For those that are too young to remember (which I think is most of our readers), Commercial Drive was once the heart of Vancouver’s Italian Community. That community like many other ethnic neighbourhoods (Little India, Chinatown) has since fled to the cheaper land pastures known as the suburbs. These days North Burnaby is commonly referred to as Little Italy, although it lacks the same feel and character The Drive still has. Now, after a 28 long years, Italian Day is coming back to Commercial Drive on June 6th (this Sunday) and will signal the kick off party for the World Cup (June 11 to July 11) (see Nike’s World Cup commercial here).
The celebration of Italian culture will also be a kick off to the Italian Cultural Centre’s annual Italian Week, which runs from June 20 to 26. There will be street food aplenty, a stage on Grant Street that will have pizza tossing, pasta eating, judging of tiramisu and much more. A second stage at East Second Avenue will feature Sicilian dancers, Italian sword fighting and of course opera. So go and get in on some meatball action at The Drive.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates and they bring this back every year (unlike the Parade of Lost Souls).
14 blocks from Venables to the Grandview will be closed to traffic. 1st avenue will remain open to traffic as it’s a major thoroughfare .