This yearís festival is one worthy to celebrate as it marks a milestone. Montrealís annual Italian Week Festival returns for its 25th year of culture, entertainment, and family fun. David De Cotis, Deputy Mayor of Laval says, ďIt is an achievement in itself that the festival has sustained over 25 years passed down from generations. It is important for the generations to come to be reminded of the culture and traditions of our ancestors.Ē

Over the years, the event has expanded across Montreal and for the second time will cross the bridge over to Laval. Last year, the festival in Laval was a tremendous success, the organizers and the community were pleased with the results and the turnout. ďI hope that even more people will come out to celebrate again this year,Ē says Jean Rouselle, Deputy of Vimont.

This year the 25th edition will highlight the region of Tuscany. The opera La BohŤme as well as the Sbandieratori (famous Flag Throwers) will be presented and it will be quite a spectacle for people to appreciate. Every aspect of the culture will be showcased through a program focused on film, gastronomy, fashion, music, art exhibitions and local talents. There are other surprises that will take place, but those are to be discovered in person!

ďThere is something for everyone such as Bocce and soccer tournaments,Ē says Josie Verrillo, Director General of the National Congress of Italian Canadians and Montreal's Italian Week Festival. The Il Piccolo Leonardo contest returns for another year, to offer children the opportunity to let their creativity flow.

De Cotis remembers fondly how quickly the food vendors ran out of food last year. The walkway in Lavalís Lausanne Park was busy with families and friends who were there to have fun, eat and take in the culture. Even when the food ran out, the fun went on, and that is what the festival represents. It creates a sense of belonging, joy, and unity in the Italian culture. It lights upon friendliness and offers the opportunity to discover new facets of the culture.

Verrillo wants all participants to walk away from the festival saying that it was a great event, it was positive and that they look forward to coming back. She expresses that she wants all participants to ďhave a beautiful experience, and to be surprised about things they would not have known about our Italian community.Ē Rouselle wants to encourage everyone to be present at this yearís Italian Week. It is the time to go outside, bring the family out and discover culture. Diversity is the brand of our country; it is what brings people together thus making this festival an occasion not to be missed.

Supported by local businesses, merchants, and popular with thousands of participants and visitors, the Italian Week Festival is proof that the Italian spirit is strong and present in Quebec. The Italian Week will run over a course of ten days from August 3rd to 12th, 2018. The Italian community encourages all to come out and share their rich culture through a variety of free shows and activities with local audiences of all ages and ethnicities.