Archival Research of Italian-Canadian Immigration and Culture

Archival Research of Italian-Canadian Immigration and Culture

Archival Research of Italian-Canadian Immigration and Culture (founded in September 2019) represents biannual projects by undergraduate students of University College at the University of Toronto and Brock University.

Students research national, provincial, and local city archives to learn more about Italian immigration to Canada, Italian heritage and traditions, and Italian-Canadian Contributions. The projects are initiated in Italian Canadian Studies courses taught by Dr. Teresa Russo and culminates into an undergraduate conference presentation at the end of each term. A selection of the academic posters (with student permissions) is published here as contribution of Italian-Canadian Narratives. The publication of these academic posters inaugurated with the Ninth Annual ICAP Conference at Brock University.

Our News

Canada Games Teaching Spotlight – An Interview with Teresa Russo

Brock students provincially recognized for preserving Italian immigrant stories – The Brock News

Students in UC course on Italian Canadian Studies Honoured with Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award – University College U of T

OHT Celebrates Italian Heritage by highlighting ARICIC research – Italian Heritage Month, 2022

Our Posters


by Sandra Parmegiani

Heritage knowledge and experiential learning have acquired a prominent place in higher education in the last decade. When in 2019 the Italian Canadian Narrative Showcase site was created with the aim of providing a venue for displaying the work that is being done across Canada in Italian heritage promotion and preservation, it was soon apparent that a number of projects that ICNS was committed to host were the product of students work created during their university experience. Dr. Teresa Russo has been a pioneer in the combination of archival research, Italian heritage studies and digital applications to provide her students with a unique experience that hones their historical, linguistic and intercultural competences. She also carefully instructs students in the acquisition of digital tools that allow them to create artifacts (the academic posters) which constitute a testimonial of their journey of discovery and are accessible to the general public. The accompanying essays provide valuable insight about the students’ motivations and perceived outcomes and are a testimonial of how younger generations connect with passion and commitment to archival work and cultural heritage.
ICNS will host all issues of Archival Research of Italian-Canadian Immigration and Culture, and will keep offering a set of instructional best practices for conducting archival research and creating academic posters. These tools will benefit future researchers and the ICAP community at large.

Some of the students featured in the first issue published on ICNS and titled Italians on the Frontiers, presented their work in a panel at the ICAP conference hosted by the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University in the fall of 2019.

A selections of students involved in the first and second issues of Archival Research of Italian-Canadian Immigration and Culture, have been been the recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement and Young Leaders Award for 2020 for their commitment to complete their research on cultural heritage and to share their work in the archives with the community.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Teresa Russo for her commitment to a project that makes a tangible contribution to Italian heritage, to the lives and careers of university students and to academic and community researchers in and outside Canada.

Sandra Parmegiani
Director of Italian Canadian Narrative Showcase (ICNS)
October 2020

Italians on the Frontiers,

October 2019

Brock University and University College projects at ICAP Conference – Inaugural issue

By Teresa Russo

Italians on the Frontiers was an undergraduate panel at the Italian Canadian Archives Project 9th Annual Conference (October 25-26, 2019) at Brock University where students presented their research from the Italian Canadian Studies courses offered at Brock University and University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Russo.

Academic posters were printed by Vaughan Capital and displayed throughout the conference while some students were present at the conference to discuss their academic posters and research.

Italian Fallen Workers,

April 2020

University College Undergraduate Conference on April 1

Italian Fallen Workers was the new theme for Italian Canadian Studies in 2020 at University College of the University of Toronto where Dr. Teresa Russo invited Paola Breda and Marino Toppan as guest speakers on the topic of fallen workers.

Breda and Toppan presented their seminal research, following their publication of Land of Triumph and Tragedy: Voices of the Italian Fallen Workers. Their presentation led to UC students returning to the archives to research the industries in which Italians loss their lives while building Canada from 1900-1990.

The academic posters were presented in live stream format on April 1, 2020.

Oral Histories: Traditional and Poetic Forms,

August 2021

University College and Brock University projects

ARICIC new project features oral histories with a special study on Sports conducted at Brock University as the Niagara Region prepares for the Canada Summer Games.

Students also discuss culture, heritage, contributions, and traditions with family members. And for the first time third generation Italian-Canadians share their ethnographic interviews through poetry, following Mary di Michele’s Life Sentences.