Filipino Heritage Month is celebrated in Canada every June. In a country famous for its multiculturalism, Filipinos have made many positive contributions to Canadian society.
HOW DID FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH GET STARTED IN CANADA?
June was designated as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada through the efforts of Member of Parliament Salma Zahid, the Liberal MP for Scarborough Centre.
Zahid, who represents more than 14,000 Filipinos in her riding, rose in the House of Commons to move her private member’s motion, Motion No. 155 to designate the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month.
Zahid was supported by her fellow MPs, many of whom have large Filipino communities in their ridings.
Each MP took turns to talk about their close relationships with many members of the Filipino community, and how they make so many positive contributions to Canadian society.
Zahid explained to her parliamentary colleagues that June was chosen since Philippine Independence Day is also celebrated on the same month.
A detailed transcript of the debate on Motion No. 155 can be found on Open Parliament here.
On October 30, 2018, a decision was made and agreed to during the 1st session of the 42nd Parliament declaring June was Filipino Heritage Month in Canada.
HOW FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH IS CELEBRATED IN CANADA
Many activities are usually scheduled during June, including activities organized by officials from the Philippine Embassy and the different Philippine Consulate Generals in cooperation with local Filipino community groups.
Flag-raising ceremonies start most activities, with both the national anthems of Canada and the Philippines played.
Filipino community organizations across Canada also hold festivals in large public venues.
These Filipino festivals often feature Filipino showbiz personalities who sing and dance for large crowds in attendance, who enjoy the different kinds of Filipino food available from many vendors.
Cities like Toronto, which have larger Filipino communities, are known for its multi-day celebrations like Taste of Manila, which is held in Little Manila, at the corners of Wilson and Bathurst. It is one of Canada’s largest street festivals, with more than 300,000 people in attendance.
CELEBRATING THE MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTIONS OF FILIPINOS IN CANADA
Canada has become the destination of choice for many Filipinos, with over 851,410 Filipinos choosing to make Canada their home.
These are the top six provinces in Canada with large Filipino communities.
Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada without a natural border. It also has more than 100,000 lakes.
Saskatchewan’s population is currently at 1,181,666, mostly living in the southern prairie half of the province. Half of the province’s population lives in the city of Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan is home to 33,630 Filipinos.
Manitoba is the province at the centre of Canada. It’s one of the three prairie provinces (the other two being Alberta and Saskatchewan).
Manitoba has a population of 1,377,517. Canada’s indigenous people has lived in Manitoba for thousands of years, and is the anecdotal first place of landing of Filipinos in Canada.
37,910 Filipinos have settled in the province of Manitoba.
Quebec is Canada’s largest province by area, and the second most populous, with more than 8,537,674 people. Half of the population live in the Greater Montreal Area.
Quebec is the only Canadian province where French is the only official provincial language.
More than 83,530 Filipinos have settled in Quebec.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: 158,215
Canada’s westernmost province is British Columbia, home to more than 5,110,917 people.
Queen Victoria named it British Columbia to distinguish it from American Columbia, which eventually became Oregon.
More than 158,215 Filipinos call British Columbia home.
More than 4,413,146 live in the province of Alberta, the fourth most populous province in the country. It’s one of Canada’s warmer provinces, with smaller seasonal temperature swings during the winter.
Canada’s crude oil supply comes from Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton, which serves as the country’s primary supply hub.
More than 175,130 Filipinos live in Alberta.
Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, with more than 14,711,827 people. Canada’s capital, Ottawa is in Ontario, as is the country’s most populous city, Toronto.
It’s no surprise that the largest Filipino community in the country lives in the Greater Toronto Area.
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