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Italian Montréal
From March 10, 2021, to January 9, 2022

Presented by
National Congress of Italian-Canadians
Fondation communautaire Canadienne-Italienne
Casa D’Italia

In the early 20th century, a new wave of European immigrants made its way to Québec and to Montréal. Among them were thousands of Italians who brought with them their traditions, their values, and their customs, going on to form one of the oldest and largest immigrant cultural communities in Montréal.

Showcasing the community’s important contribution to economic, social, and cultural life in Montréal—as well as its ingenuity, talent, and resilience—Pointe-à-Callière is presenting the exhibition Italian Montréal. This exhibition will shine a spotlight on the daily lives of Montréal’s earliest Italian immigrants and on the ways in which the community has evolved over the past century—with a quarter of a million Montrealers today describing themselves as having Italian roots.

For this exhibition, Pointe-à-Callière mainly turned to Montrealers for loans of their family treasures: items brought over from Italy or made here—celebrating the way life was lived in the past. Also on display will be objects illustrating various culinary traditions (of course), as well as others highlighting various iconic businesses, important events, and members of the community who made their mark in the arts, business, sports, and public life. Historical photographs, audiovisual documents, and archival materials will be used to punctuate the often moving and memorable moments in the lives of the first generations of immigrants.

The Museum has put together an exhibition that takes an in-depth look at Italo-Montrealers, putting human beings at the centre of the story and highlighting the community members’ remarkable contributions to Montreal life. Through the use of projections, audiovisual material, and dramatic backdrops, this exhibition promises to take you to the very heart of the community’s actions and accomplishments in every field of endeavour. In particular, the exhibition will focus on five iconic areas that defined and still characterize this community: work on the railroad and in the construction sector; the café as a preferred spot for socializing; the home and its culinary traditions; the church as a place of meeting and association; and of course, the public sphere, in which so many Italo-Montrealers have distinguished themselves.