Campaniles or towers are found in every Italian village. They symbolize the strength of the home town especially for Italians who have emigrated.

Felice Valle left this village in 1858 to search for gold in California and British Columbia and did not contact his family for fourteen years.

Two of the Culos brothers and their nephew pose in front of the house in which the brothers and their five siblings were born.


Boss Whistle Cover

Whoever Gives Us Bread

The Story of Italians in British Columbia (2011)

Italian emigration has been described "as the largest exodus ever from one European nation," a situation so extreme that one writer has called it 'well-nigh expulsion.'" Millions of Italians emigrated from a land they had no wish to leave, from a climate and terrain essential to their being.

Fleeing grinding poverty they went to other European countries and to South America, Australia, the United States and Canada. Whoever Gives Us Bread tells the story of the Italians who came to British Columbia. Lured at first by California gold in the 1850s, they came north to the isolated valleys and cities of the province to pan for gold, raise cattle, dig coal, fell timber, build railroads, smelt copper and refine lead, and start small businesses.

Although British Columbia was desperate for workers,its citizens viewed Italians as undesireable immigrants. Canadian lawmakers were equally ambivalent. Whoever Gives Us Bread shows what the immigrants endured and how they became valued citizens over the course of the next 150 years.

The Castellarin family poses for a photograph which will be sent to their patriarch in Vancouver. Luciano and Ivana Culos Collection

Augusto Bosa began his business in Powell River looking after the needs of Italian Immigrants. Italian Cultural Centre Society

Just a few of the hundreds of post World War II immigrants who came from Udine, Friuli. Antonio and Maria Sedola Collection



Whoever Gives us Bread can be found at:

Douglas & McIntyre (2013) Ltd. (Harbour Publishing)

Nanaimo Museum

Avaliable as an E-book

Most bookstores

Major libraries or through inter-library loan.