Monthly Archives: January 2012

Vancouver Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade on Sunday + music and fun in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens

Vancouver Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade on Sunday + music and fun in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens

Our parade dragon was part of the 2009 Cultural Olympiad Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Zodiac Courtyard at the Chinese Cultural Centre – organized by Qiu Xia He of Silk Road Music = photo Deb Martin

Friends can join me in the Chinese New Year Parade!!!
And help me carry my wee little parade dragon (5 people needed) – as I
am bringing it to walk with the “Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens” group.
Afterwards at 2:30 & 3:30 I am playing accordion at the Chinese
Gardens with my friends Black Bear Rebels celtic ceilidh group. Come
singalong in the Hall of One Hundred Rivers

Vancouver Opera reviews Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner event – turnabout not a Turandot!

Opera blog – gives a review of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner
 – and shared
multicultural respect… This is great – usually I am the one to write
reviews of the opera on MY blog at
This definitely a turnabout but not a Turandot! – even though the Black Bear Rebels ceilidh group did play the Chinese folk song Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower) which is the melody that Giacommo Pucinni pinched to use as the Princess Turandot them in his famous opera Turandot (hint: think Nessun Dorma)

Marathon poetry reading of Robbie Burns Poetry @ SFU Harbour Centre

  • Pictures from the Robbie Burns Day, marathon of poetry reading… lots of great fun.

Dr. Leith Davis – creator of the Marathon Poetry reading event at SFU Harbour Centre.  She is director of the Centre for Scottish Studies, SFU.  We pose by a small bronze replica of the Robbie Burns Statue in Stanley Park, created for the St. Andrews & Caledonian Society of Vancouver.


three of Leith's students give a reading – look at the time clock!

Storyteller Mary Gavan read some poetry, then enjoyed the haggis I served her.

My friends Bruce and Bob also gave poetry readings.
I have never seen a BIGGER HAGGIS.

Everybody sings Auld Lang Syne for the ending

More Pictures on my flickr photo set

SFU Burns Marathon poetry reading

SFU Burns Marathon poetry…

Robert Burns poetry – marathon reading!!!

A world record for the longest continuous reading of Robert Burns poetry will be set in Vancouver on Burns Day January 25th

This special message from Leith Davis, director for the Centre for Scottish Studies, Simon Fraser University.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 7:04:12 PM
A reminder to come and join us to set a world record for a marathon reading of
Burns's work! Participants include: Andrew Petter, President of SFU; Christopher
Gaze, Artistic Director of Bard at the Beach; Bob Lenarduzzi, President of the
Vancouver Whitecaps and many more!

The procession, haggis addressing and official opening ceremony will start at 8:00
am. See you there!

Marathon Reading of Burns’s Poetry for Burns Day, 2012

8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Opening Program: 8:00 am
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street

The Centre for Scottish Studies invites you to join SFU's bid to set a world record
for the longest recitation of Robert Burns's poetry and songs. Join us in reciting
the work of Scotland's bard for 4.5 hours!

Click here to participate:

This free event is open to the public so please come and cheer us on for the Robbie Burns Day celebration. There will be refreshments and entertainment for all!

Haggis, shortbread, coffee and tea will be served throughout the event.

*We would like to thank our sponsors of the event: The British Store; Goodricks Meat Products (New Westminster); and the West Coast Liquor Company (Vancouver); and Radio Dial Entertainment (Vancouver).

Enquiries: or 778.782.5313

Dr. Leith Davis
Professor, Department of English
Director, Centre for Scottish Studies
AQ 6111
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
778 782-4833
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Georgia Straight: Gung Haggis Fat Choy at Floata rings in the Year of the Water Dragon

the inaugural 
“Gung Haggis Fat Choy Intercultural Achievement Awards of
Congratulations to Vancouver Opera's James Wright,
Parliamentary poet laureate Fred Wah, and cultural organizer and poet
Jim Wong-Chu. These are people that inspire what we love in the BC Arts,
and what we create at Gung Haggis Fat Choy… and our intercultural
projects through the year.  Great that the Georgia Straight scooped this dinner highlight from our event last night.

Shigematsu (far left) and Todd Wong (right) granted the Gung Haggis Fat
Choy Intercultural Awards of Awesomeness to Vancouver Opera's James
Wright, poet Fred Wah, and Ricepaper founder Jim Wong-Chu.

photo Charlie Smith

Georgia Straight: Gung Haggis Fat Choy at Floata rings in the Year of the Water Dragon

“Politicians of all stripes must have had other business in this
postelection malaise, as the 15th annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie
Burns Chinese New Year dinner went off without them.

The only person to note this was Scottish-born-and-raised local political veteran Margaret Birrell, who told the Straight that Scotland is likely to vote for independence from the U.K. in 2014.

Other than Birrell, nobody seemed to mind too much, as there was music, poetry, whisky, haggis, banter, and fun a-plenty.

Tetsuro Shigematso and Gung Haggis creator Todd “Toddish McWong” Wong
made sure the night was seamless at the Floata Restaurant in Chinatown,
which culminated in a cross-cultural Mandarin-English version of “Auld
Lang Syne” (“Youyi dichang-tianju”), traditionally used to sing in the
New Year in Scotland and elsewhere.”

read more at:

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Vancouver Observer

Chinese New Year and the Robbie Burns Day: Gung Haggis dinner brings cultures together

by Benjamin Yong

next »
Photos by Benjamin Yong
give substance — we don’t just pay lip service to multiculturalism,”
said [Todd] Wong, a fifth-generation Chinese Canadian. “You see the
musicians, the performers and the food, and everything flows so

The idea was born when Wong was still a student at
Simon Fraser University in the early 1990s and, as part of his duties as
a campus guide, was asked to carry the claymore (sword) in the Robbie
Burns (Scottish poet and writer) Day celebration. Since then, he has
championed all things Scottish and even joined a Celtic band called the
Black Bear Rebels who performed that evening.

Thank yous for and from Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Thank you everybody for performing / attending / volunteering at Gung Haggis Fat Choy

It was a really fun night… one of the most least stressed events…

And immediately after Carl Schmidt – who has been sound tech since 2005 – his 8th year in a row… said:
“This was the best one yet”

Great chemistry with co-host Tetsuro
wonderful readings by Fred, Larry and Jim (even though Jim didn't know we were going to be reading his poem!!!)
but hey – it's the 15th anniversary dinner. 

The introductions were less rushed… and very good.
It was great to segue from O Canada, to a parliamentary poet….
from counting down Chinese New year in a different time zone – to celebratory music.
stories about food in Chinatown, while ate food in Chinatown…
and so much more!

And the production would never have happened without volunteer and supporters….
Thank you for decorating the room
setting up the tables
hosting the reception tables,
seeing people to their tables
registering subscriptions
selling raffle tix
bringing up the prizes
carrying the dragon!

Everything seemed to flow well…
I saw people selling tix, carrying the signs
soooo… everything worked.

So many people came up to me, to say 3 things:
1) they loved/liked the event
2) they liked the information we gave out
4) they liked being par of a multicultural community

Thank you again for supporting this event
Believing in what we do
and investing your time and energy.

Much appreciation, cheers, Todd

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve
to all my friends across the Country….

Especially Halya Kuchmij, who directed the CBC documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy – about our family's 5+ generation contributions to Canada, and who is going to call us onstage at tonight's Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner, as we celebrate Year of the Dragon arriving in Toronto! 

And also especially to writer Susan Crean who was our recent writer in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House and helped encourage me to come to Toronto for a Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner… as Deb & I chatted with Susan on her last night in Vancouver after her residency, when we took her for dinner at Wild Rice restaurant at the edge of Vancouver Chinatown.

And to all our friends and family in Victoria, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Sasketchewan (like my cousin Janice Wong's mother), and even in the USA in Portland and Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Los angeles and New York City… and over in Hong Kong… and Scotland, where I had such a great time in Edinburgh for Homecoming Year 2009.

Tickets sales now closed for Gung Haggis Fat Choy

The Firehall Box Office is now closed for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner event.

Thank you for purchasing your tickets in advance.

If you would still like to attend the dinner – You will have to contact event producer Todd Wong for a wait list, and purchase tix directly from him prior to the event – if there is room.   Contact Todd Wong at 778-846-7090

Our Box Office closes at 2pm Saturday, to help us facilitate seating arrangements for the event.  Priority seating is given in order of ticket purchase.  The earlier you purchased your ticket, the closer to the stage, your seats will be – then somebody who purchased tickets on the last day of sale.

All reserved tables of 10 will be included in the “Calling of the Clans”

Tomorrow night is going to be fun – see you there!

Lots of great prizes for Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2012 Dinner

Lots of great raffle prizes for tomorrow's dinner event:

Vancouver Opera
Firehall Arts Centre – Leonard Cohen Play
Wild Rice Restaurant
Floata Seafood Restaurant
Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre
Urban Ink Theatre – Confessions of The Other Woman
Chuck Davis' book “History of Metropolitan Vancouver” from Harbour Publishing
Daphne Marlatt edited book “Opening Doors” from Harbour Publishing
Lots of childrens books from Tradewind Books
new Paul Yee book from Tradewind Books
Lots of books from Arsenal Pulp Press including Charles Demers' “Vancouver Special”
Tix to new Royal BC Museum exhibit in Vancouver Chinatown
Tix to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens
“How the Scots Created Canada” from Lone Pine Publishing
“How the Chinese Created Canada” from Lone Pine Publishing