June is Italian Heritage Month

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Mayor Jeff Leal has issued the following statement in celebration of Italian Heritage Month

Throughout the month of June, people in Peterborough and across the country will honour and celebrate Italian Heritage Month, recognizing the Italian community’s contributions to building the strong, vibrant, and more inclusive country we know today.

Peterborough is fortunate to have a thriving community of people of Italian descent and an active Peterborough & District Italian Club that hosts regular social gatherings, culinary events and fundraising. The Italian Flag will be flown at City Hall from June 3 to June 7, 2024.

With more than 1.5 million people of Italian heritage, Canada is the proud home of one of the largest Italian diasporas in the world. From business to sports, cuisine, politics, and much more, the community has enriched all aspects of our society, and continues to do so.

As we celebrate these great contributions, we must also acknowledge the historic injustices that the Italian-Canadian community faced during the Second World War, when they were wrongly designated as “enemy aliens” and unjustly faced pain, hardship, and discrimination. In 2021, a formal apology was delivered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons for the internment of hundreds of Italian Canadians. We must learn from these past wrongs, as we continue to build a more equitable and inclusive society.

June is a time to remember the sacrifices and hard work of the Italian-Canadian community, celebrate their lively culture, and educate future generations about Italy's long and rich history. 

To all those who are marking this special occasion, happy Italian Heritage Month!

Resources

Ontario declares Italian Heritage Month: Italian Heritage Month Act, 2010, S.O. 2010, c. 17 - Bill 103

Government of Canada: Prime Minister announces apology for the internment of Italian Canadians during the Second World War

Welcome Peterborough: Calendar of Important Days

Peterborough & District Italian Club: Facebook Page