Every year, a national celebration of arts and culture is commemorated as Culture Days on the last weekend of September (Friday-Sunday). Thousands of events across the country are offered free of charge, highlighting the importance of arts and culture in our communities. The mandate of Culture Days is “to eliminate barriers to access and participation, and stimulate understanding, appreciation and exploration of arts and culture—so that every person in the country has a deeper connection with themselves, their communities, and Canada”.
This year, two events focusing on Philippine culture have been selected as Official Celebration Sites by the Ministry of Culture and Multiculturalism, and Status of Women - Philippine Arts Council’s Kalinangan and Pinoy Roots Rondalla’s Ugnayang Kultura.
Kalinangan, in its many variance of use, is the Tagalog word for culture, way of life, or cultivation of learning. This is Philippine Arts Council’s third offering of Kalinangan and has been selected twice as a featured Celebration Site. This year’s Kalinangan was a two-day event, with the first day held at Lynnwood School and the second at Mill Woods Seniors and Multicultural Centre.
At the Mill Woods Seniors and Multicultural Centre, Kalinangan featured workshops on: Parol (Christmas lanterns) Making by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association Edmonton (UPAAE); Learning the Language through Song and Dance, by Koro Filipino; Filipino Martial Arts by Philippine Warrior Arts Society; and Philippine Folk Dance, by Jojo Lucila. Other activities included: colouring of Philippine-themed illustrations by Katrina Cereno, and indigenous designs and patterns of Mindanao from Lumad, a colouring book project by Salupongan Internaitonal; Historya exhibit by the UPAAE; Kwento’t Litrato exhibit by Migrante Alberta; and tables of Philippine products and businesses by Akia Crafts, Love Thy Planet, and
On the third day of Culture Days, Pinoy Roots Rondalla held Ugnayang Kultura at the West Edmonton Mall with rondalla performances, Philippine folk and Polynesian dances by Pacific Island Dance Troupe, crafts and displays of Filipino instruments and clothing, Zumba by Manny Arban, and dances by the Edmonton Indonesian Community Association. MLA Sarah Hoffman was again there to provide messages, along with MLA Lorne Dach (Edmonton-McClung) and MLA Jon Carson (Edmonton-West Henday).
* This article was published in the October 2019 issue of the Alberta Filipino Journal, and written by Ida Beltran Lucila.