Timeline: First Portuguese associations opened

  • January 7, 1956
    Founded by consular staff in Montreal, the Associação Portuguesa do Canada (APC) was the first Portuguese association to open in Canada. Although led by businessmen and professionals, its membership included workers, most of them men from the mainland. From the outset, the APC’s executives clashed with Consul Vital Gomes, who tried to bring it under the Estado Novo’s influence, become involved in the organization’s affairs, and report on the political activities of its members. At a former synagogue on 4170 Rue Saint-Urbain, the APC offered multiple social and cultural programs over the years, including a Portuguese language school founded in 1959. Arguably its most successful program was its male amateur soccer team. Like in most associations, for most of its history, women were only allowed to join as “conjugal members” without voting rights and were relegated to auxiliary committees. Only in the 21st century did women became executive members of the APC.

    Courtesy of APC.
  • September 23, 1956
    Founded in Toronto’s Kensington Market, the First Portuguese Canadian Club (FPCC) has had multiple locations over the years. In 1973-2007 it was located on 722 College St., which was the largest and most active Portuguese community hall, used by various clubs. The FPCC has offered a wide range of social, cultural, and sports programs over the years. The most successful were arguably the male soccer team, which had considerable success in the Canadian Soccer League and a relatively large following; and the Portuguese language school, founded in 1964, which drew widespread support from the community and the Portuguese government. At its peak, in 1974, the school had 762 students. 

    Marchas populares outside the FPCC hall on 722 College St. May 13, 1978. Photo by Gilberto Prioste. Courtesy of Gilberto Prioste