Italian Day 2023 Highlights

Once again, Italian Day on The Drive will fly its green, white and red colours proudly, featuring food, patios, live music, fashion, activities and more. Together with an Italian Day record of close to 160 street participants lining The Drive, additional programming enhancements will transform intersections and Grandview Park into Piazza-style cultural content anchors, as well as activity, seating, music and dancing areas from Parker Street to 5th Ave, adding 4 more blocks of cultural programming to the historical 8 block Little Italy.

Street Highlights include:

160 street participants: comprised of 20 patios, 60 Drive merchants, 23 food trucks/carts, and over 55 outside vendors, sponsors and non-profits

45 Italian food, beverage and product related merchants and vendors; and an additional 20 European and Latin amici (merchants and vendors)

3 music stages + 1 Music Tent: Main Stage in Grandview Park, Piazza Italia Stage @ 2nd Ave, Piazza Moda Stage @ 3rd Ave, and Piazza Bosa Music Tent @ Parker Street

4 DJs: DJ Storm (Jeff Gentile) @ Grant St Piazza; DJ MiXXX (Nick Guarna) @ Napier St Piazza; DJ Vic Mazzei at Pasta Eating Contest Stage @ 5th Ave; and MRZ DJ (Maurizio Margari) at Piazza Moda @ 3rd Ave

7 street personalities: special guest celebrity shoeshiner and artisan shoemaker direct from Verona, Italy – Gaio Il Calzolaio, as well as carnival stilt walkers, and living statues

5 activities for the whole family: Carnival Games & RE/MAX Children’s Arts & Crafts zone (Grandview Park); Pasta Eating Contests (5th Ave), BMO human foosball (Parker Street); Il Centro Exotic Car Display (4th Ave) and Vespa Metro Vancouver – Il Concorso d’Eleganza Vespa scooter display (2nd Ave)

5 seating areas: Grandview Park, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, Grant Street, Parker Street

4 raffle prize opportunities: 1st Prize – Vespa Primavera Scooter; 2nd Prize – Fontana Forni wood-fire oven with pizza making class for two; 3rd Prize – Shop & Dine Little Italy Experience; 4th Prize – Tickets for 4 to Whitecaps FC game with signed Jersey.

• 3 raffle stations with over $11,000 worth of prizes and an opportunity to win a Vespa Primavera (1st Prize)! This year will also feature limited edition Little Italy merchandise at the raffle stations, located at 2nd Ave, Grant Street and in Grandview Park (by main stage)

2 fashion shows with Milan-style runways at Piazza Moda on 3rd Ave, featuring Canadian designers Atelier GRANDI and JAC by Jacqueline Conoir, with shoes and handbags from Kalena Shoes (Drive merchant since 1967).

Authentic Italian Table: Presented by the Italian Chamber of Commerce, indulge ‘Made in Italy’ food products, wine and beer samplings, as well as other products in Grandview Park

• Bosa Foods’ Piazza: dedicated to product samplings from Bosa Foods Famiglia product line, as well as offering compliment live music and some seating throughout the day at Parker Street

• Opening Ceremony join us at Main Stage in Grandview Park when we launch the Italian Day festival from noon – 12:45pm in the spirit of celebration, featuring guest speakers and performers

1 American Idol Contestant: Emma Busse, a local 20 year old Italo-Canadian who made top 24 on this season’s American Idol, will be performing at the Opening Ceremony and at 2nd & 3rd Ave stages

• 1 award-winning pizzaiolo: award-winning pizza chef Giuseppe Cortinovis collaborates with Fontana Forni @ 4th Ave to showcase Made in Italy wood-fire and gas pizza ovens, including direct from the oven pizza samplings.

• 1 bike valet: Use our complimentary bike valet @ 6th Ave, walk or take transit

• 1 unforgettable experience

Opening Ceremony

Grandview Park – Main Stage
Noon – 12:45pm

Join us at Main Stage in Grandview Park at 12:00pm – 12:45pm for the Opening Ceremony, as we open the event with the Canadian and Italian national anthems, as well as other acknowledgments, guest speakers, and performers, including 20 year old local Italo-Canadian, Emma Busse, who made top 24 in this year’s American Idol. We will close the Ceremony with a special sing-a-long, launching the event in the spirit of celebration, community and amore! Benvenuti tutti!