Doggedly working to own a building

Community News & Features Aug 1, 2004 at 11:04 am

IN a recent issue of the Filipino Bulletin, pictures of some members of the KCCC (Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre) board of directors were on the cover page with a question in bold letters – “ Will the Spirit of Kalayaan come alive?” The question was in reference to the Spirit of Kalayaan and its successful centennial celebration of the Philippine Independence at the Skydome in 1998 where the $120,000.00 realized from the event was approved by the community to be used as seed money for building a community centre.

More than four years after its birth, the KCCC has not acquired its own building. It operates in an interim centre through the initiative of Carlos Padilla, a past president of the organization. The seed money and funds raised so far still don’t suffice to buy a building. The question is more of a challenge to the newly elected board of directors.

While the current board has been silent, it has been quietly and doggedly working hard to meet the challenge. Upon their election, the directors stated their mission to raise $100,000.00 each year and acquire a building during their term of office and their primary objective to purchase a building that is affordable and operationally feasible. They have started scouting for a place suitable for their needs.

Are they on track with their target? Probably so. Perhaps they are quiet because they want to surprise us and that would be a most welcome surprise. Their first progress report is due quarterly from May 2004 so expect to hear from them soon.

For the first time since the year 2000, a complete board has been elected and a short time after, the board members rolled up their sleeves to give a new face to the centre. Through their own efforts and those of volunteers and supporters, the place has been repainted and scrubbed. Function rooms have been set up, the whole place has been redecorated and necessary equipment have been installed.

An office manager takes charge of the centre and there is always someone in the office to receive calls and for community folk to see the place. The president and vice-president for programs and administration are there most of the time too. Use of the facility has been maximized which means more income for the centre.

The public can call anytime for information or inquiries about the organization or its facility rentals or set an appointment to visit the place. The centre can be contacted by phone at (905) 269-0099 or e-mail at The website is being activated too and announcement will be made when it is updated.

For those who would like to rent the facility for their meetings, parties and socials, rental rates are as follows:

Facility rentals from Monday to Thursday for meetings or similar functions without food served – $15.00/hour for members; $30.00/hour for non-members; $50.00/hour for business, all for a minimum of three hours.

For social functions on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, the flat rate is $225 plus a refundable deposit of $100.00 to answer for damage if any.

A piano and a 27-inch TV are available for rent at a flat rate of $10.00 each to those who book their functions in the centre. Table cloths and flower vases will soon be available for rent also.
To avail of the reduced rate as a member, one must register as a member for $10.00 annually for individuals and $20.00 for associations.

For other details, call or e-mail the office manager.

Mrs. Ching Quejas, the new president, when asked why we need to buy a community centre when we are just fine serving the community in the interim place said, “We don’t have any control over something we don’t own. We have to have our own. In here, when Cascade (Canada) Inc. (the landlord) chooses to use the space we are occupying, where would we go? We are here at their pleasure and we can be asked to vacate anytime. Let’s be prepared for that.” Again, when asked why we need to have a community centre when FCT (Filipino Centre Toronto) already has one in Toronto, she replied,”The number of Filipinos in the GTA is so big that they cannot possibly serve all of us.

Besides, the distances between regions are so far it is so impractical to travel to Toronto to hold a party especially with the changing seasons