17th Festival of Emigrants
On Sunday 11th August, in Graglia, the 17th Festival of Emigrants is scheduled, organized by the Valle Elvo and Serra Eco-museum Association in collaboration with the Donato Emigration Documentation Center.
"At the Festival - explains Ivano Maffeo, the person in charge of Donato's site - will participate, in addition to the usual large group of emigrants from our area coming from Chambéry, a large colony of emigrants originating from all the other Piedmontese provinces who settled in the same Savoyard town. As Documentation Center we collaborate by transferring that day the exhibition 'Emigration from beyond the Alps' directly to the Sanctuary of Graglia. Donato's cell will still be open: there the exhibition will be visible on screen and we will project a specially prepared video".
The meeting will take place, for the first time, at the Sanctuary of Graglia, where - at 10.30 am - a Holy Mass is scheduled.
Refreshments offered by the Santuario Foundation will follow and lunch will be held at 12.30.
As anticipated by Maffeo's words, a large delegation of members of the Piedmontese World Association - Chambery section - led by President Angela Caprioglio will attend the day this year.
"Between 1861 and 1961 - added Simonetta Coldesina, operator of the Biellese Museum Network, in relation to the exhibition - 11.5% of the population started from Valle Elvo and Serra. In just 40 years from 1874 to 1914 about 70,000 people emigrated in the Biella area, 66.1% of the migrants who left the Elvo and Serra valley traveled, mostly on foot, to the Piccolo San Bernardo to reach France, the majority concentrating on a triangle between Lyon, Grenoble and Chambery, but many came to the border with Switzerland on one side and with the Côte d'Azur on the other. The workers could count on concrete job prospects thanks to the dense fabric of ties and information that circulated between the workers. 44% of emigrants from Valle Elvo and Serra were masons, 6.2% building contractors".
For more information and reservations on the party and on the exhibition, call 3355394009 - 3384459933.
Attached poster and statement.