Community partnerships key in the project, says leaders
Vancouver – A Filipino-Canadian non-profit society, in partnership with the provincial government for a Filipino Cultural Centre, released a Unity Statement it says moves the work for a Filipino Cultural Centre forward in an unprecedented way.
“It’s inspiring to see our community come together to affirm their commitment as partners with the Mabuhay House Society for the historic work of developing a Filipino Cultural Centre. This is what’s been missing in the past and it’s fantastic to see it now because it’s a critical piece in ensuring our long-term success,” says Sammie Jo Rumbaua, Mabuhay House Society Chairperson.
The Statement of Unity for a Provincial Filipino Cultural Centre states the signatories “fully support the Mabuhay House Society as they navigate the work ahead with all of us as their community partners. We know the goal is as important as the journey. And the dream is not simply the opening of a building – it is the opening of a home. A place that anchors us and that can serve to empower and build connections with the many other cultural and indigenous communities that form the tapestry of our province. And that has the capacity to continue to operate and flourish for generations to come.”
It is signed by leaders from more than 70 community organizations representing a broad cross-section of the Filipino-Canadian community: youth, seniors, professional, alumni, church, sports groups, advocacy, hometown, provincial, regional and others. They also include groups from across Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
“This level of unity behind one organization to lead the work for a Filipino Cultural Centre has never happened before. It’s absolutely inspiring to see the strong dedication, commitment and excitement over our collective effort to advance a Filipino Cultural Centre,” added Rumbaua, whose organization has been working in close coordination with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sports on this project.
According to Mabuhay House Society Executive Director, Dr. Khristine Cariño, Mabuhay House will continue to focus on strengthening further its outreach and comprehensive engagement in the Filipino-Canadian community and with other stakeholders and levels of government.
“This includes having a Council of Leaders which will provide strategic advice to Mabuhay House and help ensure that planned events are geared towards further strengthening our community’s capacity for the work ahead,” she concluded.
The Filipino-Canadian community in BC numbers approximately 175,000 and is one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the province. The provincial government announced last Spring its commitment to develop a provincial Filipino Cultural Centre in partnership with the Mabuhay House Society.