This August we celebrated our tenth annual KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival, promoting Filipino-Canadian Art, Culture, and Cuisine. The five-day event took festival goers around Toronto from OCAD University to Kensington Market, and topping it all off at Yonge-Dundas Square. If you missed out, don’t sweat—here’s our round-up of #KULTURATO week!
Day One: Carlos Celdran's Livin' La Vida Imelda
KULTURA’s colourful line up of events opened with “Livin' La Vida Imelda,” a celebrated one-man show by Carlos Celdran who was flown in by our friends, Philippine Airlines. Before the performance, guests enjoyed crispy lechon and veggie spring rolls by Quiapo Quiapo Restaurant. Yummy food + an open bar totally set mood for the night.
In our opening remarks, we handed the 2015 Liderato Award to Isa Palanca, a true examplar of youth leadership; she has done so much for our community! Thank you Isa for your contributions to Kapisanan and beyond!
A standing ovation from a full house! We couldn't have asked for a more successful festival kick-off! Thank you for joining us at #KulturaTO's Opening Night featuring @carlosceldran's #LivinLaVidaImelda #filipino #filipinoyouth #filipinoculture #flipinocommunity #filipinoarts #carlosceldran #imeldamarcos #ferdinandmarcos #martiallaw #philippinehistory #philippines #performingarts #ocadu #vivamanila #carlosbulosantheatre #Toronto #torontoevents #torontotheatre #torontofestival #torontoarts #kapisanan #kultura
Carlos’ hilarious yet poignant performance received a standing ovation from a full house—no surprise there. We knew how sensational “Livin’ La Vida Imelda” was going to be that we hosted three more nights of #LLVI, special thanks to our community partners VivaManila, OCAD University, and Carlos Bulosan Theatre. We couldn't have asked for a more successful festival kick off!
Day Two: Clutch x Navigation presents KARAMBOLA + LALAKI
KULTURA’s second night unveiled the creative energies of Kapisanan’s CLUTCH and NAV programs. Ten young men and women showcased art installations reflecting the diverse and dynamic perceptions of what it means to be a Filipino-Canadian. CLUTCH's “Karambola” exhibited a vibrant, playful, and powerful exploration of the Filipina, while NAV came through with “Lalaki,” a confident and thorough understanding of the Filipino male. It was a night full of support and love, as they used Kapisanan’s gallery space to wrap up the program. Special thanks to this year’s Program Coordinators Marbella Anne Carlos (CLUTCH Vol. 7) and Tim Manalo (NAV Vol. 2)!
Day Three: PSL Showcase
The third night of KULTURA was led by Patrick de Belen who took us through the PSL (Poetry is our Second Language) Showcase. The PSL Collective featured emerging and established Filipino-Canadian poets who performed their spoken word pieces, spitting straight fire all night, and we definitely felt it. Chapbooks are still available for purchase at the K!
Day Four: Balikbayan Renaissance: Ways of Weaving
On day four, we escaped Toronto’s gloomy weather at Artscape Youngplace for our “Ways of Weaving” workshop. Our community partner, Kapwa Collective, led us through an exploration of traditional and contemporary Philippine weaving. Inspired by Philippine textiles, we were ready to express ourselves. Artist Cynthia Alberto, founder and director of Weaving Hand in Brooklyn, facilitated the hands on-weaving workshop and we all left with our very own woven creation made on a backstrap loom.
Day Five: #KulturaTO Finale - Kain Kalye, Kultura Live!, Kultura Marketplace @ Yonge-Dundas Square
And finally, the finale! The Big Day took place at Yonge & Dundas Square where we had a turnout of around 15,000 visitors. Our guests came from all over North America to show their support for KULTURA’s 10th Annual Filipino Arts Festival.
KULTURA’s finale included Kain Kalye—a street eats festival presented by Philippine Airlines, where six food vendors beefed it out to win a round-trip flight to the Philippines.
Our performers stole the show at KULTURA Live! with hundreds of festival goers jamming along to the tunes with FLVR SQUAD, Lexy Baluyot, Sean Kua, Victoria Marie, Shaina Agbayani, The Lonsdales, LYLGAE, The Muso Project, Maylee Todd, Phèdre, Pantayo, NOOKIE GALORE, and YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. Despite some technical difficulties, HATAW and DATU feat. HanHan came through and killed it with their performances, fusing dance styles as well as modern and traditional Filipino music.
To wrap up the whole finale and week, Philippine Airlines announced KANTO by Tita Flips as the winner of the 2015 Kain Kalye and presented them with a round-trip flight to the Philippines!!
THANK YOU so much, to all of our amazing sponsors, volunteers, interns and guests for helping us make KULTURA 2015 the biggest yet! We’re so glad that you came out to celebrate KULTURA’s 10th Anniversary with us - and we can not wait to show you what we have in store for you guys next year!