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     Sabatino Roncucci: Oral History Transcript Summary 

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Carlo & Lina 

Rudy & Rita 

Mary Biollo Doyle

Tony Falcone

Bill Nigro

 Sabatino Roncucci

Spinelli Family
Alessandro &
Lina Urso

Fiore M. Vecchio


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Sab Roncucci being interviewed by Adriana Albi Davies, 2002.   Photo by David Ridley of the Heritage Community Foundation.The discussion centred around Mr. Roncucci's emigration experience, community activities and philosophy of life.

  • Believes that, when people emigrate, they bring their cultural heritage with them; they need to be proud of this heritage but they also must integrate with their host country; they cannot live in a "cultural cocoon" based on the values they brought from their homeland; believes that many ethno cultural communities are "inward looking" and must be encouraged to share their heritage with all Canadians
  • His first involvement in education, as a recent emigrant who spoke English (he acquired this in his youth and it was further developed by service as a translator at the end of W.W. II for the 8th Army), was when he was asked to assist women who were applying for Canadian citizenship and did not speak English; he set up informal classes to do this; also made Citizenship court appearances with them; studied tailoring and fashion design during the day and English language in the evening
  • In 1961 was asked to serve on the Edmonton Citizenship Council and, in 1967, was involved in a study led by Dr. Hobart, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta to survey the Ukrainian and Italian communities to determine rural origin and educational background; determined that for both groups the mean level of education was grade 3+
  • Mr. Roncucci was a founder of the multiculturalism movement in Alberta and Canada; noted that the term began to be used in the early 70s but the notion arose earlier; in 1967, through the Folk Arts Council he choreographed a dance titled "Canadiana" for centenary celebrations; he believes that folkloristic dances are the most basic of cultural expressions and enable sharing between cultures; the dance began with First Nations, followed by voyageurs, English, Scots, Ukrainians and others; it was danced to a particularly western piece of music, Turkey in the Straw, and he wanted to demonstrate diversity and unity; it was performed on July 1st, Canada Day, in Ottawa and then was invited to perform it in Tunisia at the International Festival of Popular Arts (1971)

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