Category Archives: GHFC 2004 Media Stories

2008 was a fantastic year for Gung Haggis Fat Choy: reviewing last year’s events

Every year Gung Haggis Fat Choy attracts media attention and finds new ways to explore cultural diversity.  Here’s a look back at 2008.

There were a number of media articles prior to the 2008 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner event.  We were mentioned in the Vancouver Sun, Co-op Radio, Georgia Straight, and Shaw TV’s “The Express”.  On Robbie Burns Day, Todd was interviewed on Rock 101’s Brother Jake Show with Vancouver councilor Raymond Louie, then with bagpiper Joe McDonald, Todd and Joe performed and excerpt of their “Haggis Rap” for CBC Newsworld television.

Gung Haggis 2008 Dinner 160 by you.

Catherine Barr and Todd Wong auction off a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label scotch at the 2008 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner – photo VFK.

ON THE BURNER – by Mia Stainsby

Todd Wong featured interview on Co-Op Radio’s Accordion Noir

Georgia Straight – Blog  – Jan 16
I will wear a kilt’ to Robbie Burns dinner, Coun. Raymond McLouie …

Gung Haggis Fat Choy with Sukhi Ghuman on Shaw TV’s The Express

Rock 101’s Brother Jake Show with Vancouver city councilor Raymond Louie

CBC Newsworld update for Todd Wong & Joe McDonald appearance:

What to expect at Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2008 dinner – how to enjoy and have fun!

Metro News posts story and picture of Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Gung Haggis Fat Choy in Province Newspaper today for Chinese New Year

Full of surprises…. Gung Haggis Fat Choy celebrates 10th Anniversary for Toddish McWong’s Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

From the Brunei Times to the Scottish Sunday Post, Toddish McWong is becoming known the world, o’er

download by you.
Vancouver councilor Raymond Louie did show up in a Royal Stuart tartan kilt.  Here he stands with VIP host Deb Martin and Gregor Robertson MLA (now Vancouver mayor) at the 2008 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner – photo Dave Samis

Tonight: George McWhirter and Fred Wah featured for Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night at Vancouver Public Library

Georgia Straight pokes fun at “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” becoming a icon of cultural diversity

North Seattle Herald-Outlook
has written a story about the upcoming 2nd coming of Toddish McWong to
Seattle.  Last year we staged a Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns
Chinese New Year Dinner on Chinese New Year Day in Seattle.  It was a
benefit for the Pacific North West Junior Pipe Band. 

Eric on the Road podcast with Gung Haggis Fat Choy – hitting US pod cast waves

Gung Haggis dragon boat team team hits the water with a Global TV cameraman filming them to celebrate BC’s cultural diversity

Feb 24

Seattle Gung Haggis Fat Choy II, sells out and sets new standards!

Here's a new article at The Scotsman about Burns Dinners Around the World.

Here's a new article at The Scotsman about Burns Dinners Around the World.

Guess who they name?

This is a very interesting story about Burns Day dinners in Paris, Hong
Kong, and of course the infamous and internationally known Toddish
McWong's Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Vancouver, Canada.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy goes Montreal via Maisoneuve Magazine/website

Gung Haggis Fat Choy goes Montreal

via Maisoneuve Magazine/website

Check out this interview I did for Maisoneuve Magazine with writer Christopher DeWolf



Christopher DeWolf writes about the different ways Chinese New Year is
being celebrated in Vancouver – but I will just get to the good stuff
here.  Click on the links to visit the full article at Maisoneuve Magazine

This much is obvious when you talk to Todd Wong, the cheerful founder of Gung Haggis Fat Choy,
one of Vancouver’s newest and most intriguing cultural events. It all
started when Wong was a student at Simon Fraser University. “I was
asked to participate in the Robbie Burns Day celebration and nobody
wanted to. Nobody wanted to wear a kilt! It was too strange, it was too
weird. But I realized this is a multicultural statement. You’ve got a
fifth-generation Chinese-Canadian wearing a kilt. It really put a flip
on the stereotypes.” That was in 1993. Over the next several years a
series of small dinners with friends based around the
Chinese-cum-Scottish theme eventually ballooned into what is now a
600-person banquet featuring a twelve-course dinner, big-name guests
and a number of fun and prominent performers. Traditional Chinese New
Year dishes are served for dinner but the real star is the haggis which
finds itself transformed into wontons, lettuce wraps and spring rolls.
The cross-cultural culinary experience is upstaged only by the list of
entertainment. This year the long list of talent includes iconic
Japanese-Canadian author Joy Kogawa, who will speak to the audience
some time after Lala, a Chinese-Canadian artist who blends soul and hip
hop with traditional Asian and Canadian music, has performed. “We have
to have fun with multiculturalism,” says Wong.

But Gung Haggis Fat Choy isn’t just about multiculturalism; it’s about interculturalism.There’s
a fine but important distinction between the two. “It’s like a
marriage,” explains Wong. “When you have an intercultural marriage,
somebody’s actually coming into your family. For me, all my cousins on
my maternal side and half my paternal cousins have interracially
married. So we celebrate and everyone in the family is included.”
That’s a pretty apt metaphor for Vancouver, even in a literal
sense—last year, Statistics Canada determined that Vancouver is home to
the largest proportion of mixed-race couples in Canada. Vancouver’s
character is being built around cultural blending and exchange. “In
Vancouver’s search for its own identity, everybody gets to express
their own. We don’t have a long history—we are creating our history and
identity in this moment,” adds Wong.

inevitably then, in our lovely land of order and good governance, comes
the question of how to enshrine part of that identity in a legal sense.
Last year, a debate in Vancouver’s Chinese media about whether to make
the Lunar New Year a public holiday made it into the pages of the Vancouver Sun,
which asked, “Is it time to make it official?” Vancouver’s schools
already throw multicultural New Year celebrations and, last year, all
of the city’s high schools and half of its elementary schools closed
for Lunar New Year. So why not make it a public holiday? Both
Wong and Leung are skeptical. “It’s unfair to other cultural groups to
isolate a Chinese holiday,” says Leung. Wong concurs. “I think that it
is better presently to continue the status quo,” he says. “Should St.
Patrick’s Day and Robbie Burns Day become official holidays? Or Diwali?
or Persian New Year?”

They have a point, but
it’s helpful to remember that, unlike Robbie Burns Day or even Diwali,
the Lunar New Year is celebrated by a huge number of Vancouverites. Not
only is it a traditional festival for the Chinese, Korean and
Vietnamese population, many non-Asians celebrate it by attending
parades, the CFCC fair or by simply getting together with friends for
dinner. Making it a public holiday in Vancouver would be an important
symbol of the city’s dynamic character, one that is just as Asian as it
is European. Still, making the Lunar New Year a holiday would
ultimately be a token gesture; Vancouver’s character will continue to
evolve regardless. “When I travel through Vancouver,” says Wong, “to me
it’s intercultural. I don’t want to go to all the traditional dances
and all that; I want to see what’s exciting. How do we create our own
culture? How does Vancouver create its own identity by drawing on all
its ethnic ancestries?”

The answer will be
something for future generations to discover. In the meantime, have a
good Year of the Dog. Gung Hay–er, Haggis–Fat Choy!

Maisoneuve Magazine

CBC Radio and Metro News: Gung Haggis Media Alert: Look and listen for Toddish McWong


CBC Radio and Metro News: Gung  Haggis Media Alert: 


Look and listen for Toddish McWong

Thursday afternoon I met with Metro News reporter Jared, Dragon
Martials Arts store on Pender St. at the Chinese Cultural Centre. 
This is where I purchased my Lion Head mask.  I never ever
imagined that the combination of Chinee Lion Head maskwith a red kilt
would become such an iconic symbol of “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” cultural
fusion…. but it did.  The image has become copied and blogged
around the world… from Calfornia to Canton, from Nova Scotia to
Scotland, from New Jersey to Simon Fraser University.

Jared took some pictures of me at Dragon Martial Arts, where I also
purchased a small child's lion head mask for my nephew.  I think
he'll like it.  We also took some pictures with the Lion Head mask
on the standing on the corner of Carrall and Pender St.  with the
Chinatown Millenium Gate designed my my cousin Joe Wai, in the

Friday morning I am expecting a phone call from the hosts of the new CBC Radio program “Freestyle.”
They are looking for an update on the 9th annual
Gung Haggis Fat Choy” Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year
Dinner.  I will have to tell them that I have friends from
Victoria to Halifax, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal who all
share in the Gung Haggis spirit, and may be hosting their own Gung
Haggis Fat Choy dinners, and raising a dram of whiskey to toast Toddish

I am amazed at how many people across Canada have heard about Gung
Haggis Fat Choy.  Last year my 2nd cousin Katie in Toronto phoned
my Grandmother to tell her that she saw me on CBC TV's The National
with Peter Mansbridge.  Some people have heard me on Sounds Like
Canada with Shelagh Rogers.  Friends have been e-mailing me the
new story in written by Christina Wallace who
hopefully will be attending this year's dinner from Everett WA. 
And next week, my friends in Montreal will read about me in Maisoneuve.

And maybe one day, we can all put aside our racial prejudices, our
religious differences, and our political beliefs, and all celebrate our
similarities and our common Canadian-isms over dinner.  Food and
song.  This is what brings people together.  And together is
how we build a nation. And everybody in our nation is family.  And
in family, nobody gets left behind.

Win Tickets to Gung Haggis Fat Choy – listen to CBC Radio 690 Early Edition

Win Tickets to Gung Haggis Fat Choy
– listen to CBC Radio 690 Early Edition

Win a pair of tickets to Gung Haggis Fat Choy on CBC Radio's Early Edition Friday show

Listen on Friday, Thursday Jan 19th, somewhere between 7am and 9am on 690
AM CBC Radio One for co-host Margaret Gallagher to give away tix as
part of “690 to Go
as she gives away tickets to the “city's hottest events.”  This
will be the third year Margaret has given away GHFC tickets to CBC
listeners.  We must be hot!  We think Margaret is hot. 
Margaret has both performed and co-hosted for Gung Haggis Fat Choy in
past years.  Margaret guest paddled in our dragon boat entry in
the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2005. We always sing “When Chi-rish
Eyes Are Smiling” –
only for Margaret.

Margaret will also be introducing one of the
Scottish descendant Early Edition crew members to Haggis Won Ton. 
Margaret grabbed some from our taste testing on Wednesday Night. 
This is going to be fun!  Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Canadian cultural fusion

– More raffle prizes coming….

tickets for Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre's next installment of SEX IN VANCOUVER: Doin’ It Again.

tickets for Firehall Arts Centre

swag from City TV

tickets for Curious? restaurant

passes for Maxfit fitness classes

tickets for Chinese Cultural Centre Museum

win a seat in a dragon boat for the St. Patrick's Day Parade!

lots of books on Asian Canadians and Asian Canadian culture from Harbour Publishing, including BC Almanac's Greatest Britishc Columbians

Chow from China to Canada: Tales of Food and Family from Whitecap Books

lots more prizes to be announced.

The Scotsman: Burns meets the dragon in a Chinese Canadian feast

The Scotsman:

Burns meets the dragon in a Chinese Canadian feast

The Scotsman, international journal for the Scottish diaspora has
published a story about Gung Haggis Fat Choy.  Journalist
Christina Harper interviewed myself and bagpiper Joe MacDonald.

Piper Joseph McDonald (inside dragon mask) and...

Piper Joseph McDonald (inside dragon mask) and Gung Haggis Fat Choy organiser Todd Wong.
Picture: Jaime Griffiths

Burns meets the dragon in a Chinese Canadian feast


NO MATTER where Scots have settled throughout the world, chances are
that as January 25 gets closer many of them will shake out sporrans,
dust down kilts and attend a Burns Supper.

From Australia to
Alabama, thousands of ex-pat Scots will savour haggis, neeps and whisky
while the Bard's immortal words flow through the air. But in Vancouver,
British Columbia, there's an annual event that Burns, to many the
quintessential everyman, would surely be proud.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy
is a celebration of Burns Night and Chinese New Year created by fifth
generation Chinese Canadian Todd Wong, or if you’d rather: Toddish
McWong. The event has grown from an intimate merging of the two
cultures at a dinner in 1998, to a cultural must-do filled with song,
dance, poetry and a feast that in 2005 fed 600 people.

As a piper Joseph McDonald has been involved in many traditional
Burns suppers. He likes them, but says that they are not too surprising
in terms of what is going to happen next and what food people will dine
on. “With this the food is different,” says McDonald.

<a href="" target="_blank"> Joseph McDonald</a> on pipes and dhol player Nealamjit Dhillon.

Joseph McDonald on pipes and dhol player Nealamjit Dhillon.

He plays the bagpipes accompanied by an Indian dhol drum and the singer songwriter has been performing at Gung Haggis Fat Choy since
2001. “He[Wong] said, 'I'm having this Gung Haggis Fat Choy. You
would fit in.' It’s all about blending cultures,” says
McDonald.   It has become a tradition to have the bagpipes
and the dhol to get the event started and McDonald pipes in the haggis.

it's quite an affair where the waiters are all lined up with quite a
few haggises,” says McDonald. “It's quite a spectacle.”

Read the rest of the article Burns Meets the Dragon in Chinese Canadian Feast

Tickets on sale NOW for Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2006 at Firehall Arts Centre

Tickets are now available for Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

(please note…. this article is for  2006

–  tix for 2007 dinner will be available soon)

January 22, 2006
5pm reception
6pm dinner start

Call the Firehall Arts Centre Box Office 604-689-0926. 
Order and charge by credit card.

Advance Price:
$60 Premium Seating with wine
$50 Regular Seating
Children 12 and under – 50%
Tickets will be mailed out – with map and assigned seating

All seats receive subscription to Ricepaper Magazine ($20 value)

After January 7th:
$70 Premium Seating with wine
$60 Regular
Tickets will be held at Will Call

There is a $3 handling charge per ticket to the patron.

I have chosen to use Firehall Arts Centre Box Office for ticket distribution because:

1) This event has grown too big to handle tickets on a volunteer basis

2) The Firehall Arts Centre is committed to culturally diverse contemporary theatre.

3) They can handle credit card purchases, making it easier for everybody, instead of mailing in cheques.

4) I believe the Firehall Theatre Society is a wonderful
organization, and I encourage people to attend some of their

For more information contact Todd Wong 778-846-7090
or e-mail gunghaggis at


Toddish McWong on BBC Radio Scotland: Check it out on-line

Toddish McWong on BBC Radio Scotland –
Check it out on-line

“Toddish McWong” or in Canadian, Todd Wong, is featured on BBC Radio Scotland on the radio Scotland website. 

Just click on programs – go to “Scotland Licked” – then wait awhile
until you hear the voice of host Maggie Shiels.  Listen to the
introductions where she talks about finding me in Canada – then click
on the 15 minute fast forward button. I will be heard very very soon….

The interview explores the origins of my Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinner event, and the haggis-Chinese fusion food that we have created for it.

The crew said that I definitely had
a “Canadian accent” – Funny because my girlfriend said that she loved
“Maggie's” liting “Scottish accent.”

St. Andrew's Day is in honour of the Patron Saint of Scotland – that's
the reason Maggie came looking for me – to find out what I had done
with “their haggis”.  Simply wrapped it in won ton wrappings and
added waterchestnuts, deep fried  and dipped in sweet and sour
sauce.  I also describe the haggis lettuce wrap.

Then Maggie asked what I had done to the Robbie Burns poem – “Address
to the Haggis”?  I told her that we “updated” it… and proceeded
to “rap” it.  I think for the January 22nd, I will have performer
Rick Scott sing along with me to “The Haggis wRap!”

Happy St. Andrew's Day (January 30th)

Toddish McWong on BBC Radio Scotland – next Monday Nov 28th – Scottish Time

Toddish McWong on BBC Radio Scotland – next Monday Nov 28th – Scottish Time

“Toddish McWong” or in Canadian, Todd Wong, will be featured onto BBC Radio Scotland on Monday – Nov 28th (11.30 am
Scottish time) or 3:30am PST if you are in Vancouver BC.. However, you can go to
the listen again option on the radio Scotland website. 

The interview explores the origins of my Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinner event, and the haggis-Chinese fusion food that we have created for it.

Maggie Shiels and the crew of the program
Scotland Licked! are now asking me to send them about 2 recipes for
Chinese Haggis dishes you
serve at your Burns Suppers – so that they can include them on our

The crew said that I definitely had
a “Canadian accent” – Funny because my girlfriend said that she loved
“Maggie's” liting “Scottish accent.”

Darn…. but I forgot to tell
Maggie that we mix bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in with the haggis for
the won ton and the spring rolls.  Makes it good and crunchy. 
mmmmm….. crunch crunch – good!

And we mix in maple syrup to the sweet and
sour sauce.  Sometimes a bit a Drambuie or scotch too.

My friends
always get asked by the media if the haggis is any good. 
My Grand-Uncle
called it “dandy” – and we always point out that tripe and chicken's feet are
always part of Chinese “dim sum” lunch.  “Dim Sum” actually means “little bit of heart”, “touch the heart”, or “close to the heart” – so the idea of eating Sheep's
organs mixed with oatmeal is not such a revolting idea to regular Chinese food

My girlfriend also said that I forgot to tell Maggie,
that my Bear Kilts “Maple Leaf” tartan kilt is made of synthetic polyviscous
material.  This makes it perfect for summer when I go dragon boat
paddling in the local Vancouver saltwater.