BC government begins public consultation on creating a new Filipino Cultural Centre

Within the foreseeable future, British Columbia could have its own Filipino Cultural Centre.

Today, the provincial government kicked off its initial public consultation on creating such a cultural hub to celebrate Filipino Canadian heritage and contributions.

An engagement website and online survey have been created, which follow a recent consultation with the Filipino community’s cultural stakeholders.

“The contributions of the Filipino Canadian community in BC are an important part of our province’s history, culture and success,” said Lana Popham, BC’s minister of tourism, arts, culture, and sport, in a statement.

“People’s input matters and it’s important we hear from Filipino Canadians. This engagement encourages everyone to share their perspectives and contribute to the vision of this cultural initiative.”

This initial public consultation seeks input on the cultural centre’s scope, location, and vision. The findings from the consultation will be released in a report in Spring 2025 to identify the next steps towards creating the hub.

The online survey will be open through December 2024.

This move aligns with Premier David Eby’s directions in his mandate letters to his provincial cabinet member appointments in December 2022. At the time, he instructed Popham to work with local communities to “advance emerging museum programs and proposals including the Chinese Canadian Museum, a South Asian Museum, and a provincial Filipino Cultural Centre.”

In June 2023, Vancouver City Council approved a motion informing the provincial and federal governments of their support of creating a new Filipino Cultural Centre within the city, which has some of BC’s highest concentrations of Filipino residents.

The Chinese Canadian Museum in Vancouver’s Chinatown opened on Canada Day 2023, after receiving $48.5 million from the provincial government and $5.2 million from the federal government.

In November 2023, the provincial government began a similar initial public consultation process of exploring the potential of a new South Asian museum, which could be located in the Punjabi Market district on Main Street in South Vancouver or in Surrey.

According to the provincial government, there are over 170,000 Filipinos living in BC, and Filipino Canadians are the fourth-largest visible minority group in the country and the third-largest in this province. By 2041, the Filipino population in BC is expected to more than double.