Since its inception, the Canadian Cypriot Federation has served as a link between Canada’s thriving diaspora of Cypriots and the island of Cyprus. The organisation advances the political, social, cultural, and educational goals of the Cypriot community in Canada while also being a resolute and uncompromising voice for justice and freedom in Cyprus

When was the Cypriot Federation of Canada first established?
“The Canadian Cypriot Federation (CCF) was established in 1984 and registered with the Canadian Federal Government as a non-profit corporation two years later. The Federation represents a significant number of Cypriot organisations across Canada, actively supporting activities that relate to the ethnic, communal, educational, and cultural aspects of our community.”

When did Cypriots first immigrate to Canada, and how has the community integrated into the country’s rich diversity of cultures while making contributions to society in a variety of fields?
“The majority of Greek Cypriots immigrated to Canada in the 1950s during the EOKA struggle and later after Turkey invaded the island in 1974. Today, the members of our community have successfully integrated into the nation’s rich diversity of cultures while making contributions to society in a variety of fields.

“However, due to Canada’s enormously diversified society, the Greek Cypriots believed that it was crucial to preserve, promote, and advance their culture and heritage in Canada as well as share their homeland’s rich culture with the larger Canadian community.

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“Our organisation has supported many Greek Cypriot families over the years, providing a strong sense of identity in a foreign country, while cementing relations between Cyprus and Canada. The Greek Orthodox faith is practised by our children, who also learn about our rituals and traditions as well as the value of preserving their ethnicity and national identity.”

How many Cypriots are there in Canada now?
“There are approximately thirty thousand Greek Cypriots residing in Canada now – although this figure may be higher. The CCF acts as a mother figure for the various Cypriot communities dispersed across Canada in places like Toronto, Ontario, Mississauga, Kitchener Waterloo, Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Saskatchewan.”

What are some of the initiatives the Federation has undertaken to further promote the Cypriot culture in Canada?
“A lot has been accomplished over the years, due to everyone’s efforts, dedication and commitment, contribution, personal sacrifices, and volunteerism to our organisation and to the Canadian society.

“The CCF has served as a pillar of support over the years by establishing Cypriot community centres, schools, and churches and by launching numerous initiatives through social programmes, cultural festivals, and historical event commemorations. The love of the Greek Cypriot diaspora for democracy, freedom, ideals, and values that have been passed down from generation to generation, have contributed to the mosaic and vitality of Canada’s multiculturalism and vibrant society and provide our youth with a positive and creative environment that encourages them to take pride in their heritage.”

How does the Federation support in fostering political awareness, as well as cultural traditions and customs?
“The CCF, like all other Cypriot communities of the diaspora, has been a steadfast opponent of Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of the island and is a powerful, unrelenting voice for justice and freedom in Cyprus. The Canadian Cypriot community supports a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem for all Cypriots.

“The CEC, a permanent residency category for those with skilled work experience in Canada, seeks to enhance the knowledge of the multicultural realities of the country, assuring equal opportunities for all Canadians regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, and ancestry. The Canadian Cypriot Federation successfully led the effort to include ‘Cyprus’ to the list of countries that indicate place of birth. This modification prevented Turkish Cypriots from registering as a separate ethnic unity since the northern part of Cyprus is not recognised as an independent state.

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“Along with its member organisations, Pomak (World Federation of Overseas Cypriots), Pseka (Justice for Cyprus) and Nepomak, a network uniting young Cypriots worldwide, the CCF actively promotes Cyprus’ distinct culture, traditions, and customs, especially to the younger generation. When our cultural legacy is passed down from generation to generation, it creates a sense of belonging, brings families together, and reinforces key values and beliefs. More importantly, it advances our primary goals of justice and freedom for all Cypriots in a nation to which we have strong emotional and historical ties.”