Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture is a multiple award-winning, youth-led, charitable community organization based in Toronto.
We create a safe space for Filipino-Canadian youth, both second generation and newcomers, to overcome multiple barriers that prevent them from meaningful engagement in society. At Kapisanan, youth activate their creativity to explore identity, fostering pride and self-confidence, inspiring and empowering them to realize their full potential.
Armed with an appetite for creative endeavours and community advancement, here at the K, we eat art and inspiration.
KAPISANAN’s great strides in the last 10 years
In 2007 we delivered our first Conversational Filipino Language course to 8 enthusiastic Filipino-Canadians. Since then, we have delivered the Filipino Language course to over 80 Filipinos and non-Filipinos.
In 2009 we delivered our first free Filipino arts and cultural program, CLUTCH, to 7 youth. In the last two years we delivered free Filipino arts and cultural programs and mentored over 300 youth at KAPISANAN Headquarters as well as within TCDSB / Toronto District School Board Schools.
Since 2005 we have provided over 50 Filipino and broader community artists, arts, cultural, and social service organizations, a physical space to deliver programming, host events, conduct rehearsals, and mount performances, in our Kensington Market space for below market rates or for free--gathering thousands of people to experience and contribute to Toronto’s vibrant multi-cultural fabric.
Our annual KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival started as a small community BBQ with no budget, and is now a mainstream Toronto summer festival with thousands of attendees from diverse communities.
KAPISANAN successfully launched VINTA, a chic and modern Filipiñana fashion line, in 2013. VINTA is a social enterprise that aims to bring Filipino cultural clothing into the North American fashion consciousness, while promoting ethical labour practices in the garment industry, and stimulating entrepreneurship among Filipino-Canadian young people and women.
Kapisanan would like to acknowledge the generous support from
PASSING THE BATON
KAPISANAN was started in the late 1980s, later incorporated in 1989, by members of the Filipino-Canadian community who felt a need to establish a multi-purpose facility which would serve their needs, including preserving the community’s history and cultural heritage. A needs-assessment and feasibility study was initiated early on, followed by fundraising initiatives aimed at having a physical centre within which to conduct activities. Among KAPISANAN’s key accomplishments are a research on problem gambling within the community and a series of workshops on violence against women.
In late 2003, KAPISANAN was approached by two vibrant, young, professional arts organizations, Carlos Bulosan Theatre (CBT) and The Digital Sweatshop Inc. (DS), to address the gap in services for the youth community. Nadine Villasin (CBT) and Caroline Mangosing (DS) proposed a new concept for the multi-purpose facility that was already being planned. CBT and DS’s experience and enthusiasm to create a creative hub where young people can explore their history and identity, made it clear to the elders that there is a tangible need for a youth-focused centre. Once they saw this need, they also saw it fit that the organizational leadership reflect the youth target, and this is what catalyzed the transition.
By 2005, the trio of organizations solidified a partnership and launched its 3500 sq.ft. facility in the Kensington Market community, an ideal ‘downtown’ hub for outreach and cultural exposure to a broader public.
Ten years later in 2015, KAPISANAN saw another leadership transition. Under a new team made up entirely of youth members (including KAPISANAN's former Programs Director, Nicole Cajucom, who took on the Executive Director mantle), KAPISANAN shifted gears to address the ever-changing landscape of the Filipino youth community. One strategy employed in 2016 was a relocation of the organization's operations to the SKETCH Admin Hub at the acclaimed Artscape Youngplace building. Here, KAPISANAN's youth-led team continues to expand their efforts to empower their peers and the community, with increased exposure to and support from like-minded artists and arts organizations in a shared, creative hub.
In this new building, KAPISANAN enters a new phase where our youth members can build more bridges and explore more collaborations, growing the organization beyond our immediate community to an exciting realm of endless possibilities.
Kapisanan is a brave space which integrates an anti-oppression framework for young Filipinos to express their voices, exchange ideas and explore their roots together as an empowered community.
Kapisanan Philippine Centre is a registered Canadian charity: 88838 7404 RR0001