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Celebrate Italian Heritage Month with an array of Italian culture and heritage programs

Toronto – May 23 , 2018 The best of Italian culture, heritage and cuisine will once again take centre stage during Italian Heritage Month in June. We invite you to join us at the Columbus Centre as we present a month full of exciting programs and exhibits, with a focus on Italian music, theatre, art and more.

“Throughout June we will celebrate Italian heritage through a series of enriching programs,” said Emanuele Lepri, Executive Director of Cultural Programming, Villa Charities. “This is a time to honour the contributions of Italian-Canadians to our diverse cultural mosaic and celebrate with the rest of the community.”

Here is the full list of programs taking place throughout June to celebrate Italian Heritage Month:

  • Viva Vitalità Italiana: A Showcase o f Italian Heritage and Italian – Canadian Women Artists
    • Exhibition begins on June 1, 2018
    • Opening Night Reception on Tuesday, June 5, 2018
    • The Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, Sicily A photographic exhibition by Marcello Tarantino (Lower Gallery)
    • Spotlight on Italian-Canadian Women Artists (Upper Gallery)
    • Price: Free Admission
    • Location: Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre
    • Open to the public Monday–Friday, 10am–5pm
  • Ermanno Mauro Masterclass Gala Concert
    • Saturday, June 2 at 6:00pm – Dinner/Concert at 7:00pm
    • The Ermanno Mauro Masterclass Series will perform their Annual Gala Concert at the Columbus Centre. Featuring a performance of “ACT III: La Bohème” and other arias from musical director Nicole Bellamy, the evening also includes a gourmet dinner.
    • Price: $130.00 (includes dinner and performance)
    • A portion of the proceeds will go to support Villa Colombo Toronto
    • Location: Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre
  • The Divine Comedy: Storytelling and Shadow – Play (in English and Italian)
    • Tuesday, June 5 at 7: 30pm
    • Dante Alighieri, the father of Italian language comes alive to tell us a fantastic and magical tale, which still speaks to the questions and problems of today. Produced by Causa Teatro for audiences both young and old, this performance captures the essence of the first segment of the Divine Comedy (Inferno). Through images and words, it distills the story of a great journey to the very core of human nature.
    • Produced by Causa Teatro with Laura Nardi, overhead projector operated by Gaia Insenga and illustrations by Laura Cortini.
    • Price: Free Admission
    • Location: Columbus Room, Columbus Centre
  • Canta Italia Tuesday Series
    • June 12, 19 and 26 at 7:00pm
    • Join us for weekly Italian classic sing-alongs as we celebrate Italian Heritage Month. These lively events feature renowned Italian-Canadian musician Claudio Santaluce, who was an active member of the Columbus Centre community. This will be a great opportunity to bring the whole family out to participate in Italian heritage and culture.
    • Price: Fre e Admission
    • Location: Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre
  • “O Mio Babbino Caro” Omaggio a Puccini: Opera Arias
    • Sunday, June 17 at 4:00pm
    • Celebrate Father’s Day at the Columbus Centre and enjoy an afternoon of Italian opera with internationally renowned Maestro Rolando Nicolosi, soprano Jonelle Sills and tenor Christopher Dallo. Don’t miss out on this tribute to Puccini on the 160th anniversary of his birth.
    • Price: Free Admission
    • Location: Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre
  • Youth Cultural Fun Fiera
    • Sunday, June 24 from 1:00–4:00pm
    • We are proud to announce our inaugural Youth Cultural Fun Fiera! We invite all members of the community to attend and participate in all the wonderful programming that our Cultural Arts Department has to offer.
    • We will be featuring presentations from DanzArts Toronto, music from our music instructors and students, and some extremely creative activities from our Camps Department. The event will take place at the Columbus Centre and promises to be an amazing and entertaining afternoon for youth of all ages.
    • Price: Free Admission
    • Location: Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre
  • Calcio (Soccer): A National Mirror
    • Every Thursday from June 7–July 12, 6:00-8:00pm
    • As the Italian community in Toronto comes to terms with the unthinkable absence of the Azzurri from this year’s World Cup, we are offering an engaging course on the politics of soccer. “Calcio (Soccer): A National Mirror” is a six-week, information-packed journey to nurture our love for “calcio” at this time of international demise.
    • The program, taught by Harvard graduate Anmon Zohar, will help Italian soccer fans to transcend their disappointment and channel their energy into a unique learning experience.
    • The course will survey the fascinating origins of the ‘beautiful game’, its politics and its impact, as well as many of the important historical events in the world of soccer. This is for anyone who lives and loves the game, as well as for those who are new to soccer and wish to discover its thrills and cultural significance.
    • Course Fee: $60.00 (for 6 weeks)
    • Location: Columbus Centre
  • Watch the World Cup at Caffè Cinquecento
    • Also, for our soccer-lovers, we invite you to make Caffè Cinquecento at the Columbus Centre your viewing headquarters for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ games, from June 14 to July 15, 2018. Join us during regular café hours and enjoy our selection of daily fresh menu items and espressos among fellow fans in a “stress-free” viewing environment!

For more information on all Italian Heritage Month events, click here.


Villa Charities Inc. is a registered charity and non-profit organization that celebrates and promotes the Italian Heritage, Culture, Language, Arts, Food and Family Values. For almost 50 years across the GTA, Villa Charities has provided care for seniors and offered educational and cultural programs in music, dance, visual arts, culinary arts, athletics and more. The Villa Charities family includes Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Vaughan/Di Poce Centre; Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo apartments for independent seniors; the Columbus Centre; and Joseph D. Carri er Art Gallery. For more information, visit www.villacharities.com


Since its opening in 1980 , the Columbus Centre has served as a vibrant community centre where people can enjoy the richness of an Italian culture within a Canadian setting. Today, the Columbus Centre remains a major hub for the GTA’s Italian-Canadian community and a popular meeting place frequented by more than 150,000 visitors every year. Patrons of all ages visit the Columbus Centre daily for dance, visual arts, and music programs; view art exhibitions at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; participate in a wide range of athletic, aquatics and wellness programs at our 70,000 sq. ft. Athletic Club; and enjoy fine Italian cuisine at Ristorante Boccaccio.


For more information, please contact:

Jessica Patriquin
416 – 640 – 5525 Ext. 230

Kathleen Sloan
Director, Marketing and Communications
Villa Charities
416 – 789 – 7011 Ext. 309

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