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While the immigration of Filipinos to Canada began in 1946, it was not until the late 1960s when their numbers started to increase significantly because of new immigration policies.


Victoria, the Canadian city nearest to the Philippines, was one of the earliest recipients of Filipino immigrants.


By 1968, there were more than 30 Filipino immigrants-mostly women in the health care field-in the 'Garden City' to warrant the establishment of the first Filipino-Canadian association in the country.


This group got together that year to organize an association, chiefly to help new immigrants from the Philippines find housing accommodation and help each other adjust to the Canadian way of life.


The signatories on the application for incorporation under British Columbia's Society Act were: Susan Arroyo, Marcelina Bolaños (now Baldauf), Eliza Castillo, Mary Ann Colmenares, Annette Jayme, Marina Leonardo,Sheila Muñieza (now deceased), Mel Nonisa, Zeny Regalado, Ruby Talatala, Mercedes Velasco (became Gomez and now deceased), Cristina Salvino (now Voorsluys), Olive Java, Emma Bibera and Rose Zuniga. The witness to the signing was Ardena Simpson, then associate director of nursing, St. Joseph's Hospital.


On February 10, 1969, the founding members officially established theVictoria Filipino Canadian Association.


Today there are more than 4,000 Canadians of Filipino ancestry in the Greater Victoria area and the association's objectives have increased to meet their aspirations and needs in this rapidly changing society.

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