Quirky. Off-beat. Slightly askew. Unpretentious. Scottish. Chinese. Multicultural.
These are a few of the words that one could use to describe the 2003 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner. But, as I stated in my report on last year's Gung Haggis dinner, the best word to describe this event is: Canadian!
Just as Canada is a tapestry of the aboriginal cultures and all its immigrant cultures from China, Scotland, and almost every nation on the earth, so too was this event a coming together of all kinds of Canadians: including aboriginals and those of Chinese, Scottish and many other heritages!
Todd Wong must have a large and truly Canadian rolodex because he assembled an amazingly diverse group for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2003 program.
From the inimitable vocals of Ulla Shines (formerly known as Qloyydah Shines) to the funky and jazzy keyboard stylings of Pat Covernton (and his wonderful haggis powered rendition of 500 Miles with the timeless refrain of "Eat the Haggis!") to the aboriginal chief from a New Westminister band to Neil Gray's informative and humorous "wee keeks" (small peeks; excuse my Scots :-) !) into Robbie Burns life and poetry and many more, they all reminded us of the greatest potential of the Canadian dream. To take the best that the world has to offer; juxtapose it all into a crazy patchwork quilt and somehow make it all work. To me, that's truly what Canada is and events like these prove that it is possible and worth striving for.
Oh and the food wasn't bad either! Hats off to the Flamingo restaurant for serving a fine meal for 390 (double last year's count!) people with nary a glitch! The haggis was better this year: more flavourful! And the crispy skin whole chicken had the crispiest and tastiest skin that I have ever had.
Does anybody know where I can rent a kilt for next year? See you there!