"The Proud to be Portuguese Canadian Conference & Cultural Festival in Toronto this month of March 2012 has been a tremendous success. Special thanks to the team that joined me on creating this exciting festival. I am proud to say that I am the oldest of the gang; it is great to see the new generations, the descendants of the Portuguese coming out and wanting to be leaders, to have their voices heard. We need more outlets for such to happen.
48 local artists supporting the Portuguese Canadian leads, 6 artists from Portugal, 35 presenters and speakers and over 2000 people participated in the official events for Proud to Be Portuguese Canadian Conference & Cultural Festival in Toronto with special mention the presence of Secretary of State of Portugal Communities José Cesário, Consul of Portugal in Toronto Julio Vilela, Member of Canadian Parliament Andrew Cash, Ontario´s Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Charles Sousa, MPP Jonah Schein, from Regional Government of Azores Alzira Silva and a troupe of gorgeous talented descendants of the Portuguese in Canada.
What an exciting week it has been with an all day conference, a club party and a concert series at local professional venues. Over 100 newspaper, magazine and web articles, as far as I can tell, and I have a feeling I am not caught up; over 30 television stories and the disappearance of most of our giant 3feet posters and 10,000 zine programs should be telling that there is an interest in the culture of Portugal in Canada.
I would love to continue the Proud to be Portuguese Canadian project in Toronto and for that to be possible I ask for your support starting today; business community, media outlets, associations and individuals, join the movement and support Proud to be Portuguese Canadian through visiting the website www.portuguesecanadian.com, joining the facebook page, signing up to sponsor a future edition or to volunteer your time and services.
For this first festival in Toronto I would like to thank our conference partner Working Women Community Centre and the ON YOUR MARK project, funders Government of Portugal through DGACCP, Secretario das Comunidades, Government of Azores through Direccao Regional das Comunidades; the video contest sponsor The Carpenters Union Local 27; the writing contest sponsor Luso Learning Centre and the musical workshop sponsor Barrister Manuel Azevedo.
Our festival gold media partners that provided over $140,000 worth of advertising exposure: ABC Portuguese Canadian Newspaper, CiRV, FPTV, Gente da Nossa, Milenio and Nove Ilhas newspapers. Also OMNI TV News and the Canada Contacto department that have been incredible in their coverage of the festival; as well thanks to supporters I am Future, Lusocanada.com, Mundo Portugues, Senso Magazine, Voice and SOL publications, St Christophers House, Nova Era Bakery, Creative7 Inc, and our venues Hughs Room, Lula Lounge, Luso Learning Centre and Mod Club Theatre.
Our conference supporters: Centro de Lingua Portuguesa Camões, Luso Learning Centre, Lusocan Tuna, Sporting FC School Academy, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Portuguese Association, York University, York University Portuguese Association, and of course Toronto Tourism for all their support.
Please indulge me as I thank a few people personally. It was great to have so many people come out to volunteer their time and services; young men and women embraced the project and with that the whole community can only gain; most of them had never done anything they considered “Portuguese” in Canada. Thank you all for participating. " continues below