PRESENZA - Italian from A to Z

Italian from A to Z
Panoramic View

Italian from A to Z Photo: Steven Darby, CMC CD2004-1169 D2004-18570

"Italian Canadians". "Italian-Canadian" culture. The "Italian community". What do these terms really mean? What can be said about them? How can we describe them? We can, of course, resort to the familiar symbols that "say it all": the romance of the gondola, the importance of espresso to the Italian way of life, the Italian appreciation for fine art and design, a passion for soccer and Ferraris, the solidity of Italian granite and marble structures. But can we really sum up a million people in a single image or a thousand words?

Today's Italian Canadians can trace their origins to a number of regions and hundreds of villages with different dialects and traditions. They are women and men, young and old, rich and poor, born in Italy, Canada or elsewhere. Their musical and aesthetic preferences are far from homogeneous. Their political tendencies sometimes divide them. They live in Canada's metropolitan areas and in its smallest towns. From Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, they have increasingly integrated into their communities, through marriage and work, and because they wish to know more about other people. They are businesspeople, painters, geologists, poets, hockey players, politicians, professors, dressmakers and tailors, designers, ranch owners, bonsai enthusiasts, graphic artists, bocce champions ... all this and more.

The ABCs of the Italian Alphabet

This display presents a variety of themes offering a broader picture of the diversity of the Italian-Canadian cultural landscape.

You might have noticed that there are five letters missing in this alphabetical display on Italian-Canadian diversity. That's because the letters j, k, w, x and y don't exist in the 21-letter Italian alphabet. The Italian words beginning with these letters are all borrowed from other languages.