• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa Italian Festival 2024: A Celebration of Culture, Cuisine, and Community!

Ottawa is home to a rich tapestry of cultures, yet few can claim a neighbourhood as distinct as the one on Preston Street that 613ers know affectionately as Little Italy. Sure, Italian culture has permeated the city with other favourite spots like La Bottega in the ByWard Market and Mama Theresas on Somerset Street. Still, the hub remains in the Preston Street area.

Soon, the street will come alive with the vibrancy of the culture from Europe’s boot! Prepare to be transported into Italian culture as the Ottawa Italian Festival returns from June 6 to June 16.

This cherished festival pays homage to Ottawa’s rich Italian heritage. As the city buzzes with anticipation, residents and visitors alike eagerly await the eleven days of festivities that promise to capture the senses and celebrate the essence of Italian identity.

Preston Street’s Italy’s culinary delights beckon food enthusiasts daily to indulge in a gastronomic adventure, but the Ottawa Italian Festival is more than just a celebration of cuisine; it’s a journey through Italian culture, where every street corner becomes a stage for vibrant performances and cultural activities.

From lively music to captivating art exhibitions showcasing Italy’s artistic heritage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the festival’s highlights is the masterclass on Artisan Italian Wines with Sommelier Tristan Bragaglia-Murdock. Wine connoisseurs and novices alike are invited to embark on a unique exploration of Italy’s viticultural landscape, guided by Bragaglia-Murdock’s expertise.

Participants will discover the hidden gems of Italian winemaking, from the sun-kissed vineyards of Tuscany to the rugged terrain of Sicily, and savour the diverse flavours and aromas that define Italy’s winemaking tradition.

For those eager to delve deeper into Ottawa’s Italian-Canadian heritage, a free walking tour offers a fascinating journey through Little Italy’s storied past. Led by knowledgeable guides, participants will uncover the neighbourhood’s evolution from a bustling immigrant enclave to a thriving cultural hub.

The festival also pays homage to Italy’s rich religious traditions with an outdoor family mass at St. Anthony’s Church. Against the backdrop of the church’s historic architecture, worshippers will gather to participate in a time-honoured tradition that celebrates faith, family, and community spirit.

For young aspiring artists, the Italian Mosaics children’s event offers a hands-on opportunity to explore the ancient art form of mosaic-making. In this class, children will learn how to create their own masterpieces inspired by ancient Roman mosaics under the guidance of experienced instructors.

As the sun sets over Ottawa, the festival comes alive with an array of evening events that showcase the best of Italian cuisine and culture. From pasta-making workshops led by renowned chefs to coffee-tasting sessions that delve into the art of espresso-making, there’s no shortage of opportunities to delight in the tastes of Italy and deepen your understanding of its culinary traditions.

On June 13th, dress up in cocktail attire for a special evening of food, wine, and spirits with Canadian celebrity Chef David Rocco (7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.). Renowned for hit television shows, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and spin-offs Dolce India and Dolce Africa, Chef David Rocco has also authored three bestselling cookbooks, including his latest, David Rocco’s Dolce HomeMade. Rub elbows with David Rocco and savour a diverse array of culinary delights and beverages from a multitude of stations. Click here to get your ticket to this exciting culinary event.

The Grand Finale Weekend on Preston Street, put on in partnership with the Preston Street BIA, promises to be a spectacle of epic proportions, including street parties, live music performances, and free comedy shows that capture Italy’s vibrant spirit.

The festival is an opportunity for Ottawa to come together, celebrate community, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Italy with their families, friends, and neighbours.

Tickets for masterclasses and exclusive events are selling fast. Be sure to secure your spot and join the fun for an unforgettable celebration of Italian culture, cuisine, and community at the Ottawa Italian Festival 2024.

For the full festival schedule and ticket bookings, visit www.italianweekottawa.ca