps with a
restaurant, that would become a waterfront landmark.

put dragon boating on the map in North America. Other cities have come
here to emulate it. It's also a terrific brand for Vancouver,
encapsulating our fusion of Asia, Europe and the Americas. It's
probably even going to be an Olympic sport in the years ahead.

Isn't it time to anchor the floating dragons — permanently — in the nautical artery in the heart of the city?

Save the CBC Orchestra: Hadani Ditmars reads at Kogawa House

Hadani Ditmars at the April 25th Joy Kogawa House event.  At the rear of the house featuring the Cherry Tree featured in the new children's book  by Joy Kogawa – “Naomi's Tree” – photo Todd Wong

Fundraiser for CBC Orchestra:
Orchestra Culture Under Siege in Iraq and Canada: the National
Orchestra as Metaphor

Joy Kogawa House
1450 West
64th Ave.,
Vancouver BC

Cellist Ariel Barnes (CBC Radio
Orchestra, Vancouver Opera Orchestra) and a reading by author Hadani
Ditmars, whose book “Dancing in the No Fly Zone” and news articles document the culture and difficulties facing the
National Orchestra in Iraq.

RSVP is mandatory. For more information

LIFE of PAPER – Origami storytelling raised to a new level

Imagine if all sets, costumes and props were made of paper! 

Imagine if giant origami creations were made by Joseph Wu – internationally renowned Origrami master!
Imagine if the music was created live on stage by the wonderful Orchid ensemble!

Come down to the Roundhouse theatre for an exciting and amazing show about the history of paper and paperfolding.  Created by Pangaea Arts – “an intercultural, interdisciplinary world arts organization based in
Vancouver. Pangaea Arts was formed to promote cultural interaction and
the exchange of ideas between diverse communities and to introduce
Canadian audiences to performance traditions from around the world.”

This theatrical event blends together many different forms of theatre and storytelling.  It opens with a monologue on origami paperfolding –  about paper and a square, and how everything begins from the square. 

The next scene is set during the Han dynasty and is told with Chinese opera comic style.  The invention of paper is revealed.

Paper travels eastward through Asia from China to Korea to Japan, and westward through the Middle East to Europe.   Paper puppets are used to tell story.  And Paper Shadow puppets are also used.

A hilarious scene is set in Victorian England, with all the costumes and props such as glasses and tea pot made of paper.

But the two most fascinating elements are the wonderful paper creations used in each scene and the accompanying music by Orchid Ensemble.  This intercultural music ensemble can play the style of music from everywhere in the world that paper has had an impact.  From ancicent China and Japan, to the Middle East, to Africa, Spain, Germany, England, and North America.  Watching the Orchid Ensemble provide  the many sound effects in additional to the rich musical tapestry is amazing.  There are really an important part of the show.

But the real “Wow” factor are the giant size origami figures revealed at the end of the show.  They are left on stage for the audience to come down and take their pictures beside them.

This was a very challenging concept to pull together.  I talked briefly with Origami Master Joseph Wu prior to the show, while he was putting the finishing touches on origami cranes that were to be used in the show.  He said that while everybody agreed on the concepts – they all had their own language: Theatre language, music language and origami language.  Not to mention that the performance itself uses English, Chinese, Japanese, a middle Eastern language, plus a very thick German accented English.  Or that Japanese Noh theatre finds itself right beside puppetry, and Western theatre styles.


Life of PaperMay 23 – Jun 1, Tue – Sat: 8:00pm

2:00pm Matinees: Sun, May 25; Wed, May 28;

and Sun, June 1

2-for-1 Preview Fri, May 23

Performance Centre

Click for Tickets: $22, students/seniors $18

Breathtaking origami sculptures, costumes, props, set, masks, puppets,
and musical instruments all will be made of paper. Pangaea Arts
combines Eastern and Western theatre styles as they collaborate with
world-renowned origami artist Joseph Wu, composer Judy Specht,
world-music group Orchid Ensemble, performers Yayoi Hirano, Ling He,
Lenard Stanga and Tomoko Hanawa, set and light designer John Webber,
and director Heidi Specht.


Life of Paper PosterAn exhibition and performance that celebrate the creative potential of paper.
A Roundhouse Partnership

Exhibition Hall and Performance Centre


Wed, May 21 – Sun, Jun 1

11:00am – 9:00pm weekdays

11:00am-4:30pm weekends

Exhibition Hall

All ages, FREE

Join us for an exhibition of the amazing possibilities of paper,
featuring the work of world-renowned origami artist Joseph Wu. The
public is also invited to contribute to two enormous paper works of
art. This is an opportunity to collaborate with Joseph and other
origami experts as they create a massive interactive origami display,
which will grow throughout the week as the public adds their
contributions, with help from members of PALM (Paperfolders Around the
Lower Mainland). Whether you’re a complete beginner, or an origami
expert, you are welcome to contribute your own artwork, made on-site,
as you learn about origami, paper-making, and recycling. All ages are



Sun, May 25, 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Performance Centre

Adults and Teens, FREE

The general public is invited to participate in this amazing musical
event. Join our artistic team in the performance centre and become part
of a large “paper orchestra”, using instruments made entirely of paper,
and perform an orchestral piece written for this event by Life of Paper
composer Judy Specht. This “happening” will be recorded for later
broadcast. Send an email to to reserve your spot. or at the door.


Sat May 24 or Sun. May 25, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Exhibition Hall

For families, ages 6 to adult.

FREE but please register.

Come to one of these workshops and learn to create origami pieces
step-by-step, and through ‘storigami’, a form of storytelling that uses
paper folding. Featuring origami storyteller Yukiko Tosa and origami
artist Lisa David, members of PALM (Paperfolders Around the Lower


Sat. May 31, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Bring the family for a celebration of community spirit and your
contribution to the Life of Paper. See how the installation has grown
as the public has added origami over ten days!

Gung Haggis dragon boat team wins Team Spirit award at Lotus Sports Club dragon boat regatta

It's officially recognized.  Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team has plenty of team spirit. 

2008 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team: Lotus Sports Bill Alley Dragon Boat Regatta edition:
back row: Gerard, Martin, Alissa, Steve, Jim, Stephen, Steven, Devon, Raphael, Dan, Todd, Gerry and Jonas.
front row: Joe, Paulette, Tzhe, Leanne, Joannae, Cindy, Marion, Debbie, Dave, Keng, Colleen, Wendy and Tony.

Excellent races today…. lots of fun…. Glad that Gung Haggis dragon boat team could be a part of it.  Heck – somebody had to come 8th in Mixed Adult B final.  Last year we won the B Final.  This year's team had 14 returning members, but is blending in 6 experienced paddlers + 5 rookies.

Everybody enjoyed the races… rookies, returning paddlers, and experienced paddlers.  It's a beautiful site, a lovely congenial atmosphere.  And great to see other dragon boat friends from other teams.

This year, the Gung Haggis team bought a new twist to the new tradition to the regatta by providing Lion and Dragon Dances.  We invited other teams to make monetary donations as special offers to the Dragon gods, for good races.  We brought the parade dragon that takes 5 people to carry it on poles.  Steven Wong was wore the big Lion Mask, while I was the back of the lion.  We went around through the crowd “dancing” for people and their offerings, “eating the money.”  Two paddlers wore the smaller Lion head masks and were the “Lion cubs.”  Over $100 was raised for the Bill Alley memorial scholarship fund.  This was a nice way to support the Lotus Sports Club, as Bill Alley was one of the club founders.  Usually Lotus always does a raffle draw with lots of prizes, but they didn't do it this year – so our Lion and Dragon dances were a welcome surprise addition.


Gung Haggis lion cubs…

Marion and Debbie put on the baby lion head masks…

photo Dave Samis

With every race, our Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team improved.  Our first race was very mushy, and paddlers who weren't used to sitting near each other, sometimes clashed paddles. 

After the warm-up for our second race, we did a one finger lift for team bonding.  It was fun.  First we lifted team captain Stephen Mirowski.  Then we tried a much heavier Jim.  But we did not get him above our knees.  So I told the team, we are going to do the same thing we did on the dragon boat, move some paddlers around, give a stronger focus and…. up… went… Jim!


A Gung Haggis dragon boat team
tradition… the one-finger
Jim Blatherwick is lifted
on his

For the second race, we moved paddlers around and improved our start.  Our timing was good, but the rate was a bit slow.   Our third race was near perfect.  Good start, solid power, and good rate, a little more aggressive and assertive and it worked.

We were now in the Adult Mixed B Final.  Our start was our best of the day, the boats were neck and neck. Then the boat on our right started creeping away, then the boat on our left inched away from us.  We did everything well, but our rate was a bit fast.  We continued to give good power series, keeping in time.  We finished fourth, but were happy with our race.

During the medal ceremonies, we were named for the special TEAM SPIRIT award.  It was a complete surprise to us, as we were not even aware there was a prize.   It is very heartening to know that our contributions and attitude are recognized and acknowledged.  We LOVE to spread good will.

was very special to see that Tony from Lotus Juniors really wanted to
create a Lion dance.  I taught them some moves, and they practiced
them.  Following the award presentations, he did a dance with Sophia
Kim.  They took pictures as a Lion with both Ft. Langley Fusion Team
and the Eric Hamber Eternal Dragons…. very special moments for

See more pictures:

Gung Haggis dragon boat team 2008

Gung Haggis dragon boat team 2008

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team is racing May 17th at Burnaby's Barnet Marine Park

The Lotus Sports Club Bill Alley Memorial Dragon Boat Regatta is one of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team's favorite races of the season.  

This year it is held on the Saturday of the Victoria Day Long weekend. May 17, 2008.

The 2007 Gung Haggis dragon boat team getting loaded into the boat.

The Lotus Sports Club is one of
North America's oldest dragon boat paddling clubs.  It was started in
1986, for the first dragon boat race in Vancouver during Expo 86.  The
club has won the Canadian Men's Dragon Boat Championship three times.
In 1996, the Lotus Mixed Team placed first at the Vancouver
International Dragon boat Festival and went to Toronto to compete in
the Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival.

My first dragon boat experience was at the Lotus Sports Club, where our Headliners Team practiced in 1993.  We won the novice division that first year.  I paddled and steered three years on the Headliners before starting up the Celebration team in 1997.  We would take Celebration team to Lotus Sports Club organized Golden Spike dragon boat race at Port Moody's Rocky Point Park.  The races were moved to Barnet Marine Park and later renamed to the Bill Alley Memorial Dragon boat Regatta, in honour of one of the club founders.

Read about last year's Gung Haggis team at the 2007 Lotus Dragon Boat Bill Alley Dragon Boat Regatta
We won the Adult Mixed Final B race.
Gung Haggis dragon boat team does well at Lotus

The following is information to our paddlers and friends who want to come compete or cheer us on!!!

Here's a map to Barnet Marine Park
Map to Lotus Sports Club,-122.928954&spn=0.003537,0.007

From Vancouver/Burnaby:

drive East on Hastings St, it will turn into Barnet Rd.

Go past Cement factory on your left, past Velodrome on right

Go past Texaco Road on your left

Turn left at next light marked Barnet Marine Park.

From Port Moody/Coquitlam

Go West
on Barnet Rd. (arriving from Clarke Road or St. Johns St.

Drive past Reed Point marina – just West of Port Moody.

Turn right at light marked Barnet Marine Park

If you have equipment to drop off:

to the right on Takeda Drive.  Cross the train tracks – then there is a
loading zone… watch for other cars unloading. drop off your partner
with equipment.  After drop off – turn the car around and proceed back to parking lots.

The parking lot along Takeda Dr. will fill up fast.  Park in the large parking lot West of the park entrance.  There is also a pathway from the parking lot to the beach.

The dragon boat teams set up tents East of the concession stand…. usually
along the beach.  This is where we set up in 2006.  Because of rain, we
set up under the trees near the concession stand in 2007.

Gung Haggis schedule

arrive 8am – sign waivers & set up tents & tables
8:20 hand waivers in….
8:20am captain meeting
8:30am – warm up
8:45 – team briefing and line-up
8:50 marshall to race area
9:00 team picture
9:07 load boats
9:20 1st race heat 2

10:20 DOTTING OF THE EYES ceremony + Gung Haggis Lion and Dragon dance ceremony.
11:30 2nd race heat  8
12:30 3rd race  heat 10
2:15 Mixed Adult Final B
2:30 Mixed Adult Final A

please arrive for 8am
to help set up the tents and our “camp” for the day.
If somebody arrives at 7:30 – they can claim better real estate for a beach view!
We need your signatures on the
waivers handed in by 8:20am

Stephen Mirowski is Team Captain
Todd wong is team coach / drummer
Dave Samis is steers

BRING: bowl + spoon for chili (courtesy of Chef Hillary)
             sandwich + own food + something to share
             your own water + drinks. 
             BANANAS recommended.
Bring: lawn chair, blankets,
tents if needed.

is a food stand on site – but fried foods with lots of fat eg. hotdogs
and hamburgers sit in your system for 3+ hours and are slow to digest).

Bring your SUV sun protection, a hat and water.

RED and BLACK – with BLUE kilts
(women's small and medium Gung Haggis team shirts

4 races – almost all paddlers will sit out a single race as spares.
Everybody will race 3 races.  Key positions will race every race eg. lead strokes, mid-strokes, drummer, steers.
spares announced during line-up
if you are sparing a race – please stay close to the team, in case somebody goes missing, or is sick or injured.