June 16, 2023 - Vancouver city council has expressed full support for the development of a provincial Filipino cultural centre.
In a unanimous vote Wednesday (June 14), councillors endorsed the planned establishment of the multi-use facility in Vancouver.
The measure was contained in a motion brought forward by Councillors Lenny Zhou and Rebecca Bligh.
“The Filipino community has made significant contributions to the city ofVancouver in a wide variety of area including arts and entertainment, sports, healthcare, and nursing, and have greatly enriched the cultural fabric and cultural diversity of our city and contributed to the growth and development of its economy,” the motion reads.
Addressing his fellow councillors, Zhou noted in the chamber that the creation of a Filipino cultural centre is “long overdue”.
Zhou’s outlook was shared by Bligh, who stated: “The time is now.”
Councillor Lisa Dominato noted that there is “resounding support” from all levels of government for a Filipino cultural centre.
Dominato also said that the initiative presents an “opportunity for a legacy piece” in the city, home to a rapidly growing Filipino community.
Councillor Christine Boyle indicated that the city can help facilitate the development of a centre through rezoning and other measures.
Councillor Mike Klassen called for immediate action to build a “shining beacon” for the Filipino community.
For her part, Councillor Adriane Carr commended Filipinos for their strength in number and spirit.
The motion submitted by Councillors Zhou and Bligh noted that community members have “long
identified the need for a Filipino Cultural Center to enable local celebrations and cultural performances and to help connect Filipinos born in Canada to their heritage and ensure that younger Filipinos remain
connected to their roots”.
The measure likewise recalled that B.C. Premier David Eby has instructed Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, to advance emerging museum programs and proposals, including a provincial Filipinocultural centre.
The successful motion directs Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim to write B.C. Premier Eby, Popham,
Elmore, and Dominic LeBlanc, federal Minister ofIntergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, in support of a cultural centre.
The cultural centre is envisioned to host spaces for cultural performances and art exhibitions, affordable housing, sports facilities, offices, tech and innovation hub, language school, and seniors’ care and childcare.
[Disclosure: Carlito Pablo is on the staff of the Vancouver-Kensington community office of Mable Elmore, Member of the Legislative Assembly of B.C.]