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ICAP announces the upcoming screening of Sbarco a Ellis: Il passaggio verso il Canada – Landing at Ellis Island

Welcome to the first in a series of Italian-Canadian Narrative Showcase (ICNS) blogs that, beginning today, will regularly showcase Italian-Canadian projects from around the country and announce upcoming events.

We look forward to connecting and featuring a variety of projects from places such as Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Quebec, Toronto and Guelph. These projects are academic, community-based research, artistic representations and more, which highlight and preserve the unique Italian-Canadian experience of the past and as it is still unfolding today.

At ICNS we see ourselves as facilitators, as host-ers, ready to celebrate your work, connect people and projects, and to share and grow together. Think of us as a bridge between Italian-Canadian projects, researchers, artists, poets and people of every stripe with an interest in Italian-Canadian history and culture.

ICNS operates in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Italian-Canadian Archives Project (ICAP), which its president Gabriella Colussi Arthur recently described as

a pan-Canadian network of scholars, archivists and community organizers with official charitable status, created to facilitate the process of identifying and sharing historical materials through community outreach and education.

~ Gabriella Colussi Arthur, president of ICAP.

ICAP works with various communities and academic organizations across Canada and offerings support, best practices and invaluable connections to researchers and local historians interested in Italian-Canadian identity and history.

The complimentary and mutually supportive aims of both ICNS and ICAP are aligned in working to preserve, connect, explore, and support Italian-Canadian research, artistic practices and testimonials.

Landing at the Isle of Tears…

Tthis 2017 sixty-minute documentary Sbarco a Ellis was created by TLN and Lulo films and features members of the ICAP executive.

Sbarco a Ellis is a moving account that traces the emotional journeys of three Italian-Canadian women. A multifaceted project, Sbarco is augmented by an informative complimentary website that provides an interactive experience. In addition to the personal narratives, scholars consulted throughout the film give a comprehensive overview of ongoing work in this area, while the website provides visitors with an easy means of discovering more and of entering deeply into the world of Italian migration. TLN describes this online portion of the project as, “An interactive website in the Italian language [that] will expand the television viewer’s knowledge beyond the TV documentary.”

A synopsis is conveniently provided on the TLN Website:

SYNOPSIS: Dubbed the “Island of Tears” for the many who were turned away, Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States from 1892 until 1954. Many of these were Italians who eventually travelled north of the border into Canada. Told through firsthand accounts and personal testimonies, Sbarco a Ellis (Landing at Ellis) chronicles the emotion-filled journeys of three Italian Canadian women and their families, including award-winning Canadian writer, novelist and essayist Terri Favro.” Sbarco a Ellis

These stories epitomize the experiences that many immigrants and their families shared over the twentieth century – their often harrowing adventures crossing the ocean to begin a new life in the new world.

In Sbarco a Ellis Island, three ICAP members, Maria Cioni, Gabriella Colussi Arthur and Gabriel Niccoli share their expertise in contextualizing the stories of four Italian-Canadian families who retrace their ancestors’ journey to Canada during the first wave of migration into North America, starting from their arrival at Sbarco a Ellis Island.

~ Gabriella Colussi Arthur, president of ICAP.

As ICNS launches its inaugural blog, we feel it is fitting to do so while highlighting what we consider an exemplary Italian-Canadian heritage project that so effectively combines a gripping visual experience – the film; with compelling interactive media – the website portal. 

ICNS is pleased to announce that this June 2021, during Italian Heritage Month, Sbarco a Ellis will be screened in its entirety as an online event not to be missed!

This event will include an introductory lecture with additional behind-the-scenes information about both the making of the film and what has been happening since its release. 

Follow the link above to the Sbarco a Ellis trailer and stay tuned for more details about the upcoming screening events.

See you there!

~The ICNS team