It was a historical night for many Filipinos not only in Winnipeg but in the entire Canada, as True North Sports + Entertainment honored Filipino culture with the very first Filipino Heritage Night during a National Hockey League (NHL) game.
It was hosted by the Winnipeg Jets who faced off against the Dallas Stars. Specialty themed jerseys were worn during the warm-up, with its professionally designed logo set to be auctioned off post-game in support of Filipino youth initiatives across the city.
The Filipino Heritage Night featured food, music, and culture highlighting many Filipino talents on and off stage.
They included students from Sisler's CREATE program led by Sam Balanial who collaborated with the Winnipeg Jets game presentation team on key visual presentation elements showcased throughout the game. Meanwhile, Filipino choir Musica performed a powerful rendition of the US and Canadian national anthems.
"Felt so proud, at the same time, we are very proud as Canadians too. We always take this with pride and honor," Musica artistic director Dante Aviso said.
Winnipeg has one of the world's largest Filipino population outside the Philippines. Roughly 10% of the total population of the greater Winnipeg area, on a per-capita basis, are Filipinos.