The CIBPA has been a catalyst for business professionals since the creation of the first chapter in Montreal in 1949.
On March 17, 2012 we are celebrating 26 years of Sons of Italy/CIBPA Excellence dedicated to the community and education for the greater Winnipeg. Congratulations to President Justin Bova and to the organizers of this memorable event.
The CIBPA has earned an enviable reputation as the premier non-profit association that best promotes and cultivates the business and professional interests of Canadian Italians. We have assumed the responsibility because we understand how important it is to share our knowledge and experience with others who want to succeed as we do.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Justin and the current Board of CIBPA Winnipeg for what will be an outstanding evening and a job well done.
It is a privilege to be part of an organization that is the recognized business voice of the Canadian Italian business community.
With over 1,300 people in attendance the participants had an opportunity to reflect on the association’s many accomplishments, while celebrating the many contributions made by Italian Canadians. This year’s charity of choice Winnipeg Harvest “Hunger for Hope” which raised $100,000 that will purchase and provide baby formula to Winnipeg’s most needy is a prime example of our commitment to the community. In addition $20,000 was also donated to continue teachings Italian to youth and another $20,000 was donated to the University of Winnipeg’s Opportunity Fund.
Mr. Joe Aiello the “Voice of Winnipeg” was given the CIBPA Award for his business leadership and commitment too many local charity fundraising events and to community service.
The Italian community has always viewed education as the road map to a better life and career in Canada. The CIBPA took on this challenge by helping with community based fundraising for charitable causes and providing bursaries and scholarships to Canadian Italian students so they could get the head start required to prosper as Canadians.
The National Federation of CIBPA’s has 12 registered chapters throughout Canada. Since the start of the first chapter in Montreal in 1949, I am pleased to say that the National Federation CIBPA through its Chapters has distributed almost $8 million to various Canadian community based charities and programs. Approximately $4.5 million has been donated to over 2,500 students of Italian heritage or students in Italian studies. CIBPA Chapters, along with other Italian associations, contributed over $2.6 million to Abruzzo Earthquake Relief. This is quite a contribution and investment in Canadian society as well as helping Italy rebuild after a natural disaster. We do this because we care about Canada and Italy
Many of our donations were to hospitals, senior’s residents and students that receive Provincial student assistance. With an aging population and the cost of a university and college education constantly increasing, we are pleased to be able to help. I have had the privilege of reading letters from past student recipients and can assure you that we are making a difference.
When I look back at the history of Italian Canadians and the CIBPA in particular, I see a common theme of family values, good citizenship and education being the corner stone of our success as Canadian.
These bursaries and scholarships do come with strings attached. Our expectation for these students is to stay in touch with the CIBPA. As CIBPA student alumni we would hope that with personal prosperity that they will financially contribute to the CIBPA Education Foundation to help the next student get a leg up.
As well we should be very proud of all the other community causes that CIBPA Chapters quietly contribute in all of our communities.
Some activities of note:
The CIBPA is a member of the board for Abruzzo Earthquake Relief Fund and raised $2 million for a medical research facility specializing in cancer treatment at the University of L’Aquila. The University is the life blood for the City of L’Aquila. Another $600,000 was donated to the Red Cross for Abruzzo Earthquake Relief.
With the support from a grant by the Community Historical Recognition program, Citizenship and Immigration Canada we are pleased to announce the production of a documentary this evening that is part of our Canadian Italian history. This is a Canadian story as told by families of Canadian Italians interned during WWII. The project is titled “Piazza Petawawa- The Paradox” the historical experiences of Italian-Canadians that were interned during the Second World War via video documentary. Creative director Rino Noto, an award-winning artist, is the key architect for the video
This video pays homage to individuals who were interned during the Second World War as told by their children while also paying tribute to the resiliency of the Italian-Canadian community. The Video will provide historical context and family member testimonies. A copy of the video will be provided to CIBPA Winnipeg for a public viewing in June.
All of which these accomplishments would not be possible without the passion, vision and integrity of members and leaders of the CIBPA Chapters and their board of directors
We have much to be thankful for and much yet to do.
President, National Federation CIBPA