Sun, Apr 25|
"Living Book" Tala Kamea Berkes
LIVING BOOK is a webinar series featuring stories & conversations on the lives of Filipino-Canadians. This month we feature Tala Kamea Berkes, a promising artist who has found music & fashion inspirational mediums for revisiting her roots, promoting the arts, while engaging in social responsibility.
Time & Location
Apr 25, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
About The Event
Tala Kamea Berkes will share her story, where at an early age, in addition to formal schooling, her life revolved around music and dance, learning ballet, tap and modern dance at the Edmonton School of Ballet. In her teens, she joined several musical theatre groups in Edmonton, which helped her learn more about and connect with her Filipino roots.
Volunteering at Changing Together – A Center for Immigrant Women, she wrote scripts and directed some of the Ajoka Theatre productions that touched on tough issues like Mail Order Brides and Human Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. She also directed and choreographed some local production at the International Fringe Festival in Edmonton.
Tala moved to Toronto to study fashion design where she won the inaugural Elle Canada Fashion Graduate Award in 2012. She has worked for a number of designers in Toronto, while creating her own brand, TALA KAMEA. Her fashion focus is on producing locally, ethically, and sustainably - often reworking clothing and using second-hand materials. Tala will give us an insight into the highly competitive, labour-intensive, and challenging world of fashion while maintaining a socially-responsible approach to clothing that is sustainable, ethical and has the least impact on the environment.
Tala Kamea Berkes was born in Edmonton, Alberta - the only daughter of a Filipino mother and a Hungarian father, growing up with 3 brothers. She attended the Suzuki Elementary school, which focused on French and music and where she learned to play the violin. She joined a musical theatre group (Musicalmania!), and three Filipino cultural groups during her teenage years - The Karilagan Dance Society, The Vismin Association of Edmonton, and the Filipino-Canadian Saranay Association of Alberta. Through these groups she learned and connected more with her Filipino roots, travelling twice to the Philippines to perform with the Saranay Youth Rondalla and to participate in a cultural exchange. She also briefly joined and performed with one of Toronto’s truly innovative and inspiring Filipino Dance Groups – Hataw. In 2018 she returned to the Philippines to perform at the International Fringe Festival in Manila.
Tala graduated from the University of Alberta in 2006 with a BCom in Marketing, and moved to Toronto in 2008 to study fashion design. She received her MA in Fashion Design in 2012 from Ryerson University, where she won the inaugural Elle Canada Fashion Graduate Award. She works in costume design for film and television and has recently been nominated for a CAFTCAD (Canadian Alliance for Film and Television Costume Arts and Design) award. In addition to writing and producing electronic music since 2017, she creates largely original songs, but has also covered a few obscure indie bands, as well as a Tagalog song by Celeste Legaspi.