Voz de Portugal
Founded in 1961, in Montreal
This newspaper is still very popular here. If we go to the cafés on Wednesday morning, you will find lots of people just waiting to get the newspaper, in lots of places – Eduíno Martins
The Voz de Portugal is the oldest running Portuguese newspaper in Canada. Since 1961, it has been dedicated to informing Montreal’s Portuguese about community events and news from Canada and Portugal. Six decades after its founding, it reaches tens of thousands of readers weekly who find it freely available in local Portuguese cafés and stores, and on the internet.
The Voz de Portugal newspaper was founded by Artur Ribeiro on April 25, 1961, in Montreal. The newspaper was originally proposed and funded by the Estado Novo dictatorship that sought to create a pro-Salazar outlet that could counter the local anti-fascist and leftist Luso-Canadiano owned by Henrique Tavares Bello – the first Portuguese-language newspaper in Canada. Initially associated with the Associação Portuguesa do Canadá, the newspaper was printed at the Salesian Vocational Schools in Lisbon. A few months after its launch, it started being printed at a Portuguese-American press in Newark, New Jersey; until Bello sued Ribeiro and his newspaper for libel, which prompted the Portuguese-American press to stop printing it. After February 1962, the Voz was printed at an Italian press in Montreal, where the Luso-Canadiano‘s typographer, the anarchist José Neves Rodrigues, was employed.
During its first four years, the Voz was mainly a propaganda tool of the dictatorship and a mouthpiece of the local Portuguese consul-general, earning it the epithet the “folhinha do consulado” (the consulate’s sheet). Like many other Portuguese-Canadian newspapers at the time, most of its content was copy and pasted from newspapers from Portugal and Canada, with added original editorials, comment sections, and some local news. In January 1965, a new administration led by the newly-arrived mainlander Armando Barqueiro ended the Voz’s feud with Bello and his Movimento Democrático Português, and moved the newspaper politically to the centre.
In January 1979, the Voz went through a process of restructuring, modernization, and professionalization, and changed location and staff. Now published by the newly-formed Typogal press – founded by Carlos Jesus, Armando Barqueiro, Luís Tavares Bello, and António Silva – it began publishing original reports on the many community functions and other local news of interest to the Portuguese in Montreal’s metropolitan area. The Voz modernized again in 1996, when it launched its first website, which allowed it to reach a wider audience across Quebec and in Portugal. In March 2004, the newspaper was sold to the Eduíno Martins, an Azorean immigrant from the Terceira island who worked in a funeral home located in the Portuguese neighbourhood. Martins brought in new paid staff members who again modernized the newspaper’s content and graphic design.
By 2016, the Voz was produced by two paid staff members and 24 volunteer collaborators, and was published weekly with about 10,000-12,000 copies freely distributed to local Portuguese businesses or sent to the homes of subscribers. Online, it had an average of 15,000-20,000 weekly views.
Hora dos Portugueses