Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan
The Filipino Day in Vaughan was made possible by the coordinated efforts of the planning committee, namely, Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan (FCAV), pres Linda Insigne; Philippine Heritage Band, pres Carol Banez; BIBAK, pres Carlos Castillo; Filipino Seniors Club City of Vaughan, pres Loy Torres; First Filipino Canadian Society of Vaughan, pres Mario Zavala and Scarborough Ontario Seniors Association(SOSA), pres Carol Banez.
The idea of forming an association was first thought of in the Fall of 1990 by Antonio and Erlinda Insigne after visiting a friend’s mom who died suddenly.
Erlinda thought that perhaps there should be an association in the community that could provide assistance for the Filipino-Canadians who needed help. So she shared the idea with one of her neighbors who in turn spoke with other neighbors. A meeting was held and thus the Filipino-Canadian Association of Vaughan (FCAV) was formed.
The constitutional objectives are as follows: To promote community spirit among the Filipinos. To stay united and achieve common goals both to members of the association and to the community. To assimilate Filipino culture and values into Canadian society. To help newly landed immigrants. To participate in civic and social events within the community. In 1994, FCAV pursued a twinning initiative and selected Baguio City based on the criteria set forth by the City of Vaughan, namely: population, industry, language & transportation. In 1997, the Friendship Agreement was signed. The realization of the Friendship Agreement is a monumental milestone on the part of the Filipino-Canadian Association of Vaughan because it is the 1st Agreement of its kind signed in Ontario between the governments of the Philippines and Canada. The objectives of the Friendship Agreement are to encourage cultural, social and educational exchanges. As well, it promotes economic opportunities that may assist businesses in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada and the Philippines.
To publicly recognize the Friendship Agreement, the City of Vaughan installed a Sister City Sign: "The City of Vaughan, City above Toronto is proud sister city of Baguio, Philippines" near the intersection of Dufferin Street and Steeles Avenue West.
In 1999, FCAV in partnership with St. Elizabeth Catholic High School in Thornhill launched the educational exchange program resulting in a 26-member delegation of students, teachers and parents visiting Baguio in the year 2000. The following year, Baguio City sent its first delegation to Vaughan consisting of 21 students and chaperons.
In July of 2002, FCAV signed a license agreement with the City of Vaughan to use a portion of Patricia Kemp Community Centre to house all its activities. FCAV renovated the portion (recreation centre & office) and purchased office equipment with the money provided by a provincial Trillium Grant totaling $62,000.00. Educational and leisurely programs such as heritage class, cultural class, basketball, line dancing and ballroom dancing were developed. FCAV encourages not only the members but also the community at large to participate. FCAV also offers its members the use the recreation centre at a low cost. Today, more and more people participate in FCAV programs aimed at building and strengthening communal camaraderie.