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Cultural Cooperation


Cultural Cooperation

Cultural relations between Italy and Canada are always growing and developing. Major Canadian cities often host entire series of cultural activities centred on Italian traditions and customs, attracting not only the Italian community, but a general public that is increasingly curious and keen to discover new facets of Italy’s great historical and cultural heritage.

Among the more significant are the various “Italian Week” celebrations that take place in many of Canada’s cities. Through their combination of art, music, religion, sports, food, and popular entertainment, they highlight Italy’s image as a dynamic and modern country, and at the same time they allow the participants to immerse themselves in the unique traditions with which Italy is commonly associated. Also popular are the annual musical event that take place in the gardens of the Ambassador’s residence, the many film festivals dedicated to the masters and emerging talent of Italian cinema, among them the European Union Film Festival – at its 34th edition in the fall of 2019. In addition, there are art exhibits and the yearly edition of La Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo, which reconfirms and celebrates the presence and place of Italian throughout the world.

The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Italy in Ottawa plays a central role in promoting cultural relations between the two countries, through activities and initiatives in the areas of language promotion, the protection of cultural heritage, film arts, literature, music, visual arts and more. In fact it:

  • coordinates the activities of the Italian Cultural Institutes in Canada and defines an overall cultural policy for the year and plans a general program of cultural events;
  • promotes, together with the Italian Consular network in Canada, Italian language instruction in schools and universities;
  • facilitates, in cooperation with the Office of the Science Attaché, connections between the different public cultural institutions in the two countries, with particular attention to the Ministry of Culture, Education, and Scientific Research;
  • maintains and develops cooperation and exchanges with other Italian cultural institutions in Canada, such as the Network of Italian Lecturers at major Canadian universities, public schools, and Italian cultural associations and centres, as well as Italian language and Italian studies departments or sections at Canadian educational institutions;
  • ensures the continuity of bilateral relations between cultural and educational institutions, both public and private, in Canada and Italy, which continue to grow in the film sector (following the signature in 1997 of a bilateral agreement on film co-production);
  • finally, it manages the Italian Foreign Ministry Scholarship Program by centralizing the application collection and organizing the joint Canada-Italy evaluating committee.

Bilateral Agreements

Bilateral agreements between Italy and Canada in the area of cultural affairs include: the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation of 17 May, 1984; the Agreement on Film Co-production of November 13, 1997, in effect since 1999; the Program for Cooperation in Culture, Science and Technology of November 29, 2000. The Cultural Cooperation Program and the Program for Science and Technology Cooperation with Québec, signed December 7, 2000 must be added to this list. With reference to the Bilateral Cultural Program, signed in Rome in 2000, the Italian Government offers Canadian citizens and Italian citizens who are permanent residents in Canada, scholarships for Italian language and culture courses at Italian universities (short-term scholarships) or for individual research projects (long-term scholarships).