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But For Now We Stay Home

But For Now We Stay Home

For our mammas! Francesca LoDico’s radio special, "But For Now We Stay Home,” is about her mamma coping with the family business during the pandemic. It was broadcast nationally on The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio One. The Mother’s Day documentary is in English with dialogue in Sicilian and Italian. Italian speakers can follow the English with the translation below.…

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IN MEMORIAM: The Legacy of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco

IN MEMORIAM: The Legacy of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco

Poet and priest Pier Giorgio Di Cicco passed away on December 22, 2019. As a poet and editor, his contributions to Canadian literature are enormous. As a priest who served the parishes of the greater Toronto area, he helped many people and left a lasting impression on all who heard his homilies. My first contact with Giorgio was on November…

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Aldo Del Col – Meritorious Service Medal Recipient

Aldo Del Col – Meritorious Service Medal Recipient

“The doctor gave me three to five years to live. I thought that wasn’t enough. I decided I would get ten.” This is how Aldo Del Col described his reaction to a diagnosis for multiple myeloma, the second-most common form of blood cancer. Sixteen years later he is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal by Governor General Julie Payette,…

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Guido Cocomello: From Stand-up to Stage Acting

As a stand-up comic, Guido Cocomello has a reputation for being unpredictable and audacious. His uninhibited performances have garnered him many fans. However, the thirty-something Montreal native is also quickly making a name for himself as a compelling stage actor. Cocomello is currently starring in the role of Robert in Montreal playwright Steve Galluccio's latest play The St. Leonard Chronicles, which…

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In Conversation with Novelist Edoardo Nesi by Licia Canton and Roberto Ciuffini

Edoardo Nesi is the author of Storia della mia gente (The Story of My People), which was awarded Italy’s prestigious Strega Prize for literature in 2011 and the Blue Metropolis Strega Prize for 2012. Set in the Tuscan town of Prato, the novel tells the story of the closure of the writer’s family textile business and the decline of the entire textile…

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Susan Bertoia Stars in Fresco

Susan Bertoia Stars in Fresco

Susan Bertoia is a force of a nature. She is energetic, enthusiastic and very passionate about her work as a theatre artist. Susan is also the artistic director of the Vancouver theatre production company BellaLuna. "My life is incredibly busy. I struggle to find time to do everything; there are not enough hours in the day. I have three young…

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Salvatore Ala, Poet of Clarity

Salvatore Ala, Poet of Clarity

“They are poems of integrity and clarity, and many of them possess a startling beauty,” writes Canadian author Alistair MacLeod on the back cover of Salvatore Ala’s first book of poems, Clay of the Maker (1998). Since I first heard Salvatore Ala read his poetry, some fifteen years ago at a literary event in Sarnia, Ontario, I’ve been drawn to his writing,…

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Detective Joe Ricci: One of Vancouver’s Finest

Detective Joe Ricci: One of Vancouver’s Finest

The story of Vancouver police detective Joe Ricci reads like a Mickey Spillane novel: intrigue, shootings, killings, drugs and prostitutes. In the process, he is remembered as a law-enforcement officer who pushed the rules to the limit in order to take down a criminal. The year is 1912, six years following Joe Ricci’s arrival from Falvaterra, a town southeast of…

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Horses

Horses

My father, John Madott, served for five years in the Sault St. Marie and Sudbury Regiment during the Second World War. Sent out west, one of his reluctant duties was to guard the way, as Japanese Canadians were interned. He recalled the shame of having a Japanese elder spit in his face, the shame on behalf of a fellow soldier…

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Alfonso Gagliano, Life After Politics

Alfonso Gagliano, Life After Politics

Alfonso Gagliano hopes that his legacy will be more than just a long political career that ended in scandal. Months away from his seventieth birthday, Gagliano doesn’t follow politics anymore, despite spending almost twenty years in federal politics. Right now, his focus is on winemaking. It’s mid-October 2010, and Gagliano Vineyards – in the town of Dunham in Quebec’s Eastern…

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Corrado Paina, Executive Poet

Corrado Paina, Executive Poet

“The purpose of culture is to build bridges, not celebrate differences,” Corrado Paina says from his office at the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, where he occupies the top post as executive director. An apparent contradiction, Paina seems to effortlessly straddle the interstice between business and culture, between the rigidity imposed by commerce and the unconventionality that a bohemian…

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Giuseppe Di Leo: Drawing from Life

Giuseppe Di Leo: Drawing from Life

Giuseppe Di Leo emigrated from Foggia to Montreal with his family when he was a young boy. Typical of the generation of immigrants who grew up in the 1960s, he is trilingual and moves easily amongst the city’s neighbourhoods. But his facility with languages is not as remarkable as the pace with which the words race to keep up with his thoughts. This exuberant…

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Jessica Scarlato, a New Opera Talent

Jessica Scarlato’s rich, clear soprano voice receives enthusiastic applause whenever she performs. She was a fine arts mentor to other undergraduates while at York University and has been commissioned to sing at York University’s convocation this year. In fact, she is a member of the graduating class herself, having earned her degree in the Vocal Music Program under the watchful eye of her…

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Carmine Starnino – Keeping Out of the Weeds

I met with Carmine Starnino at a bustling bistro in Little Italy. Our conversation about his various roles in the literary community – as poet, critic, essayist and editor – inevitably led to a discussion about craft, and a debate about aesthetic camps and standards of judgment. “Things are never settled,” Starnino says. “A good poem is just a poem you can make a good argument…

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Steve Galluccio – The Ability to Genre-Bend

Steve Galluccio – The Ability to Genre-Bend

Mention the name Steve Galluccio and most people automatically think of the mega-hit play/movie Mambo Italiano. But to born-and-bred Montrealer Galluccio, who recently scored another Centaur Theatre hit with In Piazza San Domenico, Mambo was just another step in a career ladder that has seen him go from gonzo theatre camp comedy maven and French TV sitcom writer to the creator of feature films that includes the forthcoming darkly-flavoured Funkytown, set in disco-era Montreal.…

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Frank Caracciolo: Putting Art in Motion

Frank Caracciolo: Putting Art in Motion

Many of us struggle to find our path in life, but Frank Caracciolo always knew that he would become an artist. "My personal dialogue with the medium of paint first started when, as a child, I made a colourful finger-painting for my grandmother to hang in her house in Brooklyn," he reminisces. It is common for artists with visions of international fame to move to New…

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