The Ottawa Italian Week Festival was started in 1974 by St. Anthony’s Church and the University of Ottawa Languages Dept as a week of Italian radio programming with small satellite events throughout the community.
Based upon the success and support of the Italian community, in 1977 the event was incorporated and thanks to its location in Little Italy/Preston Street, it is recognized as one of the annual iconic community cultural festivals in Ottawa.
The festival is run by a volunteer board of directors and committee members from the local community who develop and deliver the annual ten day program through a combination of grants, sponsorships, in-kind contributions and donations, and ticket sales, to ensure a range of free to reasonably priced ticketed events in order to attract the broadest public attendance every June.
Now in its 45th year, attendance has grown to over 125,000 festival goers, and attracts community members of non-Italian descent from across the Ottawa Region and tourists from other parts of Canada and the Northern U.S.
The festival is an important symbol of the Italian Canadian community’s collective identity with a long history of participation and support from members of the community, encompassing all aspects of Italian heritage – music, dance, arts, culture, history and design; sports, religion, economic, social, gastronomic, academic and intellectual components – and the impact on this community and Canada.
OUR VOLUNTEER BOARD AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS