The Italian Day Festival Society organizes Italian Day on The Drive, one of Vancouver’s largest cultural street festivals, held annually in June, which spans 13 blocks in the heart of Little Italy on Commercial Drive, historically drawing over 300,000 attendees. Our mission is to promote and celebrate Italian heritage, culture and community. Since the start of the pandemic and two consecutive years without the festival, we have been inspired to give back creatively by using the universal language of music in unique projects to uplift and unite community with messages of courage and love.
In 2020 – Italy’s uplifting example, during lockdown and a crisis period where people connected via music on their balconies, inspired us to take the music to communities in a mobile pop-up format during the summer to share courage and also bring awareness to mental health, and the many suffering with mental health challenges, exacerbated by COVID isolation. The 2020 Courage music series was initially launched at City Hall during Italian Heritage Month in a closed ceremony, and included representatives from Coast Mental Health for which we were able to raise $10,000 as part of the initiative to support their programs and funding impacted by COVID-19.
Our message for 2021 focuses on the action of Love. AMA (to love in Italian): a call for action, seeking love and unity as we move forward during these challenging times. We too wanted to incorporate youth, our future generation and hopeful tomorrow, who have the power to inspire and help make this world a better place, exemplified here in song theme selections and recordings done in collaboration with Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre.
Pop-Up Plaza @ 1700 Grant Street
This year, the summer re-opening has allowed us the opportunity to be part of the City’s Pop-up Plaza pilot project, in partnership with the Commercial Drive Business Society, providing a pop-up plaza on Grant Street, symbolically named Piazza Italia in the heart of Little Italy. A community space for all people to share, since July we have plugged live ambient music on weekends with local artists (Italo-Canadian and other duos/trios) to bring some much needed feel good experiences that the magic of music offers. To avoid large crowds, publicity to date has been discrete on the ambient segment of the Piazza music series, which has been limited to 50 people.
LIVE. Love. AMA on The Drive!
Sunday, August 22, 2021
12pm – 9pm
FREE TICKETED MUSIC CONCERT
We are super excited to announce that we are bringing the music to a big stage in Piazza Italia – a larger scale FREE concert event – and you are invited!
A day-long music festival, the concert event will feature 4 powerhouse show bands, comprised of top local artists with performances in Italian and English.
Presented by: The Italian Day Festival Society in collaboration with the Commercial Drive Business Society
Where: Piazza Italia – Pop-Up Plaza @ 1700 Grant St.
When: Sunday, August 22, 2021
Time: 12pm – 9pm
Capacity for the event will run at about 150 people at all times and will be based on controlled entry with FREE ticket(s) available to claim. Attendees have the choice of attending one or more of the slotted performances, and can even claim entry for ALL shows by claiming a FREE ticket for each performance. Note that LATE arrival into selected performance may not guarantee entry if Piazza is at capacity, as we will be allowing entrance to standby attendees at the start of all respective performances. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to performance(s) to ensure entry.
It will be an alcohol-free zone but guests may bring in food and non-alcoholic beverages while enjoying shows and atmosphere. Sopra Sotto restaurant, adjacent to Piazza Italia, will be offering their delicious menu items – and even a place to relax with an alcoholic beverage in between sets. Let’s also not forget all that The Drive offers with bars, restaurants, specialty stores and shops if spending the day and wanting to venture off to discover more.