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     Edmonton:  Italian Pioneers

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Early Years

 World War I and
Interwar Period

World War II
and After

  Cultural Life


 Population Statistics


by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.

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  • Enrico Butti (Father and Son)-Enrico Butti senior came to Canada in 1912.  He was a trained steam engineer who had worked in the silk mills in northern Italy and had been involved in electrifying them. In the Crow's Nest Pass, he also was involved in mine electrification. He was senior electrician at the Bellevue Mine when the Hillcrest Mine explosion happened and was among the first to arrive at the scene and provide assistance. Enrico Butti junior was born in a small farming village on the River Piave in the province of Milan in November, 1904. He came to Canada when he was 12 years old in 1917 with his Mother and an older sister. His older sister died of cancer shortly after their arrival. Mother was born in Trieste and her Father had a store that sold silks; her Father died so her Mother moved to Rome. After Enrico Sr. was injured in an accident, the family moved to Edmonton, where he set up an electrical business at 106th Avenue, between 97th and 97th Streets; also had a boardinghouse. Enrico junior worked initially in the mines, and then owned his own electrical business as well as working for Palm Dairies. Enrico's son Peter is an electrical contractor; and Mrs. Myra Butti was the founding Director of the Dante Alighieri language school. 
  • Peter Caffaro pictured in 1988 with Emma and Professor Joe Pivato on his appointment as a Queen's Counsel.  Photo courtesy of Il Congresso newspaperCaffaro Family-Attilio Caffaro came from Italy and worked in Canmore in the mines. He played in the Elks Band established in 1923.  The Caffaros had three sons:  Peter, Paul and George.  Peter Caffaro received his Bachelor of Law degree in 1957 from the University of Alberta and was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 1958.  On November 20th, 1989, he was sworn in as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta, Criminal Division.  He was honorary Vice Consul of Italy in Edmonton from 1967 to 1982.  In 1988 he became a Queen's Council member.  He has been active not only in Edmonton's Italian community but also provincially and nationally in a range of professional and community organizations.  Read an Il Congresso article (in Italian) about the nomination of Peter Caffaro and his life.
  • Olivo Candido-He came to Canada in 1914 to Sault Ste. Marie, and married Emilia Muzzin. Olivo returned to Italy with his wife and family and was killed in World War I; she emigrated in 1919 and married Joe Peccori.
  • Robert Candido-Robert was the stepson of Joe Peccori, and went to school at the Lac La Biche convent from 1920-22. After that the Jesuit College on 128 Street and 114 Avenue. He set up Empire Marble and Tile Company.
  • Lorenzo Cantera-He went to the US with his brothers and worked in prospecting, painting, bricklaying and construction. Lorenzo came to Edmonton in 1912, and lived in the Rossdale Flats. Their grandson, Renaldo (Raymond) Cantera, was employed by the Edmonton Post Office for 51 years, and their daughter was married to Enrico Butti.
  • Frank Cappello-Frank was a cook and restaurant owner.
  • Frank Capello-Frank was a cook, who had two sons. He fought in the Canadian Army in Italy and was wounded. He was a cook in the old Shasta Café where the AGT Building is now. Frank married a Ukrainian girl and their daughter married an Edmonton Eskimo football player, and they operated the café in the Cromdale Hotel.
  • Nicola and Carlo Carlino-According to Enrico Butti, they were truckers.

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