italocanadese http://italocanadese.com Urban Italian Canadian Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:22:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – The Scopa Winners http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/16/montreals-italian-week-2017-the-scopa-winners/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/16/montreals-italian-week-2017-the-scopa-winners/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:21:44 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2855  ...continued]]> Montreal's Italian WeekMontreal’s Italian Week festivities wrapped up on Sunday in Little Italy and so did our fifth annual Scopa Tournament. Hosted by Italocanadese and the Order of the Sons of Italy Montreal, in collaboration with Italian Week, the tournament brought out an eclectic mix of players.

In the end, first time tournament participants Remo Scappaticci and Dominic Cusmano stood victorious. Cecilia Fazioni and Rosalba Stinziani came in a close second. In third place were Maria Tosti and Liliana Battista.

Order of the Sons of Italy Montreal president Joe Fratino and administrative secretary Sonia Faoro, along with Italocanadese.com founder and editor Agata De Santis, were on hand to present the winners with their medals.

Congratulations to all the participants! See you next year!

Montreal's Italian Week Montreal's Italian Week Montreal's Italian Week

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/16/montreals-italian-week-2017-the-scopa-winners/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Ten http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/13/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-ten/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/13/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-ten/#respond Sun, 13 Aug 2017 15:04:20 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2853  ...continued]]> Montreal's Italian WeekMother Nature is cooperating with Montreal’s Italian Week, and as a result, the last day of the festival is going to be a darling one.

The Maria-Auxiliatrice Parish in Rivière-des-Prairies ends its annual outdoor feast today with performances by circus artist David Fiset and Nunzio Tiano and the Millenium Orchestra, followed by fireworks at 10:00PM.

Dozens and dozens of kiosks continue to line up Little Italy (on Saint-Laurent Boulevard from Rue Jean Talon to Saint-Zotique) today from 1:00PM to 11:00PM.

On the Jean Talon Stage (corner St-Laurent Boulevard and Rue Jean Talon), comedian Joe Cacchione hosts the Best Cannoli Contest at 2:00PM. The jury will be: everyone’s favorite puppet Nonna Maria, CBC weatherman Frank Cavallaro, Antonio Giorgi from TLN, and chef Davide Bazzalli. After the content, pianist Giancarlo Scalia and soprano Sophie de Cruz will perform at 5:30PM, followed by The Maxwells at 7:30PM.

The 5th annual Scopa Tournament, hosted by Italocanadese and the Order of the Sons of Italy in Canada, wraps up today at 3:30PM with the semi-final round, followed at 4:30PM with the finals. In the evening, the Scopa Tent, on St-Laurent Boulevard between Belanger and Dante streets, is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to enjoy a friendly hand of scopa with friends or other festival goers.

Today is the last day to visit two art exhibits: Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre (8370 Boulevard Lacordaire, Saint-Leonard); and Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard) with Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo.

Montreal’s Italian Week will conclude with an outdoor opera at 9:00PM tonight, on the Mastro & San Daniele stage (corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Saint-Zotique). Cavalleria Rusticana will be conducted by Giancula Martinenghi. On stage, Caroline Bleau, Thomas McLeary, Alexandre Sylvestre, Marianne Lambert and Geneviève Lévesque will play their respective roles as Santuzza, Turiddu, Alfio, Lola and Lucia.

For the full line up of activities, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/13/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-ten/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Nine http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/12/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-nine/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/12/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-nine/#respond Sat, 12 Aug 2017 15:13:31 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2849  ...continued]]> Montreal's Italian WeekRain or shine, dozens and dozens of kiosks featuring culture, community, food and entertainment are lined up in Montreal’s Little Italy (on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, from Rue Jean Talon to Saint-Zotique), ready to greet thousands of festival goers for day nine of Montreal’s Italian Week.

The 5th annual Scopa Tournament, hosted by Italocanadese and the Order of the Sons of Italy in Canada, is set to start at 2:00PM today. In the evening, the Scopa Tent, on St-Laurent Boulevard between Belanger and Dante streets, is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to enjoy a friendly hand of scopa with friends or other festival goers. The Scopa Tournament finals will take place at 4:30PM tomorrow.

On the Jean Talon Stage (corner St-Laurent Boulevard and Rue Jean Talon), today’s line up will be: the Beavertails eating contest at 2:30PM, followed by singers Marco Sanelli (5:00PM), Franco Perrotta (6:00PM), and Mike Melino (7:00PM).

At 5:00PM today, at Galerie Erga (6394 Saint-Laurent Boulevard), the Association of Italian Canadian Writers hosts a series of literary readings by Licia Canton, Michaela Di Cesare, Connie Guzzo-McParland, Antonio Maggio and Christina Sforza.

Galerie Erga is also the venue for Sinergia 2017, an exhibit of works by eight Italian-Canadian: Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz. The exhibit is open today and tomorrow from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

Once again this year, the festival hosts its annual Moda Sotto le Stelle outdoor fashion show. The show starts at 9:30PM on the Mastro & San Daniele Stage (corner Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Saint-Zotique). This year, the show will feature the collections of Emy Armor, DUOMO, Maria Aricero, Mimmo Scali, Braccialini and Signor Terry, with music from DJ Fabio Russo.

Local folk singer Gianni Bodo will perform on the main stage at 8:00PM, just before the fashion show.

Montreal’s Italian Week runs until tomorrow, Sunday, August 13. For the full festival program, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/12/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-nine/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Eight http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/11/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-eight/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/11/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-eight/#respond Fri, 11 Aug 2017 17:28:14 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2846  ...continued]]> Fantasia Pura ItalianaThe 24th edition of Montreal’s Italian Week enters its final weekend with three days of festivities in Little Italy, on St-Laurent Boulevard between St-Zotique and Jean Talon streets. Tonight’s headliner is Italian band, Fantasia Pura Italiana, performing tonight at 9:30PM on the Mastro & San Daniele stage (corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Saint-Zotique). This is the band’s first performance in Montreal. Ragazzi del Jukebox will open the show at 8:00PM.

On the Jean Talon Stage (corner St-Laurent Boulevard), today’s line up will be: Marco Sanelli at 4:30PM, Dolceamare at 5:30PM, Marco Bocchiccio at 6:00PM, Gloria Polcari, Robert-Olivier Fragasso at 6:30PM, and finally Danyka Rose Bouche at 7:30PM.

Local folk singer Gianni Bodo will be on the main stage at 8:00PM tomorrow, Saturday, August 12, followed by the annual Moda Sotto le Stelle fashion show featuring Italian-Canadian designers.

The festival will conclude once again with the now famous outdoor opera on Sunday, August 13, at 9:00PM, on the Mastro & San Daniele stage. Cavalleria Rusticana will be conducted by Giancula Martinenghi. On stage, Caroline Bleau, Thomas McLeary, Alexandre Sylvestre, Marianne Lambert and Geneviève Lévesque will play their respective roles as Santuzza, Turiddu, Alfio, Lola and Lucia.

Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz continues at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre until Sunday. The exhibit is open daily from 1:00PM to 6:00PM. Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard) – also running until Sunday – features eight Italian-Canadian artists. The works of Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz will be on display daily from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

Amarrages sans frontières will once again offer guided tours of Little Italy. The tour will include stops at Casa d’Italia, Madonna della Difesa Church, and Dante Park. There will be a guided tour offered in French on August 12, at 2:00PM, and another in English on August 13 at 2:00PM. The cost is $22.00, with discounts for students, seniors, and children. Reservations are mandatory. Please call (514) 272-7049 to book a spot.

For a fifth year in a row, Italocanadese and the Order of the Sons of Italy in Canada, in collaboration with Montreal’s Italian Week, will host a Scopa tournament tomorrow and Sunday during the festivities in Little Italy. The Scopa Tent, on St-Laurent Boulevard between Belanger and Dante streets, opens today at 4:00PM, and will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00PM to 10:00PM. For folks who have not registered for the tournament, they will still have an opportunity to enjoy a friendly hand of scopa with friends or other festivalgoers.

Montreal’s Italian Week runs until Sunday, August 13. For the full festival program, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/11/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-eight/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Seven http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/10/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-seven/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/10/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-seven/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:57:17 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2842  ...continued]]> Marco CalliariJust before Montreal’s Italian Week sets up camp for its remaining three days in Little Italy, festival goers can enjoy a variety of events in different parts of the city.

The festivals’ spokesperson, local singer/songwriter Marco Calliari, will be at the Casa d’Italia (505 Rue Jean Talon Est) to perform an intimate concert featuring songs from his last album, One Night. The show starts at 8:00PM. Tickets are $20.00 and still available at the door.

Starting at 7:30PM tonight at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre (8370 Boulevard Lacordaire, Saint-Leonard), a lecture on “Frederick II: Empire, Culture and Poetry in Siciliy” will take place in the Centre’s Piccolo Theater. The presentation focuses on Sicily during the Middle Ages, and in particular on the cultural life of Emperor Frederick II’s court. By means of an itinerary of texts, images and music, the presentation will try to underline the multicultural character of Frederick’s court, which gathered chancellors, lawyers, poets and painters of Arabic, Sicilian, Latin and Provencal descent in a political project addressed to the entire Mediterranean world. Admission is free.

Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz continues at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre until August 13. The exhibit is open daily from 1:00PM to 6:00PM.

At Parc Wilfrid-Bastien in Saint-Leonard, spectateurs can enjoy a free outdoor show by comedian Joe Cacchione at 7:30PM, Superfantastico at 8:00PM, and finally Ragazzi del Jukebox at 9:00PM. Also on site will be an exhibit of Fiat 500 cars.

Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard) – also running until August 13 – features eight Italian-Canadian artists. The works of Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz are on display daily from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

For a fifth year in a row, Italocanadese and the Order of the Sons of Italy in Canada, in collaboration with Montreal’s Italian Week, will host a Scopa tournament on August 12 and 13 during the festivities in Little Italy. The Scopa Tent, on St-Laurent Boulevard between Belanger and Dante streets, will be open August 11, from 4:00PM to 10:00PM and August 12 and 13 from 1:00PM to 10:00PM. For folks who have not registered for the tournament, they will still have an opportunity to enjoy a friendly hand of scopa with friends or other festivalgoers.

Montreal’s Italian Week runs until Sunday, August 13. For the full festival program, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/10/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-seven/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Six http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/09/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-six/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/09/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-six/#respond Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:47:02 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2837  ...continued]]> Immigrant "Landed"Tonight at 7:00PM, the Casa d’Italia (505 Rue Jean Talon Est) hosts an evening celebrating stories of il viaggio. The event features readings by Club Voci Migranti della Casa d’Italia, Connie Guzzo-McParland, Licia Canton, Marisa De Franceschi, Liana Cusmano, and Christina Sforza; the premiere of Agata De Santis’ short documentary film, Immigrant “Landed”; and paintings by Giovanni Angeloro. Admission is free and open to all.

Festival goers have two Italian films screening to choose from this evening: Malamuri by Federico Maio (Italian only) at Casa d’Italia; and Dominique Corti’s Un cammino per la vita (with English subtitles) at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre (8370 Boulevard Lacordaire, Saint-Leonard). Both screenings start at 7:00PM and are free of charge.

Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz continues at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre until August 13. The exhibit is open daily from 1:00PM to 6:00PM. Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard) – also running until August 13 – features eight Italian-Canadian artists. The works of Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz will be on display Monday to Wednesday from 10:00AM to 6:00PM, and Thursday to Sunday from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

Tickets are still available for tomorrow evening’s special performance by local singer/songwriter Marco Calliari at the Casa d’Italia. Calliari will perform songs from his latest album, One Night. The show starts at 8:00PM. For more details, please call (514) 279-6357.

Montreal’s Italian Week runs until Sunday, August 13. For the full festival program, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/09/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-six/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Four http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/07/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-four/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/07/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-four/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:34:02 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2835  ...continued]]> On day four of Montreal’s Italian Week we’ve got films, art and cars.

A parade of Fiat 500’s are heading to the Dufresne-Nincheri Museum in east end Montreal! At 7:00PM tonight, the museum (2929 Avenue Jeanne-d’Arc, Montreal) will present a conference on the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500. “The 500 – The big little car that has helped Italians grow” presentation will be led by Professor Erika Papagni, the Canadian coordinator for Fiat 500 Club Italia.

Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz continues at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre (8370 Boulevard Lacordaire, Saint-Leonard) until August 13. The exhibit is open daily from 1:00PM to 6:00PM. Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard) – also running until August 13 – features eight Italian-Canadian artists. The works of Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz will be on display Monday to Wednesday from 10:00AM to 6:00PM, and Thursday to Sunday from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

Three Italian films screen this evening: Emanuele Crialese’s Respiro (with French subtitles) at Casa d’Italia; the infamous Cinema Paradiso (with English subtitles) at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre; and Un cammino per la vita (with English subtitles) at downtown’s McCord Museum (690 Sherbrooke Street. All the screenings start at 7:00PM and are free of charge.

Montreal’s Italian Week runs until Sunday, August 13. For the full festival program, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/07/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-four/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Day Three http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/06/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-three/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/06/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-three/#respond Sun, 06 Aug 2017 15:48:44 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2831  ...continued]]> Guido GrassoOn day three of Montreal’s Italian Week, the festival makes a pit stop in Laval – a first in it’s 24-year history.

From 2:00PM to 8:00PM at Lausanne Park (425 rue de Lausanne), festival goers can enjoy an exhibit of Fiat 500 cars, food kiosks, and games for the little ones. Performers will take the stage all day long, starting with the Orchestre d’Harmonie Leonardo da Vinci at 2:00PM, followed by Starfest (3:00PM), singers Gloria Polcari. Sandrine Fragasso, and Robert- Olivier Fragasso (4:00PM), and VAN and Marco Bocchicchio (5:00PM). Comedy will take center stage at 6:00PM with stand up from Gino Durante , Guido Grasso and Pino Pirillo. Singer Mike Melino will headline the day’s entertainment with a performance at 7:00PM.

If art is what you’re in the mood for today, the festival offers two free exhibitions. Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz runs at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre (8370 Boulevard Lacordaire, Saint-Leonard) until August 13. The exhibit is open daily from 1:00PM to 6:00PM. Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard) – also running until August 13 – features eight Italian-Canadian artists. The works of Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz will be on display Monday to Wednesday from 10:00AM to 6:00PM, and Thursday to Sunday from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

Two Italian films will screen this evening. Il Gattopardo by director Luchino Visconti will screen at Casa d’Italia. Emanuele Crialese’s Respiro will show at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre. Both screenings start at 7:00PM and are free of charge.

For the full festival program, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/06/montreals-italian-week-2017-day-three/feed/ 0
Montreal’s Italian Week 2017 – Preview http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/03/montreals-italian-week-2017-preview/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/03/montreals-italian-week-2017-preview/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:00:29 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2826  ...continued]]> Montreal's Italian WeekStarting tomorrow (August 4, 2017) and for the next ten days, Montrealers will be celebrating all things Italian. The 24th edition of Montreal’s Italian Week will take place in various neighborhoods and feature music, film, art, culture and food.

For the first time in its history, the festival will make a stop at Laval’s Lausanne Park (425 rue de Lausanne) on Sunday, August 6, from 2:00PM to 8:00PM. The festivities will include games for the kids, food kiosks, and an exhibit of Fiat 500 cars. Performers on hand will include comedians Gino Durante, Guido Grasso, Pino Pirillo and singer Mike Melino.

Italian Week will also make stops at NDG’s Georges-Saint-Pierre Park on August 5, Ouellette Park in LaSalle on August 8, and Wilfrid-Bastien Park in St-Leonard on August 10.

Montreal's Italian WeekFree film screenings will run nightly from August 4 to 11 at both the Leonardo da Vinci Centre (8370 boul. Lacordaire) and Casa d’Italia (505 Rue Jean Talon est).

An evening celebrating stories of “il viaggio” will take place at the Casa d’Italia on Wednesday, August 9. The evening will feature literary readings by by Club Voci Migranti della Casa d’Italia, Connie Guzzo-McParland, Licia Canton, Marisa De Franceschi, Liana Cusmano, and Christina Sforza; Agata De Santis’ short documentary film, Immigrant “Landed”; and an exhibit of paintings by Giovanni Angeloro. Admission is free and open to all. Doors open at 6:30PM. Readings will start at 7:00PM.

Local singer/songwriter Marco Calliari returns to Italian Week with a special performance at the Casa d’Italia on Thursday, August 10, 2017. For tickets, please call 514-279-6357.

This year, festivalgoers can visit two art exhibits. Wonders of Sicily by photographer Paolo Ruiz will run at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre from August 3 to 13. Eight artists will be featured in an exhibit titled Sinergia 2017 at Erga Gallery (6394 St-Laurent Boulevard). The works of Giovanni Angeloro, Faustina A. Bilotta, Frank Caracciolo, Domenico Antonio Di Guglielmo, Ida Marinaro Fanzolato, Alfonso Fiengo, Gianni Giuliano, and Paolo Ruiz will be on display Monday to Wednesday from 10:00AM to 6:00PM, and Thursday to Sunday from 10:00AM to 10:00PM. Both exhibits are free of charge.

Amarrages sans frontières will once again offer guided tours of Little Italy. The tour will include stops at Casa d’Italia, Madonna della Difesa Church, and Dante Park. There will be a guided tour offered in French on August 12, at 2:00PM, and another in English on August 13 at 2:00PM. The cost is $22.00, with discounts for students, seniors, and children. Reservations are mandatory. Please call (514) 272-7049 to book a spot.

The festival will end with a three-day street event in Montreal’s Little Italy. Highlights include a performance by Italian band, Fantasia Pura Italiana, at 9:30PM, on Friday, August 11; local folk singer Gianni Bodo on the main stage at 8:00PM on Saturday, August 12; followed by the annual Moda Sotto le Stelle fashion show featuring Italian-Canadian designers.

For a fifth year in a row, Italocanadese and the Order of the Sons of Italy in Canada, in collaboration with Montreal’s Italian Week, will host a Scopa tournament on August 12 and 13 during the festivities in Little Italy. The Scopa Tent, on St-Laurent Boulevard between Belanger and Dante streets, will be open August 11, from 4:00PM to 10:00PM, and August 12 and 13, from 1:00PM to 10:00PM. For folks who have not registered for the tournament, they will still have an opportunity to enjoy a friendly hand of scopa with friends or other festivalgoers.

Montreal’s Italian Week will conclude once again with the now famous outdoor opera on Sunday, August 13, at 9:00PM, on the Mastro & San Daniele stage (corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Saint-Zotique). Cavalleria Rusticana will be conducted by Giancula Martinenghi. On stage, Caroline Bleau, Thomas McLeary, Alexandre Sylvestre, Marianne Lambert and Geneviève Lévesque will play their respective roles as Santuzza, Turiddu, Alfio, Lola and Lucia.

For the full line of activities, please visit www.italianweek.ca.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/08/03/montreals-italian-week-2017-preview/feed/ 0
Un Momento with Connie Guzzo-McParland http://italocanadese.com/2017/07/25/un-momento-with-connie-guzzo-mcparland/ http://italocanadese.com/2017/07/25/un-momento-with-connie-guzzo-mcparland/#respond Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:12:42 +0000 http://italocanadese.com/?p=2821  ...continued]]> Connie Guzzo-McParland
Connie Guzzo-McParland has taken the Canadian literary scene by storm this season with her newest novel, The Women of Saturn. It continues the coming of age story of the main character, Cathy, from her previous smash hit, The Girls of Piazza d’Amore. Set in 1980 Montreal, The Women of Saturn, is a rich novel full of the struggles between past and present told through a powerful and enlightening female lens. Connie is also the Publisher and Chief Administrative Officer of one of the top presses in Canada, Guernica Editions. She is definably an author to watch.

How were you inspired to write your newest book?

This book was part of a first work which eventually got divided into two novels, The Girls of Piazza D’Amore published in 2013 and the Women of Saturn, recently published. Being a first novel, it was inspired by my desire to preserve, through writing, some of my Italian childhood memories, the ocean voyage to Halifax in 1957 and the first years in Montreal. Once I decided to fictionalize these memories and write a novel, I set the story in Montreal in more recent times to show how one’s past can impinge on the present. Also, I wanted to chronicle the emigration wave of the after-war period in Italy which I felt has not been adequately represented in Canadian novels. As the story developed, I was inspired to bring up issues of importance to Italian Canadians like me living in a multicultural city like Montreal.

Why did you return to same characters of your first novel?

The first novel, The Girls of Piazza D’Amore, was completely set in Italy, and recreated the mood of a Calabrian village of the 50s – the period that saw thousands of Southern Italians leave their homes for the great adventure of the ocean voyage and life in places that they knew very little about. The novel is told from the perspective of a young girl, Caterina, and this gave me the opportunity to put on paper some of the images I carried in my head and the sense of high, maybe even naïve, expectations that we had as we left the old for the new. The novel ends with the young narrator, her family and a neighbour Lucia, who had married someone by proxy in Montreal, on a train on their way to Naples to board the boat, the Saturnia, for Halifax. But their stories don’t end there. In fact, that ending is the beginning of the new novel. I wanted to show how the hopes and aspirations of these characters fared in the new country twenty-five years later and how each generation was affected by the process of emigration. Lucia is the first generation who emigrates as an adult and does not adapt well in the new country. In the new novel, I introduce a new character, Angie, who is Lucia’s daughter and represents the second generation, born in Canada and disconnected with the traditions of the past, while Caterina who is Cathy in the new novel is the middle generation, with feet in both worlds. I hope that the struggle of these three characters are read as being universal, that many who have gone through the immigrant experience themselves or through families, no matter from what country, can see themselves in them.

Was it hard to write a novel set in the past while living is such a technological modern age?

Strangely enough, the stories set in the past were the easiest to write because I drew from real memories. The 1980 Montreal present, which is highly fictionalized was harder. I wrote the two parts in very different tones, unconsciously at first, and then I realized that there was a logic to it. The past stories have an easy flow and an evocative tone because told from a young girl who has happy personal memories of the past even though she does not shy away to also chronicle some of the more negative aspects of living in a tightly-knit Calabrian village of that period. The present is jittery, fragmented and reflects the adult Cathy’s state of mind. It starts with Cathy, getting ready to go to work in a school. She’s paralyzed in front of her mirror. She feels uncomfortable in her own skin, her clothes “hug and pull”. Being the middle generation, she’s pulled from different directions. In the first chapter, we also learn that her friend, Lucia, has been found beaten and is in a coma. Lucia’s daughter is a troubled student in Cathy’s class, and Cathy feels compelled to help her out, though her presence in her life becomes problematic. In dealing with the drama that follows Lucia’s beating, Cathy revisits the past and wants to write their stories, so she can make sense of what is going on. She becomes conflicted exactly by the question that you pose. She has been conditioned by the Italian literary traditions that she brought with her, exemplified by the classic novel, I Promessi Sposi, by Alessandro Manzoni that she reads on the boat. She’s now trying to write in a post-modern world. How do you reconcile the two? These issues are raised through a correspondence with a journalist friend that she has tried to impress with her writing. The novel is as much about the writing of the immigrant experience as it is about living it. In the end, the narrator concludes that “the closing of the circle may be an unrealizable chimera in our days.”

Why do you think the telling of the immigrant experience is still important today?

It is still important today because we are living in a period when the mass forced movement of people is still going on. The nightly news brings into our homes tragic images of the bombed-out cities in Syria, of the famine stricken countries in Africa and the thousands of refugees risking their lives in the waters of the Mediterranean. It may be the turn of other nations and other people, but “the story of emigration never ends.”

How does your novel give voice to the lives of women and their stories?

I like to think that the novel also speaks for the men in the women’s lives, even though the focus is on the three women, Cathy, Lucia and Angie. Lucia is in a coma throughout the novel and does not have a voice. Angie is a disenfranchised teen, a special education student who can’t read nor write and who can only express herself through acts of rebellion towards conventions. The journalist tells Cathy that these two women are tragic figures, Lucia is without a future; Angie without a past. Cathy does not only want to write their stories but becomes obsessed about wanting to find a happy ending so as to prove the journalist wrong. In telling Lucia’s story, she hopes to show that the comatose lifeless woman she has become was once a beautiful young woman with a sparkling personality and, most importantly a history. In so doing, Cathy hopes to speak for the countless immigrant women “ who scamper out of buses on their way home from factories around Chabanel Street. In drab clothes, and with no hint of make-up, nondescript, invisible.” These women all have histories behind them that are worth telling. Subconsciously, Cathy also sees parts of herself in the two women and in giving voice to their stories she hopes to fill a void, ease the insecurities that plague her and find the sense of community, identity and wholeness she’s searching.

So much has been written about the mafia in Italian North American culture. Was this difficult to write about?

I never meant to have the mafia as a central theme of my novel. In bringing it up, I wanted to show that the reputation of thousands of ordinary Italian Canadians should not be affected by the actions of a few individuals in the community. While deploring the actions of those individuals, the novel aims to bring up the issue of stereotyping and cultural profiling in the media. There are rumours that Lucia’s family has connection to some Montreal mafia characters. Cathy’s live-in-boyfriend works in politics and wants to run as a candidate in a byelection, and wants Cathy to cut her ties with Lucia and Angie for fear that the association will harm his chances of being elected. Cathy, on the other hand, argues that she and her family have nothing to hide and thus out of loyalty to her friend, takes Angie into her home while Lucia is hospitalized. “Are we guilty” she asks “only because we come from the same village or because we’re Italian?” Cases of collusion and corruption in the construction industry have made big news in the last few years in Montreal, so writing about it did not require much imagination.

What is your writing routine?

I unfortunately have not developed a very consistent writing routine. I started writing late in life while still running a business and raising a family, so I wrote in snatches, whenever I found the time, mostly on week-ends. However, I have developed some preferences. I like writing early in the morning when the mind is fresh, rarely later that 11:00-12:00, unless I have a revision dateline to meet. In the afternoon, I generally look after business and personal matters. Sometimes, later in the evening, I reread what I’ve written in the morning, but most of the time, I don’t seem to find much inspiration to write anything new. My mind is too boggled down by quotidian events.

How does your Italian background influence your writing?

I frequented three and half years of elementary school in Italy and still remember the memorization of poetry by Pascoli, Carducci, Leopardi and the writing of De Amicis. Later in Canada I studied classic Italian literature, such as Foscoli, Manzoni, Verga, Pirandello. My father was a musician and I grew up listening to arias of the great Italian operas, not to speak of all the Italian pop songs I listened to and Italian movies I watched. I’m sure that exposure to Italian sensibility in these various art forms must be reflected in my writing. I also do not shy away from using Italian words and expressions when their corresponding ones in English would not have the same full meaning and effect.

What advice do you have for young writers trying to write about powerful issues and emotions?

I may not be the best person to give advice to other writers. There are, of course, different type of writers, those that express eloquently in words their deepest and most heartfelt feelings and emotions as they occur, and those who like me simply tell a story as it happens and let readers read in between the lines. I like to show feelings by the actions of the characters or the details and anecdotes I select which can be read as metaphors for emotions. Having great language skill helps in the first case; being a keen observer of people and places is the key to the second. Having both skills is obviously best.

What are you working on now and will there be a sequel to this novel?

Soon after the launch of my novel I traveled to Italy to participate in a seminar on Italian Diaspora, and so have had little time to write. However, the seminar gave me some new inspirations to develop a couple of emigration stories that I only summarily mentioned in my novel: the internal emigration of Italian men in the northern Italian cities, and the early 19th century emigration wave to North Africa which is very little known. I’d like to research these phenomenons, but I don’t yet know if it will develop into a fiction or creative non-fiction book. I have also started writing a biography of a well-known and talented musical family in Montreal, but it’s still at a very early stage. I have a children’s story written a while ago I’d like to publish. There’s no lack of projects, only too little time.

]]>
http://italocanadese.com/2017/07/25/un-momento-with-connie-guzzo-mcparland/feed/ 0