Toronto’s Kultura Filipino Arts fest to offer food, music, shopping

/ 11:42 PM July 20, 2017

Students from Kapisanan Centre’s Ulam program will sell food at this year’s festival. CONTRIBUTED

TORONTO — This year’s Kultura Filipino Arts Festival, now on its 12th year, will be a three-and-a half-day celebration in various locations, with its last afternoon featuring food vendors, a marketplace and entertainment at the Daniels Spectrum building.

Kultura will start on Thursday, Aug. 10 at various sites in this city and culminate with the afternoon-long affair at the Daniels Spectrum building in the Regent Park neighborhood on Sunday, Aug. 13.


“Contemporary and traditional Filipino culture will be showcased through performance art, visual art, dance, music, poetry, craft and cuisine,” says Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture executive director Nicole Cajucom.

Performers at last year’s Kultura Filipino Arts Festival in Toronto. CONTRIBUTED

Organized by Kapisanan, last year’s festival had an estimated attendance of more than 6,000.

Art and culture

Kicking off the festival will be an opening reception on Aug. 10 at Daniels Spectrum featuring an art exhibition of the works of participants of Kapisanan Centre’s youth arts and culture workshops.

A party will follow at 10 p.m. that night at Cold Tea speakeasy on Kensington Ave.

Scheduled performances, publishing-related and art-related activities are listed at

WATCH: Scenes from last year’s Kultura Filipino Arts Festival (2016).



The festival’s “Kain Kalye: Filipino Street Eats Competition” on Aug. 13 will feature eight Filipino Canadian restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs.

Lasa by Lamesa (sister restaurant of Lamesa Filipino Kitchen), Dolly’s Mojito Bar and Panciteria, and Paper Crane and Co. will offer savory selections.

Street-food inspired offerings from Kanto by Tita Flips and grilled skewers by Eskenita will also be included. Dahlia’s will feature Mexican street food with Filipino flavors.

Scene from last year’s Kultura Filipino Arts Festival’s marketplace. CONTRIBUTED

Sweet pastries such as cannolis, cupcakes and cheesecakes with traditional Filipino flavors such as ube (purple yam), buko pandan (coconut and pandan leaves), calamansi and mango will be provided by Filipino Fusion Desserts.

Next generation

Also included as a food vendor will be Kasama, a “food collective” composed of students who underwent Kapisanan’s Ulam project from April to June.

The Ulam program taught participants Filipino culinary arts and related aspects such as cultural identity, family, peers, community, nation and homeland.

The group was trained by chef Dan Cancino of Lamesa Filipino Kitchen restaurant.

Shopping and entertainment

Also on Aug. 13, the festival’s Kultura Marketplace will showcase Filipino Canadian artisans, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs including CocoVie Naturals, Fé Everyday Goods, Dee de Lara Jewelry, Tayo Collective and Export Quality.

Musicians and dancers will grace the Kultura Live! Stage to entertain festivalgoers.

Featured performers include Han Han (Haniely Pableo who raps in Tagalog and Cebuano); electronic-tribal music duo Datu (Alexander Junior and Romeo Candido); and modern-ethnic dance troupe Hataw.

Han Han collaborated with Datu and Hataw last year to make a music video of the lead track of her self-titled album. The uploaded video to her Facebook page had more than 678,000 views, not counting views from postings and shares by other pages and personal accounts.

WATCH: Han Han and Datu performing “World Gong Crazy.”

Solo acts include hip hop artist Casey Garcia, indie folk-rock singer Darling Cora, and improvised electronic music artist Kyvita.

Music groups include neo-soul, R&B and jazz group Sol.Dust (vocalist and guitarist Charlotte Fabro with bassist and guitarist Chino) and jazz band JC3 (Jon Catanus, Cole Mendez, Peter Eratostene).

Filipino artists based in the US will also be performing: Detroit-based queer disco pop singer RV Mendoza and Los Angeles-based electronic, hip hop and world music DJ Gingee (Marjorie Light).

This year’s festival has support from San Miguel Beer, Seafood City, Pacific Ark, Now Magazine, Toronto Arts Council, ArtReach Toronto, Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.

An orientation for volunteers will be held on July 27 at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street).

Kultura Filipino Arts Festival 2017 runs Aug. 10-13 at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. East, Toronto. Visit

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TAGS: "Kain Kalye: Filipino Street Eats Competition", Daniels Spectrum, Filipino arts festival Toronto, Filipino cultural festival Toronto, Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture, Kultura Filipino Arts Festival
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