Week: A Time When Everybody’s Italian
dancers entertain Italian Week crowds.
year since 1974 the residents of Preston Street have held Italian
Week, or “Settimana Italiana,” to celebrate their Italian
culture. The tradition was started by some Ottawa University professors
and students, with the original Italian Week taking place at Dow’s
Lake. In 1986 the celebrations were moved to Preston Street, historically
the heart of the old Italian community.
Week is held in June and always begins with The
Feast of St. Anthony, in honour of the namesake of St.
Anthony’s Church, the cornerstone of Preston Street.
The main feature of The Feast
of St. Anthony is not in fact a feast, but rather a large
religious procession that winds its way through the streets of “the
the week locals and visitors are treated to a wonderful celebration
that includes a car parade,
music, dancing and of course, the staples of any Italian celebration
– delicious food and wine. Past Italian Week’s have included:
a gala dinner, a concert at St.
Anthony’s Church, an official opening at City Hall,
bocci and soccer tournaments, and an exhibit honouring the works of
the famed Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. Italian Week celebrates
art and culture with various performances including ones by ethnic
dancers and singers of classic Italian music.
Pat Adamo) Italian Week 2001 featured a special event, “Opera
in Piazza,” to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the
death of Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi.
Amit Patel) Mayor Chiarelli officially opened Italian Week 2001
by raising the Italian flag at City Hall.
introduced a new event in 2002, “Evening under the Stars”
(or Serata Sotto Le Stelle). The evening of entertainment
– featuring a pop musical group, stand-up comics, and a classical
singer – was very popular with the Italian Week crowds.
Week finishes in style with a grand Mardi Gras-like celebration. Each
night – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – access to Preston
Street is shut down, allowing thousands of revellers to wander the
streets and enjoy food and music. Street performers entertain the
crowds, adding to the festive atmosphere. There’s also an annual
cycling race on Sunday afternoon that draws crowds eager to watch
the professionals in action.
to the top