You are standing at the corner of Preston and Gladstone admiring the St. Anthony 1961 soccer championship team. St. Anthony’s is one of Ottawa’s oldest and most prestigious soccer clubs, named after the community’s patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua.
Up the hill, you can see St Anthony’s church, a keystone of the Italian community since 1913. One of its striking features is its beautiful artwork, and here you can see an original watercolour sketch by Guido Nincheri of one of the mozaics.
We deliberately chose to place our installation beside the imposing artwork designed by Chantal Gaudet known as Bambini. It captures the excitement and enthusiasm of children watching a soccer game and not only celebrates the passion Italians have for the beautiful game, but family and community that are such a vital part of life in Little Italy.
Please return to our website in the coming weeks as we reveal further stories of soccer and life in Little Italy.
This story was researched and developed by Emily Barsanti-Innes and Kelsey Bodechon as as a contribution to the Workers’ History Museum’s Capital History Kiosk’s project for Ottawa 2017. It formed part of her course work for Professor David Dean’s graduate seminar on museums, national identity, and public memory (Department of History, Carleton University). Emily and Kelsey would like to thank Luciano Pradal for his contribution: “Grazie, les Gemelli”. Our special thanks to the St. Anthony’s Soccer Club for their support, particularly in lending us the photograph from their club premises in Little Italy.
Thanks also to Megan Michie and Linda Cheslock of the City of Ottawa and Marie-Soleil Bergeron of Ottawa 2017 for their assistance, and to Lori Mellor of the Preston Street BIA and Councillor Catherine McKenny for their support.
This entry for capitalhistory.ca and its related installation at Preston and Gladstone was made possible by Ottawa 2017, CIBC and the three Arts, Culture and Heritage Program Stewarding Partners AOE Arts Council, Ottawa Arts Council and Council of Heritage Organizations of Ottawa.