New generation of Italian-Montrealers remake traditions
CBC Daybreak live in St Léonard at Café Milano, taking a look at Montreal's Italian community, circa 2016
CBC Daybreak took its show to Café Milano in St-Léonard, the heart of Montreal's Italian community.
Here's what three Italian-Montrealers are doing to remake old traditions for a new generation.
Danny ''Smiles'' Francis is a lover of old-school Italian cooking
He is head chef and co-owner Le Bremner restaurant in Old Montreal.
Danny grew up speaking Italian and cooking Italian-style at home with his parents and grandparents in the Montreal borough of Anjou.
He never expected to cook professionally.
In fact, his parents did not want him to become a chef. They were hoping for a lawyer.
But once Danny decided to embark on that course, he persisted, building a career cooking classic Italian dishes like cacio e pepe (cheese + pepper).
Today, he shares his love for classic Italian recipes and cooking techniques though his video interview series for Vice, Old-School Italian Cooking With Danny Smiles.
Grande grande grande
Alessandra Tropeano is a singer and organizer of arts events in the Montreal-Italian community
She sings classic Italian songs, in Italian.
She grew up in Laval, speaking – and singing – in Italian.
As a teen, she entered an Italian singing competition with her sister Felicia, and she hasn't stopped performing since.
Now, 10 years later, she sings regularly at fundraisers and community and private events – and always in Italian.
Audiences love her renditions of classic Italian songs such as Grande grande grande, a number 1 hit in Italy more than 40 years ago.
Tropeano says people are surprised and happy to see a young Italian-Montrealer performing older songs in Italian.
Sandro Battaglia is a tailor and the co-owner of Battaglia and Aly, located in Little Italy.
That's where he and his team design and produce high-end menswear.
Battaglia grew up in Rivière-des-Prairies, watching and helping his tailor father, a Sicilian immigrant, at work.
His own flair for fashion showed itself early.
He wore bow ties to kindergarten, and a fur hat to church.
When he decided become a tailor professionally, his parents were opposed. They said it was a dying industry, and the work was too hard.
However, Battaglia was betting on a tailoring revival, and he was right.
Today, his thriving Montreal company creates more than 500 handmade suits a year.