Filipino Heritage Month is an annual celebration of Filipino culture in Canada, which takes place on the month of June. From coast to coast, Filipinos in Canada will spend the month of June sharing their culture with their fellow Canadians. Here’s everything you need to know about Filipino Heritage Month in Canada.
FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH BACKGROUND
Although Filipinos have been in Canada since the 1950s, it wasn’t until 2018 that Canada marked its first Filipino Heritage Month in Canada.
In June 2018, Filipinos in Canada celebrated the first Filipino Heritage Month in the city of Toronto.
Neethan Shan, councillor for Ward 21 Scarborough Rouge River, submitted a motion that called on Toronto City Council to declare the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month in the city, with the provincial government of Ontario following shortly thereafter.
Other municipal governments, including the cities Calgary and Edmonton, later followed.
Filipino Heritage Month was established on the federal level shortly thereafter.
Salma Zahid, Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre submitted a motion which passed the House of Commons declaring the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month for the entire country.
Filipino Heritage Month will be celebrated on the federal level for the first time in June 2019.
FILIPINO POPULATION IN CANADA
Canada is famous for its diversity, priding itself in being one of the most multicultural countries in the world. That’s why it comes as no surprise that Canada has become the top destination for Filipinos to visit, study, work and immigrate. Anecdotal records indicate that the first Filipinos arrived from the United States, crossing into Manitoba in the 1950s. We really haven’t looked back since. Today there are over 837,130 Filipinos in Canada. Where do they all live, you may ask? Here are the top 6 Canadian provinces where Filipinos live.
6. Saskatchewan, Filipino population: 33,630
We like to joke around when it comes to the Prairies. We tell Filipinos moving to Saskatchewan that if you leave your door open and your dog goes out, not to worry. The land is so flat that even if it’s been a couple of days, you’ll still see your dog in the distance, wagging his tail.
5. Manitoba, Filipino population: 37,910
Manitoba holds the distinction of being the first entry point for Filipinos in Canada. Having said that, it’s also fitting that Jollibee open its first two Canadian branches in Winnipeg. It’s also cold, so very cold. There are almost 40,000 Filipinos who consider themselves proud Manitobans.
4. Quebec, Filipino population: 85,530
Ah, la belle province! Quebec holds a very special place in our hearts. Canada is a spectacularly beautiful country, but Quebec in particular has a unique old-world charm all its own. It’s also testament to how incredibly adaptable Filipinos are. We don’t usually speak French, but when you’re in Quebec, you’ve got no choice but. And to think, there are more than 80 thousand Filipinos already there. How would you say “eight sticks of pork barbecue to go, please?” en français?
3. British Columbia, Filipino population: 158,215
The westernmost Canadian province is home to over 150 thousand Filipinos. That’s a lot. It’s also very expensive there. If you have relatives, make sure to take advantage of their hospitality and visit them. You won’t regret it, it’s very picturesque all year round. That, and it’s warm. Hollywood films most of its TV shows and movies in BC, so keep an eye out for some celebrities when you’re there.
2. Alberta, Filipino population: 175,130
When you think of Alberta, you think oil fields. Filipinos came to Alberta by the truckload when the global price of oil was sky-high. Everyone who was working in the oil industry ran to Alberta to strike it rich, and stayed when it hit rock bottom. Reports have it that Alberta has greater numbers of undocumented Filipino workers without status.
1. Ontario, Filipino population: 337,760
The province of Ontario is a great balance of everything you could probably want in Canada. It’s got the natural beauty, the cosmopolitan cities and super accessible international cuisine. By far, it’s the most populous province in the country. It comes as no surprise that most Filipinos live in Ontario. Jollibee will be opening their third location in Toronto on March, so if you thought that the lines when they opened in Winnipeg were ridiculous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH ACTIVITIES IN CANADA
June 1 Salu Salo sa Earl Bales, Earl Bales Park, North York ON
June 1 Pinoy Glam and Fashion, Marconi Centre, Ottawa ON
June 1 Filipino Heritage Month Kickoff, Albert Campbell Square, Scarborough ON
June 8 Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, Maples Multiplex Arena, Winnipeg, MB
June 15 Philippines Festival in Saskatoon, Cosmo Civic Centre, Saskatoon SK
June 15 Philippine Independence Day Gala, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver BC
June 15 Filipino Heritage Month Gala, Fredricton Playhouse, Fredricton NB
June 21 Vancouver Filipino Cultural Series, Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC
June 22 Pinoy Fiesta & Trade Show, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto ON
June 22 Edmonton Filipino Fiesta 2019, Borden Park, Edmonton AB
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