Casa do Alentejo is not the one of the oldest Luso-Canadian organizations in Toronto but it is certainly one of the most dynamic and active. For the last 29 years, this association has been serving the community with various cultural and social activities that are relevant and meaningful to the celebration and maintenance of our heritage in Canada. For two days, Casa do Alentejo’s members and friends commemorated the association’s contribution to the Portuguese community in this city with a variety of social and cultural events.
It all started yesterday (Friday) with an invitation to the media and to the other community associations in Toronto. In all, more than 160 people attended this evening, including lusocanada.com, and had the opportunity to taste some of the finest and renowned wines of the province of Alentejo. The association’s Choir and its instrumental group enchanted the audience with their music just before the dinner ‘à lá carte’.
Tonight, all members were invited to participate in the Gala celebration of the association’s 29th anniversary. The main hall filled to capacity for an evening of social and cultural displays, and for plenty of opportunities to share memories of this house’s glorious past. A seat-down dinner was served with some of Alentejo’s specialties, including its celebrated wine. The house’s choir and the youth folk group performed on stage, displaying many of the famed melodies and choreographies from the southern Portuguese province these groups represent. Sarah Pacheco, a renowned international artist who began her career at Casa do Alentejo, was the biggest attraction of the night. Iza closed the evening with her first appearance at the association.
Armando Viegas, president of Casa do Alentejo, spoke with lusocanada.com about this milestone and revealed that “casa do alentejo has been the major bastion of the propagation of our traditions in Toronto for the last 29 years. From our inception year, we started implementing our Cultural Week and the first fado shows; we formed the first traditional choir of Alentejo outside of Portugal, and we feel honoured and proud to have molded the model of Canada’s cultural landscape which was adopted by other associations across the country.” At such a special point in the organization’s history, the president asks all members to “continue supporting Casa do Alentejo, continue to adhere to the activities promoted by the association, and participate in the democratic process by volunteering to serve as members of the executive board. If we all participate in this manner, the house will continue to prosper in the Portuguese community.”
Casa do Alentejo has seen major support from all its associates through the years and has made successful partnerships with other community organizations. The model this organization has adopted has helped it grow, prosper, and become one of the most successful in our sphere of associations. It doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel but needs to continue to have the involvement of its members to follow in the same path of triumph.
Lusocanada.com wishes this great association a very happy anniversary and hopes that it continues to celebrate occasions such as this for many years to come.