Farewell “Hora dos Portugueses.” Obrigado!

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After producing 100 episodes since November 2015, the Portuguese Canadian History Project has ended its collaboration with the RTPi show “Hora dos Portugueses.” Simply because it is time to move on. But as historians, we certainly appreciate what is behind us. We are very proud of the work that we did over the last 3 seasons of this show and will treasure many memories from it. It was truly a pleasure to work with our friends Pedro Rodrigues (RoughCut), Luis Moreira (Images Life Inc), Daniela Costa, and the other collaborators who occasionally helped us along the way. It was also a real privilege to meet so many wonderful and interesting people, learn from them, help them tell their stories, showcase their work, divulge their causes, and bring attention to topics that matter to them and to us. Another treat was to be able to visit so many interesting locations across Ontario and Quebec (Montreal), which we would hardly ever have the the opportunity to otherwise. Riding a tobacco harvester, or the back of a golf cart down the bumpy roads of a horse farm, or on the passenger seat of a car driven by Mike Rita; watching a “bloodless bullfight” with the aficionados under the scorching summer sun; standing on the mythical stage of the Horseshoe Tavern or behind a Superior Court Judge’s bench; visiting the hallways of power on Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park, and the more humble yet lively halls of numerous clubs and associations. And the hospitality, the food, my gosh, the food we “sampled” in the various restaurants, dinner events, and religious feasts that we covered. The people, the places, the things, they will be missed.

We are proud of our work, but we are also proud of our community. We knew coming into this show that there were many great Portuguese-Canadian stories to be told (and many more still), but we were nonetheless amazed by its quantity and variety. Our community has come a long way since the first immigrants settled in Canada in the 1950s. There are Portuguese immigrants and descendants in practically every area of Canadian society, many of them doing great work in science, music, visual and media arts, food, fashion, literature, cinema and television, sports, education, journalism, politics, advocacy and activism, business, civic society and other areas. From the beginning we wanted to focus as much on individuals and organizations at the heart of Canada’s Portuguese communities as on the fringes, and highlight the experiences of the Canadian-born or -raised generations. What we found was that the “community” reaches well beyond the Little Portugals of Toronto, Montreal, or the many other large Portuguese-Canadian neighbourhoods and towns across Canada. The social links, the language, the traditions, the shared memories and histories extend to those multiple areas where Portuguese-Canadians inhabit, and manifests in myriad ways: like when celebrity photographer George Pimentel gets tips from Portuguese limo drives in L.A.; or when Vintage Beef confounds most of his 1.25 million YouTube followers with the occasional Portuguese reference (i.e. papo seco); or when the Quebec Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão starts out his budget unveilings with a Portuguese proverb; or when Alexandre Amâncio draws from his memories of Portugal when directing various Assassin’s Creed titles… I could go on.

This is an interesting time in the history of the Portuguese in Canada. The second and third generations are realizing that their individual and family histories are not just theirs, and that many of their personal memories of growing up in a Portuguese immigrant family are shared by hundreds of thousands of people, not just in Canada but around the world. They are connecting with each other on new platforms (i.e. social media) that are sometimes ignored by the immigrant generation, and creating their own forms of expression, through comedy, music, food, cinema, etc. A consciousness of Portuguese diaspora is on the rise, one that many times (re)connects with contemporary Portugal and in many others bypasses it altogether. We were happy to witness, record, and document an interesting moment of that ongoing history. Our only regret was not being able to go out West.

To all of those people who were kind enough to open their doors and sit down with us, or who helped make our work possible, um grande obrigado!

You can find the links to every segment that we have produced for “Hora dos Portugueses” here.

Our story on LIUNA Local 183 ft. Jack Oliveira aired on RTPi

Our 8-minute story on the construction union LIUNA Local 183, featuring its Business Manager Jack Oliveira, aired on RTPi’s “Hora dos Portugueses” (1st story). You can watch it here.

A nossa peça de 8 minutos sobre o sindicato da construção LIUNA Local 183, com entrevista ao seu Secretário-Geral Jack Oliveira, foi emitida no programa “Hora dos Portugueses” da RTPi (1a peça). Pode vê-la aqui.

local 183 1

Our story on the Remembrance Day with Raquel Garcia aired on RTPi

Our 8-minute story on the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada, featuring Raquel Garcia, one of the first Portuguese-Canadian women in the Canadian Armed Forces, aired on RTPi’s “Hora dos Portugueses” (Dec. 17,  9’00”) [Portuguese/English with Portuguese subtitles]. You watch it here.

A  nossa peça sobre as cerimónias do Dia dos Finados no Canadá, com Raquel Garcia, uma das primeiras mulheres lusa-canadianas nas Forças Armadas do Canadá, foi emitida no programa “Hora dos Portugueses” da RTPi (Dez. 17, 9’00”). Pode vê-la aqui.

remembrance 1


Our interview with the Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa aired on RTPi

Our interview with the Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa, also featuring the Quebec Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão, aired on RTPi’s “Hora dos Portugueses” (9’20”, English and Portuguese). You can watch it here.

A nossa entrevista com o Ministro das Finanças do Ontário Charles Sousa, com a participação do seu homólogo Ministro das Finanças do Québeque Carlos Leitão, foi emitida na “Hora dos Portugueses” da RTPi (9’20”, Inglês e Português). Pode vê-la aqui.

Charles 1

Our interview with Portuguese-Canadian Eurovision contestant Peter Serrado aired on RTPi

Our interview with Toronto’s singer/songwriter Peter Serrado, contestant in the Portuguese qualifying round of the Eurovision song contest, aired on RTPi’s “Hora dos Portugueses” (Nov. 15, 1st story) [English w/ Portuguese subtitles]. You can watch it here.

A nossa entrevista com o compositor de Toronto Peter Serrado, concorrente no Festival da Canção Português, foi emitida no programa “Hora dos Portugueses” da RTPi (Nov. 15, 1a. peça). Pode vê-la aqui.


The Portuguese Interagency Network’s records at the CTASC have been processed

The Portuguese Interagency Network’s records have been processed and are now open for consultation (with some access restrictions) at the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University Libraries (CTASC).

#72 From Coast to Coast A Community in Transition Conference Report 01
“From Coast to Coast: A Community in Transition,” report of the Portuguese Canadian National Conference in Ottawa, organized by P.I.N. in 1993.

Founded in 1978, the Portuguese Interagency Network (PIN) was a community-based, non-profit organization that connected social service providers and other civic professionals who worked with Portuguese-speaking individuals in Ontario. Its membership would grow to include over 200 member agencies, along with many individual members. PIN’s areas of action were reflected in the make-up of its working committees, which included Adult Education, Child Education, Family and Community Services, Health, Special Needs, and Seniors. Other ad-hoc committees included: “Ready or Not,” “Youth Committee,” “Lusophone,” and “Employment Equity.” PIN also produced multiple studies and reports about Toronto’s Portuguese-Canadian community, with the goal of influencing government policies. It lead education campaigns on issues of health, adult education, literacy, sexual assault, and skills training. The Kensington Clinic, Portuguese Mental Health Clinic, Downtown Employment Services, Portuguese Family Crisis Centre, Access Alliance Multicultural Health Centre, Bradford Immigrant Community Services, and the Portuguese Canadian National Congress are some of the organizations that PIN helped develop. In the mid-1990s, funding cuts during Premier Mike Harris’ government would strike a fatal blow to PIN’s operations, leading to its closure in 2009.

This is one of the most important collections that the PCHP has helped transfer to the CTASC, with extensive information about a wide range of social, economic, educational, political, cultural and other important aspects of Portuguese-Canadian life in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, and across Canada, in the 1970s-2000s. That is reflected in the collection’s “subject access points,” which include: Conflict of generations; Multiculturalism; Substance abuse; HIV/AIDS awareness; Violence — Adolescence; Education; Immigrants — Services for; Equity, Pay; Domestic Violence; Occupational Health and Safety; Citizenship; Canadian Task Force on Mental Health Issues Affecting Immigrants and Refugees; Unemployment; East Timor; Alcoholism; Undocumented workers; Gender Equality. Lots of Master and PhD thesis waiting to be written here.

This is also one of the largest Portuguese-Canadian record collections at the CTASC, with a total 1,471 folders, containing:
10.9 m of textual records
143 photographs : b&w and col. ; 18 x 24.5 cm or smaller
416 photographs : b&w negatives ; 35 mm
6 computer disks : 9 x 9 cm
34 U-matic videocassettes
17 VHS cassettes
19 audiocassettes
6 Hi8 video recordings
1 micro-cassette audio recording

See the complete finding aid here (.pdf) and here (atom database).

The PCHP once again thanks Cidália Pereira for having donated these records to the CTASC, and all the archivists who have helped process them, in particular Christopher Long.

Our story on Macedo Winery and the winemaking season in Toronto aired on RTPi

Our story on Macedo Winery, featuring David and Yvonne Macedo, and the winemaking season in Toronto aired on RTPi’s “Hora dos Portugueses” (Nov. 12, 17’44”) You can watch it here.

A nossa reportagem sobre a Macedo Winery, com David e Yvonne Macedo, e a época da vindima em Toronto foi emitida no programa “Hora dos Portugueses” da RTPi (Nov. 12, 17’44”). Pode vê-la aqui.

Macedo 1