Whether living in Italy or abroad, it is a recorded fact that throughout history Italians have contributed to important inventions and innovations in the fields of writing, calendar, mechanical and civil engineering, musical notation, celestial observation, perspective, warfare, long-distance communication, storage and production of energy, modern medicine, polymerization, and information technology.
Moreover, the theorizing of civil law, double-entry bookkeeping, mathematical algebra and analysis, classical and celestial mechanics, scientific method (particularly in the fields of physics and astronomy) are also great contributions made to the world by Italians.
According to the 2016 Census of Canada, 1,587,970 Canadians, that is 4.6% of the total population claimed full or partial Italian ancestry. Globally there are over 60 million Italians descendants, half of which are in Brazil, making them the largest country in the world with Italian roots. São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Santa Catarina, and Paraná have the largest Italian concentration in Brazil. Italian Brazilians are known as Italo-brasiliani. The importance of the history of Italian migration to Brazil has built a strong and friendly Brazil-Italy relation. The Italians enriched Brazilian culture with their ethnic culture and customs, such as folkloric music played with accordion, close circle of friends, strong faith, culinary arts, joy for life, humility, strong work and business ethics, and proses, just to mention a few.
Italians immigrants worldwide were expected to achieve economic and social well-being when they migrated to the new world. Italians played a major role in forming the first Brazilian unions. And in Canada, Joseph Mancinelli and his family are recognized and respected as the legendary pioneers in the unionized construction business in North America. Mr. Mancinelli’s hard work, formal education, dedication, commitment, perseverance, and community involvement, earned him the lead role as the International Vice President and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, a US-based labour union representing over 800,000 total members with 60,000 members in the LiUNA Central and Eastern Canadian region.
Despite his busy leadership role with LiUNA, Mr. Mancinelli, makes the time to contribute to many charities and projects that have not only enriched the economic growth of North America but promoted international growth and built international relations, as well. His love for our vulnerable population, and generous heart is evident through his charitable contributions.
Mr. Mancinelli’s involvement in the Union’s accomplishments are many such as: the large redevelopment initiatives in Hamilton’s downtown core, the restoration of the former CN Rail Station into LiUNA Station and the development of LiUNA’s long-term care facilities, Queen’s Garden in West Hamilton and Regina Gardens on Hamilton’s West Mountain.
The first Silver Certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), the Union’s new head office facility in Oakville was completed in 2009 in Mr. Mancinelli’s leadership.
The $46,000.00 donation made by Mancinelli along with senior LiUNA officials from across North America to the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic School Board on May 5, 2010, was used in support of the St. Joseph Home for Boys, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince Haiti, that was destroyed during the Haiti earthquake of January 12th, 2010.
Mr. Mancinelli expressed passion, concern, and the genuine desire to support undocumented members of LiUNA to secure legalized resident status through the support of the Union’s legal counsel, hoping for the successful cooperation from Immigration Canada.
Although Mr. Mancinelli has earned many jewels in his crown, the construction industry is not the only place he reigns. He has received the following honours:
- Named to Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction in 2016
- Named tenth in a listing of Hamilton’s 15 most influential people in 2015 by Urbanicity Magazine
- Honoured with the Italian Heritage Award of Distinction by Festitalia for his work in the labour movement and his promotion of Italian culture and heritage throughout the community
- Received the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto – Special Recognition Award
- Awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service and dedication to the community
- Awarded the Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club in appreciation of his significant contribution to the furtherance of friendly relations among peoples of the world
- Together with his father Enrico, was honoured by the Jewish National Fund of Canada as their Negev Dinner Honourees for their outstanding contributions to the community
- Received the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Award for role in Hamilton’s community at large
- Recognized by the Ontario Association of Architects and the Hamilton Society of Architects for his commitment to restoring heritage buildings and his vision and in the restoration of LiUNA Station
- Awarded with the Order of Sons of Italy – Canada/Trieste Lodge, Italian-Canadian Citizen of the Year award for his commitment and dedication, not only to the Italian community, but to the community at large
- Presented with an Award of Merit by the “Week of the Child” Committee for his hard work and efforts towards children
- Awarded the Mohawk College Award of Merit by its Board of Governors for his outstanding dedication and service to Mohawk College
- Bestowed an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from McMaster University, Spring 2017
And in addition, along with American actor Joe Mantegna, of the TV series Criminal Minds; musician Gino Vannelli and cartoonist Andy Donato, on May 28, 2014, Mr. Mancinelli was inducted into the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto’s Little Italy.
His political initiatives includes serving as Co-Chair for over 14 years for the Holiday Trillium Dinner in honour of Ontario’s Liberal Premiers and the Ontario Liberal Fund; chairing events for the past three years for the Liberal Party of Canada in honour of then Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau; Co-Chairing a Liberal Party of Canada dinner in honour of then Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff; serving as the Vice Chair of the Confederation Dinner in honour of then Prime Minister Designate Paul Martin; and serving as Co-Chair for the Maple Leaf Dinner honouring the Right Honourable Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Additionally, for the past 3 decades, he has hosted numerous dinners for various political candidates at the federal and provincial level as well as for various politicians at the municipal level, at his residence.
Despite having earned many jewels in his crown, the one that shines brilliantly is Mr. Mancinelli’s gift and talent as an accomplished artist and philanthropist. Art and design beautify the world by creating joy and happiness and pays homage to Our Creator. For consecutive years, Mr. Mancinelli has been the recipient of the Trillium Award by the Province of Ontario for landscaping excellence at his residence. He was named the Hamilton Spectator’s Reader’s Choice Favourite Local Artist, for his paintings and artwork. He has continued to paint over the years and has been involved with various art organizations, such as the Hamilton Arts and Heritage Council; and his paintings have been donated as auction or raffle items at various events organized by many diverse charitable organizations. Numerous charities have benefited immensely from Mr. Mancinelli’s philanthropic spirit. The proceeds raised from his continuous active efforts and auctions and raffles from his paintings, has benefited Medical Research, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Hospital, just to name a few.
Mr. Mancinelli’s multi-talent is comparable to that of a renaissance man. Michelangelo quote, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” and William Bouguereau’s, “One has to seek Beauty and Truth, Sir! As I always say to my pupils, you have to work to finish. There’s only one kind of painting.” Seems to align with Mr. Mancinelli’s latest creation entitled, “The Reunion”. This was inspired by families starting to reunite during this COVID -19 pandemic and as a memorial tribute to the lives lost due to and during this pandemic. Along with the world, he felt the emotions due to the forced isolation and separation from beloved members of his family such as his mother, mother-in-law, daughter, and grandchildren during this pandemic.
Hamilton is considered a jewel in the rough, and Mr. Mancinelli has eloquently illustrated to the world through his numerous high achievements, accomplishments, and interpretation of the arts, to be the personification of the final polished product, which is the diamond which we all seek in ourselves and humankind. His life is motivating and inspiring. We all aspire to give continuity to his legacy of innovation, progress, and survival in the construction business for our future generations so that they too can continue to build and beautify our world, as Mr. Mancinelli and his Team has. With admiration, respect, and gratitude!