“The goal is to create a virtual community among the Portuguese communities spread around the world so we can virtually communicate. In order to share our culture”, said to the entrepreneur and writer Herman Alves, 62, living in Canada for 50 years.
Born in Porto de Mós (Leiria), living in Montral, on Quebec, Herman Alves launched the project of the placement of 25 murals dedicated to Amália Rodrigues in some cities with great representation of the Portuguese community.
“We hope to organise at Christmas time a virtual concert, next to the murals with each city contribution”, he underlined.
The artist Paulo Carreira will start painting the mural of the Fado diva next to the Portugal Park, in Montreal, near musical artist Leonard Cohen’s residency. The mural will be inaugurated in Amália’s centenary, on 23 July.
Besides Montreal, Porto de Mós already has a mural dedicated to the Fado singer, at Praça Arménio Marques, inaugurated on 29 May. The murals will be also placed in Toronto (Canada), Fall River and New Bradford (United Stated of America), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Praia (Cape Verde).
However, the entrepreneur also highlights another cultural aspect of the initiative, through Fado, performed by artists of local communities in the official language of that country.
“The plan is to make 25 murals with 25 songs and then release two albums, by local artists. For example, in Cape Verde [the song] will be interpreted by José Perdigão in Creole. Each mural will have its song in English and French”, explained.
After Canada, the next mural will be painted in Paris, by the Portuguese-French artist Nathalie Afonso, a work that will be accompanied by the song “Amália Aux Milles Reflets” performed by Mara Raposo, Portuguese-Canadian living in Montreal.
Within two years, the promoter hopes to have murals by Amalia in various corners of the world, such as Goa (India), Macau (China), Timor-Leste, other former Portuguese colonies and countries with great Portuguese communities.
This year remarks Amália Rodrigues’ 100th birthday.
The Fado singer has a special connection with the Portuguese community in Canada: the municipality of Toronto, in 1986, proclaimed 6 October as Amália’s Day, in that city, curiously the same day when the Fado singer would die in 1999.
The Canadian Government estimates that in Canada there are about 480 thousand Portuguese, in the Metropolitan Area of Montereal there are about 50 thousand Portuguese.