Alberta’s youth empowerment program promotes Philippine culture, leadership

by Quay Evano, ABS-CBN News


CALGARY — The Filipino Fiesta Council of Calgary launched the youth empowerment program to keep the Philippine culture alive for young Filipinos in Alberta.

“We are focusing on the arts, leadership and business or entrepreneurship. The arts stream would cover performing arts, language arts, so we have baybayin workshops, the ancient Filipino script,” aid program coordinator Beng Reyes-Ong. “We have performing arts like dancing, singing… we also have visual arts. We also have, one of our mentors is gladys k-art, she will be doing a workshop on costume designing and cosplaying because she competes internationally for cosplaying.”


The other two workshop streams are about entrepreneurship and leadership.

“We would like to engage our Filipino youth with career development. So, how do they do their resume here, how do they do their interviews. The resume here is very different than in the Philippines. And of course, networking and all of these professional concepts
That they need to learn to get into the employment industry.”

The program was created in partnership with arts commons, a well-known multi-venue arts center in Calgary that showcases artists from all over the world.


For many young Filipinos who were raised in Canada, the program is a way for them to connect to their roots.

“I think it’s really important because we as like youth, we grew up here and we really aren’t attached to the country itself. And so I think we come as a community together and learn about culture, our record, and our country,” said Vida Vanessa Vespo.

Organizers say that the program is not only for Filipinos, but is open to any nationality.

“So they can explore and be exposed to other cultures as well but we are promoting the Filipino culture but anyone is welcome to learn about our culture and heritage.”

With great support from Arts Commons, organizers hope that the youth will be inspired with the activities and that program will be adopted in other cities in the province.


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