Monthly Archives: October 2010

Vancouver Sun features Heart in the City Festival – Generations: The Chan Legacy is the 1st event listed in “At A Glance”

Generations: The Chan Legacy” is the top feature of the Vancouver Sun's “Festival at a Glance”

The Chan Legacy – features the history of Chinese Canadians told
through 5 generations of descendants from Rev. Chan Yu Tan who arrived
in Canada in 1896, following his elder brother's footsteps to minister
to Chinese pioneers. Community service is a featured story in each generation of this CBC documentary.

7:30pm  Thursday Oct 28

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum 555 Columbia.

I attended the Opening Gala for the Heart of the City Festival 2pm at Carnegie Centre.  Special guest was Lt. Gov. Steven Point.  He was very funny and serious, sharing stories about his first visits to Main & Hastings as a young law student. 
This pictures features the Carnegie Jazz Band playing “Sweet Georgia Brown

Great news – Vancouver Sun ran a story on the front page their Arts Section.  They featured a sidebar story “At a Glance” and the first event listed is Generations: The Chan Legacy!

news on celebrities, music, theatre reviews, television, local TV
listings guide, books and contests. Read Vancouver Sun to get current
news on entertainment in Vancouver.,To many people the Downtown Eastside
is an intimidating place: a dangerous, dirty, drug-infested 'hood

Last Chance to participate in “Paddle for Wild Salmon”

Last chance to take part in the “Paddle for Wild Salmon”

Day 1 crew, M, Wendy, Colleen, Guen, Todd, Ella , Alejuandro, Twyla, Gilbert – missing Bobbie and Verna

Day 5 crew of Gung Haggis dragon boat team paddlers + Chilcotin elder Gilbert.

It's been an incredible experience of paddling and making new friends.  I
have always wanted to paddle the Fraser River from Hope.  But last week it became a reality, as I helped to steer voyageur canoes as part of “Paddle for Wild Salmon.” 

We stopped at First Nations communities along the way.  At Cheam Beach, Aaron Williams sang a song for the group.

Alexandra Morton is a biologist who has written about how sea lice affect the migration of wild salmon.  Elly Edwards is a the woman who dreamed up the “Paddle for Wild Salmon” journey from Hope to Vancouver.


Day 1 Wednesday – We paddled from Hope to Chilliwack with 5 voyageur canoes

Day 4 Saturday – We paddled from Katzie (Golden
Ears Bridge) to New Westminster to Musequeam – with 7 canoes.

Day 5 Sunday – We paddled from
Musqueam into the Salish Sea, around Point Grey to Jericho Beach – with 9 canoes!

Day 6 Monday- I will not be able to attend, as I am working on the
library – but hope to see you all at the after-party at W2 Storyeum.

  You can still participate:

9:00am – meet at Jericho Beach

9:30am – paddle to Vanier Park (Kits Point) on voyageur canoes.
10 am – march across Burrard Bridge
11am – gathering for Cohen Commission on Wild Salmon
12 noon – rally at Vancouver Art Gallery
3-10pm – after party at W2 Storyeum

Here is a Vancouver Sun newstory:


See more details below:

is a historic journey underway called the Paddle for Wild Salmon.  It
is a powerful pulling together of the Wild Salmon People.  A group of 60
people are canoeing for 5 days down the Fraser River, arriving in
Vancouver on October 25th at 9am at Vanier Park. We will walk to the
opening of the sockeye inquiry to tell Justice Cohen that he must order
full disease disclosure from the salmon farmers so we can learn if our
wild salmon are dying of farm diseases.

09:30 am Meet the Paddle for Wild Salmon
as they land at the Vanier Park Beach and walk with First Nation
chiefs, MPs, MLAs and hundreds of people to the sockeye inquiry, Cohen
Commission 701 West Georgia

10:00 am Walk with us from Vanier Park (over the Burrard Street Bridge) to the Cohen Commission.

11:00 am Gather at the opening of the Cohen Commission to support
Justice Cohen to let him know  we support him and we are watching this
commission closely because wild salmon are essential to us

12:00 pm Rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery

3:00 – 10:00 pm A Wild Salmon Party at the W2 Storyeum 151 West Cordova admission by donation. Music, Art, Speaker

Dragon Boat paddlers help lead the “Paddle for Wild Salmon” from Katzie to Musqueam

Another incredible day on the Fraser River
Dragon boat paddlers lead the way to 2 of the 7 boats
Jennifer from Gung Haggis Fat Choy team was my lead stroke, with Colleen of FLCC Fortifed in the 2nd seat.  I steered.
Oliver Wu of Team Naluwan was lead stroke on another boat
paddled from Katzie First Nations 8:30 am under the Golden Ears Bridge,
paddled to New Westminster for 11:30 am.  We left New West at 12:55 and
arrived at Musqueam First Nations at 4:45pm

We probably paddled under the Port Mann Bridge
around 10:30am, and under the Patullo Bridge then the Sky Train bridge
between 11:45 to noon. We left New West around 12:55pm, and next
paddled under the Queensborough Bridge around 1:10 pm. We made it under
the Knight Street Bridge about 2:00pm, then the Canada Line skytrain
bridge and Oak St. around 2:30pm and the Arthur Laing by 3:00 pm. Add
in a few rail bridges, and we paddled under 10 bridges from Katzie to

No Dragon Boat practice Sunday
But you are invited to
Paddle For Wild Salmon
8:00 am breakfast at Musqeam First Nations
(bottom of Dunbar – turn right – then turn left at Salish Dr
On the water for 9 am 
Experienced paddlers only to paddle around Point Grey
We may be paddling in giant 18 paddler sea worthy voyageur canoes
If there are big winds
There is
Plan B
We will walk at salmon streams at Musqueam then at False Creek  
Put voyageur 10 person boats in at False Creek or Vanier Park (kits point)
Then paddle to Jericho Beach 

Paddle for Wild Salmon begins in Hope, and will land in Jericho on Day 5

Todd Wong
is honoured
to be “Paddling for Wild Salmon”, on the “Salmon are Sacred” journey.

Todd Wong

We started the 5 day journey down the Fraser River from Hope to Chilliwack –
I steered 1 of 5 voyageur canoes, past mild turbulence and eddies.  We had salmon lunch at Cheam Beach.

We had great fun paddling from HOPE to Chilliwack, with salmon lunch and
dinners today. Great to have Wendie Jimmie as a lead stroke, she
normally paddles War Canoe. Special thanks to Elly Edwards who visioned
this event, with support from Alexandra Morton to help raise awareness of the dangers of fish farms to wild salmon.

Story about the Paddle for Wild Salmon – landing in Chilliwack
yesterday. I steered our boat with my dragon boat/voyageur canoe
experience, while our lead stroke Wendy Jimmie was a veteran paddler of
war canoe racing. She is one of the paddlers who will paddle across the
Salish Sea from Vancouver Island to Jericho on Sunday.

Paddle for Wild Salmon begins Oct 20th in Hope

Ever want to paddle down the Fraser River and help out the sustainability of Wild Salmon?

I am asking my dragon boat friends to help us paddle voyageur canoes on the Fraser River in segments from Hope to Vancouver

paddlers are needed to help the non-paddler VIPs from the
environmental, and sustainability communities. And to help focus
attention on the importance of the Sockeye Salmon.

Here is more info from the Facebook page:!/event.php?eid=116834441700537

Stand Up for Wild Salmon!

Get Out Migration marches on with a flotilla, walk and rally in
Vancouver on 25th October. Paddlers leave Hope on 20th October with
various events en route –
in Hope (19th),
Chilliwack (20th),
/Abbotsford (21st)
Katzie/Pitt Meadows (22nd)
and Musqueam (23rd).

Please join the flotilla in Vancouver Harbor from 9am on Monday 25th
October and march from Vanier Park over Burrard Bridge to DFO, the Cohen
Commission and then for a rally at the Art Gallery from Noon. Paddlers
include Alexandra Morton, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Chief Bob
Chamberlin,Chief Marilyn Baptiste, Grand Chief Saul Terry Chief Bev
Sellars, Fin Donnelly MP and Bill Bourne.

More details are available via:

And the Itinerary is available (and will be updated) via:

Download the rally poster for the 25th October via:

If you are wondering about safety of the canoes on the river, here is what organizer Elly Edwards has sent to me

Hi Todd,

Boerg of Fraser River Raft Expeditions will be along for the whole
paddle along with their Zodiac. Search and Rescue all along the river
has been notified of the paddle and a few SAR trainees will be along.
Skippers James Healy, Ray Natrauro, Wes Nahanee, Marc Caplan, and Eric
Baker will be along.

For day two, members of Skwah First Nation
will be joining from their territory. They know the river like the fish.
As we paddle down river, representatives from each area will join. The
RCMP has also been notified about the paddle from Hope. CBC news will be
at the launch, so we'll want to be set for safety.

There are also many other experienced paddlers who will be along to balance out the less experienced paddlers.



Generations: The Chan Legacy documentary to be shown Oct 28 at Heart of the City Festival

Great news for BC history and genealogy buffs.  The CBC documentary about the Rev. Chan Family descendants is being shown at Heart of the City Festival on Oct 28.

Film & Conversation
REV. CHAN FAMILY LEGACY: Five Generations of Vancouver

History 1888 to 2007

Thursday October 28, 7:30pm
Chinese Cultural
Centre Museum & Archives, 555 Columbia

The Chan family
first came to Canada to help start the Chinese Methodist Church and
every generation since has made contributions to Canadian society. In
2007, filmmaker Halya Kuchmij interviewed members of one of the oldest
families on the West Coast and made a documentary about the stories and
achievements of Reverend & Mrs. Chan, their sons Luke Chan
(Hollywood actor) and Jack Chan (golfer); grandchildren Helen Lee and
Victor Wong (WW2 veteran); great-grandchildren Gary Lee (entertainer)
and Janice Wong (artist); and great-great grandchildren Todd Wong
(community and cultural activist) and Tracey Hinder (high school
student). The many turns of the Chan family reflect the challenges of
exclusion, the fight for rights, the strength of family and citizenship,
and the right to vote. The festival is pleased to show The Chan
, directed by Halya Kuchmij, from the CBC Learning
Generations Series (2007, 43:37) and we are fortunate to have Todd Wong
moderate the conversation afterwards. Todd is a descendent of Reverend
Chan and the creator of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, the annual celebration of
Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Day ( –
an event that marries two cultures that once lived completely separate
in the early days of British Columbia. Everyone welcome. Free

This was the lead show in the CBC Generations series that aired
on July 4th 2007.  The purpose was to interview multigenerational families across Canada, and help tell the story of Canada through the lives of that family.

I am a 5th generation great-great-grand son of Rev. Chan Yu Tan, and one of the featured stories.  My grandmother's sister Helen Lee and cousin Victor Wong are both interviewed and tell stories about their grandparents Rev. & Mrs. Chan Yu Tan, whom they respectively lived with and visited as children.  

Victor Wong is a WW2 veteran and shares stories about becoming a soldier for Special Forces operations with his cousins Howard and Leonard Lee, while Dan Lee was one of the first Chinese Canadians in the Airforce.  All this happened at a time when Canadians of Chinese ancestry were not allowed to vote in Canada, until after the Chinese-Canadian veterans returned from WW2 and lobbied the Canadian government to repeal the 1925 Chinese Exclusion Act.

Gary Lee, also tells stories about Rev. Chan's sons Luke Chan, who became an actor in Hollywood, and Jack Chan – an avid golfer and the first Chinese Canadian to serve on jury duty.

Artist Janice Wong is shown working and attending book launches for her recipe/memoir book “Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food + Family”
– which shares the history of the Rev. Chan family through her father Dennis Wong, chef of Chinese restaurants in Sasketchewan, son of the Rev's daughter Rose, and Victor's brother.

13 year old Tracey Hinder is seen winning the inaugural Vancouver area Canspell contest.  Tracey goes on to compete at the National Canspell in Ottawa and the Scripps in Washington DC.  Tracey is interviewed as a high school student, dedicated to learning about her community and family histoy.

Todd Wong is a community and cultural activist, known for creating Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.  Excerpts from the CBC produced television performance special “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” are shown along with Todd's community commitments including the saving of the Historic Joy Kogawa House, Terry Fox Run, and dragon boat racing.

5 of the 7 part series are available for for sale through the CBC Learning Division
Chan Legacy

McCurdy Birthright

Crowfoot Dynasty

Years in Alberta

Years in Saskatchewan

Brendan Uegama's “Henry's Glasses” + new Ann Marie Fleming film show at VIFF

VIFF… Henry's
Glasses (about a young boy in a Japanese-Canadian Internment Camp)
+ I
Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors (directed by Ann Marie Fleming
creator of the The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam)
Monday 3:30pm Pacific

Henry's Glasses
Henry's Glasses


plays in Acquired Trait

Canadian Images

(Canada, 2010, 20 mins, HDCAM)

Directed By: Brendan Uegama

PRODS: Brendan Uegama, Nicole leier
SCR/CAM: Brendan Uegama
ED: Corey Ogilvie
MUS: Crispin Hands
CAST: Matthew Nomura, Walter Uegama, Marie Shimizu, Moe Yang, Miyou Shimoshige, Kevan Ohtsji
In a Japanese-Canadian internment camp a young boy must use the power
of his imagination to escape reality and help his elderly new friend.

I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors
I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors


plays with Henry's Glasses

Canadian Images

(Canada, 2010, 16 mins, 35mm)

Directed By: Ann Marie Fleming

PROD: Gerry Flahive, Michael Fukushima
SCR: Ann Marie Fleming
EDS: Ileana Pietrobruno, Ann Marie Fleming
MUS: Normand Roger, Denis Chartrand, Pierre Yves Drapeau

An adaptation of the acclaimed memoir of the same name, this inventive
animation weaves together a political and personal history using the
healing power of humour

Ann-Marie Fleming's new movie plays at VIFF

Ann-Marie Fleming is the brilliant animator/film
maker and graphic artist of “The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam” – which
we featured at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year
Dinner a few years ago….

Ann-Marie's great-grandfather was the legendary vaudeville magician, Long Tack Sam.  Her great-grandmother was his Austrian wife.  Her family ancestry comes from around the world, and she describes herself as hybrid – both DNA-wise, historically and culturally.

Check out the link to the Vancouver Courier article:

Ann Marie Fleming strums her uke prior to the Vancouver 
International Film Festival, which screens her animated short I Was A 
Child of Holocaust Survivors Oct. 11.

Ann Marie Fleming strums her uke
prior to the Vancouver International Film Festival, which screens her
animated short I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors Oct. 11.

Photograph by: Dan Toulgoet, Vancouver courier

Ann Marie Fleming is no stranger to the Vancouver
International Film Festival both as a past volunteer and a filmmaker
whose works have included feature films (The French Guy), documentaries
(The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam) and animated shorts such as this
year's I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors. The talented artist and
aspiring ukulele player talked to the Courier about her latest film,
her eclectic background and why “tongue on a hot rock” is not a

1. What about Bernice Eisenstein's memoir I Was a Child of Holocaust
Survivors made you want to adapt it into an animated short?

It's an amazing book. b) I was asked to. c) I thought I could bring
something to it.

2. Was there anything about the subject matter
you related to?

There is something everyone can relate to: it's
about family. For me, I'm constantly interested in the continuing
legacy of WWII, the burden of the history, cross-over immigration
patterns and cultural diaspora, older generations not telling their
stories-but-somehow-you're-still-living-in-them, trying to find your
own way. I think it has universal relevance and resonance.

Your background is quite diverse (born in Okinawa, of Chinese and
Australian parentage, your great grandfather was a travelling Chinese
vaudevillian acrobat and magician). How does this inform or influence
your work?

Well, I'm kind of a hybrid, and so is the work I
do–thematically and technically. And I am very curious about people's
histories and backgrounds and what that represents in geopolitical
terms. I'm such a cultural mash-up that I can relate to just about
anybody's story. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Read the rest of the article at the Vancouver Courier article:

Gung Haggis paddlers preparing for Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta

One more Paddle Race – Gung Haggis paddlers preparing for Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta

Gung Haggis is NOT racing this Sunday for UBC Day of the Long Boats...
but if you want to check it out – go to Jericho Beach / Sailing &
Paddling Centre and watch the 10 person voyageur canoes going out on
Saturday and Sunday.  Community Teams (non-UBC) race on Sunday morning
early around 8-8:30am then again around 12-12:30pm

– as usual – we take out two 10 person boats, for race simulations and
working on our turns.  It's been real exciting as the two boats race
through the turns together.

– same as above – but we have to take lights out on the boat.  Dusk arrives early and it gets dark quicker now.

OCT 9TH SATURDAY – Thanksgiving Weekend

Arrive about 8:30am for the pancake breakfast – set up tents
first race is 10am – marshall at 9:30am.  more details to come.

We have 24 people for two 10 person boats
always carry spare paddlers and rotate everybody, so that we will not
be short on race day, and we can be inclusive and have more fun with
friends.  this means 2 people will sit out each race.

3 years
ago, we helped to invent the Chili contest at the race.  Hillary and
Deb have been our chili chefs in the past – Hillary has won Best
We need a new
Chili chef for this year – who will volunteer.

This year – there is a costume contest for all the teams – I have offered to donate a prize.

Karen Ranalletta and Dave Samis are team captains.

Traditionally – we organize the two teams into A and B teams.
One team encourages veteran paddlers to race to their best potential and push it.
One team encourages newer paddlers to have fun, and veteran paddlers to support them.

2009_Oct_Ft_Langley_cranberry_canoe_race 111 Lead stroke Tzhe Lam pulls the Gung team away from the beach after picking up the beach runner.

2009 saw our A team make it to the A Final – with 10 men + 1 women

Gung Haggis paddlers compete at Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta: 1st in B Final 5th in A Final

2008_Oct 035 Boats go head to head around a turn with Alissa Fletcher in lead stroke for Gung Haggis team in 2008.

2008 saw 2 boats miss the pumpkins, and finish last and 3rd last in the B final – but have lots of fun.

Sun shines on Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta – Gung Haggis places 2 teams in A Final

Cran Fest final 0927 Martin

2007 saw the B boat beat the A boat

Gung Haggis paddlers place 1st and 3rd in B Final for Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta

Accordion Flamenco – Todd Wong sits in with guitarist Rod Malkin and dancer Elin

Flamenco accordion player named “El Toddo Don Wong”

love flamenco music.  My usual claim to flamenco fame, is that I have twice had dinner with flamenco guitarist legend Paco Pena.

But on Thursday night at the La Zuppa restaurant in North Vancouver, I sat in with guitarist Rod Malkin and dancer Elen Ghulam.  I was walking by the restaurant on Lonsdale Avenue and decided to have a listen.  The music was lovely, the space was intimate and friendly.  I spoke with the restaurant operators Juan Carlos and Vicky. We talked about the restaurant and flamenco music. They introduced me to Rod and Elen, and told them I play accordion.

Rod invited me to sit in with them. I had never played with a flamenco guitarist before.  But they were keen that I had shared my knowledge about attending Paco Pena's Misa Flamenco concert in Vancouver, and that I knew of Al Mozaico Flamenco's productions of “Cafe de Chinatas”.  It was a big stretch for me to improvise
freely, and I gained confidence to add flourishes. It was good enough
that the dancer took to the platform. A wonderful experience musically

It was a big challenge… I have been playing with a Celtic Ceilidh
group since Christmas… and learning to play accompaniment and fills. I
still go into shock and panic when somebody says “Accordion Solo” – but
playing with Robert last night was very cool – lots of listening to
each other, and just taking it slow… working in some flourishes. And
they kept me playing with them! 🙂

While at the restaurant, I discovered postcards for Mozaico Flamenco – the company founded and directed by Oscar Nieto and Kasandra La China in 2002.  I reviewed their show “Cafe De Chinatas” in 2006 at the Norman Rothstein Theatre and in 2006 at Edie's Hats on Granville Island.  I am thrilled that “Mozaico Flamenco” is going to be perform again
in November at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Look what I just discovered!
Flamenco Guitar with Accordion and performed in Edinburgh, Scotland