Yes, it’s official. The Government of Canada has formally declared June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada.
That means every year, Canadians from coast-to-coast can join in celebrating the contributions of Filipinos to Canada’s diverse and multicultural society.
FILIPINOS IN CANADA
Filipinos in Canada are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country.
Anecdotal evidence points to the first arrival of Filipinos in Canada in the 1930s, but most historians acknowledge the arrival of 10 Filipinos in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1950 as the true start of the Filipino community in Canada.
Today, there are now more than 851,410 Canadians of Filipino origin, mostly concentrated in the larger cities like Toronto.
There are some pockets of Filipinos as far north as Nunavut.
The largest concentration of Filipinos in Canada, by far, are in the province of Ontario, with over 337,760.
WHO DO WE HAVE TO THANK FOR FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH IN CANADA?
Salma Zahid, Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre, brought Private Member’s Bill Motion 155 before the House of Commons.
Zahid said: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the contributions that Filipino-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Filipino language and culture, and the importance of reflecting upon Filipino heritage for future generations by declaring June, every year, Filipino Heritage Month.”
She goes on to say that “I am proud to put forward this motion, with the support of colleagues across Canada, to recognize and officially celebrate the contributions of Filipino-Canadians to Canada. This is long-overdue recognition for a community that has given so much to Canada, and I look forward to celebrating Filipino Heritage Month next June with my friends and neighbours.”
Members of the Filipino community made the trip to Parliament Hill to celebrate the occasion with the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
WHEN IS FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH IN CANADA?
The Government of Canada, through Salma Zahid’s PMB M155, just declared the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada.
That means every June, Filipinos across Canada can celebrate both Philippine Independence Day and Filipino Heritage Month.
Previously, each province and territory made independent declarations of Filipino Heritage Month (with the province of Ontario, which has the biggest Filipino population in Canada, being the first).
Now that Filipino Heritage Month is official on the federal level, it shouldn’t be hard (nor confusing) for Filipinos In Canada to celebrate our shared culture.
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