Entertaining ethnicity: identity, place, and the Italian festival in Vancouver and trail, British Columbia, 1945-2001

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This thesis examines the postwar history of Italians in Vancouver and Trail, British Columbia through the lens of festivals. It argues that ethnic identities have been constructed at the local level within what is often considered to be a single ethnic group—Italian Canadians—and that these identities were both cultivated and expressed at cultural events. Italian ethnicity in Vancouver and Trail was influenced by a set of variables: the time of arrival, size, regional diversity, and spatial concentration of the Italian population; the role of governments in funding material and cultural projects; rural and nostalgic forms of Italian culture versus those of high culture; Italian participation in the labour market; and relations with the local non-Italian population. These variables combined in locally distinct ways and at Italian festivals took the form of two different historical conversations about what it meant to be Italian in Vancouver and Trail.
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