Tony Falcone has profiled the students of Italian
language-in 1973, the students were of Italian background and young immigrants. They did wonderful activities with them, for example, they staged Macchiavelli's
Mandragora and read Levi's Cristo Stopped at Eboli. By the time
he took over the course at Archbishop O'Leary, students who were the children of first generation
immigrants-did not know the language and few pursued Italian at the university level. The language instruction was created for the second generation but, subsequently, it
became accessible and of interest to all Albertans. By the 1990s, his classes
were 30% non-Italian, 30% children of mixed Italian/other
marriages, and 30% of Italian background on both sides.
Having Italian studies at the University of Alberta was an important milestone. Dr. Enrico Musacchio came from Italy in 1962 to teach the first Italian courses at the University. The majority of his first students were drawn from the community. The program grew beyond language courses to include Italian literature and culture. On Dr. Musacchio's retirement, Dr. Massimo Verdicchio heads the program. Dr. William Anselmi
is Associate Professor. The program also has linkages to Italy through the program at Cortona that is an outreach program of the University of Alberta. Established by Dr. Helenà Fracchia of the History Department (formerly Classics), it has been gaining visibility and appeal. She and her husband Dr. Maurizio Gualtieri were also responsible for popular archaeological digs, begun in the early 1980s at Rocca Gloriosa and other sites. It was also their dream to bring a major archaeological exhibit to the Provincial Museum of Alberta. This
came to fruition (without their involvement) in October, 2002 when
the exhibit Ancient Rome opened at the Museum, as a result of efforts by Director Dr. Bruce McGillivray and curated by Joel Christianson.
Some schools in the Edmonton Separate (Catholic)
School system provide instruction in the Italian language:
- St. Philip Elementary School-grades 1 to 6.
- St. Cecilia Junior High School-grades 7 to 9.
- St. Rose-grade 9
- Holy Cross-grade 9
- Sir John Thompson-grades 8 to 9
- Cardinal Leger-grades 7 to 9
- St. Joseph High School-grades 10 to 12
- St. Francis High School-grades 10 to 12
- Archbishop MacDonald High School-grades 10 to 12
- Archbishop O'Leary High School-grades 10 to 12
The University of
Alberta in Edmonton has instruction in the Italian language as well
as its culture.