Culture Days and Show Your Colours
Culture Days 2020 was celebrated in Alberta for the whole month of September, which was also the Month of the Artist. The national celebration of Culture Days, however, is always on the last weekend of September and for this year, extended to a whole month, September 25-October 25.
“Culture Days is the largest celebration of arts, heritage, diversity and community spirit, to increase awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.” This year, events presenting on Philippine art and culture were: “Hulaan Mo!”, “Historya 2” and “Show Your Colours”.
Hulaan Mo! was an online guessing game on Philippine art and culture - i.e. language, history, architecture, geography, cuisine, customs, traditions, and pop culture, presented by the Philippine Arts Council. Holding two sessions, it was a fun activity both as an introduction to Philippine culture and for deeper insight and learning, as discussions were held to provide cultural and historical context for the topics. Historya 2, hosted by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association Edmonton along with Migrante Alberta, was a two-part learning series of visual and intercultural dialogues about the historical and cultural experiences of Filipinos in Alberta. Both events were attended by Philippine Consul General to Calgary Zaldy Patron.
Show Your Colours, organized by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre, featured 25 artists representing different cultures, giving old trash cans a cultural makeover. Several Filipino artists, and Filipino-themed works, are featured - Patrick Caoile, Jose Sindayen, Brad Vince and Aniela Vince.
A native of Villasis, Pangasinan, Patrick Caoile and his family moved to Canada in 2017. Patrick has been drawing since Grade 8 - doing doodles for his classmates, progressing to realistic drawings, portraits and landscape paintings. He is a self-taught artist, inspired by the works of Fernando Amorsolo. He has also participated in an art show at the Jubilee Theatre where he did Egalitarian, portraying the equality of people, gender and religion. For Show Your Colours, he created a 360 view of symbols and values representing Philippine culture, with the nipa hut as the main structure for the trash can, taking him five days to finish his work. He is currently working to save up enough money to pursue studies in Interior Design and Architecture Technology. To see more of his work, check out his Instagram: @gu_hi_t.
Jose Sindayen was born in Edmonton of Filipino parents. Working in the oil industry on his regular job, he credits his love for cartoons for his initial foray into drawing. At the onset of the pandemic, in an effort to involve his children in creative activities, they started to do art together, reviving his interest in drawing particularly portraits. He is currently experimenting with different mediums and techniques, and is keen on street-style art. His work in Show Your Colours is his third work, an opportunity that came his way by accident. He was actually there to assist another artist, and was offered the chance when another artist backed out at the last minute. His work for Show Your Colours focuses on the new culture that transcends boundaries, featuring cultural icons of different times and the impact of the pandemic in this generation. To see more of his work, check out Instagram: @sinister_artistry.
Brad Vince is the Operations Administrator at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre, and one of the brains behind Show Your Colour. He is married to a Filipina and has lived in the Philippines for several years. The theme of his work was a bamboo hut, which reminds him of that region in the Philippines. His daughter Aniela, created Dreamland, a young girl’s reminder to relax and dream in this time of a pandemic.
Other works in Show Your Colour had themes on: the story of Palestine; Metis culture; the resilience of African women; traditional Ukrainian folk clothing; Japanese culture; Hip Hop culture; Irish heritage; images of Denmark; skateboarding; the waterfront of Stockholm; abstracts; Chilean art and culture; the Maritimes; Somali dances and poetry; Peruvian landscape; Chinese symbols; significant attractions of Turkey; human trafficking.
Check out the various designs and learn more about the artists at https://www.edmontoninterculturalcentre.ca/home/vote/. You have until October 25 to vote for your favourite artist and creation. The artist with the most votes will receive $1000, and the second place gets $500. Later on, the cans will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for seed money for future projects.
*This article written by Ida Beltran Lucila was published in the October 2020 issue of the Alberta Filipino Journal.