Interview with Elio Salciccioli (Al Salci)

In his first interview, Elio Salciccioli (Al Salci) speaks about the experiences of Italian Canadians during World War II. Coming from a family of musicians, he speaks about his father and brothers, who played with the Sons of Italy band. He also recalls his mother taking him to the Casa d’Italia in Hamilton from a very young age to attend meetings and a rally. Soon after Benito Mussolini declared war on the Allies, Salciccioli recalls the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raiding the Casa d’Italia and incarcerating members who were suspected of being fascists. He was also present when the RCMP searched his entire home in an attempt to discover evidence of fascist support. Although Italians faced discrimination, he recollects the Hamilton community he grew up in as being close-knit and friendly, and that despite the circumstance, life was good. He outlines his views on the internment experience, and believes that the internees got along well with each other. With regards to his own music, he notes that he has played at a number of venues in and around Hamilton, and has had a good musical career overall. Sadly, Elio Salciccioli passed away suddenly a few days after his second interview was recorded in August 2011.