For Italian Heritage Month, jazz musician Carmen Spada puts on an event in Brampton’s City Hall every year to honour his heritage and spread his passion for Italian music.
“I host this event every year on behalf of the City of Brampton, and it’s a non-negotiable event for me,” Spada said. “It’s so important to my roots and my family and always bringing honour to my ancestors who came here.”
Spada is Brampton-born Italian jazz musician and has been involved in Italian and jazz-related events in the city for years.
June is recognized as the time to honour and celebrate the contributions made by Italian Canadians to society.
The City of Brampton hosted its annual celebration on Saturday by the Italian flag in Ken Whillans Square.
Guests were then welcomed to the City Hall Conservatory to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine provided by Tonino’s Pizzeria and Panini.
While guests were enjoying their food, Spada entertained the attendees with a performance on his accordion.
“I’m one of the very few accordion players in the country,” said Spada. “it’s really a deceased art.”
Many attendees gathered at the centre of City Hall’s Conservatory during the event, dancing and singing along to the lively Italian music.
“It’s one day of the year that brings honour to the sacrifices that were made by our immigrant population,” said Spada. “We get to celebrate it but it’s not a sombre event, it’s a kind of reflection but also with food and dance and music.”
Guests from diverse nationalities in Brampton came together to enjoy the event and celebrate the contributions of Italian Canadians to the city.
“That’s the nice thing about Canada, you get to spend time with other cultural groups,” said Spada. “If you ever experience other cultures, you’ll get a lot of the same feelings – family, religion, music.”
Attendee Rana Zhalt was hesitant in attending the event but was overjoyed by the welcoming environment.
“I thought it was gonna be all Italians, but there’s such a mix of people here just learning and enjoying Italian culture,” Rana said. “I got to enjoy such wonderful food, people, and music!”
“The Italian Brampton community is so great,” said Zhalt. “I would love to come back next year.”