3 Filipinos bag 12 of Canada’s 21-Medal Haul in World ‘Talent Olympics’

Community News & Features Jul 14, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Team Canada

By Kermin Fortes-Soriano

REGINA–Olan Estrella and Patricia Gabriella Abdon from Regina, SK, and Thea Cruz from Brossard, QC, picked up 12 of Canada’s 21-medal haul in the recently-concluded 21st Annual World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), which was held in Long Beach, California. The three Filipinos were part of the seven-member team of talents who represented Canada in the 10-day event dubbed as the “Talent Olympics.”

Olan, 37, won silver in the Vocal Variety and bronze in Vocal R&B/Soul/Jazz in the age 30 & up division. Nine-year-old Patricia bagged the gold in the Junior Dance Jazz and Junior Modeling Casual categories, silver in Junior Dance Tap, and bronze in Junior Modeling Formal in the age 8-10 division. She also won the Overall Division Champion award in Junior Modeling Casual. Thea, who competed in the 25-29 age division, took home six gold medals in Vocal Broadway, Vocal Gospel, Vocal Open, Vocal Rock, Vocal Variety, and Vocal World categories. She was also the Overall Division Champion for Vocal Broadway and Vocal World.

Thea Cruz from Brossard, QC

Thea Cruz from Brossard, QC

All other members of Team Canada brought medals and awards home. Madison Paige from St. Albert, AB, was a finalist in Senior Acting, a recipient of the Industry Award Medal, Overall 18-24 Age Division Champion and gold medallist for Acting Comical. She also picked up the silver medal for Acting for TV and bronze for Acting Dramatic. Ayda Khan from Ottawa, ON, bagged a scholarship to the New York Film Academy, gold in Vocal Country & Western and Vocal World, silver in Vocal Rock, and was Overall 18-24 Age Division Champion for Vocal Country & Western and Vocal World. Jordyn Fraser, from Whitby, ON, won bronze in the Dance Ballet and Dance Open categories, age 13-15 division. Veronica Sabah, from Woodbridge, ON, received the silver medal for Vocal Variety, age 18-24 division.

WCOPA’s Grand Champions this year are both from the Philippines. Cristiani Rebada, who competed in Vocal Solo, is WCOPA’s 2017 Senior Grand Champion of the World. Nhikzy Vheench Calma, who competed in Dance Solo, is the 2017 Junior Grand Champion of the World.

WCOPA Canada National Director Belinda Reyes expressed immense pride at Team Canada’s performance. “Despite going to WCOPA with only 7 members in our team, we represented Canada strongly, proven by three members advancing to the semi-final rounds and one ultimately advancing to the live finale show,” she said. “This is a huge percentage compared to countries with 60 or more members in their teams.”

Belinda, a Toronto resident, believes that Canada offers something unique at the annual international, invitation-only competition. Among the approximately 50 countries and thousands of very talented performers, Belinda said that Team Canada stands out as a tight-knit multicultural team of strong, highly skilled performers. She hopes that this year’s excellent performance will encourage the Canadian government to support the performing arts and help talented artists continue to compete at the WCOPA. The local concert producer and event organizer took over the helm of WCOPA Canada in 2014, the same year that Canada’s Ethan David from Vancouver, BC, won the WCOPA Junior Vocalist of the World title at 12 years old. He is now a recording artist in the Philippines, under Viva Entertainment.

Olan Estrella and Jed Madela, WCOPA first Filipino Grand Champion

Olan Estrella and Jed Madela, WCOPA first Filipino Grand Champion

 

Olan Estrella and Medals

 

Patricia Abdon and Medals

Patricia Abdon and Medals

 

Patricia Gabriella Abdon onstage with her medals

Patricia Gabriella Abdon onstage with her medals

 

TEAM Canada with WCOPA Canada National Director Belinda Reyes (right)

TEAM Canada with WCOPA Canada National Director Belinda Reyes (right)

 

Olan Estrella and Thea Cruz

Olan Estrella and Thea Cruz