BIENVENUE À L'ASSOCIATION DES ARTISTES FILIPINO CANADIENNE DU QUÉBEC
New discoveries of mass graves around former residential school sites in Canada shook all of us Canadians since the end of May 2021. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation first announced the discovery of remains of 215 Indigenous children at the Kamloops Residential School site in British Columbia using ground-penetrating radar. The Cowessess First Nation said weeks later that the remains of 751 people were found in unmarked graves around the former Marieval Indian residential school in Saskatchewan.
More recently, the Lower Kootenay Band officially announced that remains of 182 people were found in unmarked graves close to the former St. Eugene’s Mission School near Cranbrook, B.C. Their statement acknowledged that the Aq’am community has long conducted the search in 2020.
As Filipino immigrants and/or people of Filipino descent living in Canada, we acknowledge the impact of Canada’s colonial legacies that dispossessed native peoples who first lived in the land. These includes the residential school system that sought to remove Indigenous children from their families, to “kill the Indian in the child,” and to allow their integration to white “civilized” society. Run by the Roman Catholic church and other religious denominations, these schools have been places of long-standing cruelty, abuse, and even death among children as reported by thousands of survivors. The trauma caused by this is felt throughout generations, as the last residential school was only shut down in 1996. Knowing this, we acknowledge that this is not just simply “history” found among old books. This deserves urgent attention as “current events” within Canada’s current affairs.
As people who were colonized under Spain and the United States, we Filipinos are familiar with the role of the church in shaping worldviews we inherited throughout history. An open letter to all Filipino-Canadians circulated since 21 June 2021, stating that, “We have grown up or are part of the Roman Catholic church because of colonialism. We now live in Canada because of colonialism.” As settlers from a foreign land, we ourselves have benefited from the exploits of colonialism.
Consequently, we believe that we Filipinos need a far greater understanding of our complicated positions with the church and with Canada.
Even as the FCAAQ continues celebrating July 1st with a pre-recorded online event, we fully express solidarity and support to our Indigenous brothers, sisters, and folks as we join the call in seeking justice and accountability for Canada’s “cultural genocide.” It is Canada’s duty to be accountable for its actions, and celebrating what Canada is about without genuine reconciliation remains a colonial project that needs rectifying. It is for this reason that we deflect our July 1st celebration this year towards celebrating Filipino artistry and talent as we find ourselves thriving within the global community.
We then urge everyone to be responsibly knowledgeable about the recommendations and Calls to Action set forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Even as artists, we have our duty to act in good faith for the welfare of our communities. In no way does this exclude our responsibility to act for the welfare of Indigenous communities as well.
Finally, we humbly acknowledge that the land where we toil, labour, bear fruit, and celebrate our artistic achievements are the same traditional lands of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples who had lived here before us. We express our gratitude to them as much as we fully desire the well-being of Indigenous folks who had long endured racism, discrimination, dispossession, and systemic inequities within their own lands.
The Filipino-Canadian Artist Association of Quebec
The Filipino-Canadian Artists Association of Québec (FCAAQ) is a nonprofit organization representing talented Filipino-Canadian actors, singers, dancers, musicians, and artists alike. In the past, we have helped aspiring artists participate in singing & dance competitions, gain first onstage appearances, and benefit experience from our coaching & mentorship programs. FCAAQ has helped raise funds for various organizations and initiatives in our community. Today, we are currently in the initial stages of preparing for the 5th year of the Nationwide Search for Filipino Canadian Talent,” the first-and-only talent competition dedicated to introducing aspiring Filipino-Canadian artists. The competition is open to talented Filipino-Canadians aged 7 to 77, showcasing their talents in singing, dancing, acrobatics, and more (solo, duo, trio, quartet, maximum of five members in a group).
The Filipino-Canadian Artist Association of Quebec is a NON-PROFIT organization founded by Michelle Vargas-Lao in 2008.
Situated at the heart of NDG/CDN Borough in Montreal, Canada.
Pave-the-way to all Filipino-Canadian Artist in Canada.
Promote Filipino Heritage & Culture.
Give Training & Empower Artists in the Community.
Create Community Events. Support other multi-ethnic communities
Collaboration through /with other Associations & Organization.
Hi guys, my name is Tamara Calatin-Radegonde also known as Tamara Grace. I am a 19-year-old singer/songwriter and musician, born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. Today, I am going to be telling about my experience and my journey with the FCAAQ, at the Nationwide Talent Search of Filipino-Canadian Talent of Season 4 2020. My entire experience on the Search for Filipino-Canadian Talent (Season 4) was definitely unforgettable. It was not only a competition, but it was also an "open door" for us aspiring artists to find our voices, to challenge ourselves as individuals and to also gain experience as performers. Winning to me was always considered as the "cherry on top of a cake". It was wanted, but never really my main goal going through the whole competition. My main focus was to simply get back on stage again and to showcase what I have in store, because performing is an art form on its own and I really do enjoy doing it... whether it’s for singing, dancing, modeling or acting. I started singing at the age of 3 and performing came only a couple of years later, during my kindergarten years. Growing up, I was very shy and I lacked confidence in everything possible. I knew that I could sing, I knew that there was potential, but I was very stubborn. I had and always thought I knew my vocal limits. I never pushed myself to try new things: to push my vocals when there was that ONE HIGH NOTE... why? I was always terrified... that was until I decided to join the FCAAQ with ate Michelle. That’s where it all changed. She welcomed me with open arms, listened to my story and concerns & she pushed me so hard that at the end of it all, I surprised myself. I then realized that I was more than capable of doing what I originally anticipated. I just needed that one person to reassure me, be patient with me and to eventually guide me to where I wanted and needed to be. During my journey, I met many new faces and rekindled with a couple of familiar ones. Meeting all the boys was certainly a delight. We juniors and adults hit it off the first day we met. We all had the same goal and pushed each other straight to the top. And despite seeing each other briefly, there was nothing but so much love, laughter and support. And I wish nothing but the absolute best to Kuya Renny, Kuya Gino, Kuya Renzie, Kuya Rupie, Joseph, RJ, Rocco and Rondell on their journeys. I would like to thank everyone for all the support. Thank you to the FCAAQ Team, Ate Michelle and Kuya Anthony for guiding me the whole way through. Thank you to Ate Christy for the breathtaking talent of photography and her story times during rehearsals. Thank you to Tita Delia for her joyful spirit and amazing food and to ate Jodelle for her amazing company and aid. Thank you to my family and family friends all over the world: Macau, Philippines, Japan, Australia, England, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, USA, Germany and many more for being the best social media cheerleaders I can ever have!!! Thank you to my local supporters: my family members here in Canada, the Rizalista, the Pangasinan organization of Montreal and all of my Ninangs, Ninongs, Titas and Titos all over for simply being amazing and supportive. Thank you all for the amazing feedback and unconditional support. And last but not least... thank you to my mother, my father and my brother Jason for being my #1 supporters and motivators since the very very beginning. Thank you are always being there for me no matter what. Love you guys so much. - Tamara Calatin-Radegonde, 2020 Grand Winner (Adult Division Season 4)
The Search for Filipino Canadian Talent was an amazing experience. It was tough and stressful at times but I’d do it all over being my #1 supporters and motivators since the very very beginning. Thank you in. Joining this competition taught me so much about my capability as an artist and just how far I can go. Because of this contest, the workshops, and the training, I’ve grown a lot as an artist. I won’t say that it was smooth-sailing during this competition. The mentors gave some tough love and that was simply to show you and help you step out of your comfort zone and try. I’ve learned that everything comes with practice, every day, even for just an hour, and you can really see improvement. What’s next for me? Well, because of Ate Michelle, the amazing voice coach and mentor, I’ve been able to perform at multiple events such as benefit
concerts. This also inspired me to create my own music and compose my own songs that I’ll eventually perform when given the opportunity.
Moving forward, I still am working on growing as an artist, this is still the path I want to take. This is a dream that is slowly but surely turning into reality.
I was a shy kid who loved to sing but was too scared to try. Now, I still love to sing but I am more confident in myself and I am unique in my own way.
Just enjoy the experience and love what you do because no one is going to decide what you’re going to be. You are the writer and honestly, my story
has just begun. ‘When you join FCAAQ Talent Search, you don’t just join a competition, you join a family.’ – Maria Calaycay, (Season 1)
I really recommend joining The Search for Filipino-Canadian Talent because not only it is a great experience, I also made new friends. You join basically a family. You will improve as an artist. I didn’t expect it to be this way, and I wasn’t disappointed. – Maria Isabella Caci, FCAAQ Talent Search Grand Winner (Season 2)
Joining FCAAQ was such a fun and great experience for me. Ever since this competition happened, my confidence on stage as well as singing in different venues increased with the help of my voice coach & mentor, Michelle Lao, and the workshops they provided me.
The competition really helped me in improving my piano and singing skills. During my entire journey, I learned that what really matters is you should not be afraid to step on stage, but rather show and prove the world you have what it takes. – Lara Portacio, FCAAQ Talent Search 1st Runner-Up (Season 1)
The success of our initiatives depends entirely upon the financial and product support of donors and private sponsors. We have been fortunate in the past to have received support from businesses & individuals. We are hopeful that this year will be no exception, and we are counting on your support! We would like to ask that you consider becoming one of our 2018 donors or sponsors. As a sponsor or donor, you will receive positive media attention within the Filipino/Canadian community of Montreal & Suburbs. Most importantly, you will help us pave the way and introduce the new generation of brilliant artists in the community. Should you be interested in becoming a sponsor, please do not hesitate to contact our office directly at (514) 482-5206 or email email@example.com. Thank you in advance. We look forward to partnering with you!