Kensington Market oral history: call for interviewees

In an effort to support local historians and to include Portuguese voices and experiences into Toronto’s history, the PCHP is circulating the following invitation from the Kensington Market Historical Society (KMHS) :

If you or someone you know has lived or worked in Kensington Market, then the KMHS wants to hear your/their story. The history of Kensington Market lives in the people who passed through the Market. The KMHS is collecting and preserving these stories for future generations. They would love to sit down with you and record your experiences of Kensington Market. For more information please contact Bruce Beaton at 647-898-2545 or at

Thank you Ink Book Club and Anthony de Sa!

The Ink Book Club has generously made a financial donation to the PCHP on behalf of Toronto author Anthony de Sa. In Anthony’s words: “The PCHP has been a tremendous resource while writing Kicking the Sky. Often, it was the images collected in the exhibits that triggered memories allowing me to move back into the world I knew and understood so personally. For me, writing a work of fiction can only resonate with a reader when there is honesty and  truth at its core. It is what makes a work of fiction transcendent. Much thanks to the good people at PCHP” (in Anthony de Sa’s blog, September 15, 2013).

We are very proud to hear that our digital exhibits have sparked Anthony’s memories and benefited his creative work. The best praise and encouragement we could ever hope for is the knowledge that others are using and building on our efforts to preserve, disseminate, and discuss our collective memory; not only as Portuguese-Canadians but as Torontonians.

The PCHP is grateful for the Ink Book Club’s kind donation, and thank Anthony de Sa for prompting their contribution.

Greek Canadian History Project has new exhibit website

The Greek Canadian History Project launched its online exhibit website showcasing historical records pertaining to the history of the Greek community in Canada, and digitized by the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University Libraries.

Congratulations to our friends and colleagues Christopher Grafos, Sakis Gekas, and Anna St. Onge for reaching yet another milestone.

PCHP at the I Fórum dos Luso Talentos 2012

The Observatório dos Luso-Descendentes (OLD), the State Secretary of Portuguese Communities, and a range of public and private entities, organized the first Fórum dos Luso Talentos (Forum of Portuguese Talent), in the beautiful city of Porto, on November 22-24. This meeting of creative minds brought together a group of Portuguese descendants and recent emigrants from around the world – Portugal, Canada, United States, France, England, Luxembourg, Denmark, Brazil, South Africa, Macau, Taiwan, Japan – who have distinguished themselves in their own fields, to 1) discuss ways in which to enhance and facilitate the professional, economic, and other cultural relations between Portugal and its diaspora, as well as intra diasporas; and 2) develop interesting collaborative projects in a range of areas, such as visual arts, literature, music, film, gastronomy, clubs and associations, business, and academic research. This event was a great example of civil society, government and business community coming together to find solutions on a global scale for some of the problems facing Portuguese national and diasporic communities. Despite the variety of experiences, interests, and practices of the participants, there was impressive consistency in every one of the recommendations and projects proposed to the Secretary of State: Portugal’s civil society, government and business community, need to connect with the various talented Portuguese emigrants and descendants working outside of its territorial borders with a personal interest and/or professional focus on its culture, society and economy, and build on the exceptional work that they have done individually in their own countries of residence. In short, we need to connect, communicate, coordinate, and collaborate on a global scale, in a pragmatic manner.

Gilberto Fernandes, co-founder and co-director of the Portuguese Canadian History Project, was one of the guest participants of this Forum. He talked about the work done by the PCHP to preserve archival records, facilitate and disseminate research on Portuguese immigrants and their descendants in Canada. The keywords “synergy”, “creativity”, and “pragmatism”, expressed repeatedly in this event, fit squarely with the PCHP’s working model and objectives, which was proposed as an example to follow in other Portuguese communities by the Fórum’s ‘academic research working group’ – Gilberto Fernandes, Carolina Marçalo (OLD), and Sofia Afonso (University of Minho). The PCHP and the OLD will follow up with the Secretary of State on this proposal, which aims to create a virtual museumdigital database of Portuguese migration and diaspora that would bring together online collections from various archives and universities from different parts of the world.

Gilberto Fernandes congratulates all the organizers and participants in the Fórum dos Luso Talentos, and especially Emmanuelle Afonso, the dynamic President of the Observatório dos Luso-Descendentes, for putting together such a wonderful, enlightening, and productive event. It was a great honour to be invited and a privilege to be surrounded by so many talented and good-willed people. Many thanks!

Veja um breve vídeo realizado por Nélson Ponta-Garça aqui

PCHP | PHLC incorporated with the Ontario Government

As of September 21st, 2012, the Portuguese Canadian History Project | Projeto de História Luso-Canadiana is a not-for-profit corporation under the Ontario Government with the following objects:

a) To locate and preserve historical documents pertaining to the history and experience of Portuguese-Canadians and their descendents in the care of individuals and organizations across Canada.

b) To democratize and disseminate historical knowledge thereby providing the opportunity for Canadians, especially those of Portuguese descent to reflect upon their individual and collective experience.