September 6, 2013




Conclave - The Papal Have Spoken

After the unprecedented resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, whose tenure was marred by sexual abuse scandals in the Church, corruption at the Vatican, and “Vatileaks,” Catholics have a new spiritual leader. On March 13, the conclave of 115 cardinals chose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as the new “Bishop of Rome.” He is the first non-European to hold the position and his chosen holy name, Francis – after St. Francis of Assisi – is the first use of the name in papal history. Born of Italian immigrant parents in Argentina in 1936, he is considered a charismatic, deep-thinker with a diplomat’s touch and an administrator’s firm hand. Francis I faces the arduous task of leading a church widely viewed as out of touch and under fire by accusations of pedophilia, misogyny, and homophobia. Other candidates for pope had included Angelo Scola of Milan and Marc Ouellet, the former  archbishop of Quebec City – the first time that a Canadian is believed to have come so close to becoming pope.

Source: Montreal Gazette


Comic Relief - Italian Voters Send Message

In nation-wide legislative elections held in February, Italians split their vote three ways between left, right, and gridlock. The upstart Movimento Cinque Stelle  or Five-Star Movement, led by former comedian and political blogger Beppe Grillo, captured 25 percent of the vote, enough to deny the centre-left coalition led by Pier Luigi Bersani control of the Senate and cast doubts about the quick formation of a governing coalition. The voting by  Italians living abroad did not mirror the political choices in Italy, as most cast their ballot for Bersani’s Democratic Party, though only 32 percent of eligible voters participated in the voting. Torontonian Francesca La Marca was elected to the legislature for the Democratic Party, while Chicago native Renato Turano defeated Montrealer Basilio Giordano, who ran under Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing coalition, for a seat in the Senate.

 Source: Corriere della Sera


Commemoration - Dateline 1943: Allied Forces Liberate Italy

July 10th, 2013, will mark the seventieth anniversary of the start of Canadian and Allied military action during World War II that led to the liberation of Sicily and the beginning of the end of Fascism in Europe. Operation Husky, the Anglo-American plan to invade Sicily, and southern Italy, by land and sea, consisted of some 500,000 soldiers, including 25,000 Canadians. The battle for mainland Italy continued throughout 1944, as the Allies drove the Nazis further and further north under difficult conditions and over rugged terrain. Allied and German casualties are estimated to have exceeded 100,000. Almost 6000 Canadians are buried in cemeteries across Italy. Seventy years later, their sacrifice remains alive in the hearts and memories of Canadians and Italians.



Environment - Towards a More Sustainable Future

The third edition of the Canada-EU Green Building Forum was held at the Canadian Embassy in Rome on March 1. The forum gave presenters the opportunity to discuss issues relating to the sustainability of existing buildings and the more efficient and cleaner use of building materials such as wood, ceramics and chemical products. The Canadian delegates had the opportunity to visit green building sites in northern Italy. The forum represented a major stepping-stone in the development of relations and collaborations on green buildings between Canada and Italy. Among the Canadian participants were Thomas Mueller of the Canada Green Building Council, Peter Moonen of the Canada Wood Council, and Sylvain Labbé of the Québec Wood Export Bureau. On the Italian side, participants included members of the Green Building Council of Italy, representatives of the Province of Trento, ENEA (the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), the Italian Contractors’ Association, the Italian Ceramics Association and representatives from international adhesives manufacture MAPEI.




On Stage - Celebrating the Puppets

In March the city of Maiori, along the beautiful Amalfi coast, hosted the Giornata mondiale della marionetta. The festival, inaugurated in 2000 following the eighteenth quadrennial congress of the Unione Internazionale della Marionetta (UNIMA) held in Magdeburg, Germany, is also being sponsored by UNESCO. The celebration of the art of puppeteering includes exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and shows featuring the magnificent world of puppets. UNIMA General Secretary Jacques Trudeau from Canada delivered the opening address.




On Screen - Quebec Film Days in Italy

Les journées du cinéma québécois en Italie, the festival that brings Quebecois movies to Italian audiences, celebrated its tenth anniversary in March. The theme of this year’s festival was “Féminine Pluriel,” giving voice to works by female Quebecois filmmakers  Among the featured films were Over My Dead Body  by Brigitte Poupart, Nuit #1  by Anne Émond, and Pour L’amour de Dieu  by Micheline Lanctôt. Among the short films were Sept Heures Trois Fois Par Année, Ina Litovski and Petite Mort  by Anaēs Barbeau-Lavalette. The films were screened at the Institut franćais in Milan.





Compiled by Giulia De Gasperi and Jeff Parent



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