Exhibit Grand Opening:
Mon OCT 02, 2–3 pm, with exhibit curator Adriana Davies
Emilio Picariello, also known as “Emperor Pick,” was an adventurous and hard-working family man. An entrepreneur with many successful businesses in the Crowsnest Pass, he was well-known for helping the less well off. However, Picariello’s ambitions put him on the wrong side of the law when he was drawn into the bootlegging business from 1918 to 1922, during Alberta’s prohibition era.
After a failed sting operation set up by the Alberta Provincial Police, Picariello had a heated argument with Constable Stephen Lawson. Shots were fired and Lawson lost his life. Picariello and his associate, Florence Lassandro, were found guilty of murder and both were hanged in Fort Saskatchewan in 1923.
This traveling exhibit from the Fernie Museum traces the rise of Emilio Picariello from a young Italian immigrant, to a shrewd and successful businessman, to his fall and eventual death as one of Canada’s most infamous bootleggers. The exhibit also paints a picture of the social context in which the fateful events took place: immigration, the push for women’s suffrage and the Temperance movement.
The Galt Museum would like to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage for their financial support of this exhibit through the Museums Assistance Program—Exhibition Circulation Fund.