In the years since Italian Week was established in 1977, Ottawa has changed dramatically. As we move further away from a community-oriented focus in our modern world, our Italian culture brings us together. Celebrating our culture creates a positive framework for dialogue.

Italian culture is traditionally gregarious and boisterous, warm and generous, proud and family-focused; but it is also modern and stylish, appealing, and magnetic. Our vision is to create shared experiences to remind Italian-Canadians who remain entrenched in their Italian culture to celebrate their heritage; to hold space for Italians who are new to Canada to feel at home; to give Italian-Canadians who are no longer culturally Italian a chance to express themselves; and to invite Canadians with no Italian heritage to experience what it means to be Italian for a moment.

Coming to Italian Week feels like going to Nonna’s house for dinner. It feels like coming home. Come be Italian with us!


Italian Week began in 1975 under the leadership of St. Anthony’s Church and the University of Ottawa’s Languages Department, as a week of Italian radio programming with small satellite events throughout the community. 

Based upon this success and with the support of the Italian community, the festival was incorporated in 1977. This traditional event is one of Ottawa’s most iconic annual festivals. 

Settimana Italiana – Italian Week is a registered non-profit organization that is operated by a team of employees and a volunteer Board of Directors from the local community. We develop and deliver the annual ten-day program through a combination of grants, sponsorships, in-kind contributions, and ticket sales, to ensure a range of free and reasonably-priced ticketed events. The festival is an important symbol of the Italian-Canadian community’s collective identity, and we take pride in showcasing all aspects of our Italian heritage.