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      Ottawa welcomes a new Italian Centre

      Jan. 28, 2013

      On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, the Ottawa Italian community will be celebrating the opening of a new Centre that will aim to commemorate the achievements of the Italian community and to educate the greater population of those achievements.

      “The Italian Canadian Historical Centre is a research archival center. It will be a place for young people to come and learn about their community. It will be a place for university students and researchers to research the Italian community,” explains Josephine Palumbo, president of the National Capital District of the National Congress of Italian Canadians (NSIC).

      The Italian Canadian Historical Centre is found on the same grounds as Villa Marconi and the Marconi Centre (1026 Baseline Road) and houses an archival research center and an exhibition space. The project was completed in a remarkably short period of time. Construction started in May of last year and was completed just before Christmas. Raising the money, on the other hand, was a three-year venture.

      Initial funding came from the federal government’s Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP). When it was realized that additional funding was needed, the NCIC secured funding from both the Ontario government and the city of Ottawa.

      The Centre’s first exhibition, which will also open on January 29, will be Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: Italian Canadian Experiences During WWII, a national travelling exhibit that commemorates the experience of Italian Canadians during World War II. The exhibit will be at the Centre until April.

      Now that the Centre is up and running, Palumbo explains that the next steps will be to establish a staff, expand its archival collection, and to develop ongoing projects. The Centre will be run by a sub committee of the National Capital District of the NCIC.

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