CIBPA maintains its Constitutional Objectives by;
- Supporting cultural, educational and charitable endeavors
- Representing the Italian Businesses and Professional Community of Windsor and Essex County on issues impacting the Italian Community and/or Community in general
- Providing a forum for networking amongst the Members of CIBPA and encouraging the transaction of business amongst members of CIBPA on a local, national and international level
- Soliciting and receiving donations, bequests, legacies and grants to establish and maintain a fund or funds
- Disburse all or part of the capital of the fund or funds and their income to carry out the objects of CIBPA.
CIBPA EVENTS & ACTIONS
Annual Awards of Excellence Gala for Professional and Business of the year awards
- Several Scholarship and Bursary Awards
- Charity Golf Classic
- Monthly General Dinner Meetings
- Guest Speakers at monthly meetings
- Networking session at monthly meeting
- Active in National Federation of CIBPA’s
- International Meeting
- Participation in/Comment on Civic Events
- Organize trade and cultural expositions involving Italian items
In 1961, a strike occurred at one of Windsor’s major employers, led by a small group of Italian-Canadians. The company, after the strike, issued a directive that no more Italians be hired. Dr. Frank Demarco, the company physician, decided that the discriminatory policy demanded a fight. He called a few of his Italian-Canadian friends who had established themselves in the business and professional sectors of Windsor and they met to organize their opposition to the company’s position. Once they successfully had the directive reversed, they realized that a vigilant organization made up of increasingly influential Italian-Canadians should be formed to fight discrimination against the Italian community. Out of necessity and for the fight against discrimination, the Windsor Italian Professional and Businessmen’s Association was born in 1962.
The first president was Roland Baldassi, an attorney who was blunt and to the point and who was widely respected for his openness and candor. His board of directors included Anthony Soda, Tony Valente, Tullio Meconi, Al Dottor, Frank Bernacchi and Angelo Zamparo. They forged ahead with the view that the best way to fight discrimination was to educate Windsor about Italian culture and earn the respect of the community at large. The WIPBA donated Italian books to the Windsor Library and they took the bold step of renting the Cleary Auditorium to host the North American debut of Windsor’s own Emilia Cundari after her triumphant performance at La Scala in Milan, Italy. They held an annual Roman Festival, which included a parade, complete with horse-drawn chariots. The WIPBA began organizing Civic Night, which was an evening of thanks to those individuals in elected and administrative office in Windsor and Essex County. Guest speakers included the Rt. Hon. John Turner, Stephen Lewis as the Ambassador to the United Nations, Jim Blanchard, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada and many more.
In 1988 Windsor helped form the National Federation of Canadian Italian Business and Professional Associations, which today has chapters in Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Windsor, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, with a chapter forming in Winnipeg. In 1995 the constitution of the WIPBA was changed to allow women members, in recognition of the fact that many Italian-Canadian women were making a significant mark on the business and professional sectors of Windsor and Essex County. In 2000, the constitution was again changed to name the organization the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association of Windsor to conform with the names of all the other chapters of the National Federation. The CIBPA of Windsor has been able to change with the times and is still here after more than 40 proud years, as a testament to those early founders of 1962.