Celebrating Italian Heritage Month 2015

ihmp2015It’s Italian Heritage Month! Buona Festa!

June always has a buzz about it at our house: the weather is great, the garden is beginning to grow, there’s family celebrations everywhere plus weddings and baptisms. And it’s Italian Heritage Month which means a slew of events to celebrate, remember and share being Italian.

If you’ve never been out to an Italian event, I can assure you the food is good, it’s a bit loud and there will be some Nonni dancing somewhere, which is always fun to watch (and they’ll pull you in too!). Here’s where to start and a selection of upcoming events:

  • Check out the official Italian Heritage Month event calendar. Events launched on May 31 at Castello Italia (that’s Casa Loma in Toronto) and continue on everyday through out the city, province and country.
  • The Italian Contemporary Film Festival is on June 11-19. Roberto Benigni & Nicoletta Braschi (Life is Beautiful and other films) are in town!
  • Ready to eat? How about hitting up La Rose Italia Fest in Milton on June 7. Or the Taste of Little Italy June 19-21 in Toronto.
  • Out West? Get ready for June 14: Italian Day on the Drive in Vancouver.
  • If you’re an admirer of the arts: Books and Biscotti events, and Italian Family Story time, are on tap. Plus music and art shows (too many to list) all found on the events calendar listed above.
  • History buffs will want to get out to the Royal Ontario Museum as well where Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano is opening.

These are just a few ideas to get you going. From home you can get in on the action too. Scroll through my tours of a few Canadian Little Italy communities in TorontoMontreal and Ottawa. Or a visit to Pier 21 in Halifax, where many Italians entered Canada for the first time. In 2013 I was also invited to share my thoughts on being Italian Canadian on CHIN RADIO – have a listen.

On the blog, recipes will be on hold this month while we take a look at different views of Italy and being Italian: fun and easy reads to remind you, we’re not just about food!

By |12/06/2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

One year of An Italian-Canadian Life

It’s been one year of An Italian-Canadian Life blog and I’m asking you – should I continue?

Two years ago, I considered doing a blog about being Italian-Canadian. The reasoning was intensely personal (you can read about that here) but I put it off for quite a while since I work in the online content world, I didn’t want to do more of the same. Last year, I needed a change in my life, so I thought starting the blog might give me that. Launching An Italian-Canadian Life came with some rules though: I would post at least once a week, preferably twice, and I would do it for one year then decide if the project was successful enough to be worth continuing with. The error in my rules was that I didn’t set out what “success” would be defined as in one year, but truthfully, I had no idea what success should look like. Who says how many visitors to your site is a success? And who would have known how many other opportunities would have sprung up because of the blog?

So here’s my one year evaluation. I’m sharing it with you all as a means of openness but also for you to evaluate too – is the blog worth continuing?

Here’s what An Italian-Canadian Life has managed to do (as of today):
– attract 36,500+ views and 100+ comments
– publish 98 posts…99 in a couple of days
– be featured in print by Il Postino Canada, a monthly Italian-Canadian newspaper based in Ottawa
– be selected as one of Lidia Bastianich’s Favourite Bloggers
– be nominated for the Ninjamatics’ 2012 Canadian Weblog Awards
– get recipes featured on Foodgawker and TasteSpotting
– connect me with many like-minded Italian-Canadians/Australians/Americans and others around the world (Loving my new online family!)
– give me an excuse to document, measure, save and treasure my family’s traditions and recipes and learn new ones from other Italians

To be fair, I need to do a “con” list too. The blog has been a challenge to my time management – I had to learn how to fit in doing the writing I’ve wanted to do for this blog. When I cook or bake and want to take pictures along the way, it definitely lengthens the process (testing the patience of my mother, husband and guests!). Because I’ve been so enthusiastic about this blog, I have dedicated time to it which meant taking time away from finishing a university certificate I’ve been working on, and I’ve got an upcoming deadline for that certificate that is now a crunch.

Above all though, I’ve had an a year of fun with this, a year of learning and connecting with family, friends and new friends. I had no idea how much I would learn about being Italian and about connecting online personally. I had no idea how many people were looking for a turdilli recipe or a colluri recipe either, and I’ve been glad to give that to them. I also would have never guessed how many personal messages I would have received from readers thanking me for writing about An Italian-Canadian Life. It’s been a good year.

I’m leaning towards continuing with the blog, it’s probably just too much fun to give up, but I’m also open to suggestions, changes, ideas for the future. Let me know in the comments!


By |28/12/2012|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Auguri di Buon Anno Nuovo from the Muppets (and me!)

Happy New Year! It’s a time for new things, and for me a time to try a few new things out on this project of mine that is at least a few months old now for me (and years in the making). I’ll be adding recipes, more photos as the year goes on and, of course, lots to say about being Italian-Canadian. Join me on my blog or follow me on Twitter @ItalianCdnLife.

By |05/01/2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments