Benson Flores

Memorializing the First Filipino in Canada: A documentary

Team members: Teodoro Alcuitas (Community Capacity Building Program, SFU)

Project Description

While Filipinos form one of the largest non-European ethnic groups in Canada, our history is relatively unknown. Stories of Filipino arrival in this country are practically unwritten and absent in contemporary writing.

The project aims to fill the gap of Filipino history in Canada and raise the profile of the community. We will make a short documentary film to memorialize the first Filipino on record to have settled in Canada in 1861 – Benson Flores. We will interview and film significant players in the accidental discovery of Flores’ settlement in Bowen Island, B.C., and we will document the discovery and search leading to this important part of Filipino history of migration. More significantly, we will memorialize Benson Flores with a tombstone in his burial place in the Vancouver Cemetery where he was buried in an unmarked grave so that present and future generations of Filipinos in Canada will have a permanent link.

Teodoro Alcuitas

Community Partners:

  • Mildred Grace German – Multi-Media Artist
  • Joseph Lopez – Broadcast Journalist
  • Joella Cabalu – Filmmaker