Ohbijou performance at The Reel Asian Film Festival (2016).
Name: Casey Mecija
Place of Birth: Brantford, Ontario
Elementary School: St. Patrick’s, St. Leo’s and Resurrection.
High School: St. John’s College
1. Could you please describe how you came to be in Canada? My parents migrated to Canada from the Philippines in the 70’s. Employment opportunities brought my parents to Brantford, Ontario. I was born in that city in the early 80’s.
Mecija Family in their home in Brantford, Ontario – Early 1980’s. (From L to R: Francisco Mecija, Casey Mecija, Jenny Mecija, Emma Mecija and Michelle Mecija).
2. Describe your experience of growing up, living, and/or working in Canada?
I grew up in a predominantly white suburb. My parents worked hard to keep us connected to Filipinx culture and community through their participation in a small but growing organization called the Filipino Canadian Association of Brantford. My parents wanted my sisters and I to focus on our education so I didn’t start working until late in high school. My first job was at a convenience store and then I worked as a temp at a call center.
3. What are some of your major accomplishments? What were/are some of your major struggles? My involvement in music has created opportunities for me to travel and perform across North America, Europe, China and Japan. As well, I am currently completing a PhD at the the University of Toronto which feels like a major accomplishment. As for struggle, I have a desire to feel connected to Filipinx community but sometimes my queerness gets in the way.
Hannah Dyer and Casey Mecija in their home (2017).
4. What are some of future goals that you envision for yourself and for the Filipino community in Canada? I hope to complete my PhD in the next couple of years and combine my artistic/musical practice with a teaching practice that creates new ways of engaging students in Critical Filipinx studies.