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      Canadians celebrate Italian Heritage Month

      Jun. 2, 2014

      In 2010, the Ontario legislature passed a bill to officially declare June “Italian Heritage Month.” Although the status is technically only recognized in Ontario, over the years, cities all across Canada have unofficially adopted the declaration. Today, there is an event, or two, or even three, in a city near you.

      The Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW) is hosting a nation-wide literary series called “Books and Biscotti.” Nine events will be held during Italian Heritage Month: Toronto on June 1 and 21, Montreal on June 4, Oshawa on June 8, Ottawa on June 13, Vancouver on June 17, Edmonton and Sarnia on June 22, and Halifax on June 28.

      Italocanadese will be participating in the Montreal edition of “Books and Biscotti” on Wednesday, June 4, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM at Librairie Pages & Co., 9250 Blvd Lacordaire, St-Leonard. The evening will feature readings by Rossana Bruzzone, Licia Canton, Agata De Santis, Connie McParland, and Michael Mirolla.

      For more details on “Books and Biscotti,” visit

      On Sunday, June 8, from noon until 8:00PM, Commercial Drive, Vancouver’s original Little Italy, will be the place to be with street entertainers, music, food, fashion, and contests. “Italian Day on the Drive” is a perfect outing for young and old. More details are available at

      The same is true for Montreal’s Little Italy. Boulevard St-Laurent, between St-Zotique and Jean Talon streets will turn into a street fair starting Friday, June 6 until Sunday, June 8. In Montreal, the festivities coincide with the city’s Formula Grand Prix Weekend. There are bound to be a few Ferrari and old Fiat 500 sightings throughout the weekend. For more details, visit

      Film buffs in Vancouver will have an opportunity to watch Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar winning film, La grande bellezza, on Sunday, June 10 at 7:00PM. The free screening will take place at Il Centro Italian Cultual Centre, located at 3075 Slocan Street.

      Daniela Nardi’s Espresso Manifesto will be hosting an evening that celebrates “Italian-Canadian, cross-cultural and cross-generational artists through three different arts and special personalities.” Salone di Cultura: Arts Now will take place on Thursday, June 12 at Toronto’s Rino Noto Photography Studio (1444 Dupont Street, Suite 21) and will feature the culinary talent of Massimo Bruno, the music of Daniela Nardi’s Espresso Manifesto and the photographic works of Rino Noto. Tickets cost $55.00 and can be purchased in advance at Tickets will also be available at the door.

      This year’s Italian Contemporary Film Festival will run from June 12 to 20 in five cities simultaneously – Toronto, Vaughan, Montreal, Quebec City and Hamilton. Now in its third year, the festival features both Italian and Italian-Canadians feature films, shorts and documentaries.

      The festival will open at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox with Giuseppe Tornatore’s drama The Best Offer. The film features Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland, Sylvia Hoeks and Jim Sturgess.

      The festival is organized by the Associazione Culturale L’Altra Italia, a non-profit organization that hosts year-round cultural events in the Toronto area. For the full line up, visit

      One should never miss the opportunity to hear Italian-Canadian poet Gianna Patriarca read from her work. On Thursday, June 19, folks in the Toronto area will have the opportunity to do so twice. Patriarca will be reading some of her works at 7:00PM at Toronto’s College Shaw Library (766 College Street). Earlier that same day, at 11:00AM, she will be participating in a panel discussion about the documentary film, Three Women, Adapting Lives, Adopting Lines, at the Toronto Public Library Downsview Branch (2793 Keele Strett). Joining her will be the film’s director Adriana Monti.

      There are countless more activities taking place during Italian Heritage Month. For a complete events listing, please visit

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