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Province of British Columbia

British Columbia (BC) has an area of 947.800 sq km and a population of 4 million inhabitants (4.4 per sq km). Its major industries are wood, forestry, agriculture, coal, ore (metals and others), tourism, high-technology and financial services.


The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, with a population of 311.902 inhabitants.


Azoreans in British Columbia:

The Portuguese community in British Columbia is dispersed. There are about 400 Azoreans working in an aluminium company in Kitimat. Their children are born and die there, and most of them don’t even know the city of Vancouver. In Osoyos, rich in floriculture, the Portuguese own farms, or work in canned goods factories.


At a political level, Azoreans are present mostly in municipal elections and in school boards. However, the community’s participation in politics is not very significant.


There is also a considerable distance and consequent lack of interest of the young-age groups towards Azorean social and cultural values.



This small and sophisticated seaside city is the vacation capital of Canada and the major tourist place in the Pacific Northwest. Victoria sits on the south tip of Vancouver Island and enjoys the best climate of Canada. This region is the sunniest spot of the province and the best of the country in terms of climate, environment and lifestyle. Victoria’s unique character is deeply rooted in its 150-year history – a history full of colourful people and fascinating tales. The city’s British colonial heritage is still present, but contemporary Victoria has its own flavour, unique in the Pacific Northwest. The city of Victoria is world known not only as the capital of British Columbia, but also as a world-renowned tourism destination. Victoria’s metropolitan area has 300.000 inhabitants, a cosmopolitan life, refined shopping, excellent nightlife and great cultural offerings.



The city of Vancouver is located in the southwest corner of Canada, in the Province of British Columbia, at about 49º latitude and 123 º longitude, next to the Pacific Ocean.


Archaeological findings show that the coastal Indians lived in Vancouver by 500 b.c. British naval captain George Vancouver explored the region in 1972. The city of Vancouver was founded as a sawmill settlement known   in 1870 as Granville. Later, in 1886, the city was incorporated and renamed after Captain Vancouver.


With a present population of approximately 560.000 inhabitants, Vancouver lies in a region with about 2 million people. Vancouver is the largest city in the province and the third largest in Canada. It occupies an area of 113 sq km. Vancouver is surrounded by water on three sides and next to coast range mountains, which rise abruptly to more than 1500 meters. Its climate is one of the mildest in Canada. Temperatures average varies between 3ºc in January and 18ºc in July. Vancouver’s average annual precipitation is approximately 1,219mm. Most rainfall occurs in winter.


The port of Vancouver is probably the world leader in terms of cereal exports. As the main western of Canada’s transcontinental highway and rail routes, Vancouver is the main city of western Canada, as well as one of the largest industrial centres of the country. The largest industries are wood and paper goods, naval construction, food industry, coal refinery, canned industry and metal production. A huge port located at 40km south is used to export coal and ore to Japan.


Vancouver is also a major touristic destination. In addition to its natural beauties and location, visitors can enjoy beautiful gardens and the world-famous Stanley-Park, one of the more than 180 city parks, and a combination of natural forest and parklands near the city centre.




In the city, 60% of the population is Portuguese. Kitimat is an industrial city, less than 50 years old, whose design was planned before construction.

The city of Kitimat has 11000 inhabitants. It’s known worldwide for production of aluminium, paper, methanol and ammonia, and presently contributes 11% of British Columbia’s GDP. The aluminium represents one-third of the region’s primary metals and one-third of British Columbia’s petrochemical manufacturing is developed in Kitimat.

The Kitimat Valley, with a population of over 35000, continues to attract world-scale industries, commercial services and retailers with global goals, many working with markets around the world.


The strategic advantages of the Kitimat Valley and the NW Transportation and trade Corridor are very important for export and import of goods. Nowadays, people and goods from all over the world arrive and departure from Kitimat through sea, air and land connections.


Kitimat’s three main industries

-         Alcan’s Kitimat Works, the only smelter of the Canadian West. It represents one-third of the province’s metal exportation.

-         Eurocan Pulp and Paper is the second largest paper producer in British Columbia.

-         Methanex Corporation is the only petrochemical industry in BC and represents one-third of petrochemical manufactures of BC.

Together, these three industries exported over 1 billion dollars.


The community is made up of an exceptional multi-cultural population, a large contingent of groups, clubs and organizations (over 160). At the beginning, Kitimat was a community of immigrants and today it maintains an unusual diversity of cultures and lifestyles. Approximately 15% of the local residents immigrated to Canada before 1961, 10% arrived the country between 1971 and 1991. People speak Arabics, Vietnamit and Welsh. Every year, during the month of February, a week of multi-culturalism takes place.     


Other information about Kitimat:

-         Built in 1953;

-         Total area 32 190ha;

-         Average annual temperature: 8.11ºC;

-         Rainy days: 198;

-         Snowy days: 37.



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