While immigrants from Italy contributed to the economy of
various Canadian communities, over the years, Italian-Canadians subtly influenced Canadian culture and lifeways. There is no concrete evidence for this but it can
be judged through the popularity of Italian
foodstuffs, restaurants and luxury items. As
well, the contributions of individuals of Italian descent
can be seen through the businesses that they have
established as well as contributions to the intellectual
life of the country, for example, Italian language schools,
university programs of study, and festivals.
As well, where a significant Italian presence has
remained in inner-city areas, Little Italies have become a
draw for visitors and community members alike. The buildings and streetscapes may resemble those of any
older city of Canada but the stores and restaurants are a
treasure trove of Italian products. Italy can be
tasted and seen. Other community buildings such as
churches and Italian cultural centres add to that sense of
the "foreign" in our own land. While in the
past redevelopment would have erased these remnants of the
past, it is now desirable to maintain the ethnocultural
flavour of our inner-city communities, as they undergo
revitilization through culture-based connections.
Little Italies can be found in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg,
Edmonton and Vancouver. Take a virtual tour of
The third wave of Italian immigration, beginning in the
1950s, saw a proliferation of Italian products in
Canada. Initially, small shopkeepers began to import
the goods that the recent immigrants could not do
without. Eventually, large wholesalers distributed
these products regionally and nationally. As well,
home-grown Canadian companies owned by immigrants and their
descendants began to produce the pasta, cheeses, salamis and
prosciuttos (cured hams) so much in demand. Thus,
there are two product streams-those coming from Italy and
promoted through the Italian Embassy in Ottawa and consular
offices across the country and goods made in Canada but
based on Italian traditions.
This is a
marked contrast to the early 1950s when Canadian
schoolchildren turned up their noses at our smelly sandwiches. Today, what grocery
store doesn't have on sale Italian salami, provolone, etc.?"¹
Italian food, as all ethnic food, is now the rage evidenced
by gourmet magazine recipes and the cooking channel on
television. It is not only Italian regional chefs who
talk about regional Italian cuisine but also their Canadian
counterparts in all regions of the country.
Italian societies also actively promote customs and
traditions from the homeland but adapted over the past 50
years of immigration history. Feast days and other
celebrations at community centres showcase these traditions
as well as Italian and multicultural festivals.
Though, as the remaining survivors of the 1960s-70s
immigration die, that first-hand link to Italy will be
gone. The question for Italian communities across
Canada is how to re-fashion community organizations
including the church so that they remain relevant to new
generations of Canadians with Italian ancestry. The
Government of Italy's promotion of the re-acquisition of
Italian citizenship and the growing power of the European
Economic Community has made Italy not only a family tourism
destination but also a place of work for those fluent in
Italian. As globalization continues, the Italian
language and roots will make Italian ancestry more and more
desirable and marketable.
Click on the image of the 'Italy Food Map' to read an article about
Italian thought on food and wine.
an external website to recipes from Dolce
Vita Wine & Cuisine
an external link to the Official Site of the Foods and Wines of Italy
- Italian Trade Commission of
Il Congresso Article: Heritage Languages
"The Heritage Languages in a Multicultural Society
(Present and Future)" was the theme of a conference held
at the Chateau Lacombe, Edmonton.
Il Congresso Article: Vittorio Facchin: Un
Pioniere Dell'Industria Leggera
Short bio of Vittorio Facchin. In 1965 he opened the first
pasta manufacturing plant in Edmonton "Pasta Roma".
Il Congresso Article: E' Nata l'Italian
In this article, the Frattin family history is told, from
the opening of their first bakery, in 1960, to the newly
opened "Italian Bakery III", including the thoughts of
Tony and Aurora Frattin on family and clientele.
Il Congresso Article: L'angolo dei buongustai
Recipes of appetizers.
Il Congresso Article: L'angolo dei boungostai
An Article with recipes for 2 types of fish: pike and
Il Congresso Article: Sceppa
This article looks at Sceppa, a restaurant opened by Ralph
Maio that becomes one of the best and most authentic
Italian restaurants in Edmonton.
Il Congresso Article: Successi Della Cucina e
Dei Vini Italiani Al Chateau Lake Louise
This article deals with the presentation of the Vino
Novello at the Chateau Lake Louise. The Vice Consul
Giovanni Bincoletto and 400 guests enjoy a typical Italian
supper and entertainment provided by the orchestra of
Louis Trono and the Appennini Dancers.
Il Congresso Article: Celebrata a Toronto la
Settiman a della Calabria in Canada
This article covers Celebration of the Calabria Week in
Toronto with the purpose to show the many aspects of the
Calabrese reality (culture, art, tourism).
Il Congresso Article: Prima Competizione
Annuale Vini Fatti in Casa
This article notifies the Italian community of the first
competition for home made wine, organized by Club Calabria
and held at Santa Maria Community Centre in 1987.
Il Congresso Article: Medaglia d'Oro per Gino
Mr Gino Antonello receives a medal & a diploma from the
Padova Chamber of Commerce that recognizes citizens of
Padova outside Italy that have made many achivements.