In Conversation with Richard Gazzola

Guelph lawyer talks about Italian Canadian experiences during Second World War

June 9, 2015, GUELPH, ON: On June 14, a former local lawyer, Richard Gazzola, will be at the Guelph Civic Museum to share his memories of growing up in Guelph during the Second World War, and shed light on the experience of Italian-Canadians following Italy’s entry into the war.

Prior to Gazzola’s talk, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: Italian Canadian Experiences During WWII exhibition, which was created by the Columbus Centre in Toronto.

When Italy joined the Second World War on the German side, the Canadian government gave the RCMP authority to detain and imprison without charges Italian Canadians, who were considered dangerous. As a result, 31 000 Italian Canadians were designated “enemy aliens” and around 600 were removed from their homes and held in prisons and camps. Many Italian Canadians also lost jobs or experienced racism and violence in their communities, during this period.

Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times combines historical research with personal testimonies to explore this difficult period in Canadian history and to raise important questions about ethnicity, democracy and human rights.

The guided tour will start at 2 pm and Gazzola’s talk will follow. Tea and refreshments will be served. The event is free with admission.

Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk St.


Robin Morden

Community Relations Coordinator

Guelph Museums


[email protected]

Posted by Dawn Owen on June 11, 2015