Villa Charities Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Columbus Centre with “40 Under Forty”
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Columbus Centre, Villa Charities is presenting two special art exhibitions in the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery. These exhibitions will highlight the history of the Columbus Centre as well as showcase artists who represent the present day and future of the visual arts community. Both exhibitions are now on display until November 21, 2020.

"40 Under Forty” is an exhibition of 40 artists under the age of forty, all of whom were born after the Italian community centre was established. It will give the audience a look at what young artists are doing during a world-wide pandemic, while society simultaneously experiences rapid and vital cultural and political growth.

“As we mark the 40th anniversary of the Columbus Centre, we celebrate with this exhibition the spirit of inclusion, hope for the future, and love for the arts that lies at the foundation of this organization,” says Emanuele Lepri, Executive Director of Cultural Programming, Villa Charities Inc. “We are delighted to feature this small army of wonderful young artists in our Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery. The “40 Under Forty” exhibition rises high above this year’s global fears capturing the vibrancy, diversity and quality of Ontario’s visual arts scene.”

To complement the “40 Under Forty” exhibition, accomplished multimedia artist and VCI Artist in Residence Franco Berti has created a special anniversary collage, commissioned by the organization. The collage was produced to serve as a memorable and welcoming symbol for the Columbus Centre community at large; celebrating the past while engaging with the present time.

Throughout its history, the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery has exhibited a broad range of art and artists and continues its commitment with “40 Under Forty” as well as Berti’s collage. 

“From faces to figures, still life to action painting, landscape to seascape, the themes and disciplines are as diverse as the artists themselves,” says Curator, Flavio Belli. “These 40 artists have been selected from a much larger group of artists whose work I have reviewed. I hope it is a comprehensive survey that suggests the breadth of contemporary art and that it introduces talented visual artists who are making a statement in the current art scene to new audiences.”
The 40 artists are: 
Ibrahim Abusitta, Cruz T. Anderson, Houssam Alloum, Christian Applegate, Franco Berti, 
Lucas Biagini, Kieran Brent, Gizem Candan, Jasmine Canaviri, Chen Cao, Daniel Cardoso, Peter Chan, Danielle Clarke, Salvatore G. F. Crimi, Katherine Curci, Courtney Downman, Lana Filippone, Hannan Fayad, Alice Gong, Kim Hayung, Karyn Ho, Miles Ingrassia, Omeed Jasar, Jaymie Lathem, Kima Lenaghan, Jean-Luc Lindsay, Megan MacDonald, Gabbi Maria, Colt Nicastro, Tristram Pinney, Hana Hozhabr Pour, Devon Pryce, Michael Rachlis, Steven Restagno, Anthony Ricciardi, Miriam Rosenthal, Angela Snieder, Eleni Tsatsanis, Isabella Varrasso, Shaheer Zazai
Columbus Centre patrons and the community at large are invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the community centre by experiencing these memorable exhibitions.
To ensure physical distancing and in compliance with capacity limits for indoor events, the official opening night reception will be hosted as four separate events on October 1 and 2 at 5:30pm & 7:30pm. There are still spaces available for the opening reception on Friday, October 2 at 5:30pm. RSVP is required in advance to reserve your spot.

If you wish to visit the exhibitions from now until November 21, please contact the Arts & Culture Coordinator directly at 416-789-7011 ext. 248 or for gallery hours. Entry is free. COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors. Masks or face coverings are mandatory in all indoor public spaces under City of Toronto by-law no. 541-2020.

Enjoy a Special Book Reading and Presentation at Diaspora Series Event
Join Rosanna Lo Presti on Saturday, October 17 at 3:00pm in the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery for a reading and presentation about her book “Ritorno alle Origini”. It is the story of a migrant who sought well-being in another country that was not possible in her own. Rosanna Lo Presti helps the reader understand the human side of being a migrant, the adversity they are faced with and the important goals that, with commitment and dedication, with love and passion, everyone can reach. To ensure the safety of all attendees there will be limited seating capacity for this event. Please RSVP in advance to reserve your spot.

Immerse Yourself in the Work of Fellini at Cultural Tuesdays
If you’re a fan of Federico Fellini, then you won’t want to miss our next Cultural Tuesdays series! This fascinating seven-part lecture series will commemorate Fellini’s one hundredth birthday (January 20, 2020) by taking a journey through the Maestro’s filmography. Join us on October 13 at 7:00pm for the first lecture, “Introduction: Fellini the Child.” RSVP required.

Examine Italian Literature in our Club del Libro Online Book Club
From the salons of the 18th century to the social reading of 2020, the literary circle is a time-honoured practice, which promotes culture and being together. As part of our “Learn Italian by Doing” classes, our new book club is an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary Italian literature while learning Italian. Don’t miss our next session on Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00pm where we will be discussing “Storia del nuovo cognome/The Story of a New Name” by Italian novelist, Elena Ferrante. RSVP required.

Apply for the Villa Charities [Re]Connected Seniors Tech Project
Villa Charities has launched a new initiative called [Re]Connected Seniors! Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Community Support Fund and administered by the United Way of Greater Toronto. [Re]Connected Seniors will lend qualified senior participants a FREE iPad, if you tell us how you want to use it and what skills you need to develop to be successful. Created by Villa Charities, [Re]Connected Seniors is a project that strives to include seniors and older adults who feel isolated in their community due to COVID-19 and lack access to digital tools and skills. Complete the online application for yourself or on behalf of a senior now.

Last Chance to RSVP for the Next Virtual Town Hall With the CEO
We invite you to join us for the next Virtual Town Hall with Anthony DiCaita, CEO of Villa Charities, on Tuesday, October 6 at 6:00pm to ask any questions or share your feedback on our reopening with the new safety protocols and procedures. If you would like to participate, please RSVP by tomorrow, Friday, October 2 to and we will send you the meeting link to use. The meeting will be recorded and posted on our website.

Book Your Virtual One-on-One Meeting for Friday Chats with the CEO
You can have a virtual meeting with Anthony DiCaita, President and CEO of Villa Charities Inc., for a one-on-one conversation to answer any questions or to share your thoughts on our programs and services. These informal chats with Anthony will be held using GoToMeeting on the 2nd Friday of every month, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Appointments are 20 minutes each and must be scheduled in advance. Upcoming dates for these chats are Friday, October 9 and Friday, November 13. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 ext. 240 or email
Villa Charities Scholarship Winner Interviewed on Newstalk 1010
Villa Charities Scholarship Winner Alessandra Cicci was recently interviewed by Barb DiGiulio on Newstalk 1010 to discuss what it means to be a Graduate Student Scholarship recipient of the program. The University of Toronto student talked about the importance of winning the scholarship and how she will help further Villa Charities' mission to enrich lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. Listen to the interview now!

Join Group Fitness Classes at the Columbus Centre Athletic Club
Did you know that we offer a wide variety of Group Fitness Classes, which are included in your Columbus Centre Athletic Club General Membership? Our fitness facility provides an extensive array of athletic classes including spinning, aerobics, body blast, boot camp, ZUMBA®, Circuit 55+ and more! We also provide Premium Programs available to members and non-members for an extra cost including yoga classes, squash lessons, boxing and aquatic classes. Check out the class schedule today and find the Group Fitness Class that’s right for you!

Recreate Classic Art by Van Gogh in Impressionist Painting Workshop
Our paint night workshops are an excellent option for those looking to try their hand at Impressionist painting. Create your own rendition of Van Gogh’s “Irises” on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30pm. Materials included. We have implemented the required COVID-19 safety measures in compliance with public health recommendations and provincial guidelines. Register now!

Spaces Still Available for Columbus Centre School of Music
The Columbus Centre School of Music offers a wide variety of music lessons that are open to anyone of any skill level. Our seasonal one-on-one private lessons in vocals, guitar, piano, violin, brass, woodwind, or drums are taught by our professional instructors. In addition to in-person classes, the Columbus Centre School of Music is also offering online music classes. We have implemented all the required COVID-19 safety measures in compliance with public health recommendations and provincial guidelines. Registration is open – contact us today and discover your musical passion!

Register Your Child for Recreational Dance Progams with DanzArts Toronto
There is still time to register for classes at DanzArts Toronto for dancers ages 2 and up! The Recreational program is designed to develop technical skills and foster artistic expression. Students may choose to enroll in one or several classes of any style including Kinderdance, Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Acrobatics, Musical Theatre and more. Select recreational classes are offered as an online option, available to those who prefer a remote, virtual learning experience. Never miss the chance to dance!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with the Columbus Event Centre
Celebrate Thanksgiving two ways with Columbus Event Centre’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon on Sunday, October 11 from 11:00 am – 4:00pm. Join us for a gourmet, four-course, prix fixe luncheon including butternut squash agnolotti, roasted turkey, seasonal vegetables and dessert. Looking to celebrate in the comfort of your own home with family and friends? Let us do the cooking with an available take-out option. Make your reservation today and enjoy an authentic Italian-style Thanksgiving meal.

Void / Body / Breath / Care: Four Conversations on a Changing World Between Canada and Italy
Presented by Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto, this new online series reflects upon the changes and transformations imposed on our lives by the effects of the pandemic. Together with curators Sascha Hastings and Francesca Molteni, the series will focus on four key concepts: Void, Body, Breath, Care. Italian and Canadian thinkers will each discuss the transformation from their own perspective as it relates to their individual field of expertise. The next sessions will be held on October 7 (Breath) and 14 (Care) at 12:30pm. Register now to reserve your spot!