Ground-Breaking New Book on the Italian-Canadian Immigration Experience

Toronto, CANADA

Thursday May 23, 2019 at 7 pm
Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre 
Toronto, Ontario CANADA

TORONTO, May 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Embassy of Italy, the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto and Villa Charities join together with authors Paola Breda and Marino Toppan to present a ground-breaking new history of the Italian-Canadian immigration experience, finally including the previously untold story of the thousands of Italian Fallen Workers who died building this beautiful country — a story that’s destined to become a new piece of Canadian History.

Compiled after decades of research by Toppan, this epic new volume includes countless contributions from across the country, from scholars of Italian-Canadian history and the families of the fallen themselves. This ground breaking new book includes profiles of those in the Italian community in Canada who triumphed with incredible successes, those who died in tragic circumstances, as well as in-depth studies on immigration patterns, labour history, socio-adaptive patterns, labour action, strife and hardships experienced, and many more themes in the Italian-Canadian identity. It even coins a new phrase: Canadianità!

Land of Triumph and Tragedy is a sequel to the creation of the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Wall, unveiled on 28 April 2016 at Villa Charities, a project that was awarded the prestigious Medaglia d’Oro al Merito Civile — the first medal of this calibre ever given by the Italian government to anyone outside of Italy. For Toppan and Breda, this is a living memorial that has a place in every home of Canadians of Italian heritage, so that new generations know about the sacrifice of their forefathers.

This project is both unique and trailblazing; a new chapter has been written in Canadian history, and as such, Toppan and Breda have made a significant contribution to the cultural life of this country. — VINCENZO PIETROPAOLO, Award Winning documentary Photographer.

Land of Triumph and Tragedy: Voices of the Italian Fallen Workers is not simply another book about the migration of Italian communities in Canada. On the contrary, Land of Triumph adds a fundamental building block to the cultural, social and historical paradigms of Italian migration. Land of Triumph and Tragedy is an important work, a book that offers a new identity to our community. — SALVATORE BANCHERI, University of Toronto.

Land of Triumph and Tragedy: Voices of the Italian Fallen Workers is an epic and voluminous recounting of the Italian-Canadian immigration experience. At 984 full colour pages in 8.5”X11” format, it tells the story of triumph and of tragedy, including many stories yet untold in the annals of Canadian History. The book has been published by Verità and is now available for pre-order at For media interviews or review copies, please contact Kathleen Sloan at Villa Charities 416.789.7011 X 309, or via email at, or Cav. Marino Toppan of the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Project 416.522.5481

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Land of Triumph and Tragedy