September 28, 2012

A special tribute evening to Wayson Choy

Jointly presented by the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, Gung Haggis Fat Choy, Historic Joy Kogawa House Society and Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society welcomes an evening with Wayson Choy.

On October 15, 2012 at 11 am on the Southeast corner of the intersection of Pender and Gore, Project Bookmark Canada and Wayson Choy will unveil two plaques to highlight and commemorate the physical landscape so vividly rendered in Choy’s iconic novel, The Jade Peony. Members of the public are invited to attend the plaques' unveiling and to hear the author read from his novel.

Project Bookmark Canada is a national charitable organization that marks the places where the real and imagined landscapes meet. We do this by installing poster sized ceramic plaques - called Bookmarks - in the exact physical locations where literary scenes are set. This is the first Bookmark to be installed in British Columbia, with ten Bookmarks unveiled in Ontario and one in Newfoundland.

Wayson Choy Special Tribute Evening will take place prior to the unveiling on Sunday, October 14, starting at 6pm at the Floata Chinese Restaurant, 180 Keefer Street. This unique event will take the audience on a 73 year journey back in time to witness the remarkable life of this literary iconic born in Vancouver’s Chinatown  in 1939. During the evening, you will hear for the first time, stories told by relatives, close friends and colleagues from Choy’s past to illuminate Choy’s remarkable journey beginning with his early care-free childhood days at home and school and taste what it was like to grow up in pre-war Chinatown. There will be stories re-accounted by his childhood neighbour and best friend, Garson Lee and his older tap-dancing sister, Shirley Wong who babysat a young Sonny Choy. Listen in on intimate anecdotes told to you by his university schoolmates and instructors and how he became the precedent-setting first Asian-Canadian to enrol in UBC's creative writing program. The evening’s program will include a rare interview footage of Carol Shields who, during the summer of  1977, taught as a guest instructor for a creative writing class . Hear her impression of Wayson and the exercise she used to inspired Choy to create his famous short story, The Jade Peony. The story was first published in the UBC Alumni Chronicle in 1979. Wayson’s journey as a writer continues when his publisher, Douglas & McIntyre recounts that faithful decision to publish a ground-breaking collection of linked stories titled The Jade Peony. Many successes followed and after the many literary prizes and acknowledgements, in 2002, the book was chosen as Vancouver Public Library’s inaugural ’s One book, One Vancouver. The evening will also include appearances by media personalities who have shared intimate moments with Choy and  a new generation of writers and readers inspired by this remarkable man’s writing.

The event will be hosted by CBC radio personality, Sheryl Mackay and Todd Wong.

The Wayson Choy Special Tribute Evening will be held on Sunday, October 14, 6pm at Floata Chinese Restaurant, 180 Keefer Street in Vancouver historical Chinatown. The event includes an eight course Chinese dinner. Tickets are $55 per person or $500 for a table of 10. Proceeds of funds will go in support of the Project Bookmark Canada.

Come and meet Wayson in person and have your books autographed by him

 You can also call Kristin Cheung at  (778) 928-5408 to purchase tickets over the phone with a credit card 

For media interviews with guest speakers and other info, please contact Jim Wong-Chu at  604-355-5795
Chinese media please contact Winnie Cheung at  604-836-8838