Celebrating Italian Heritage Month: June 2021

Italian Heritage Month 2021:  A message from Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Vancouver City Councillors

True to their Italian spirit, the community’s ‘Love-in-action’ response to postpone their celebration, epitomizes their culture and embodies this year’s theme of “LOVE-AMA” in every respect.

This year’s launch, which was scheduled for Italy’s 75th Independence Day on June 2, was postponed to June 18 out of respect to the members of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, upon the discovery of 215 children found buried on the site of the former Kamloops residential school. As a show of unity, the Italian community insisted that postponing the launch of Italian Heritage Month was the right and respectful thing to do.

Known to the Italian community as la Festa della Repubblica (Italian National Day), June 2, this video greeting from Mayor and Council was pre-recorded for the official launch and features images and footage from the City of Vancouver Archives and the Italian Day Festival Society.

Italian Heritage Month is an opportunity to honour the history, culture, and contributions of Italian-Canadians to the city of Vancouver. Traditionally, it has involved a month long series of events presented by Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre, the Italian Day Festival Society with its street festival ‘Italian Day on The Drive’, as well as other partner initiatives and collaborations.

What's happeningCelebrations

The celebrations will continue as the Italian Day Festival Society, Commercial Drive Business Society, and Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre collaborate to offer the theme of LOVE - AMA for Italian Heritage Month, and into the summer, to promote some much needed uplifting, feel good experiences. Stay tuned for the Italian Day LOVE - AMA music series, and other cultural events in the works with partners for the summer.

View the Italian Day Festival Society's launch of LOVE – AMA music video 

View the updates on the Italian Day Love – AMA music series   

View Il Centro’s online calendar  for more events. 

Italian Heritage Month exhibit

By City of Vancouver


  • Italian-Canadian’s Royal Welcome to the duke of Connaught, 1912

    By City of Vancouver

    Italian Canadians dedicate their archway at Homer and Hastings streets to the governor as a symbol of their loyalty to the Crown. 1912.

  • View looking north along Commercial Dr at 2nd Ave from an apartment on the southwest corner.

  • Employees in front of Duke's Grocery [1588] Commercial Dr, 1920.

  • L. Panichelli Shoe Repair Shop [at 2048 Commercial Dr].

  • Crystal Dairy Fleet [at 1803 Commercial Dr]

  • Exterior [of] Crystal Dairy Building [at 1803 Commercial Dr].

  • Army and Navy store and  Crystal Dairy Building [at 1803 Commercial Dr].

  • "Banchetto" 25 mo. Anniversario Fondazione Societa M.S.F.D'Italia Inc., Vancouver, B.C. January 8, 1930.

  • Federico’s circa 1920-1930s – Grandview Theatre on Commercial Dr.

  • Commercial Dr at 2nd Ave, August 24, 1954

  • Italian game "Bocce" takes place on Victoria Park, 1966

  • Italian-Canadians proud of new land. The Province, June 17, 1967

  • L’Italia di Vancouver – Magnifico. The Vancouver Sun, November, 1979

  • 1544 Commercial Drive. Current home to Kalena’s, circa 1978.

  • Construction of the Italian Cultural Centre with its iconic walls with lunette windows, 1977.

  • Volunteer workers, community leaders, elected officials and government representatives – all came together to create the Italian Cultural Centre, 1977.

  • The Italian Cultural Centre was created  to meet the cultural and social needs of the thriving Italian community in Vancouver and was built entirely by volunteers, 1977.

  • Italian Cultural and Recreational Centre’s Carnevale Italiano, The Vancouver Sun, 1978.

  • Italian Cultural and Recreational Centre’s Carnevale Italiano, The Vancouver Sun, 1978.

  • View of Commercial Drive and 1st Avenue looking east, 1978

  • Olivieri's Pasta Factory concession trailer on PNE grounds, 1980

  • Commercial Dr and 1st Ave, 1985

  • Italiana Coffee Bar on Commercial Drive and Kitchener, 1985

  • 10th anniversary program of the Italian Cultural Centre (Il Centro): A dream that’s history what’s next, 1977-1987

  • The Province: It’s Dolce Vita time as locals toast soccer win. The Province,July, 1982.****

  • Italian Days on the Drive - Mangia Bene!

  • Italian Days on the Drive – Ridi Spesso!

  • Italian Days on the Drive – Ama Molto!

  • Bringing together our diverse communities: Italian Days on the Drive, June, 2019.

The City of Vancouver acknowledges Italian Heritage Month as one of its Official Observances and Celebrations. The Italian community has been a part of Vancouver since before the city was incorporated in 1886. Today the Italian-Canadian community numbers over 90,000 people who proudly share their culture and embrace Vancouver’s diversity with wide open hearts. 

City of Vancouver Archives

Acquires, preserves, and makes available the records that tell the story of Vancouver and its people.