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      Italian Heritage Month 2017

       
      By
      Jun. 1, 2017

      For the first time in its seven-year lifespan, June is officially Italian Heritage Month across Canada!

      Although the status was technically only recognized in Ontario since 2010, over the years cities all across Canada have unofficially celebrated with various activities and events. Last month, on May 17, 2017, all that changed when the Canadian Parliament passed a motion to officially recognize June as Italian Heritage Month. Now, any and all Canadians of Italian heritage can officially celebrate.

      The organizers of Italian Heritage Month will officially mark the beginning of 30 days of celebration on Friday, June 2, at 11:00AM, with a flag raising ceremony in Queen’s Park in Toronto.

      Vancouver’s Italian Cultural Centre – or simply “Il Centro” – has a month of activities and events planned to celebrate Italian Heritage Month. Highlights include film screenings, culinary events, performances, classes, lectures and more. Festivities get underway on the evening of Friday, June 2 at the Centro (3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver) with a performance by Italian folk singer Eugenio Bennato and his band, followed by celebrations for La Festa della Repubblica. On Sunday, June 11, the annual “Italian Day on the Drive” runs from 12:00PM to 8:00PM on Commercial Drive, Vancouver’s original Little Italy. The street festival offers street entertainers, music, food, fashion, contests and more. For a complete program at Il Centro, visit https://italianculturalcentre.ca.

      The Italian Contemporary Film Festival first started as a Toronto-only event. It now hosts film screenings in Toronto, Vaughan, Vancouver, Hamilton, Montreal and Quebec City. The festival runs from June 8 to 16. For the complete film schedule, please visit www.icff.ca.

      The Association of Italian Canadian Writers is also getting in on the celebrations with a series of readings by Italian-Canadian writers and authors across Canada. “Books & Biscotti” events will be held in Montreal (June 8), Sudbury (June 10), Woodbridge (June 10 and 25), Ottawa (June 11), Toronto (June 24), and Vancouver (June 27). For details, please visit www.aicw.ca.

      In Ottawa, the 43rd annual Ottawa Italian Week Festival runs from June 8 to 18. One of the oldest and largest cultural festivals in Ottawa, this year’s program is focused on all things Italian, bringing in performers and artists from across Canada, the U.S. and Italy. The “Grand Finale Weekend” – June 16, 17 and 18 on Preston Street at the 417 Overpass – will feature free performances by Montreal Comedian Joe Cacchione, rockers Rio & the Rockabilly Revival, Italian singer Enrico Capuano & T-Rock, Italian-born classical tenor Michael Castaldo, Montreal singer/songwriter Marco Calliari, and many more. Visit www.italianweekottawa.ca for the complete schedule.

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