Italian Day on the Drive in Vancouver 2023

Comments 1 by Alexis

Vancouver’s Little Italy is hosting the ultimate community celebration of Italian culture and heritage at this year’s Italian Day on the Drive. This year’s Renaissance-themed street party, that spans 14 blocks on Commercial Drive, marks new beginnings after a three-year hiatus.

Italian Day on the Drive 2023
Photo Submitted

Italian Day on the Drive

  • When: Sunday June 11, 2023 from 12:00pm to 9:00pm
    • Opening Ceremony at the Main Stage in Grandview Park noon – 12:45pm featuring guest speakers and performers
  • Where: Commercial Drive, Vancouver from Venables to East 7th Ave (view map here)
  • Admission: FREE!

The festival will have something for everyone, from music to design, food and drink, activities for all ages, and more. Summer patios will come alive along with Italian food and wine tasting piazzas, fashion runways, lots of music, an opportunity to dance in the streets, sit in the park, eat, shop, and play.

Join this year’s Renaissance and cultural celebration, surrounded by the warmth and vibrancy of the Italian lifestyle, and above all – the love of life and community.


  • 160 street participants: comprised of 20 patios, 60 Drive merchants, 23 food trucks/carts, and over 55 outside vendors, sponsors and non-profits
  • 45 Italian food, beverage and product related merchants and vendors; and an additional 20 European and Latin amici (merchants and vendors)
  • 3 music stages + 1 Music Tent: Main Stage in Grandview Park, Piazza Italia Stage @ 2nd Ave, Piazza Moda Stage @ 3rd Ave, and Piazza Bosa Music Tent @ Parker Street
  • 4 DJs: DJ Storm (Jeff Gentile) @ Grant St Piazza; DJ MiXXX (Nick Guarna) @ Napier St Piazza; DJ Vic Mazzei at Pasta Eating Contest Stage @ 5th Ave; and MRZ DJ (Maurizio Margari) at Piazza Moda @ 3rd Ave
  • 7 street personalities: special guest celebrity shoeshiner and artisan shoemaker direct from Verona, Italy – Gaio Il Calzolaio, as well as carnival stilt walkers, and living statues
  • 5 activities for the whole family: Carnival Games & RE/MAX Children’s Arts & Crafts zone (Grandview Park); Pasta Eating Contests (5th Ave), BMO human foosball (Parker Street); Il Centro Exotic Car Display (4th Ave) and Vespa Metro Vancouver – Il Concorso d’Eleganza Vespa scooter display (2nd Ave)
  • 5 seating areas: Grandview Park, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, Grant Street, Parker Street
  • 2 fashion shows with Milan-style runways at Piazza Moda on 3rd Ave, featuring Canadian designers Atelier GRANDI and JAC by Jacqueline Conoir, with shoes and handbags from Kalena Shoes (Drive merchant since 1967).
  • Authentic Italian Table: Presented by the Italian Chamber of Commerce, indulge ‘Made in Italy’ food products, wine and beer samplings, as well as other products in Grandview Park
  • Bosa Foods’ Piazza: dedicated to product samplings from Bosa Foods Famiglia product line, as well as offering compliment live music and some seating throughout the day at Parker Street
  • American Idol Contestant: Emma Busse, a local 20 year old Italo-Canadian who made top 24 on this season’s American Idol, will be performing at the Opening Ceremony and at 2nd & 3rd Ave stages
  • Award-winning pizzaiolo: award-winning pizza chef Giuseppe Cortinovis collaborates with Fontana Forni @ 4th Ave to showcase Made in Italy wood-fire and gas pizza ovens, including direct from the oven pizza samplings.
  • Bike valet: Use our complimentary bike valet @ 6th Ave, walk or take transit

June is Italian Heritage Month, an opportunity to honour the history, culture, and contributions of Italian-Canadians to the City of Vancouver. It involves a month long series of events presented by various partners, including Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre, the Italian Day Festival Society, Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West, showcasing performances, exhibitions, language and cultural initiatives, community festivals, and other events. The Italian Day Festival Society launches the cultural festivities on a grand scale with Italian Day on The Drive, the signature and largest event of Italian Heritage Month. 

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Related: Festival

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1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. SandyMonday, May 15th, 2023 — 10:50pm PDT

    I haven’t been to Commercial Drive in many years. I grew up in East Van, but moved to the burbs when I got married. The “Drive” is a great place if you don’t drive. I’d like to attend but instead, I’ll just view vicariously the media from social media, lol

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