BEYOND BELLA: Salone Di Cultura Challenges Myths About Italian-Canadian Women, 6/8
Artistic Director Daniela Nardi tackles the myths surrounding Italian-Canadian women with Beyond Bella, the seventh edition of the dynamic, engaging Salone di Cultura. Coinciding with Italian Heritage Month, the June 8, 2018 Salone celebrates Italian-Canadian women artists and creators. For the first time, the Salone takes place at Toronto's 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education, where Nardi was recently appointed Executive Director.
This year's theme, Beyond Bella, reinforces the Salone's mandate of looking beyond stereotypes to shine a light on Italian contemporary culture in Canada. "Staying true to the Salone's vision, we will explore the many myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings around what it means to be an Italian-Canadian woman, and how that informs our art," says Nardi.
"As an Italian-Canadian woman, I have had to navigate the ancient psychological terrain of how my heritage informs, influences, and motivates my every move, and as an artist, every choice I make," says Nardi. "The images of Mamma, Nonna, Italian cinematic vixen are omnipresent. Who is she? What is she, and why? What demands have these images imposed on Italian-Canadian women? This is what I want to explore through Beyond Bella."
Drawing inspiration from Italian salon gatherings, the Salone di Cultura is a bold initiative created to explore and promote contemporary Italian-Canadian arts and culture within an inclusive setting. Founded in 2013, this popular series has become a go-to celebration of all things Italian-Canadian within the context of the diverse, vibrant cultural fabric of Toronto.
"My goal for the Salone is to explore and express Italian culture 2.0 and free it from nostalgia. Along with the guest artists participating in Beyond Bella, I want to bring traditions forward into the present and allow them to mingle and evolve, while nurturing cross-cultural dialogue."
The Beyond Bella Salone consists of two components, Musica and Arte. The evening opens at 7 PM with a classic aperitivo curated by culinary partner Dinah Koo - caterer and cookbook author, and one of Toronto's best-known and longest-serving female chefs. Performances by Daniela Nardi's "very playful, poised, vivacious, sexy and suave" Espresso Manifesto (Broadway Baby), with guest Andrea Ramolo, one half of acclaimed Canadian folk-pop duo Scarlett Jane, begin the Musica segment at 8 PM.
The Arte segment takes place in the Great Hall and Gallery at 918 Bathurst. Projection artist Cinzia Cavalieri will collaborate with the musicians in the Great Hall to set the mood for the Salone. The works of artists Julie Campagna (sculpture), Frances Patella (photography) and Sandra Tarantino (mixed media) will be exhibited in the 918Gallery spaces, where they will remain on display for the month of June.
Beyond Bella is presented with community partners Villa Charities/Carrier Gallery, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto, Abbozzo Gallery at 401 Richmond and Hamilton Arts Council to celebrate Italian-Canadian women artists and creators during Italian Heritage Month 2018.
ABOUT DANIELA NARDI
With over 20 years in the arts as an arts entrepreneur, presenter, award-winning musician and recording artist, Daniela brings a love, passion and wealth of experience for the arts and culture to the role of Executive and Artistic Director at 918 Bathurst.
To say that culture and the arts are Daniela's life is an understatement. Nurturing and expanding diverse cultural and multicultural milieus are her passions. Locally, nationally and internationally, Daniela has spent a lifetime steeped in culture, with a special focus on Italian Canada. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Salone di Cultura, a successful series of bilingual, multi-modal cultural exchanges between Canada, Italy and its sizable diasporas. She is the past Chair of the Culture Committee for Villa Charities. Daniela also served as the Cultural Director at Toronto's Columbus Centre, where she developed the institution's forward-looking Cultural Strategic Plan.
Daniela has also garnered experience as a marketing and communications director/strategist and fundraiser in arts and non-arts environments. She is a graduate of York University's Fine Arts program in Music, as well as Humber College Jazz programs. She has served on the advisory board for Prism Music Video Prize, as a member of SOCAN, Toronto Musicians' Union, ACTRA and Canadian Guild of Canadian Film/TV Composers. Daniela was born and raised in Toronto, and lives in the centre of the city with her husband.
ABOUT SALONE DI CULTURA
Salone di Cultura is a bold initiative created to explore and promote contemporary Italian-Canadian arts and culture within an inclusive setting. Founded in 2013, this popular series has become a go-to celebration of all things Italian-Canadian within the context of the diver, vibrant cultural fabric of Toronto. To date there have been four annual editions of the Salone, including Memory and Vision, and Città Aperta, along with a few smaller events - each more successful than the other. Audiences have been treated to the incredible cuisine of Pugliese chef Massimo Bruno, and have listened to renowned speakers including world renowned mafia expert, author Antonio Nicaso, and Professor Edi Giunta of New Jersey University. Past editions of the Salone have featured music by Toronto's Espresso Manifesto, Italian Jazz clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi, and Italian-Canadian-Dutch trumpeter Lina Allemano. The Salone di Cultura has attracted diverse audiences and significant media attention from CBC, OMNI TV, Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, MediaSet, and Telelatino.