What to expect at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2013 Dinner

What to expect at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2013 Dinner

Dress Code:  Ethnic Fun and flair is the best description. You can wear a traditional dress kilt, or a Chinese cheong sam dress.  Or a combination!  You can wear something from your ancestral culture or somebody else’s or a combination.  This is a fun event.  Some people like to dress up, some people come casual. 

Arrive Early:  The doors will open at 5:00 pm.There is FREE Parking in the Chinatown Parkade on Keefer St @ Columbia St.  Just tell the attendant you are coming to the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, and get a parking pass from them.  Floata Restaurant is on the 4th floor of the parkade.  If you are walking from a bus or skytrain station you can enter through the doors of the Chinatown Plaza and walk up 2 flights of stairs are take the elevator.

All seating is reserved, and all tables are placed in the order that they were ordered (except for special circumstances such as a major sponsor hint hint).  We find this is the most fair, and it encourages people to buy their tickets earlier to ensure a table closer
to the stage.

Please Buy Your Raffle Tickets:
We have  some great raffle prizes lined up.  Lots of books (being the writers we be), gift certificates and theatre tickets + other surprises.  One of the feature prizes is the two-ticket package to Vancouver Opera’s Magic Flute – value $350.  It is amazing as it is designed with a First Nations theme and context.  Here is my 2007 Review.  There are also tickets from Arts Club 4 hands 2 Pianos, The Cultch’s “Extraction”, Fateway’s “Sisters” by Simon Johnston and VACT’s Asian Comedy Night.

And there are some great books.  Harbour Publishing has just donated The Chuck Davis history of Metropolitan Vancouver.  Arsenal Pulp Press is donating copies of David Wong’s historical graphic novel “Escape to Gold Mountain”.  Evelyn Lau is donating her new poetry collection “A Grain of Rice”.  And there are lots more prizes.

Please buy raffle tickets… this is how we generate our fundraising.  We purposely keep our admission costs low to $65 for advance regular seats so that they are affordable and the dinner can be attended by more people.  Children’s tickets are subsidized so that we can include them in the audience and be an inclusive family for the evening.

This dinner is the primary fundraising event for
the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, publishers of RicePaper Magazine, the  Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat Team and the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society. Please support our missions of supporting and developing emerging writers, organizing reading events, and to spread multiculturalism through dragon boat racing – or come join our teams!

The first appetizer dish will appear once people are seated, and before the Piping in of the musicians and head table.  We will lead a singalong of Scotland the Brave and give good welcome to our guests, only then will the next appetizers appear.  You want to eat, you have to sing for your supper!

From then on… a new dish will appear every 10 to 15 minutes –
quickly followed by one of our co-hosts introducing a poet or musical performer.  Serving 30 tables within 5 minutes, might not work completely, so please be patient.  We will encourage our guests and especially the waiters to be quiet while the performers on stage.
Then for the 5 minute intermissions, everybody can talk and make noise before they have to be quiet for the performers again.

Expect the unexpected: I don’t want to give anything away right now as I prefer the evening to unfold with a sense of surprise and wonderment.  But let it do be known that we have an incredible array of talent for the evening.  We do incorporate some if not many elements of a traditional Burns Supper, and try to integrate many elements of a Chinese New Year Dinner.  But basically it’s the same in both cultures: eat, socialize, drink, sing songs, have fun. 

Our non-traditional reading of the “Address to the Haggis” is always a crowd pleaser.  In the past we have selected members of the audience to join us on stage to read a verse.  Past participants that have included former federal Multicultural Minister Raymond Chow, Qayqayt (New Westminster) First Nations Chief Rhonda Larrabee, a descendent of Robert the Bruce, a doctor from White Horse, and even somebody doing a vocal impression of Sean Connery.  Who will it be for 2013?  We leave it up until the evening to decide.

Haggis Etiquette : It’s probably polite not to say disgusting things about it, and that is why we also serve Chinese spicy jelly fish to encourage Scottish people to eat something strange that is a Chinese delicacy.  Not every course has haggis in it. Only the haggis & shrimp won tons and the haggis shu-mei pork dumplings.  For the non-haggis eaters, you can eat the vegetarian turnip cake, and the BBQ pork.  Traditional haggis is served for the purists – but at the same time as a vegetarian Chinese lettuce wrap.  This way the vegetarians get another dish, and the meat eaters can put a spoonful of haggis into their lettuce wrap.  If you have a table of mostly non-haggis eaters, please offer to share your haggis with a table of Scottish haggis-eaters.  This is a great way to make friends with the tables around you, and maybe make a trade for something else.

The evening will wrap up somewhere between 9:15 and 9:30 pm with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  We sing the first verse in Chinese, and then the rest in Gaelic.  We will provide words for read.  Warning: We sing all the verses.  So if you can download the words that Robbie Burns wrote and memorize them, you will look like a pro as you smile at all the people fumbling with programs in their hands.  Then we will socialize further until 10pm, and enjoy some more music!   People will leave with smiles on their faces and say to each other, “Very Canadian,”  “Only in Vancouver could something like this happen,” or “I’m telling my friends.”

Order your tickets sales here:http://ricepapermagazine.ca/2013/01/gung-haggis-fat-choy-dinner-buy-tickets-now/

We will close off tickets sales on Saturday.

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