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The Victoria Filipino Canadian Association (VFCA), with the support of the Victoria Filipino Canadian Caregivers Association (VFCCA) and the Victoria Filipino Seniors Association (VFCSA), established the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society (BCHS) in 1991.

To ensure the integrity of BCHS as an arm of the VFCA, with support from the VFCCA and the VFCSA, and that it will not succumb to any individual's or group's personal ambitions, the society's membership was limited to 16 members:

  • Seven ranking officers of the VFCA

  • One representative each from the VFCCA and the VFCSA

  • Five other individuals appointed by VFCA — two of whom must be VFCA directors for the year and three from the VFCA membership

BCHS was incorporated under the Society Act on April 12, 1991 [S-27455]

On April 30, 2001, it acquired the property at 1709-1711 Blanshard Street, [Parcel Identifier 004-420-161, Lot 30, Suburban Lot 3], from Robbins Parking Services Ltd. for $395,000 [$401,727 after Property Transfer Tax, legal fees, GST/PST and disbursements are included] after:

  • BCHS had raised, from 1991 to 2001, $120,000 for a centre.

  • City of Victoria gave green light for BCHS to apply for a building permit and to operate a community centre

  • The provincial government gave a 'Community Partners Program' grant of $215,000 on March 26, 2001, based on an estimated project cost of $430,00,  financed 50/50, with BCHS responsible for financing the other $215,000

  • Coast Capital and Savings Credit Union [now Pacific Coast Credit Union] authorised a mortgage of $310,00 [including legal fees, disbursements and credit union's commitment fee] on April 27, 2001,[mortgage registered with Victoria Land Titles Office on April 30, 2001, [under Number ES32016 and ES32017].

  • Capital Health Region [now Vancouver Island Health Authority] approved plans to operate a commercial kitchen on April 11, 2001, in the building.

  • Victoria Land Title Office accepted registration of purchase on April 30, 2001, [under State of Title Certificate Number STVI0258137 and Title Number ES32015].

  • Cost of renovations of building plus permits [building, water services and other fees] was:  $71,746.80.  Volunteers helped to minimize the renovation costs by contributing their skills, labor, time and effort.

  • Total cost was $471,748.80 [a total of $335,000 raised from donations, including the $215,000 provincial grant].

  • Bayanihan Community Centre was formally opened on November 3, 2001.

  • On April 26, 2002, BCHS was designated by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency a "charitable organization," allowing donors to get an income tax deduction for their donations to BCHS.

  • On January 2, 2007, BCHS paid off the mortgage for the centre and on January 28, 2007, held a mortgage burning ceremony.

  • The property is 54 feet 10 inches X 92 feet 7.5 inches [16.71 metres X 28.23 metres] or an area of 5,078 square feet [471.72 square metres].

  • 2016 Assessment:

    • Land:  $542,000

    • Buildings:  $281,400

    • Assessed value:  $823,400

The Centre is a venue for:

  • Sunday Open House Lunch;  

  • charitable programs, such as 'Feeding the Needy" and helping others here and abroad;  

  • fund-raising for disaster victims [Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the Nepal earthquake];

  • helping refugees, most recently [and continuing] of a Syrian refugee family;  the annual Filipino Food Fiesta;  

  • Philippine Consulate Outreach Services [passports, visas, affidavits, etc.];  

  • leadership, Food Safe, CPR and other training programs, information workshops for caregivers and Temporary Foreign Workers;

  • Tagalog classes;  

  • supporting annual dinner-dances of the three organizations;  dancing lessons [folk dancing, ballroom dancing, line dancing, etc.];  

  • parties and other social events;  

  • programs  with the InterCultural Association, Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society, and the Community Partnership Network; and, among others,

  • a gathering for prayers for bereaved families and for religious observances.

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