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Out and About: KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival

Looking for a cultural experience this weekend?  The 8th Annual KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival is on from now until August 11th at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St, Toronto).  It’s an amazing chance to experience the Filipino culture, with a feature on arts and culture.  What can you expect from this festival?  Toronto-designed, Philippine-made fashion, a street eats competition, musicians, traditional dance troupes, and DJs on the KULTURA LIVE! Stage, a community art exhibit and more.  I had a chance to ask a few questions of Caroline Mangosing, executive director of Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture and the designer of Vinta, a Filipino clothing line, to learn more about the Festival and the line.


Kultura is a great way to showcase Filipino talent – what are the goals you hope to accomplish with this festival?

Our vision for KULTURA to be able to share Filipino culture and arts with the diverse communities of Toronto.

I noticed a huge emphasis on bringing attention to the younger generation of up-and-coming Filipino artists and talent. How important is this to the Kultura festival and KAPISANAN?

KAPISANAN’s mandate is to be youth-focused, so it is definitely central to what we do as an organization. It’s the next generation’s turn to shine, and we are just creating a stage for them.

There are several amazing food events taking place throughout the festival.  What can attendees expect to see in terms of Filipino cuisine?

There’s going to be a great mix of traditional family style Filipino food, and there’s also going to be real fusion style, Toronto-specific, Filipino food. So it’s going to be a diverse array of the cuisine.  Definitely something not to be missed!




How does this festival affect KAPISANAN?  I would love to hear more about this and the Legacy Campaign.

This festival is the big presentation that all of KAPISANAN’s arts and cultural programming culminates into. Everything we do in terms of programming for youth gets presented at KULTURA.

The Legacy Campaign is being launched at KULTURA this year. We are excited to announce that we just became an official registered charitable organization this month. The Legacy Campaign kicks off at KULTURA, and is a way for us to engage and garner support from the community for what we are doing for Filipino-Canadian youth. We are not just developing young artists, but we are creating a safe space for young people to explore their culture and heritage, which really fosters pride and self-confidence, inspiring and empowering them to realize their full potential. This is the vision the KAPISANAN’s co-founders had when we thought of what we wished we had growing up in the 80s and 90s. It’s about creating that community Legacy that we can pass on.

How are others able to get more involved with KAPISANAN and the festival?

The festival grows bigger and bigger every year. A great way we engage people to get involved is through volunteering and also through our internship program. People can become volunteers and interns, and learn how to run a big festival, gain experience, and actually have a hand in mounting this festival! Anyone interested can just email us at info@kapisanancentre.com if they would like to help out.

How does the Filipino culture shine through in your collections for Vinta?

VINTA is Filipino cultural clothing but with a modern, trend-conscious twist. The designs are still very recognizably Filipino, but is wearable by anyone for any occasion.

Are there any traditional techniques you try to include when creating and designing your pieces?

The textile that we use for the barong is the traditional pineapple fibre and banana silk. The emroidered embellishments are still there, but the cut of the garment is much more modern. And the dresses with the traditional, hand-crafted butterfly sleeves, are offered in a chic a-line and sheath silhouette.


I’ll be stopping by the festival on Sunday, so make sure you follow me on Instagram and Twitter to hear more about it and see some pics!