Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear readers, The summer is going fast as everyone is having fun especially that we just wrapped up the festivities of the 10 days Calgary Stampede.  The weather cooperated in a way where it showered  during the parade but it all went well. I’m sure that the organizers of Calgary Stampede were all happy with an [...]

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Page added on October 22, 2011

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First Filipino-Canadian Gala

First Filipino-Canadian Gala thumbnail

by Ida Beltran-Lucila

The First Filipino-Canadian Gala was held last September 17 at the Northlands Edmonton Expo Centre.   A night of dinner, entertainment and dancing, it was a celebration of Filipino-Canadian achievements and a way  of giving back  to  the community.   The net proceeds from  ticket sales and auctions were earmarked to the Edmonton’s Food Bank.

On  hand  to  deliver  special  greetings  for  the  event  were:  Minister  of  Public  Works  and Government  and  Minister  for  Status  of  Women  Rona  Ambrose;  Executive  Director  of Edmonton’s Food Bank  Marjorie  Bencz; Chair  of Edmonton’s Food  Bank Board Anne Smith; Ward 12 Councillor Amarjeet Sohi; and President and CEO of Northlands Richard Anderson.

Along with the Philippine cuisine-inspired dinner, guests were treated to a night of Filipino talent: Philippine Choral  Group,  who  sang  the Philippine  & Canadian  national  anthems;  The  Lucila Project,  a  neo-ethnic  dance  company;  singers Wency  Calderon,  Jo-Ann  Aguilar  and  Shwag choral  group  ;  Alyssa  &  Monica  Tungul,  pianist  &  violinist,  respectively;  hiphop  groups ILLustration  and  Hot  Sauce;  Saranay   Kwerdas,  an  ensemble  using  traditional  Filipino instruments;  and  bands The  Sour  Patch  Kids  and GERIS Project.    The  Philippine Outreach Program  was  also  honored  and  Filipino  Canadians  who  passed  away   recently   were remembered.

Guests may  have come  to enjoy  themselves for  the evening but generously participated  in the “giving  back” portion of  the  night  through  the  silent  auction  items and  live auction of a  Lexus CT200 Hybrid car and some dinner and hotel packages, conducted by Kastner Auctions.

It was a highly  successful event with about 800 people in attendance, a third of which were non-Filipinos who came out to support this Filipino fundraiser.   And with this success came pledges of  support  and  participation  for  next  year’s  Filipino-Canadian  Gala,  which  is  slated  for September 2012.   Credit goes to organizer  Lixmila Serrano and partner producer Ramon Cifra for  their boldness in conceptualizing and hurdling  the various obstacles that come  in organizing such  a  massive  but  elegant  event,  and  for  securing  major  sponsorships  from  Lexus  of Edmonton, Dolce Vita Homes, Wild West Shooting Range and Sun Life Financial.

The Filipinos are the fourth largest group of  immigrants to Canada and many have established their  niches  in  their  adopted  country.    They  are  great  contributors  to  not  only  the Canadian economy but  the Philippines as well, supporting  family  back home and actively  participating  in various fundraisers and causes in the Philippines.   This event was another manifestation of the Filipinos’ “balikbayan” spirit – that spirit of community and giving.


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