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Cultural Diplomacy

Cultural relations between Italy and Canada are constantly growing.

Every year, different events dedicated to Italian culture and tradition are organized in major Canadian cities. The Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, the Week of the Italian Language in the World, Italian Design Day and the many art exhibitions are just some of the celebrations that take place in Canada. In the film sector, festivals such as The European Union Film Festival and the Italian Contemporary Film Festival – the largest festival of Italian contemporary cinema outside Italy – are opportunities to honour masters of the Italian cinema.

By bringing together a multitude of artistic, religious, social, musical and culinary elements, these events enhance the traditions and the uniqueness of our Country.

The Cultural Section of the Embassy of Italy in Ottawa plays an important role in enhancing cultural relations between the two countries through a variety of activities for the promotion of the Italian language and the protection of cultural heritage. Among the responsibilities of the Cultural Section are:

  • defining the annual guidelines for the organization of cultural events in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institutes in Canada;
  • promoting the teaching and learning of Italian language in schools and universities in partnership with the Italian Consular network in Canada;
  • facilitating collaboration and connection between different public cultural institutions in both countries;
  • maintaining relationships with the Italian cultural institutions in Canada and the Canadian cultural institutions in Italy, both at the national and provincial levels, with a view to collaborating in the organization of events and exhibitions;
  • managing the Italian government scholarship program.

Bilateral agreements

Italy and Canada have signed the following bilateral cultural agreements:

  • Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the Government of Canada and the Government of Italy, signed on 17 May 1984;
  • Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Italian Republic on Film Co-production, signed on 13 November 1997 (in effect since December 1999);
  • The Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation Programme signed on 29 November 2000;
  • The Cultural Cooperation Programme and Scientific and Technological Cooperation Programme signed on 7 December 2000.

On the basis of the Bilateral Cultural Programme, signed in Rome in 2000, the Italian Government offers scholarships to Canadian citizens for post graduate study (Master’s, Ph.D) or research projects at Italian universities.