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Comitato promotore per l'assistenza agli italo-canadesi (COPRAS)

The evolution of the CIDA vision of direct services to the community led to the creation of COPRAS: a committee to promote a network of services.

COPRAS Incorporation documents

The objective was to promote activities and initiatives that would then lead to long-term cohesion of the Italian community in the Quebec socio-cultural environment.  In the year 1973 COPRAS generated projects that were granted between 90 and 100 thousand dollars ($90,000 - $100,000) from the Federal and Provincial governments combined.

Some focus areas of community development in which COPRAS produced tangible results are:

COPRAS project coordination efforts - (see links to specific projects)

    • Italian Canadian political presence through  F.A.I.Q. precursor of the National Congres of Italo Canadians
    • Front-line services:  LIAISON (precursor of Italian-Canadian Community Services)
    • The elderly:  NOI - Nuovo Orizzonte Italiano (precursor of CRAIC)
    • Italian presence in Legal Aid and Human Rights portfolios 
    • The CLSCs and Social Services for the italo-canadians of Montreal
    • Schooling:  Continuing education  
    • Research and studies

Encourage autonomous activities that are part of a network which supports strong community development

Lobby Government for appropriate service delivery where the Italian community has a significant numeric presence

Promote dialogue and collaboration within the Italian community

Maintain strong relationships with organizations that complement COPRAS objectives


A $15,000 grant from Secretary of State - Multiculturalism allowed COPRAS to hire executive staff to support the day-to-day operation of the Committee.  Mireille Lemasson came to COPRAS as office coordinator with motivation and expertise. Part-time employees were also hired to help in the administration (bookkeeping and secretarial duties).
In September 1973, COPRAS moved to a new location, with its own office space, giving the organization more flexibility in carrying out its operation.
Committee members were given responsibilities to guide and promote the assigned activities that were generated in support of a coordinated community development.

Download collection of letters related to community development initiatives.

COPRAS-CIDA-Letters (general summary) - this is a large file of over 4 megs. High speed Internet is recommended.