Share the love on Sunday, June 11! Amore!
Looking for the biggest celebration of Italian culture west of the Mediterranean? Italian Day returns to Commercial Drive for it’s 8th year to celebrate Italian culture, community and heritage.
Commercial Drive will transform into a festive, 14-block celebration zone, filled with over 200 exciting merchants, food vendors, live entertainment and more. Last year’s festival saw Italian Day on The Drive take the top spot as the largest one-day cultural street festival in Vancouver, and 2017 is expected to be no different.
This year’s Italian Day theme is Amore, and will attract enthusiastic attendees, no matter what age or culture, with its universal message – love.
It wouldn’t be an Italian cultural celebration if there weren’t a prominent focus on food and beverages. Delicious Italian street food — including pasta, panini, meatballs, arancini, pizza, panzerotti, fried Italian donuts, cannoli, gelato, coffee, and espresso based drinks — will transport you to the streets of Venezia, Roma and Firenze as you make your way down The Drive. Celebrate 60 years in the Lower Mainland with Bosa Foods by trying Bosa brand imports at their Drive storefront; or visit La Grotta Del Formaggio for specialty cheeses and their award winning panini; take a seat at one of the more than 15 extended merchant patios; or indulge in the selections offered by over 20 food trucks, including returning favourites Via Tevere Woodfire Sandwiches; and don’t forget a visit to the Cannoli King or Fratelli’s bakery to complete your delicious culinary journey around the country.
Did someone say free samplings? Check out the Mastro San Daniele Piazza on 3rd Avenue offering free salumi samplings, along with seating area and mini stage.
Live music and theatre, street performers, roaming stilt walkers, classic cars, children’s amusement zones and more will entertain attendees all day along The Drive. Highlight performances taking place on the Italian Day stages include special guest performers from Italy – Danilo Ciaccia and his ItalyAMO band, sponsored by Air France. Put together especially for Italian Day 2017, Danilo and his band will be performing Amore themed covers and original songs at Il Centro Amphitheatre stage at Grandview Park.
As well, on the 2nd Ave Main Stage, crowd favourite, Federico Fuoco will be performing with his band Fire, in addition to singer Carmelina Cupo, and the dynamic duo Opera Vive.
To help celebrate and share the love of Italian heritage through music, all the way from Rome courtesy of Air France, guest DJs Pippo Lorusso and DJ Osso from Italy’s national radio station, M2O, will be entertaining visitors throughout the day. Bring your dancing shoes and take a love trip with a blend of vintage and commercial house music, combining themes of yesterday and today, filled with anecdotal humour highlighting the Italian family of the past and present!
Comedian Guido Grasso, special guest from Montreal, will be performing at Federico’s Supper Club on Thursday, June 8 as a pre-Italian Day Amore highlight for an exclusive evening of dinner and comedy. With a career on a meteoric rise, Guido is blessed with a rapier wit, an outstanding stage presence and indelible comedic delivery.
Italian Heritage Month and Canada 150
June has been proclaimed by the City of Vancouver as Italian Heritage Month (IHM). The Italian Cultural Centre (Il Centro) together with its cultural partners will present a month long festival that will celebrate, promote, and share Italian culture, language and heritage. Events include movie free outdoor screenings, delicious dinners, cooking classes, cultural performances, Italian Farmers Markets, Festas, cooking classes, street parties and more!
This year, during Canada 150, Il Centro has created a special series of cultural events that showcases the wonders of Italian Canadian Culture in Vancouver. The Caboto Series, named after Giovanni Caboto who discovered Canada, is a celebration of Italy’s influence in shaping the multicultural landscape that Canada is renowned for. During the month of June in particular, Il Centro’s museum will host an Italian and Cantonese Opera Exhibition and the International Jazz Festival, starting on June 24th, will spotlight Italian Jazz!
Italian Movies at the Rio Theatre
In support of Italian heritage month and Italian Day on The Drive, The Rio Theatre – in collaboration with Il Centro, will be running a series of Italian movies that will begin Thursday, June 8th:
THU June 8th – 9:30 p.m. Suspiria
FRI June 9th – 11:30 p.m. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
SAT June 10th – 1:30 p.m. Brotherhood: A Life with St. Francis
MON June 12 – 6:30 pm Amarcord
TUES June 13 – 6:30 pm Cinema Paradiso
WED June 14th – 6:30 p.m. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
FRI June 16th – 6:30 p.m. At War for Love
Italian Heritage Whitecaps Game
The Vancouver Whitecaps are featuring a special game devoted to the Italian heritage of many great players around the world. The match takes place on Wednesday, July 5th 2017 at 7pm. In celebration of Italian heritage, the Whitecaps are featuring a promotion to get tickets for $27, $35 or $55 a seat, all in. Follow this link for more details and exclusive promo code to get these preferred prices.
Featured Attractions at Italian Day
With featured attractions for the whole family, Italian Day is the perfect way to indulge and have fun on a summer afternoon. International and local artists look to share the Amore at main stages located at Grandview Park and Second Avenue, while at Fifth Avenue visitors can expect to find an Italian corner representing a one-stop shop for festivalgoers, offering the full Italian experience, featuring music, displays and even more food. Mini community stages and seating will compliment piazza areas, as well as a selection of activities for children in family friendly zones, including Whitecaps and BMO Human Foosball; a Car2Go lounge filled with activities for members, while displays featuring new and vintage vehicles will keep you busy in between the Italian cuisine and music.
Unique opportunities to share the love include The Vancouver Public Library’s ‘City Story’ display at Napier Greenway commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday with heritage stories collected and shared by Italo-Canadian community members, as well as attendees who are encouraged to share their own stories of Italian Day and the neighbourhood. Chalk art and poetry dedicated to love on the North and South end of The Drive, as well as Britannia Community Centre’s Special Hearts Project (12pm – 3pm), which invites attendees to share what they love about Italian Day and Commercial Drive, will also highlight the Amore theme.
Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets at one of the three raffle stations (Grandview Park, 2nd Ave and Da Vinci Travel) for your chance to win one of five prizes being given away, with a total value of over $9,000. To coincide with this year’s theme, 1st & 2nd prizes are Air France round trips to two cities of ‘love’: 1st Prize is a trip for two from Vancouver to Rome, and 2nd prize is a trip for two from Vancouver to Paris!
See the site map below for all featured attractions.
Second Ave Stage
12:20 Coro Folcloristico Trevigiano
12:45 Veneto Children’s Choir
1:15 Antonio Larosa Band
2:30 Danilo Ciaccia & the ItalyAMO band
3:50 Laura Crema
4:45 Bonnie Birch & Opera Fortissimo!
5:30 Danilo Ciaccia & the ItalyAMO band
6:30 City Opera Vancouver
7:00 Luna Rossa
12:30 Luna Rossa
1:30 Instant Theatre
1:50 Famee Furlane Dancers
2:10 Instant Theatre
3:00 Instant Theatre
3:30 Luna Rossa
5:00 Instant Theatre
5:20 Denis Mayer Jr.
5:40 Instant Theatre
6:30 Instant Theatre
Mastro/San Daniele Piazza
1:30 Serena Lagona
2:35 Cassandra D’Amato
3:00 Venetian Opera Duo
3:55 Lisa Petrucci
4:45 Antonio Larosa
5:25 Serena Lagona
6:00 Mariah Crudo
6:40 Denis Mayer Jr.
7:40 Mariah Crudo