Community groups urge B.C. officials to get ball rolling on promised Filipino cultural center
The Filipino community in British Columbia, Canada is pressing the provincial government to keep its promise to set up a Filipino cultural center.
Three community organizations released an open letter urging Premier David Eby and other provincial officials to start moving on “a decades-long dream of Filipinos.”
Premier David Eby in December instructed Lana Popham, the minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, and Mable Elmore, B.C.’s parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives to make the provincial Filipino cultural center project a priority, CBC News reported.
“It really caught a lot of people’s attention,” stated RJ Aquino, director of the Tulayan Filipino Diaspora Society. “People became excited about the fact that it’s official.” Tulayan is among the signatories of the open letter.
Popham told CBC News that she has been working with Elmore and that other federal and municipal government partners have to be brought into the planning, which will take some time. A “community engagement” also must be arranged.
Aquino says the Filipino community is mostly concentrated in Vancouver, and so groups also called on Mayor Ken Sim to support the project.
There are more than 174,000 residents of Filipino descent in British Columbia, according to the 2021 census.
Aquino says this fast-growing Filipino community needs the center not just for cultural events “but to also address a lot of other needs that our community has around housing, child care, you know, senior center.”