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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society fonds Education With digital objects
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Romper room and friends, March 6, 1990

Item is a recording of two segments of the Canadian national production of Romper Room and Friends, from March 6, 1990, set in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens. In first of the two segments, storyteller Nan Gregory tells a Chinese folktale about a ‘goose girl’ that wants to fly. The audience consists of four unidentified children and Fran Pappert, and takes place in the Scholar’s courtyard. The second segment is a tour of the garden with guide Donna Chan, program hostess Fran Pappert, the character ‘DoBee’, and the children from the first segment. The tour begins in the China maple pavilion courtyard with a focus on the Taihu natural rock sculptures, the courtyard pavement stones, the trees, rock caves, and waterfalls. It continues up to the observation pavilion, and down to the Jade Water Pavilion, through the moon gate, where the group feeds the koi.

Exploring Vancouver’s Chinatown

Item is an educational video produced by the Vancouver School Board for use with a textbook entitled ‘Exploring Vancouver’s Chinatown: A Resource Guide’. The film has no narration, but a background score with Chinese instruments, and scene noise in some places. It opens with footage of the sun rising over Chinatown from a rooftop vantage point. It lingers on vendors and storefronts preparing to open, a Tai Chi class in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden’s main pavilion, Tai Chi in a local park, scenes of residential streets, houses, schools, and playgrounds. The film includes footage of a variety of local businesses, such as a barbershop, an apothecary, a school, calligraphy, tailor, fire department, auto repair, and a newspaper printer. It concludes with footage of the musicians playing the background music and street scenes of the sun setting over Chinatown.

Jan Walls - storytelling in the garden

Item is an amateur recording of a lecture/performance in the main hall of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden by Dr. Jan Walls on the subject of humorous Chinese folk storytelling. The general theme of the lecture was drawing parallels between the low class ‘vulgar’ folk stories and the high class classicism of the gardens, with emphases on the themes of surprise, perspective, exaggeration and distortion of size and time, and the distinction between fantasy and reality. For each short story he presents it (or a piece of it) in Mandarin first, and then presents a translation in English, often with the accompaniment of kuai ban, traditional bamboo clapping instruments.

The stories presented include a story about a man who lives a whole lifetime in a year, a giant woman with even more giant shoes, a country bumpkin at a birthday celebration, illustrations of beggar storyteller themes, and a ‘dummy’ paying a new year’s visit to his in-laws. Following the lecture there is a question period which covers subjects of self-deprecation, storytelling beggars, poetic elements (e.g. metaphor, rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration), and personal questions about Dr. Walls own experiences. The lecture is bookended with an introduction and thanks by [Nilene Yaas], the education coordinator of the garden.

Linking schools with the community

Item is a promotional film developed to support and promote the Vancouver School Board’s Partners in Education program. The film presents testimonials and success stories from various businesses and schools who have taken advantage of the program, discussing what benefits the partnered schools and businesses were able to bring to each other. The film begins with school administrators and business people talking about the program. The film then presents a number of success stories with various business and schools. The partnerships profiled include: The Port of Vancouver, Chevron Canada, Unisys Canada Inc., University Hospital, the Dr. Sun Yat-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens, the Champlain Mall, the Pan Pacific Hotel, and Vancouver Community College.

The film involves testimonials and short interviews with a number of teachers, school administrators, and business: Jim Matkin (President, BC Business Council), Sheila Tripp (School Principal), Ken Haycock (School Principal), Ken Harvey (Director, Vancouver School Board), Dr. Dante Lupini (Superintendent of Schools, Vancouver), Gwen Smith (School Principal), Barbara Duggan (Vancouver Port Corporation), Gary Ryan (Chevron Canada Ltd), Bill Strachan (Chevron Canada Ltd), Neil Prinsen (Teacher), Maris Pavelson (Unisys Canada Inc.), Sheila Tripp (School Principal), Arlene Cook (Teacher), Lesley Bainbridge (University Hospital), Diane Bolton (Champlain Mall), Joyce Anderson (School Principal), Anne Shorthouse (Program Manager, VSB), Gail Smith (Program Manager, VSB), and Darcy Rezak (Vancouver Board of Trade).

Baghead creation myth

Item is an amateur video recording of a theatrical presentation by a grade 5 class from Hastings School, filmed in the courtyard in front of the main hall. The presentation is a creation myth story in which a trickster monkey builds dolls out of mud which are then animated by thunder and lightning. These ‘bagheads’ travel between several worlds and encounter various strange creatures before finding the perfect world and removing their masks to become the first people. Presentation includes footage of the spectators and teachers.