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Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Inspirational Meeting and The Copa Award

About seven years ago I had a remarkable meeting in a restaurant in Gastown with Terry Costa, actor/director/promoter/liaison extraordinaire. We were there to talk about and plan the first ever portuguese Art Exhibition to be held in Vancouver. While discussing my various trips to Portugal, discussing vision, risk and overcoming odds, we got so inspired and motivated that we penned a poem together that was scribbled onto a napkin. Terry found the napkin recently and, as he was the presenter, read it at the Copa Awards in Toronto as the intro to my receiving a Copa Award for Art and Culture. It was also read at the beginning of the Portuguese Heritage Month Launch this past weekend in Vancouver . 

I just thought to share the poem here as the feedback reveals that it has impacted the people who've heard it. Perhaps here it may serve to encourage whoever may need to 'see' the distance in their present circumstances.  Even now, as then, pushing through barriers, pushing through self imposed limitations, facing unknowns, and pressing towards faith, is the order of the day. Knowing I'm being guided by an unseen hand, my heart can trust and my smile can reach my eyes and I'm happy.

Ode to the Distance

Let us bust out of boxes

No more self-imposed limitations.

Our ancestors were ruled by bravery;
Ruled by timidity we faint.

The religion of ‘I can’t’ and ‘That’s impossible’
must be challenged within.

We are no grasshoppers in a world of giants!

Invade the impossible
with tenacity, courage, love and sense of purpose.

Our culture is worth it

Our people deserve it!

Dare to dream again
Beyond your reach.

We must risk change.

Let us once again conquer the distance!

My COPA Acceptance Speech

Thank you Copa that you have chosen to include me, to celebrate me here tonight. This honor in particular means so much to me, because even though I've been here in Canada for so many years, I am portuguese to the core. A portuguese artistic dreamer who was mocked growing up and had a pretty hard time but with determination overcame. So I want to dedicate this award as an inspiration for all those portuguese who've had a hard time, to be proud of their roots, and work hard towards their dreams and to share their gifts with others. And they will make it!

And I want to thank my Mom and Dad, family and friends, for their love and support over the years. And I want to thank God for breathing in me the portuguese passion to live and create from the heart and for every opportunity and God winks afforded me in this great land.

And I wish to recognize the Portuguese Canadian National Congress, all you Copa members, Terry Costa, Paulino Nunes and Ana Almeida, and all the sponsors, and all you dear ladies and gentlemen gathered here, for your efforts in making this award possible. I'm very honored and grateful for the recognition of my accomplishments and hard work.

Thank you so much and God bless you all.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing that poem - I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to seeing/hearing more from you!