Who We Are – Chi Samo
Established in 1959, the Fogolar Association of Winnipeg is a non for profit cultural/ social organization comprised of members who originate from the Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Veneto Regions of Italy.
The word Fogolar means “Fireplace” in the Friulano language, a gathering place where our grand-fathers and grand-mothers would gather, cook their meals, keep warm, tell stories – where they would dream about their future, laugh and cry! Hence our Fogolar here in Manitoba emulates the gathering place around the flaming blaze. Canada Our Fogolar emulates And this evening your are gathered around our FOGOLAR here in Winnipeg.
The Fogolar is made up of members from the Friuli – Venezia and the Veneto region located in the north eastern part of Italy. And while most of our forefathers have passed they have left a legacy. The majority of our current membership is comprised of 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Italian-Canadians. It is very special that we are still here today, it says something of our past members and family who instilled a strong sense and pride of heritage and culture. Our founder’s membership objective was very different to that of today’s, at the onset, they gathered because they were new to the country, many were alone, did not speak English and the Fogolar became their new family, today, as most of us are 2nd and 3rd generation, we are proud of our founders, we respect and have a strong affinity with the area where they came from and that is why we continues as best as we can to provide to enjoy the beauty, the culture, the food and drink and to establish partnerships with the modern Friuli and the Veneto and with the 150 affiliated FOGOLARS around the world.
The Fogolar’s history begins in January 18, 1959, its first president was Guerino Battigelli. It’s mandate was simple, to be a fraternal organization providing moral and social support to families originating from the Friuli regions. The organization allowed the members the opportunity to celebrate, preserve and share their cultural heritage, speak their friulano language in their new home of Winnipeg.
1961 marks the point the Fogolar extended its mandate to include members originating from the neighboring region of Veneto in Italy. Similar to the Friulani, the Veneti, had the vision and recognized the importance of preserving their identity by maintaining the regional customs, traditions and language. These members had participated and supported the Fogolar since its inception and thus were made equal members from henceforth.
On June 15, 1973 the Fogolar purchased the Fogolar Camp “ANOLA” a new point of meeting place and headquarters, operated by its members on a volunteer basis it was eventually sold in 2011. To maintain the legacy of Anola in perpetuity, proceeds from the sale were allocated towards the establishment of the Premio Campo Fogolar Award, an endowment administered by the Winnipeg Foundation, and awarded on an annual basis to a deserving student.
During the last 62 years the Fogolar has organized and continues to host several social, recreational, educational and cultural events. Traditional activities include, briscola tournaments, Wine and Food tasting events, Dinners, porchetta, musetto and crostoli dinners, members attend Fogolar Federation conferences across Canada and in Italy, many of the children of the members attend cultural and linguistic exchanges in Friuli, paid by the Friuli nel Mondo and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. To learn more about the Fogolar we encourage you to view our website and we look forward to you becoming a member or to participate in our activities.