Welcome to the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association of Montreal!
The Canadian Italian Business and Professional
Association (CIBPA) has been in existence since 1949. Over the years,
it has earned the respect and reputation of being the premier
membership organization that best represents the interests and views of
greater Montreal area business and professional Canadians of Italian
Our mandate is to promote and cultivate the business,
professional, cultural and social interests of our members, and to
serve as the voice of the Montreal area business and professional
Canadian of Italian heritage and Italian Canadian community at
large. We continue to be the pre-eminent forum for the exchange of both
business and civic idea and viewpoints. A principal focus of the
services we provide to our members is the development of business and
professional contacts beyond the simple practice of networking or
exchanging business cards. Our membership is comprised of a broad
spectrum of significant Canadian business and professional
leaders who are of Italian heritage. Included them are entrepreneurs,
business owners, designated professionals and senior partners of
professional firms, corporate executives, plus college and university
students as well as neo-laureates.
On the 10th of June 1940, Benito Mussolini declared war on France and Great Britain. That declaration of war was quickly followed with the Canadian government’s declaration of war against Italy. That declaration of war set into effect a quick chain of events which had devastating effects for many Italians living in this city as well as throughout this country.
Declared enemy aliens living within Canada, thousands were arrested in sweeps throughout Canada’s major cities where Italians lived. While most were released within a week, some 700 or so Italians were detained in internment camps. Thousands of others faced discrimination and anger from Canadians at large. Properties were at times confiscated; worker lay off, the unemployed not hired.
The war years destroyed much of the leadership in the community, and seriously damaged the reputations of many associations which represented Italians prior to the war. Stereotypes centered on images of Italian criminality, disloyalty and distrustfulness were serious obstacles working against Italian businessmen and professionals.
To counter this image, many within the community felt there needed to be a new association not tainted by the war years which could work at rebuilding a positive image of the community as well as lobbying for the interests of its members.
It was in this particular context that the CIBPA was born.
The Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association (CIBPA) was officially incorporated on June 10, 1949.
The members, of which 70 were present, held their first annual general meeting soon after, chaired by William Remiggi . The first Board of Directors elected had Mr. T. Colombo as its President, and was further composed by the following members: Mr. M D’Ambrosio, Mr. S Violante, Mr. P. Di Maulo, Mr. A. Gagliardi, Mr. S. Papa, Mr. P. Giuliani, Mr. L. Panaccio, Mr. A. Zampini, and Mr. L. Martinelli.
The minutes record the founding President‘s pledge to do his utmost to fulfill the aims and objectives of the association.