"The goal is to connect Lusodescendant students to their origins and culture with an academic purpose. We want to know how the Portuguese heritage has influenced their lives," said Sara Vieira, 31, director of the Federation of Luso-Canadian Entrepreneurs and Professionals.

With a PhD from the University of British Columbia in interdisciplinary studies, the Portuguese-Canadian daughter of emigrants from the region of Leiria explained that she became "closer to the Portuguese community" after in 2017 receiving "a scholarship" from the federation, and is now part of the social bodies of the organisation.

The FPCBP, as the association is known, which involves dozens of Portuguese-Canadian business professionals, is accepting applications for the Portuguese cultural heritage competition until 1 March.

Students attending secondary school in the province of Ontario, from seventh to 12th grade, can apply. By engaging in the Portuguese language exercise they will be eligible for a prize offered by one of the sponsors, worth 250 Canadian dollars (162 Euros).

On the form, which can be accessed through the 'online' portal fpcbp.com/contest, applicants will have to answer one of the questions, in Portuguese or English, of how their Portuguese cultural heritage has affected them in their daily lives, or how the community can attract younger people to its socio-cultural activities.

After a break in 2020, due to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, the FPCBP decided in 2021 to innovate with the inclusion of a multimedia component.

"The students will have to answer question number three, what it means to be Portuguese for them, writing with that a short essay, being able to add to accompany the work, an artistic part, through a short video, photography, sculpture, and so on," he added.

To evaluate the works, an analysis commission composed of teachers was created by the federation.

The winning works will be awarded and recognised in a virtual ceremony to be scheduled later.