Monthly Archives: February 2009

Silk Road Music hosts Cultural Olympiad show for Chinese New Year!

What is typical Vancouver music for the Cultural Olympiad?  I think it is the cultural fusion music of Andre Thibault and Qiu Xia He''s Silk Road Music!

Cultural Olympiad Feb 1 09 10 by DM by you.
For Chinese New Year, Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault organized a truly multicultural show, featuring many ethnic performers and musical styles in Vancouver.  But more importantly was the intercultural representation.  Caucasian Willy Miles is singing in Mandarin Chinese.  Non-African ethnic dancers are performing traditional African dance with Jackie Essombe.  The stilt walkers are every ethnicity including mixes.  And of course the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team features Scottish and Chinese ancestry + everything in-between and everything beyond – photo Deb Martin

Cultural Olympiad Feb 1 09 6 GH Dragon and stilts in back..DM photo

Still Moon Arts Stilt walkers meet the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon dancers.  The stilt walkers are children and young teens led by Carman Rosen, who has also performed celtic music at the 2005 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner. – photo Deb Martin.

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Kathy Gibler, executive director of Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens, Ellen Woodsworth – Vancouver City Councilor, prepare to help make opening speeches with Dr. Jan Walls – MC for the show and performer of Chinese clapper tales – photo Deb Martin

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Bonnie Soon leads Uzume Taiko through some very exciting rhythmic drumming perfomances.  Uzume Taiko often performs with bagpipers.  Bonnie and I talked, and I hope we can feature them at a future Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner one year – photo Todd Wong

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Chinese Lion stilt dancers!  In one of the crazy moments of beautiful serendipity, I offered my Lion Dance costume to the Sill Moon Arts stilt walkers, for a photo prop… and the next thing we knew, another stilt walker offered to be the tail, and presto!  The very first Chinese Lion stilt walkers!!!  The kids had so much fun, it is always a joy to see them. – photo Todd Wong

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Jessica Jone is a classically trained dancers – she has studied Chinese classical and Chinese folk dancing as well as Western classical and contemporary dancing.  She always smiles and has incredible presentation. – photo Todd Wong

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Dancers from the Jessica Jone dance school come on stage for a wonderful fan dance.  I love the colour and movement. – photo Todd Wong

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Jacky Essombe and The Makalas perform traditional African Dance.  The weather was so cold you could see Jacky's hot breath steam into the cold air.  But they brought so much high energy, you just felt warmer while seeing them work so hard – photo Todd Wong

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Here's a group shot with almost everybody on stage.  The dancers posed for pictures, and so we brought the dragon to stand behind them.  Soon everybody was in the picture!

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Here we pose with Qiu Xia He, organizer of this great event. Left to right: Todd Wong, Devon Cooke, Qiu Xia, Dave Samis, hidden are Brooke and Deb – photo Marion 

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Here's our dedicated group of Dragon Boat paddler dragon dancers! Todd Wong, Deb Martin, Brooke Samis, Dave Samis and Devon Cooke. – photo Marion.

SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival features dragon cart racing!

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Toddish McWong, co-founder of SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival poses with McFogg the Dog, and SFU Rowers prior to the dragon cart racing event. – photo courtesy Todd Wong

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The Chinese lion looks a bit like Stitch from “Lilo and Stitch” playing bagpipes… but its colourful, and it gets your attention – photo Todd Wong

It's not everyday an SFU student gets to inspire an annual festival
event long after they graduated from their university.  It was in 2005,
that I was invited to help co-found the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Festival.  The Recreation department wanted to create an event that
could help kick-start the Spring Semester in January.  They also wanted
an event that could involve the university's large Asian student
population as well as the university's Scottish traditions for Robbie
Burns Day.  Gee… wasn't that Chinese Robbie Burns Dinner thing…
Gung Haggis Fat Choy created by a SFU student?

So… they invited me up for some meetings, and learned about how I
first wore a kilt and carried the claymore in the 1993 SFU Robbie Burns
Day ceremonies.  I came up with the idea of a “dragon cart race” to
simulate dragon boats racing across Convocation Mall.  They came up
with a haggis eating contest. 

A few years later, SFU Recreation invented “human curling” – tires
mounted on dolly wheels that can simulate curling rocks gliding down
the ice.  It was a hit!  No more haggis eating contests now…

2009_January 242 – photo Todd Wong

The SFU Kung Fu Club provided the Chiense Lion Dance for the Festival.  Here, the Lion has eaten an offering of lettuce and spits it out!

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Todd Wong gives the Address to the Haggis, to help start the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival.

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The SFU Women's soccer team, wins their first heat.  They would go on to win the Best of 3 finals against the SFU Demolition and Participation team.

SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival 2009

SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy…

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon will dance with Silk Road Music's Cultural Olympiad show 1:30pm at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens, following Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown

Silk Road Music's Qiu Xia He is organizing a FANTASTIC show at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Courtyard for Chinese New Year Parade February 1st.  Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon will do a dance!

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team will bring their team mascot to Chinese New Year's Cultural Olympiad show at 1:30 pm in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Courtyard, beside the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens, at the Chinese Cultural Centre.  The above picture is their dragon's debut at the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Michael Brophy holds the head, while Joy, Deb, Hillary and Richard assist. – photo J. Wong

February 1st, Vancouver Chinatown Parade
+ special Cultural Olympiad show at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Courtyard.

This show is presented by the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens, who will be having admission by donation for the day.  There will be Japanese taiko drums played by a Chinese-Canadian, there will be Chinese songs sung by a White-Canadian, there will be African dancing, and classical Chinese dancing, and French-Canadian reels.  If I could have all these performers at a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, I would… if we could fit them in.  But I can't… so I have to come down to Chinatown to see this show.

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team members will be performing a dragon dance for the 2nd show in the afternoon, following the Chinatown Parade at noon.  We have some volunteers, who
will perform OUR version of the DRAGON DANCE this Sunday, Feb 1st, at
the Cultural Olympiad show at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Courtyard. (Chinese
Cultural Centre).

Please remember Chinatown will be very busy, and challenging to find parking.  Last year, I parked over by the Beatty St. Armouries.  The Chinatown Parkade is good – but get there early.

Please come down and enjoy the show.  Here are important times.

10:30 am – FIRST Show @ Dr. Sun Yat Sen Courtyard (we aren't in it)

12 noon – Chinatown Parade begins

1:00 – Gung Haggis dragon dancers meet @ Dr. Sun Yat Sen courtyard.    
We will sit near the front row.

1:30 – 3:30 Cultural Olympiad Show. We will perform in 1st and last songs. 

This show is organized by Qiu Xia He of Silk Road Music,  and the MC is Dr. Jan Walls, who did a wonderful performance of a Robbie Burns Chinese clapper tale for the recent Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner.

IMG_6604 by stevely27.

Michael Brophy leads the Gung Haggis dragon at the St. Patrick's Day Parade with Hillary and Leanne. – photo courtesy of Steve Duncan.

Todd Wong with a “horse” at the 2006 Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver Chinatown – photo D. Martin


Message from Qiu Xia
of Silk Road Music – the event organizer

Thanks Todd for the great event! and thanks for your great promo on your site!

are looking forward to see your team on the Feb 1. Please advise your
team dress warm and bring your own lunch ( there are tea and snack but
not enough for everyone's lunch) When you finish your first set, please
put your dragon back to the office in the garden since the green room
tent is full of people.
We would like to you
to dance with us on the First and last piece in front of the stage( the
stage is too full).  There are dancers and stilt dances happening at
the sometime, please watch where you go, make sure you are safe.
Your cheque will be paid by the garden that day, don't forgot.
Here is the program of PM:
Second show: 1:30-3:30pm (full set)
Happiness (with Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Team,Happy Dancing Group, Still Moon Arts Stilt Dancers)
Better and Better with Speeches(with Katharine Carol/Cultural Olympiad, others)
Happy New Year Song ( Feng jun)
Kang Ding Love song ( with Feng jun and Willy)
MC spot. 
Taiko feature- In Your Dreams (Bonnie and Uzume taiko)
Clouds (with Jesica dance)
Feng Yang Flower Song (Lorita Leong Dancers, Happy Dancing Group and audiences)
Nomad Rustic Song ( with Feng jun and Willy)
The Makala Dancers( or Jacky solo with A pair)
My home town is Beijing ( Feng Jun)
Jessamine Flowers(Feng jun and Willy with audiences sing along)
your veil ( with Jessica and Chunxin)
The Makala dancers( Jacky with audiences)
Con te Partiro( with Willy and Feng jun)
Gao Shan Qing ( with Feng jun and Willy)
Horse Race( with Jun rong)
MC spot. 
Devil’s reel 
Taiko feature-Matsuri Taiko (Bonnie and Uzume taiko)
Great Race Zodiac Dance finale( with all performers, include DRAGON Mascot)
Last Speech
Thank you again!

Thank you to our sponsors and prize donors from Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns & Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner!

We had the biggest silent auction and raffle prize draws this year for the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.

DSC_4217_103769 - Gerry O'Neil & Stuart MacKINNON, winning bid CAD 750 & losing bid by FlungingPictures.Gerry O'Neil and Stuart Mackinnon were the staunchest bidders for the special limited edition of 37 year old Famous Grouse blended whisky valued at $800 CDN… in the end there could only be one winner – photo Patrick Tam Flunging Pictures.

Every year we receive incredible prize donations for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.  This contributes a lot to our fund raiser, as the dinner itself costs quite a bit, production costs include sound and equipment rental, poster and program production, and we always have complimentary tickets for our headline performers and special guests.
The Famous Grouse whisky 37 year old blend
This year featured some very special big ticket items in our silent auction, which was capped by the live auction of a rare and very special 37 year old blend of “The Famous Grouse” whisky, specially created for the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.  Only 250 bottles were made, valued upwards
of £400, to be auctioned off at Burns Suppers all over the world
helping to raise a minimum of £10,000 for their chosen charities.

The winner of this special bottle at the live auction at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner was Gerry O'Neil.  Mr. O'Neil is president of AAA Horse and Carriage, whose horse and carriage rides in Stanley Park walk past the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park every day.  Inspired by the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, this first time attendee spontaneously donated a private horse and carriage ride to our silent auction.

Proceeds from the Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year go to:
Historic Joy Kogawa House Society
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop – publisher of Ricepaper Magazine
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

We also acknowledge our 2009 partnership with the Vancouver Chinatown Lion's Club, celebrating their 49th annual Burns Supper.

Our sponsors and donors for 2009

VisitScotland – special limited edition “The Famous Grouse” 37 year old blended whisky – one bottle for auction

Maxxium Canada – whisky tasting of Famous Grouse blended whisky and single malts The Macallan and Highland Park.

Royal BC Museum – admission passes and loan of display figures from “The Party” display from “Free Spirit” exhibit: 1st BC Governor James Douglas, 1st BC Premier John Foster McCreight, Mungo Martin, King Freezy, James Cleland Richardson (Richardson bagpipers), Emily Carr, Nellie McClung, Emery Barnes, Joy Kogawa and Todd Wong

The Land Conservancy of B.C. – 2 Nights at Baldwin House

Dennis Goodman Studio Gallery – Golden Sunrise painting

Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancity Theatre 10 Movie Ticket Pack

PuSh Festival – 2 Tickets to the Show of your Choice

Cheuk Kwan, Tissa Films – DVD Chinese Restaurants

Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel – 1-Night Stay for 2

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens – 10 Passes

Vancouver International Children’s Festival – 2 Tickets to a Show

Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society
– 2 DVDs Heroes Remember + DVD Chinese Canadian Citizenship Celebrations

DOXA Festival
– Two Tickets + Two Memberships to Opening Night Gala

Vancouver Museum – Family Admission

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum & Archives – 10 Passes

Electronic Arts – 2 XBOX Video Games

Harbour Publishing – “Spirit of the People” by Jean Barman

Pacifique Cinémathèque – 10 Movie Ticket Pack

Videomatica – Gift Certificate

Chan Centre – 2 tickets to a show

Vancouver Opera – 2 Tickets

Neworld Theatre – 2 Tickets to Mixie & the Half-Breeds

Vancouver International Wine Festival – 2 Tickets to the Tasting Room

Listel Hotel
– 1-Night Stay for 2

Ricepaper Magazine – Subscriptions

Floata Seafood Restaurant – gift certificates

Firehall Arts Centre – gift certificates for upcoming shows

Vancouver Fringe Festival
– Tickets

Nightwood Editions – “Forage” by Rita Wong

SFU Continuing Studies – Gift Certificate

Wesley Lowe – DVD “I Am the Canadian Delegate

AAA Horse and Carriages – private horse and carriage ride in Stanley Park.