hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 22:02:34 Dec 15, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Note that this document was downloaded, and not saved because it was a duplicate of a previously captured version (16:12:30 Dec 8, 2010). HTTP headers presented here are from the original capture.
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia


      Home > Background > Alberta Overview > Early Years

     Alberta's Italian Community:  Early Years

Visit AlbertaSource!

   

Mines and
Railways  

Urban
Immigration

Ranching and
Agriculture

Heritage Trails presented by CKUA Radio Network.
The CPR built a
railway through the
Crowsnest Pass in 1897,
leading to major coal 
mining developments
in the region.

Click Here to Listen!
Download the Free Real Player!

 

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.

Construction on the High Level Bridge, a railway and vehicle bridge, in Edmonton, 1914.  Photo courtesy of City of Edmonton Archives.  As the west developed and immigration was encouraged by the Government of Canada, Alberta and British Columbia, interconnected as they were by geography and resources, became destinations. Work in mines was the lure but, frequently, after starting in the mines, Italian labourers moved to railway and road construction.  As well, they were drawn to a range of occupations in urban centres such as Edmonton and Calgary. Less frequently, they turned to homesteading. This was riskier and regular mine wages were attractive in spite of the dangers. This was important, since the initial motivation was to make money and return to their families in Italy. 

Alberta was a suitable place to remain and raise a family.  Shown is the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Lavorato.  Photo from the booklet Italians Settle in EdmontonIt soon became clear that Alberta was a suitable place to remain and raise a family. Some married couples came together and, increasingly, men either went to Italy to choose brides or proxy marriages were arranged for them. It was at this point that they began to exert an influence on the communities in which they lived. 

[back] [top]

Copyright © 2002 Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D. and The Heritage Community Foundation


Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on Italian Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved