Association Portugaise du Canada / Associacão Portuguesa do Canadá
4170 Rue Saint-Urbain, Montreal, Quebec
We have a very active group of women, who have allowed for our doors to remain open. Our priority is to survive – Conceição Rosário.
The Association Portugaise du Canada was the first Portuguese organization founded in Canada, in January 7, 1956. Over its long history, it has served as a space of gathering for the various waves of immigrants who settled in Montreal and used their various social, cultural, educational, and sports programs, including one of the first Portuguese soccer clubs in Canada, the Luso Stars.
Founded on January 7, 1956, the Association portugaise du canada (APC) was the first Portuguese organization founded in Canada. Founded by consular staff, most of its original members were mainlander men, including workers, businessmen, and professionals. Like most Portuguese community organizations, until the 1990s, women were restricted to auxiliary committees and allowed to participate solely as “conjugal members” without voting rights.
The Luso-Canadiano, the official organ of the APC, was the first Portuguese-language newspaper produced in Canada (initially printed in Portugal). In 1959, the APC offered the first Portuguese-language classes in Canada, in partnership with the Montreal Catholic School Commission, starting with about fifty students on Saturday mornings.
From the outset, the APC faced pressure from the dictatorship’s diplomatic officials, who tried to meddle in its internal affairs in order to control it. Disagreements between pro- and anti-Salazar members led to internal conflicts and the departure of its founding president, Henrique Tavares Bello, who founded a new progressive organization in October 1960, the Maison des portugais, which later became the Movimento Democrático Português – Bello, who owned the Luso-Canadiano, took that newspaper to his new organization. The APC closed and then reopened in 1961 with a new administration that rejected any overt political association.
Located in a former synagogue, on 4170 Rue Saint-Urbain, the APC offered multiple social and cultural programs over the years, including a marching band and a group of popular marchas. Arguably its most successful program was the male amateur soccer team Luso Stars.
Hora dos Portugueses