Monthly Archives: November 2009

Todd Wong writes “Chinatown” section in new “Vancouver, Victoria & Whistler Colourguide”

New Colourguide for Vancouver, Victoria & Whistler now available
Todd Wong writes section on Chinatown.

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In the mail I received a package today….
a book!
a travel guide book…
Colourguide for Vancouver, Victoria & Whistler

I wrote the section on Vancouver Chinatown.  The book is edited by Gail Buente, my coworker friend at the Vancouver Library.  Back in May I sent her my final draft which she edited.  The book has just been released now in November in time for the anticipated visitors for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.  Maybe some of them will find their way into Vancouver Chinatown.

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Stanley Park Remembrance Day ceremonies at Japanese Canadian War Memorial

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Mounted police, and beat policemen and firemen attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Japanese Canadian War Memorial in Stanley Park. – photos Todd Wong.

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I really like this photo of two people walking to the memorial ceremonies.  After WW2, the Japanese communities in both Canada and USA became the most inter-racially married.  This little girl definitely had Asian features but with light coloured hair.  Many of my friends of Japanese ancestry also have mixed race heritage, or their children or grandchildren do.

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The ceremonies were led by a Church minister and Major (retired) Roy Kawamoto.

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Vancouver City Councilor Geoff Meggs laid the wreath for the City of Vancouver.

After the service he shared with me that historian Stanley Fukawa had told him him:

“the JC volunteers from BC had been unable to enlist in this
province. They marched, paraded and trained, hoping that their
demonstrations of patriotism would win public sympathy for giving them
the vote. They were ignored. (Less than a decade earlier, they had been
forced to defend their Powell St. community from a racist mob.)
Undeterred, they travelled to Alberta, then short of its quota of volunteers, and won admission to the war in that province.”

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Major (Ret) Kawamoto told me that during WW2, had been arrested for defying the order of evacuation for Japanese Canadians.  He was 12 years old at the time, put in jail, then sent to Greenwood internment camp.

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My friends Grace Eiko Thomson and John Endo Greenaway introduced me to Mona Oikawa an associate professor at York University in Toronto.  When I told Mona that I would put the pictures on my blogsite “”, she asked surprisingly “You're Gung Haggis? I check the website many times!”

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Japanese-Canadian bugle player and Scottish-Canadian bagpiper.  Maybe their ancestors fought against each other in WW2, or as allies or comrades with each other in WW1.  No, they didn't play at the same time.

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The bagpiper wears the Ancient Fraser Tartan and belongs to the 78th Fraser Highlanders.  The bugler is with the 58th Field Artillery Regiment.  When I told the bagpiper that I wore the Ancient Fraser Hunting Tartan, he smiled and said “Ahhh… Gung Haggis Fat Choy.”

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Chinese Canadian veterans lead Remembrance Day ceremony in Vancouver Chinatown

Uncle Daniel Lee is colour guard for Pacific Unit 280 at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Chinese Canadian Pioneer Monument in Vancouver Chinatown
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Uncle Daniel Lee salutes, as photographer Patrick Tam takes pictures.  Larry Wong stands to Lee's right.

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Chinese Canadian veterans stand during singing of O Canada.

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The Chinese Benevolent Association organized the Remembrance Day ceremonies this year in Chinatown.  President Mike Jang officiated.

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Little Beavers and Wolf Cubs took part in the ceremonies

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Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and city councilors Ellen Woodsworth and George Chow lay the wreath from City of Vancouver.

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Members of Parliament Ujal Dosanjh, Don Davies and Libby Davies stand in front of the representatives from HMCS Discovery.

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Frank Wong, who stormed the Normandy Beaches on D-Day speaks to Chinese language TV News, while his brother Bing Wong's grandchildren are in the foreground, as I talk with their dad and grandfather.

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Larry Wong and Howard Chan.  Howard is a WW2 veteran.  Larry is curator of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum.

Remembrance Day ceremonies in Vancouver Chinatown and Victory Square

I always attend the service in Vancouver Chinatown.  I used to attend Victory Square, but it has gotten very crowded in recent years.
DSC_5233_95671a - Overview 3-foto pano4 by FlungingPictures.
Here's a 3 photo panorama taken by Patrick Tam – I am on the far right next to Col. Howe Lee

Last year, Lt. Gov. Steven Point attended the Chinatown ceremonies following the Victory Square ceremonies.

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King Wan, Mr. Gwendolyn Point, MP Libby Davies, MLA Jenny Kwan, Lt.
Gov. Steven Point, Col. Howe Lee, MP Don Davies – photo Todd Wong

City of Vancouver Parksboard website states

Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Memorial Park South
 East 41st Avenue and Prince Albert Street.Ceremony begins 10:30 am
 March to cenotaph at 10:15 from John Oliver SS. Sponsored by the Royal
Canadian Legion Branch # 16. Memorial Park South event program

Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Grandview Park
 Sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion #179 at 11 am located at
Commercial and Cotton Drives.  A march to the cenotaph begins at 10:35
am from Napier Street and Commercial Drive.

Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Stanley Park
Gather at 10:40 am Sponsored by the Japanese Canadian War Memorial
Committee at the Japanese Monument near the Stanley Park Pavilion.

Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Victory Square 
Gather at 10:30. Major representation by civic officials at 11 am at
Cambie and Hastings Streets. A colourful parade precedes the event. Event details

Hershey Harriers Remembrance Day Run November 11th at Stanley Park’s Brockton Oval Grounds. Run starts at 11:01 am. Register after 10 am. Go to for details.

Chinese Canadian Military Museum hosts successful 11th Annual dinner

Chinese Canadian veterans are proud of their Chinese Canadian Military Museum, as they unveil forthcoming documentaries by Alison Maclean
DSC_6369&6370_134395 - group 2-foto panorama 1 by FlungingPictures.Chinese Canadian veterans and fellow veterans stand with Member of Parliament and former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh as many community members come out to support their 11th annual dinner. – photo by Patrick Tam (used by permission)

Col. Howe Lee welcomed attendees to the 11th Anniversary Dinner for the Chinese Canadian Military Museum.  “It was a special date,” he said, “because it was eleven years ago on this day, the 7th of November, that we first opened”

Special guests came from Toronto, Seattle to attend.  VIP’s included Ujjal Dosanjh MP, and Alison Maclean the guest speaker.  Maclean is working on documentary films that include and feature the Chinese Canadian veterans.

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Fairchild television reporter Audera Chang came to the event to interview Rhonda Larrabee and family members.

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I am Rhonda’s 1st cousin once removed.  Rhonda’s husband Bryan Larabee, stands behind her.  Wesley Lowe stands beside me.

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Gung Haggis Fat Curling: a new Olympic sport?

What happens when dragonboaters go curling, and wearing kilts?

The Scots may have invented the sport of curling, but Canadians dominate at the worlds.

At Simon Fraser University, we invented “Human Curling” for the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival, organized by the SFU Recreation Department.

On October 25th, the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team went curling at Marpole Curling Centre.

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It was the last rock that I threw… and the closest anybody got to the centre mark – but it got knocked by the next rock!

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Karen, a rookie paddler, organized the curling event for the team.

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Here's a video of Nancy Smith demonstrating her excellent rock throwing technique.  Too bad our sweepers didn't start earlier.

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Wendy really enjoyed the curling.  She has paddled on the team for 4 years.

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Walter is from Peru, and this was his rookie season.  Debbie and Colleen joined the team last year.

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To take full advantage of Flickr, you should use a
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They said “don't touch the ice with your
hands or knees… or you will melt the
But they didn't say “don't wear a
This is a “skid/melt” mark made by my gluteous maximus!

See more pictures at flickr:

Gung Haggis Fat Curling

Gung Haggis Fat Curling

Fearless TV shows highlights from Heart of the City Festival

Fearless TV shows highlights from Heart of the City Festival

Here's a message from Fearless TV producer Sid Tan

FearlessTV #33  Heart of the City Festival 2009
(An ACCESS-TV/DTES-CAN co-production with the assistance of the Community Television Cluster of the W2 Community Media Arts Society)

“…shamelessly promoting our friends, neighbours and
community…and occasionally ourselves!”

On Shaw cable community channel 4 in Metro Vancouver (2009)

Saturday, November 7 @ 1-2am
Saturday, November 7 @ 9-10pm (moves from 2-3pm due to live sports event)
Sunday, November 8 @ 10-11pm
Tuesday, November 10 @ 12-1am (Monday midnight)
Friday, November 13 @ 2-3am
Saturday, November 14 @ 1-2am
Saturday, November 14 @ 9-10pm (moves from 2-3pm due to live sports event)

Highlights from the 2009 DTES festival include:

1) comments from Executive Artistic Producer Terry Hunter
@ the festival launch on October 28 @ Carnegie Centre;

2) performances taped @ HOC festival launch on October 28
@ Carnegie Centre

3) performances taped @ the DTES Musical Theatre Showcase
October 30 @ Russian Hall October 30;

4) Vancouver Moving Theatre award of the Cultural Harmony
Award @ Vancouver City Council in 2008; and

5) Tom Quirk film Out of the Rain shown as part of the
Heart of the City Festival 2009

The Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society (ACCESS-TV) and Downtown Eastside Community Arts Network (DTES-CAN) thanks all our friends and allies and those who have lent a hand including:

Gallery Gachet, Chapel Arts, Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC), Carnegie Community Centre, Downtown Eastside Residents' Association (DERA), National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC), Community Arts Council of Vancouver (CACV), British Columbia Arts Council, Vancouver Moving Theatre, Heart of the City Festival, Carnegie Community Action Project, CMES Community Media Education Society, CACTUS Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations, W2 Community Media Arts Society and City of Vancouver.

Special thanks to the volunteers behind and in front of the camera.
You are all truly beautiful and inspiring.

FearlessTV is about news, views, people, places and events in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. It began February 14,
2007 at the Carnegie Community Centre with the first of three “Getcha Message Out” workshops.

Check us out from noon – 2pm on Sunday Nov. 8 as we do a three camera mobile at the Association of United Ukrainian
Canadians gale and concert (805 E. Pender St.). Crew call is 10:30pm…Still need extra hands setting up.

We invite folks to make copies off the air. Please don't ask me for a copy….   aaarrraagh 🙂

If you are fearless, this is your TV!

Peace, love and hope…the struggle still continues…


Swine Flew – not just a paper trick.

SWINE FLEW….. When Pigs Have Wings!

Swine Flew by Joseph Wu Origami

Origami Master Joseph Wu also has a sense of humor to accompany his nimble fingers and creative mind.

A few years ago he created a design called “When Pigs Have Wings” which I first saw at the Pacific Origami Conference at the Hotel Vancouver in November 2007

Did you know that Joseph Wu created the origami for the Stolichnaya vodka print ads? + many more!

Wu's latest work is in Canadian Business magazine:

Coffee Break Origami - Canadian Business magazine by Joseph Wu Origami.

Joseph Wu says: “I've been doing origami for Canadian Business magazine's “Coffee Break” page.
This is the first one featuring Chinese money eating US money.” (October 12, 2009)

Canada – Scotland Connections: “This is Who We Are Exhibition” runs at Scottish Parliament Nov 3 – 30, 2009

Is Canada really Scottish?

This is Who We Are Exhibition  November 3-30, 2009

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Glasgow Pub? or Vancouver Pub?  Why do so many Canadians wear kilts?
A Kilts Night event at Doolin's Irish Pub in Vancouver BC, with members of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team and friends, – photo T. Wong

A photographCultural Connect logoy exhibition exploring the connections between Canada and
Scotland through people and places has opened at Holyrood.

The exhibition, entitled This Is Who We Are, was created by Graeme Murdoch and Harry McGrath of Cultural Connect Scotland.
The two men travelled across Canada visiting communities which derive
their names from Scottish sources and helping people they met tell the
stories of their connection to Scotland through images and text.

Running from Tuesday 3 to
Monday 30 November in the Scottish Parliament's Main Hall, this
exhibition explores the connection between Scotland and its Diaspora in
Canada through a series of community photography projects.  The
exhibition seeks to strengthen the links between towns and cities in
Scotland and Canada, and also features interviews that have been
carried out with participants exploring their Scottish heritage and
knowledge of contemporary Scotland.  The project has been managed by
International Cultural Connections Scotland.

I have been invited to attend a reception at the Scottish Parliament to mark the
close of the Scots in Canada Exhibition.  The Reception will be co-
hosted by Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP and the First Minster,
the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP.  The reception will take place in the
Parliament's Main Hall.

Project coordinators Harry McGrath and Graeme Murdoch put a picture of me in a Kilt and Chinese Lion's Head mask into the early editions of the exhibit that traveled in Scotland.  In September, they visited Vancouver and interviewed me for the video project.

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Harry McGrath (Argyle sweater) and Graeme Murdoch (hat) traveled to Vancouver to video interview Scots in Canada.  Tony Breen (Yellow shirt) was born in Glasgow and is now a realtor on the North Shore.  Todd Wong (red shirt and vest) is the 5th Generation Chinese-Canadian who created the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, and is actively promoting Robbie Burns and Scottish-Canadian culture in Vancouver BC.

Here's some of the official information from the website:


 03 November 2009

A photography exhibition which explores the connections between Canada
and Scotland through people and places will open to the public at
Holyrood from today until Monday 30 November.

Settlers' cabins in Lanark County, Ontario

Settlers' cabins in Lanark County, Ontario. Photograph: Donald MacIntyre

The Homecoming Scotland exhibition entitled ‘This Is Who We Are’ was created by Graeme Murdoch and Harry McGrath of Cultural Connect Scotland.

two men travelled across Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia,
visiting communities which derive their names from Scottish sources and
helping people they met tell the stories of their own communities and
their connection to Scotland through digital photography, video
interviews and text.

Speaking ahead of the opening, Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said:
“‘This Is Who We Are’ is an innovative project that uses the power of
photography to emphasise the strong connections between the peoples of
Scotland and Canada.

“The stories behind
the photographs teach us more about our links to Canada and help us to
celebrate our common heritage. Around 1,000 places in Canada have names
derived from Scottish sources and 4.7 million Canadians identified
themselves as Scots-Canadian in the last census.

exhibition is a wonderfully fitting way for the Scottish Parliament to
bring to a close its programme of activities and events marking
Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.”

for Cultural Connect Scotland, Creative Director Graeme Murdoch and
Chairman Harry McGrath said: “So many good ideas start with a list and
we took the theme of places in Scotland and Canada that share the same

“The project demonstrates the strong
influence of Scots who left Scotland and moved abroad, how they connect
with Scotland now, and how they envisage this connection developing in
the future. This makes a compelling statement of who we are, wherever
we are.”

The exhibition strengthens the
links between towns and cities with Scottish origins. This is
additional to video interviews that have been carried out with
participants exploring their Scottish heritage and knowledge of
contemporary Scotland.

Canadian places, originally named after locations in Scotland, which are featured in the exhibition include:

  • Edinburgh
  • New Glasgow
  • Inverness
  • Iona
  • Lismore
  • Rothesay
  • Perth
  • Lanark
  • Hamilton
  • Irvine
  • Aberdeen
  • Selkirk
  • Calgary (named after Calgary Bay in Mull)
  • Airdrie
  • Banff
  • Canmore
  • Coldstream
  • Abbotsford
  • Fintry
  • Cragallachie.

The exhibition at the Scottish Parliament is supported by the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.

Background information
Graeme Murdoch is a former artistic director of several national newspapers. Harry McGrath is former coordinator of the Centre for Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Exhibition Tour
Friday 6th November  13:00 – 13:45 Main Hall.
Exhibition Tour with photographer Graeme Murdoch and writer/academic Harry McGrath of Cultural Connect Scotland.  Hear the stories behind the photographs of communities across Canada and their connections with Scotland today.

The Scottish Diaspora Today
Thursday 26th November 17:30-18:30
Join Harry McGrath, director of Cultural Connect Scotland and former Co-ordinator of the Centre for Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University, Cairns Craig, Glucksman Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies and Director of AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at Aberdeen University, and Henry McLeish, former First Minister of Scotland and Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, co-authors of “Global Scots” and “Wherever the Saltaire Flies” as they discuss ideas on engaging with the contemporary Scottish diaspora.

Exhibition Tours
Saturday 28th November, 11-11:45 and 14:30-15:15
Exhibition Tour with photographer
Graeme Murdoch and writer/academic Harry McGrath of Cultural Connect
Scotland.  Hear the stories behind the photographs of communities
across Canada and their connections with Scotland today.



This year marks
the 10th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament. Further information
and a range of public engagement activities can be viewed at the
Parliament's website

For latest news
and information about all aspects of Parliamentary business, MSPs and
our work, visit the Parliament's website at

For information about how you can visit the Parliament, go to

Watch Parliamentary business live at

Who will light the Olympic Flame at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games

Who will light the Olympic Flame at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games

Chinese gymnast Li Ning lights the Olympic Flame at the Beijing 2008 games.

John Furlong, chief executive officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee said, “As it nears its final destination, we want
everyone to share the pride and surprise of the moment and as the
identity of the final torch bearer is revealed.” 

The host country makes a statement about itself, its accomplishments and its ideals by the choice of the person who lights the Olympic flame.

the 1928 Summer
Games in Amsterdam, former star athletes have usually been the final
torchbearers. Norway chose Crown Prince Haakon of Norway for the Lilliehamer games, as both his father and grandfather took part in the Olympics.

Canada's choice at Montreal 1976 and Calgary 1988 featured teenagers and a tweener.   In Montreal Summer Games, Sandra Henderson, 15, of Toronto, and Stephane Prefontaine,
16, of Montreal, were to symbolize Canadian unity. In Calgary Winter Games Robyn
Perry, 12, a junior figure skater, was chosen to represent youth and
future Olympians.

The Star in Toronto has named some suggestions:–who-should-light-the-olympic-flame

The Star listed many British Columbians as the potential last torch bearer:

Nancy Greene of Rossland, B.C., who won ski gold and silver at the 1968
Games in Grenoble

Kerrin Lee-Gartner of Trail, won gold downhill skiing in Albertville in 1992, 

Karen Magnussen (North Vancouver), won silver in women's figure skating 1972

Rick Hansen of Williams Lake, B.C. (now Greater Vancouver), a Paralympic gold medallist
and tireless champion of those with spinal cord injuries, known world wide for his 1986/87 Man in Motion Tour.

Joe Sakic, of Burnaby who starred on
the 2002 gold medal-winning hockey team, 

Non athletes include Betty Fox, mother of the late Terry Fox of Port
Coquitlam, B.C., who has been the subject of online petitions and facebook groups.

Doug Alward,
the best friend of Terry Fox, who accompanied him from the start of the Marathon in Newfound Land and every step until the end of the aborted run.

Other Canadians include:

Gretzky, an ex-Olympian and architect of that 2002 squad, might be
considered candidates, as could superdad Walter Gretzky.

Cindy Klassen,
Canada's most-decorated Olympian with six medals for speed skating

Gaetan Boucher, who won four
Games' medals for speed skating

Clara Hughes, who won medals at the Winter and Summer Games. Cycling Bronze at Atlanta 96 + Speed skating Bronze at Salt Lake City 2002 + 5 medals including Gold at Turin 2006

Bailey gold in the men's
100-metre and 4 by 100-metre relay at the 1996 games in Atlanta.

Barbara Ann
Scott, 1948 Olympic figure skating champion

Kurt Browning Four-time men's world champion figure skater Kurt Browning who never won an Olympic medal.

Rick Hansen on the Great Wall of China in 1986

I value the wonderful community work that both Terry Fox's mother Betty and brother Darrell have done for continuing to carry the flag for the Terry Fox Run, encouraging runs all across communities in Canada and more than 60 runs in 28 countries around the world.  I speak at Terry Fox Runs and elementary schools
every year, since 1993, when Darrell Fox asked me to become a Terry's
Team member.  In 1993, I was a featured speaker at the Terry Fox Run press conference with Rick Hansen.  Rick has always talked about his friendship with Terry, and how Terry's Marathon of Hope inspired his Man in Motion tour.

While I believe that Betty Fox, Darrell Fox and Doug Alward would be great people to carry
the torch during the relay, I don't think they qualify as athletic
achievers – which is the usual lighter of the torch around the world.
Think Muhammad Ali in 96,  and so….

My favorite is Rick Hansen.

Rick is an internationally known figure, famous for his two year long world Man in Motion Tour from March 1985, through  26-months,  40,000 km through 34 countries, four continents, until returning to Vancouver on May 22, 1987 at BC Place Stadium – the very same site that will be used for the Vancouver 2010 Opening and Closing ceremonies.  What separates Rick from the other former Olympic athletes and medal winners, is his humanitarian values, as the founder of The Rick Hansen Foundation, and as a long time activist for people with disabilities and people with spinal cord injuries.  He has recieved the Order of BC, Companion to the Order of Canada, many honours such as Athlete of the Year, and many many honourary doctorate degrees, and has been inducted to both the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

And remember the media reaction to Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan in his wheel chair receiving the Olympic Flag at the Closing ceremonies in Turin 2006?  Incredible!

It will send a message to the world of value and inclusivity about people with disabilities.  This is a Canadian value that we appreciate.