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Italian Heritage Month is an opportunity to honour the history, culture and contributions of Italian Canadians who weave a vibrant Italian thread through Vancouver’s multicultural tapestry. It has traditionally involved a month-long series of events presented by Il Centro Italian Cultural Center, Italian Day Festival Society, Commercial Drive Business Society, and others.

It is also a time to remember the hardships faced by Italian Canadians who struggled to immigrate to Vancouver, build their lives and businesses and contribute to our city despite the community’s long history and deep roots in Vancouver. In 1940, following the declaration of war against Italy by the federal government, more than 30 Italian men were deemed enemy aliens and were taken from their families and sent to POW camps.

In 2022, Vancouver City Council delivered an official apology to the descendants of the internees and Vancouver’s Italian Canadian community at large. We sincerely thank the Mayor and Council for this apology and their continued commitment to reconciliation.

Video credit: City of Vancouver
Photo credit: City of Vancouver Archive, AM54-S4-: Trans P14.2