|Italian Heritage Month poster designer, Anthony Pullano and Carassauga emcee, Tony Monaco|
In less than two centuries over 25 million Italians left their homeland in search of new opportunities. Considered the largest mass emigration of modern times by any ethnic group there are now 80 million direct descendants worldwide. Here in Canada 1.6 million people consider themselves to be of Italian origin and Italian is the third most spoken non-official language in the country. To pay tribute to this courageous and resilient group, the Legislature of the Province of Ontario passed Bill 103 into law in October 2010, forever declaring the entire month of June as Italian Heritage Month.
A milestone for the Italian community, the Italian Heritage Month has quickly gained momentum spreading across the country to include other provinces. Not only has it embraced all elements of this culture from music, film, literature, cuisine to folklore and pop culture, the event has also recognized historical figures, renowned present-day individuals including dynamic contributions made by Italian migrants. Capturing the essence of the Italian spirit, festivities have been held throughout the province with a large number concentrated right here in the GTA. Organized by various associations, mainly under the umbrellas of the National Congress of Italian Canadians and the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association, the last four years have been a cultural extravaganza for Italians and people of all backgrounds to enjoy. Noted events included flag raising ceremonies at Toronto and Vaughan City Hall as well as Queen’s Park, “Best in Italian Cinema” presented by the Italian Contemporary Film Festival and outdoor celebrations such as the Giovanni Caboto Picnic and MICBA Italian Heritage Street Festival. Some of the more gallant affairs were “Castello Italia” held at the breathtaking Casa Loma, Marconi Gala Dinner, Wines of PugliaTasting, AMICI Creative Art Show and various live performances by Banda dei Carabinieri. The Italian passion for sports was also celebrated with cycling at the Giro 2014 as well as gatherings for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Soccer. This year’s Italian Heritage Month continues with a wide variety of exciting events taking place throughout Ontario.
Carassauga's "Traditions of Italy"
May 22, 23 & 24
Considered the most exciting exhibition to appear at the annual Carassauga event, the Italian Pavilion was an extravaganza for lovers of this culture. Hosted by the Mississauga Italian Canadian Benevolent Association (MICBA) the 3 day festival featured traditional cuisine, music, artisinal works and dance.
|Helping my friends at Frankie Fettucine Food Truck|
|Emcee, Tony Monaco, Organizer Frank Trevisan, Emcee Laura Tonelli|
|Stella Ambler MP Mississauga South|
|Frankie Fettucine Truck|
|Organetto superstar, Claudio Santaluce|
|Mississauga South MP, Stella Ambler getting back to her Italian roots!|
There was no better place to kick-off Ontario’s Italian Heritage Month than at the beautiful Casa Loma in Toronto!! Referred to as “Castello Italia”, this is the most elegant and fun event celebrating Italian culture. Ferraris and Lamborghinis lined the driveway, amazing food was served by Cibo Wine Bar alongside a great assortment of wines while all were entertainment by Italian superstar, Arianna. The icing on the cake (or tiramisu, I should say!) was a special appearance by TFC soccer player, Sebastiano Giovinco which caused the crowd to go into a frenzy smile emoticon Congrats to my dear friend Fabio Gesufatto including Tanya Phillipps, Nick Di Donato and all other organizers who worked so tirelessly to put together such a successful event..AUGURI!!!
|Emcees Vincenzo Somma and Tony Monaco|
|Italian singer/actress Arianna|
|Minister Julian Fantino|
|Soccer sensation Sebastian Giovinco|
|Alessandra Piccolo with the Bersaglieri|
|Casa Loma, Toronto|
|Nick Di Donato, Liberty Entertainment|
|CBC anchor Suhanna Marchand, Tony Monaco and Fabio Gesufatto|
|Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca|
|Casa Loma Atrium|
|Violinist Daniele Monticelli|
|MPP Laura Albanese and MPP Mario Sergio|
|Laura Tonelli and Gabriella De Mito|
|CHIN Television personality, Andrea Trentadue|
|Jenny Arena and Arianna|
Vaughan Flag Raising
It was a double celebration when crowds gathered to kick-off the Italian Heritage Month of Ontario and help raise the Italian flag in tribute of Italy's Festa Della Reppublica. Organized by the National Congress of Italian Canadians - Toronto District, ceremonies held at Queen's Park and Vaughan City Hall observed the anniversary of the Italian Republic and acknowledged the important contributions made by Italians Canadians.
|Mayor and Members of Council with Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe Pastorelli|
|Anthony Pullano, Michael Tibollo, Tony Monaco|
|Councillors Sandra Yeung Racco, Rossana DeFrancesca|
|Soloist Christopher Dallo, Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco and Tony Monaco|
Italian Contemporary Film Festival
Showcasing the best in Italian cinema at selected Ontario and Quebec theatres was the much-anticipated Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF). Held June 11 -19 the renowned festival which is only in its fourth edition has grown leaps and bounds attracting a record-breaking audience of 29,000 people. Considered the largest of its kind and recognized internationally, the festival screens feature films, documentaries and shorts while commemorating noted individuals in the movie industry. On-hand to receive ICFF's People's Choice Award for best picture was "Noi E La Giulia" director, Edoardo Leo. Also in attendance were legendary actors Roberto Begnini and Nicoletta Braschi who were honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards at Toronto's Roy Thompson Hall.
|Joe, Tony, Fabio|
|John, Sonia and Fabio|