Posts tagged “CCHS

Retrospectively Speaking, Part 3: The Advocate

As part of Assaulted Fish’s 10-year anniversary, we asked some of our closest friends, fans and families for their thoughts and memories of the past decade. Today we present our conversation with Hayne Wai.

Hayne is a long time resident of Vancouver who has been active in Chinatown/Strathcona advocacy for more than 35 years promoting community development, cultural understanding and acceptance and public education. He is a founding member and past president of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. and has served on a number of federal, provincial, municipal, and university advisory boards on anti-racism, diversity and multiculturalism.

Hayne was the policy manager for the BC Ministry of Multiculturalism, working with the public, private, and non-profit sectors in multiculturalism and anti-racism initiatives to better serve the culturally diverse needs of the province and was a sessional instructor at UBC’s Faculty of Education and Social Work, teaching courses on social issues in education. No stranger to topical satire, he is the creator of the “Stakeout in Anglo-town” training video series.

Hayne received the 25th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992 in recognition for his significant contributions to his fellow citizens and community and always conducts himself with the dignity expected of a Confederation Medal recipient:

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He is an avid Canucks fan and chicken wing aficionado.

What makes Assaulted Fish quintessentially Canadian?

Assaulted Fish presents made-in-Canada humour on the unique daily experiences of community members. The troupe offers amusing and serious reflections on the trials and tribulations of being Asian in Canada.

You’ve been a long-time supporter of Assaulted Fish – what did you find most interesting about their early days of comedy?

I’ve known the Fish from their first days and have been an avid supporter of their innovative work. From their earliest days they were so refreshingly humourous (and still are!) and showcased societal themes that had not been highlighted before. Comedy and satire are unique tools in deconstructing cross-cultural issues and developing dialogue and the Fish do this well.

How have you seen the group evolve over the last ten years?

They’ve developed with solid confidence as performers, innovators, creative writers, and satirists. For the last 8 years the Fish have been featured performers at the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. AGM dinners. They have creatively joined in toasting and roasting our annual honoured guests with overwhelming appreciation and laughter from attendees. What clearly shows is how the members of the troupe enjoy performing together. It’s just not another gig, it’s an entertaining collective performance communicating some serious society themes of ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality.

Congratulations to Assaulted Fish on their 10th Anniversary and I look forward to another ten years of comedy and critical satire!

(Photo courtesy of Hayne Wai – Interview by Linda Ong)

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Tribute to a Paradigm

Fred Mah Paradigm

Photo credit: Karina Wai

On March 9, we were honoured to be able to help pay tribute to the venerable Fred Mah. By way of lyrics sung to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, The Pirates of Penzance, we tried to capture the incredible achievements of this cultural, environmental and community leader. He truly is “the paradigm of a Chinese Canadian activist.”

Thanks to the Chinese Canadian Historical Society for inviting us to be a part of such a special evening. We enjoyed catching up with all of you and hope to see you again very soon!

(PS. Jan Walls, we love you!)

And if you thought “Modern Major-General” was  damn catchy, check out the earworms from the show, Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical. Directed by Laura McLean (our groovy director), the show runs until April 14 at Presentation House Theatre. The Fishies first caught this show at the 2012 Neanderthal Festival. Go see it. You’ll have a toe-tappin’, finger-snappin’ good time.


From Chinatown to “Downtown”

“If you need a place to fill your cultural space, you can always call…Joe Wai.”

And so began our musical tribute to the venerable architect, designer and community advocate, Joe Wai. Our heartfelt thanks to the Chinese Canadian Historical Society for inviting us to perform last night. As always, it’s a pleasure and privilege. Special thanks to Joe Wai for being an incredible inspiration, Hayne Wai for providing some sketchy source material, MC extraordinaire Bob Sung (you can open for us anytime!), and of course Mz Petula Clark. We’re still marvelling at the kismet-ness of it all!

Until we meet again over sticky rice-stuffed fried chicken!


Back to Funny Business

Funnier in person

Funnier in personAfter a long, restful break when all of us did some travelling (some still are), the Fishies are back in action, busily working on new material for a couple of upcoming shows.

First up is our annual performance for the Chinese Canadian Historical Society’s AGM on Saturday, March 3. This year, the society is honouring Joe Wai, the architect behind the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Chinatown Millennium Gate, and long-time advocate for senior and social housing and Chinatown community issues. If you’re interested in becoming a CCHS member or attending the AGM dinner, visit the CCHS-BC website for all the details.

The following week will see the Fishies performing at a special conference hosted by CUPE Metro Vancouver District Council. It’s our third time entertaining members of this always appreciative group and we can’t wait to debut some new sketches for the occasion.

Stay tuned for more info about upcoming shows (ours and others). In the meantime, check out our latest video, “Crosswalk.” How many of you have had trouble saying goodbye?