Ritual: Good Friday in Toronto’s Italian Immigrant Community, 1969-2016 by Vincenzo Pietropaolo

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Ritual: Good Friday in Toronto’s Italian Immigrant Community, 1969-2016  by Vincenzo Pietropaolo

Black Dog Publishing

Publication Date: February 2017

ISBN: 978-1-911164-07-4

English: 216 pages, including four gatefolds

Hardcover: $39.95

Dimensions: 27 x 30 cm / 12 x 10 inches

Includes more than 150 original photographs in colour, and in black and white.


In Ritual, photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo documents the Good Friday procession, an elaborate event that takes place annually ­in the streets of Toronto’s Little Italy. It is the largest Catholic procession in North America, consisting of multiple re-enactments of Biblical scenes that depict the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross). It involves more than 200 volunteers and amateur actors and over a dozen statues of saints. It is a rare event of solemnity and spirituality in the streets of the city, and has become an emotional high point of Toronto’s multicultural communities. The book is lavishly illustrated and contains an essay by the author, interviews with key participants, and short critical texts from the Art Gallery of Ontario and Ryerson University. Ritual has received critical acclaim from the media, including the Catholic Register, the Toronto Star, and The Guardian.


About the Author

Vincenzo Pietropaolo grew up in the neighbourhood, and he and his family were parishioners of St Francis of Assisi Church, which organizes the event. He has made it his life’s mission to photograph the immigrant experience and social justice issues. His work is distinguished for the sense of dignity and empathy toward his subjects. Canadian Geographic Magazine has called him “one of Canada’s pre-eminent documentary photographers.” Pietropaolo work has been exhibited internationally, and is also in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada and other museums.