From the Windsor Star, 2012

Happy Italian Heritage Month! (I just love that photo above from the Windsor Star from last year’s celebrations!)

In 2010, the Province of Ontario declared June Italian Heritage Month. Why? Well, Ontario is home to more than 1,350,000 Italian Canadians. Since the 1880s, the Italian Canadian community has made and continues to make significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the province. Since that declaration, a festa (party) has ensued for all of June across Ontario, but also across the country.

You can visit italianheritagecanada.ca for a listing of events, though there may be even more going on. There are multiple heritage day celebrations and Italian flag raising in cities across Ontario and even out in Vancouver. My favourite month-long event is the “Books and Biscotti” literary reading series. After the jump, I’ve made a list of my top celebrations to head out to in June. If you’re not in Ontario, or not in Canada, celebrate with us here at An Italian-Canadian Life. Try a recipe, share a photo, comment on a blog posting and discuss the many things there is to love about Italians and being Italian.

My top Italian Heritage Month picks:

Italian Literary Marathon, June 1 – Italian writers and poets are featured all day at Qspace.

Piazza Italia, June 9 – showcasing the best of Italian culture, cuisine, entertainment and fashion at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex (tickets required)

“Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: Italian Canadian Experiences during WWII”, June 1 – 30: this amazing touring exhibition in on all month at the Niagara Falls History Museum in collaboration with Columbus Centre.

A Snapshot of Tuscany, starting June 4 – part of a month long series of events and activities organized by the Bata Shoe Museum and the Isitituto Italiano di Cultura. It introduces the exhibit UNCONVENTIONAL PORTRAITS by Italian photographer Matteo Brogi, which looks at Italians and their relationship with their shoes!

“Italian Day on the Drive”-Vancouver, June 9 – a celebration of all that is Italian on Commercial Drive, Vancouver’s original Little Italy. Featuring food, entertainment, fashion and much more.

Taste of Little Italy College Street, June 14 – the Toronto street festival is back, with music, food and entertainment on College Street.

5th Annual Italian Walk of Fame Official Unveiling, June 15 – on College Street in Toronto

L’Altra Italia: Contemporary Italian Film Festival, June 26 to July 6  in Toronto

If you want a sense of what these festas are all about, check out my photos and video from last year’s Taste of Little Italy. I hope you make it out to a few events.

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