The Montreal Youth Italian-Canadian Association is eager to spread Italian culture
Montreal has a widespread Italian community and, as a result, many second and third-generation Italians have not fully maintained their cultural roots. This is the sentiment that has led the Montreal Italian-Canadian Association (MYICA), a non-profit, non-partisan association, to join the roster of student groups at Concordia.
“We thought of no better way to get in touch with the young generation of Montrealers than starting a university group,” says executive member and Concordia student, Nicholas La Monaca. “The cultural diversity at Concordia is astonishing, and creating a student group whose objective is to promote cultural modernity among the student body seemed like a perfect match.”
MYICA has made it their mission to encourage younger Italian-Canadians to not only be connected to their heritage but to keep in touch with Italy’s modernization.
“Any form of culture should always be maintained,” says La Monaca. “The Italian culture in Montreal seems to have slowly come to a halt [and] it appears as though the knowledge of Italian culture had not gone past the late ‘90s.”
MYICA is also pushing to change the perception of Italian-Quebecers.
“There are stereotypes on what it is to be Italian that need to be erased,” explains La Monaca.
However, MYICA feels that the Italian community is in the right place for a “fresh and modern update on what it’s like to be a contemporary Italian.”
The Concordia Italian Association (CIA), an already established student group in Concordia’s Student Union, welcomes MYICA with open arms and foresees a collaboration on future events at the university.
“Our mandate differs from the simple fact that we are a city-wide association and that our network and events are not limited to Concordia and the student body,” says La Monaca. “We look forward to collaborating with forward-thinking and positive individuals and organizations that believe in the unity of all Italians.”
La Monaca explains how MYICA is not exclusive to Italians.
“We are open and extremely welcoming to anyone who wishes to be a part of this cultural movement or simply interested by it.”
MYICA will be hosting their launch event, Cibo di Strata, which translates to street food, on March 28 at the Casa D’Italia at 6 p.m.. They have decided to commemorate a recent addition in Montreal cuisine — food trucks — but putting a MYICA twist on it,demonstrating street food done in an Italian way.
“Cibo di Strada will showcase popular culinary trends that branch out from three different parts of Italy, the northern, central and southern regions, in which we will promote through our local Montreal,” says La Monaca.
Tickets for the event are $20 and with that guests can sample three dishes: La Piadina, Panino di Porchetta and un Arancino.
“Of course, with that comes wine, coffee and who can forget, gelato,” says La Monaca.
MYICA is in the final stages of its approval to be granted official status as a student club at Concordia. Once granted official status, MYICA will offer Concordia students member discounts on their events and the opportunity to be an active part of the city-wide association.