About Luso

Luso is a charitable organization that provides a safe, supportive and caring environment for individuals & families living with physical and/or developmental disabilities.

We started out recognizing a community need
and have been growing ever since.

Our
Mission

We nurture and empower individuals living with disabilities to reach their potential.

Our
Vision

By leading our community in becoming the most inclusive, accessible and welcoming place possible.

Our
Actions

In everything we do, we Nurture, Empower and Celebrate.

Guiding Principles

Our Guiding Principles encompass our beliefs and values and guide our
organization in all circumstances. Learn more about them here.

History / Timeline

July 2003
Our organization began as ‘The Society of Portuguese Disabled Persons of Ontario’, with its roots in our local community.
June 2007
Our Support Centre in Toronto opens, expanding our reach and services to the GTA.
October 2012
Luso celebrated the grand opening of our Hamilton Support Centre.
October 2012
Respite Care program offering overnight support for families launches in Toronto.
May 2015
Volta, a community driven Walk / Run / Cycle / Ride fundraiser event launches.
July 2017
Our third Support Centre opens in Mississauga, serving the greater Peel community.
July 2017
Luso establishes a head office in Peel to oversee the organization’s strategy and growth.
August 2019
Our Residential Project kicks off, with a goal of building residential housing for aging adults with disabilities, as an alternative to assisted-living facilities.
August 2020
Luso hosts its first ever Virtual Fundraiser, in response to pandemic constraints and the need for support.

Board of Directors

We thank past and present Members of the Board of Directors for their personal commitment, hard work and the incredible value brought to our organization.

LCSS Board of Directors

  • President
    Jack A. Prazeres

    Jack Prazeres was a founding member of Luso Canadian Charitable Society in 2002 and is the current LCCS President.

    Jack is also the President of Senso Group Building Supplies and is a well known, respected businessman who has been associated with various professional and community boards, including the Peel Police Services Board, being a Trustee of the Bricklayers Pension Fund Local 1, a past President of Masonry Contractors Association of Toronto, a past President of the Portuguese Cultural Centre of Mississauga, a past Director of the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and a past Chair of the Carassauga Festival of Cultures.

    Recognized for his outstanding community commitment and positive impact, Jack has received many awards, including the Order of Portugal – Commendador, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship and the Recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award, just to name just a few.

  • Vice President
    Joe Botelho

    Joe Botelho has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011. In addition to being a Vice-President for the LCCS board, Joe is the President of the Luso Support Centre Hamilton Board of Directors, creating a strong link between our GTA and Hamilton Centres and the communities they serve. He is the President of Target Drywall & Acoustics and works tirelessly on Luso’s behalf.

  • Treasurer
    Manuel A. Alves (Tino)

    Manuel A. Alves (Tino) has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2019 and holds the position of Treasurer. Tino is a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) and President of ONIT Construction. He is well respected in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of construction with an array of high-profile municipal, public works and transportation project experience completed.

  • Secretary
    Dante DiGiovanni

    Dante DiGiovanni has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011 and holds the position of Secretary. Dante is the Owner and President of Blair Building Materials and has been involved with various construction and masonry boards such as TORBSA, Masonry Works Council of Ontario, Ontario Masonry Contractors Association and Ontario Masonry Design Awards Committee.

  • Director
    Alfredo Pita

    Alfredo Pita has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011. Alfredo is the Senior Advisory Manager with F. Silveira, Chartered Professional Accountants. In addition to his financial expertise, Alfredo brings to the Board his experiences with the Portuguese Cultural Centre of Mississauga and Carassauga Festival of Cultures.

  • Director
    Bernardino Ferreira

    Bernardino Ferreira has been a valued member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2014. Bernardino is the Vice-President of LiUNA! Local 183 and a strong contributor to the continued growth and success of Luso.

  • Director
    Cesar Bras

    Cesar Bras has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2019. Cesar is President of Top-Line Roofing & Sheet Metal.

  • Director
    Christine Rodrigues

    Christine Rodrigues has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2012. Christine is the Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of National Bank Independent Network and brings several years of financial sector experience to the Board. As the sister of a Luso participant, she is a strong advocate for the organization and provides a valued family perspective on the needs of persons living with disabilities.

  • Director
    Cristina Marques

    Cristina Marques has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2015. Cristina has served on numerous boards and committees at municipal, federal and educational levels, including the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, as well as the City of Toronto and Brampton Committees of Adjustments. She brings knowledge of adjudication, mediation and advocating in communities, including her experience as a board member for the Safehaven Project for Community Living.

  • Director
    David Mare

    David Mare has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2020. In addition, David is the President of the Luso Support Centre GTA Board of Directors. He is the General Manager at Senso Waste Management and a member of Ontario Waste Management Association.

  • Director
    Erminio Oliveri

    Erminio Oliveri has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011. He is well connected to the construction industry through his position at Brampton Brick.

  • Director
    Filipe Morgado

    Filipe Morgado has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2018. Filipe is the President of Legacy Masonry.

  • Director
    Fortunato Manvati

    Fortunato Manvati (Tuccio) has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2019. Tuccio is a Sergeant with Peel Regional Police and a highly regarded and active member of the community.

  • Director
    Frank Melo

    Frank Melo has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011. Frank is the President of J.T.M. Inc., providing consulting, contracting and maintenance expertise to co-operative housing and shelter/support operators. He has served as Director of Building Services for Mainstay Housing, the largest supportive housing provider in Ontario and as Asset Manager for City Park Co-Operative Apartments Inc.

  • Director
    Julio DeJesus

    Julio DeJesus has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society Board of Directors since 2012. He has more than 23 years in the financial sector holding executive positions at both CIBC and BMO with extensive experience managing market risk and providing some unique perspectives to risk, client relationships and project management.

  • Director
    Mario Nunes

    Mario Nunes has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2014. Mario is the Senior Technical Sales professional of ICI Masonry with Brampton Brick and has a civil engineering background.

  • Director
    Nelson Cidade

    Nelson Cidade has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2014. Nelson is a Business Representative from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 46 and provides valuable ongoing support for Luso and its families.

  • Director
    Otilia Prazeres

    Otilia Prazeres has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011. Otilia is the Controller of Senso Group and brings a sound financial background along with her past board experiences with the Portuguese Cultural Centre of Mississauga and Carassauga Festival of Cultures.

  • Director
    Rui Ramos

    Rui Ramos has been a member of the Board of Directors of Luso Canadian Charitable Society since 2011. A registered agent at RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Brokerage, Rui provides valuable market insights, perspectives and community awareness to the Board.

GTA Board of Directors

  • President
    David Mare
  • Vice President
    Jack Da Silva
  • Secretary / Treasurer
    Chantel Nascimento
  • Director
    Antonio Nunes
  • Director
    Jack A. Prazeres
  • Director
    Melanie Da Silva

Hamilton Board of Directors

  • President
    Joe Botelho
  • Vice President
    Fátima Custódio
  • Secretary
    Isabel Rodrigues
  • Treasurer
    John Carvalho
  • Hon. President
    Helena Medeiros

Honorary Presidents

  • Andrew Aideira Fonseca
  • Charles Sousa
  • Dra. Maria Amélia Paiva
  • Dra. Manuela Aguiar
  • Dra. Maria de Jesus Barroso
  • Dra. Ana Maria Teodoro Jorge
  • Frank S. Alvarez
  • Hon. Peter Fonseca
  • Jack Oliveira
  • Matthew Pinto
  • Sandra & Paula Almeida
  • Silverio Araujo
  • Matthew Pinto

Honorary Directors

  • Antonio Dionisio
  • John Dias
  • John Goncalves

Become a Sponsor

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Accessibility

Luso Canadian Charitable Society is committed to meeting its current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination and understands its obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Its accessibility standards and commitment to this excellence do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law. Accessible customer service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.