Entertainment and Attraction Highlights 2016

With three separate stages, DJ tents and mini stage at 3rd Avenue Little Italy piazza attraction, Italian Day is packed with entertainment from one end of The Drive to the other, including roaming street performers. Highlight performances will include showman, Federico Fuoco and internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter, Carmelina Cupo on the 2nd Ave Main Stage, as well as a fashion show with styles direct from Europe, courtesy of downtown Vancouver boutique Vetrina, paired with shoes & accessories provided by Kalena’s.

On the Grant Street Stage, programming curated by Il Centro (Italian Culture Centre) will include jazz, theatre and opera highlights, including Vancouver City Opera and the Vancouver Opera companies, while the Cory Weeds Quartet jazzes it up Italian style.


On the Grandview Amphitheatre Stage, tune in for youth themes with improv theatre from Theatre Temp (Templeton High School), the Langley Ukulele ensemble as well as entertainment ranging from Italian folk choirs and dance groups, to latin and Italian beats with Luna Rossa and Lou Marocco, to contests and more.

Interactive Activities
Don’t miss all the fun – this year’s Italian Day offers something for the whole family with human foosball games, courtesy of BMO and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, as well as bicycle polo, crafts throughout the street, Il Centro’s Kid’s zone and ICSF Radar Gun Soccer Kick in the park, garden and food themes at Vancity Piazza (7th Ave), classic vehicle exhibits featuring vintage cars and motorcycles, including a 1957 Transit Bus which used to service Victoria Drive, new Ducatis and Fiats, Car2Go and more.

The street will also offer over 20 restaurant patios, La Grotta Del Formaggio cooking demos at 4th Ave piazza, and several other piazza style attractions, including a Little Italy consortium at 3rd Avenue led by the Consulate General of Italy Vancouver. Don’t be surprised if costumed Carnevale street performers join you!

Piazza Attractions
New to this year’s event, there will be several Piazza-style attractions from Venables to the Grandview Cut, where attendees can sit and enjoy the atmosphere and energy of the day, indulging favourite Italian bites, drinks, music and conversations.

Grandview Park Piazza will feature Cioffi’s Deli, Il Centro Kids Zone, Radar Gun Soccer Kick, Amphitheatre stage for entertainment, Bike Polo at Tennis Courts, and a Water Truck for free water.

At Napier Greenway Piazza, enjoy Parmigiano wheel cracking and sampling from Choices Market, Brittania Community Centre crafts (pasta jewellery), food vendors, and Opera singers.

Parker Piazza will have Italian food galore, with offerings from Cibo, Uva, and Nonna’s table, free salami samplings from Mastro & San Daniele, and Jack FM will be on site to bring on the party with Italian tunes.

Car2Go’s Graveley Piazza is a special activation for Car2Go members, featuring an on-site chef, food, lounge, and DJ.

Our Little Italy Piazza, on 3rd Ave, is a consortium led by the Consulate General of Italy Vancouver which includes partners: the Italian Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Education who are sending cooking school delegates (from Italy), and Il Centro (Italian Cultural Centre) – highlighting language, culture and agri-product conversations. Piazza will include a mini-stage with Opera and other performances on the hour, as well as lifestyle references through the love of motorcycles and cars with Ducati and Fiat products.

La Grotta Del Formaggio Piazza, on 4th Ave, is presenting live demonstrations on sausage making and quick Italian meals, and will include other food vending such as a pig roast (pulled pork), arancini, and other packaged retail products available for purchase.

7th Ave Vancity Piazza features Vancity’s community partners from Sole Food Street Farms, East End Food Co-op, Fresh Roots, Vancouver Farmers Markets, Recycling Alternative and Mr. Arancino. The Vancity Piazza will bring to life the full circle around the importance of buying local and organic, food security, learning to grow in creative ways, while minimizing your compostable waste.

Performance Itineraries

The Drive Main Stage (2nd Avenue)
12:00–1:00 Opening Ceremony & Official Little Italy Ribbon Cutting
1:30–2:30 Carmelina Cupo
2:45–3:30 Gianni Fuoco
4:00–5:00 Federico Fuoco
5:30–5:50 Vetirina Moda Fashion Show
6:00–6:15 Denis Mayer Jr.
6:20–6:35 Stephen Scaccia
6:40–6:55 Mariah Crudo
7:10–7:45 Lou Marocco
7:45–8:00 Raffle

Grant Street Stage (ICC)
1:00 Welcome
1:05–1:45 Vancouver City Opera
1:50–2:10 Antonio Larosa
2:15–3:05 Laura Crema Quartet
3:10–4:00 Cory Weeds Quartet
4:05–4:45 Il Centro Players Sketch Comedy
4:50–5:30 Vancouver Opera
5:35–6:25 Tony Foster Trio: Project Paradiso
6:30–7:20 Steve Kaldestad Quartet
7:25–7:45 Danilo Ciaccia with Patrizia Coletta
7:50–8:00 Final remarks & Goodbye

Grandview Park Stage
12:15–12:50 Spartacus Gym
1:00–1:30 Langley Ukelele
1:45–2:00 Coro Folcloristico Trevigiano
2:05–2:20 Veneto Childrens’ Choir
2:30–2:45 Famee Furlane Dancers
3:00–4:00 Luna Rossa with Danlio Ciaccia
4:15–4:45 Lou Marocco
5:00–5:25 Theatre Temp
5:30–5:50 Andre Belozeroff
6:05–7:00 Luna Rossa
7.05–7:50 Pasta eating contest

Little Italy Piazza
2:00–2:20 Denis Mayer Jr.
3:00–3:20 Mariah Crudo
4:00–4:20 Stephen Scaccia
5:00–5:20 Denis Mayer Jr.
6:00–6:20 Mariah Crudo
7:00–7:20 Stephen Scaccia

Entertainment/Artist Highlights

Restaurateur and showman, Federico Fuoco, was born with music in his blood having grown up in a family rooted in entertainment. Performing from a young age with his father, including what was the Mokka Restaurant on the Drive (the same location of his Federico’s Supper Club today), he was exposed to an influential generation of music of old school entertainment and style – from crooner classics, to Italian and latin. Also a founding member of the return of Italian Day, he loves to perform in the atmosphere the event brings and to share music drawing infectious energy, memories and smiles. The stage and ambiance transforms into a piazza-style concert as he together with his talent charged band, Fire, take engaged attendees, dancing and singing, on a 60s to present trip, covering an era of iconic Italian songs and artists. An exhilarating and emotion-evoking experience leaving you feeling good – Italian style. A true ‘Little Italy’ experience on Commercial Drive.

IMG_7240 copy10450376_10153066404818699_8461787328926593101_nCarmelina Cupo is an International singer/songwriter, who has received national press and airplay across Canada, the US, Europe & Asia. She has won the Canadian National Song­writing Contest and was recognized by Billboard Magazine for her songwriting. Her debut album was nominated for Best Album at the West Coast Music Awards. She has toured Europe with International Acts: Sean Paul, Craig David, Natalie Imbruglia, Kool & The Gang and Le Chic…And with some of the Italy’s biggest artists, including: Biagio Antonacci, Elisa, Irene Grandi, Francesco Renga, Antonello Venditti, Alex Britti, Max Pezzali, Luca Dirisio, Paola e Chiara, Tiromancino, Syria, Gemelli Diversi and Paolo Meneguzzi. Having performed for crowds of over 80,000 people, Carmelina is no stranger to the big stage!

vlcsnap-2016-05-27-00h23m24s244From Celano, Abruzzo, Italy, Danilo Ciaccia – songwriter, musician and performer who has performed in many Italian television programs including RAI and MEDIASET.  Danilo has recently finished a song and a video titled ‘SIGNORI’ (forever). The video was shot in Vancouver and Italy, and is about an old Italian serenade and tells a story of Love and the people who immigrated abroad. The song, the video for which is now released, and you can watch it above, will be performed live for Italian Day, as a gift to the Italian immigrants, their families, and to “Little Italy”.

Cory Weeds-Jazzing it up Italian Style.

Vetrina Moda Fashion Show
vetrinaThis year’s fasion show features italian designs showcased at Vetrina Moda in downtown Vancouver. Vetrina offers an intimate shopping experience, inviting customers to peruse the fashions, sip a cappuccino and enjoy exemplary personalized service. From business wear to haute couture, from designer shoes to accessories, Vetrina is home to a selection of beautifully curated European designer fashions. Whether it’s semi­-casual or evening wear, each piece has been hand-picked by owner Rachel Kapsalis. Also offering personal wardrobe consultation and in­-house tailoring, Vetrina is a must ­stop for Vancouver’s fashion­-forward women looking for exclusive, high ­quality and unique designs they simply won’t find anywhere else. Brands include Versace Collection and Cavalli Class, in addition to labels exclusive to Vancouver like REIV denim, John Richmond, Sfizio, and Piccione Piccione.

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Kalena’s Shoes and Accessories
Kalena’s, a family run business, was founded by an ambitious Italian named Carmine and his young bride Isa.  The newlyweds headed to Italy in 1967 which was to be their first buying trip, which incidentally doubled as their Honeymoon.  Contrary to popular belief, Kalena is not the owner’s last name.  The company is named for his home town in the Molise region of Italy.  The original store was founded on the concept of providing quality, fashion-forward merchandise for all.

The warm and rich voice of Denis Mayer Jr. dwells between Baritone and Tenor Tessitura. Having no formal vocal training, Denis’ strong passion has touched the hearts of thousands through various events with its emotion and power of tonality. With his glorious tenor voice, music for Denis is a spiritual experience. He sings to make other people feel happy and not only to hear only his voice but also to feel the passion of his work. Denis has been inspired by great artists such as Bocelli, Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras and Il Divo. 

Gruppo Adult ChoirWith approximately 35 adults and 13 children, the Gruppo performs at many cultural events around the Lower Mainland and at several different care and retirement homes. The childrens’ group, who also enjoy singing traditional songs and performing for different audiences, is fortunate to be under the direction of Simon Isherwood.

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Luna Rossa, led by Patrizia Coletta, has been performing for years in the lower mainland, BC and Alberta. Performance style is latin-inspired and varied with music in Italian, Spanish, French, Brazilian, Greek, and English. Luna Rossa provides a fun and engaging ambience for everyone, young and old.

LouPicIn recent years, Lou Marocco has enjoyed two exciting and successful tours in Rome and has released 4 cds. A regular featured entertainer at casinos and restaurant venues, highlight performances include the 2010 Winter Olympics, and tours in Eastern Canada, California and Mexico. Best known for his Italian classics’ and latin beat genres at his annual performances at Italian Day which makes for a dancing atmosphere.


Youth Performers
Copy of ID2016_LangleyUke_PicThe Langley Ukulele Ensemble is now in its 35th year – 32 years under the direction of Peter Luongo, and, for the past three years, under the direction of Paul Luongo. During this time the group has developed a reputation at home and abroad for excellence in musical performance. The 21 ensemble members range in age from 12 to 21 years, and are students attending middle school, secondary or post-secondary institutions.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 3.00.19 PMStephen Scaccia has devoted much of his life to music. He has participated in and won many local talent shows, as well as being invited to perform at various charity galas in communities throughout the lower mainland. Stephens’s life was forever changed on a fateful day in September of 2012, when he finally got to meet and perform with his childhood idol Michael Buble, on two separate occasions. Stephen’s greatest achievement however is his recently released seven songs EP “No Longer Frozen”, which can be purchased on iTunes. The songs are all original, some of which he co-wrote with Grammy award winning Producer Ian Prince.


imageMariah Crudo is a 19 year old performer from Vancouver, BC. Being immersed in the performing arts since a very young age, Mariah has had extensive training and experience in singing and acting, and has had the privilege to perform on various stages and venues both locally and internationally.

Animated Street Performers

Italian Day Raffle
Feeling lucky on Italian Day? Don’t forget to buy your Italian Day raffle tickets with a combined prize value of $6,000. First Prize is an Air Transat trip for two, Vancouver-Rome direct. Partial proceeds support Dream Big Productions and Theatre Temp (who will be performing on the Grandview Amphitheatre stage), which fosters youth mentoring via Templeton Secondary School’s award winning film and theatre programs run by Jimmy Crescenzo and Tanya Zambrano. More information available here.

For more on Mangiamo food highlights and street participants and map, visit the Mangiamo 2016 highlights page here.