Kwentong Bayan Collective

Organization Details



Kwentong Bayan is a collective of two Toronto-based artists, Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. Their artistic mandate is to explore a critical and intersectional approach to community-based art, labour, and education. Althea and Jo are currently developing the comic book, Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love in collaboration with migrant caregivers, who work in Canada under the Caregiver Program (formerly known as the Live-in Caregiver Program).

Thoughts About Art and Community

In the Filipino language, "kwentong bayan" is the literal translation of "community stories". Labour of love reflects our understanding that both community-based artwork and caregiving work is rooted in love, is valuable, and deserves respect.


Kwentong Bayan's comic on the history of the Live-in Caregiver Program is featured in the anthology, Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle. The book was awarded the 2017 Canadian Historical Association Public History Prize and the 2017 Wilson Book Prize for making Canadian history accessible to transnational audiences. In 2017, the Graphic History Collective commissioned Kwentong Bayan to create one of twelve, "Remember | Resist | Redraw" posters to intervene in the Canada 150 conversation. Kwentong Bayan's poster examines the 150+ year history of care work performed by racialized women in Canada, and includes a contextual essay by Dr. Ethel Tungohan. As of July 2017, Kwentong Bayan has partnered with the Toronto Public Library to create a weekly Comics / Komiks Meet-up. It is a regular workspace for those wishing to network, create and bring their comics/komiks to completion. We meet on Mondays from 6-8 PM at the Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College St., Meeting Room "A". For more info, please call 416-393-7746 or visit: