Italian Heritage Month Feature Concert:
Cory Weeds Quartet Plays Italian Standards
Alto saxophonist Cory Weeds assembles an all-star Vancouver band to celebrate Italian Heritage Month across Canada in a virtual concert on Friday, June 18 at 6:30pm. Joined by guitarist John Lee, organist Chris Gestrin and drummer Jesse Cahill, Weeds will play music from his chart-topping "O Sole Mio, Music From The Motherland" release. Hitting #2 on the JazzWeek Charts and charting for over 16 weeks, "O Sole Mio" is a delight!
A saxophonist with an expressive sound rooted in jazz tradition, a label owner tirelessly documenting unsung jazz heroes, and one of Canada’s most important jazz impresarios – Cory Weeds is all of these things, and much more.

Weeds may be best known as the founder and owner of Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, which he successfully ran for more than 14 years. Weeds built the Cellar to become one of North America's best jazz clubs, where masters such as George Coleman, Jeff Hamilton, Louis Hayes, David "Fathead" Newman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and the finest jazz musicians from Vancouver and across Canada and the US performed before it closed in February 2014.
His label, The Cellar Music Group, has put out over 180 recordings, including many who have spent extensive time on the JazzWeek charts, with many more planned releases. In addition to playing on numerous sessions, Weeds has also served as producer on more than 130 recordings. In 2017 Weeds celebrated a win at the 2017 Juno Awards when “Metalwood” won for Jazz Album Of The Year: Group. Another Weeds-produced album with Brad Turner Quartet and guest Seamus Blake, “Jump Up”, was nominated in 2019.
Tickets for the virtual performance only are $10 and a special tasting menu is available through Cucinato. To book a dinner package to enjoy with the concert, please visit Cucinato's page here.
This virtual concert is presented by Villa Charities (Toronto) and Il Centro (Vancouver).
"Italy At Home Film Festival" on TLN TV
Villa Charities is a proud supporter of the "Italy at Home Film Festival" on TLN TV. Enjoy a specially curated month-long TV event, from May 24–June 17 every Mon–Thurs at 9P/et, featuring 16 ALL NEW Hit Films from Italy, and all from the comfort of home! A spectacular lineup of English subtitled films and documentaries from some of the most acclaimed names in Italian cinema.

IHM Event: Serata Musicale: Andrea Ramolo and Lisa Petrucci
Serata Musicale is a video series featuring four concerts by young professional musicians in the Italian-Canadian community. On Thursday, June 10 enjoy a performance by Toronto-born artist and multiple Canadian folk music award nominee Andrea Ramolo and singer and songwriter from Vancouver, Lisa Petrucci. This video will be shared today at 12:00pm
IHM Event: My Secret Venice with Sebastiano Bazzichetto – Episode 2
We are proud to present a second season of exclusive 'behind-the-scenes' episodes with Dr. Sebastiano Bazzichetto. This new four-part video series will take viewers on a cultural and visual journey to explore hidden gems in the Venetian countryside. Don't miss these stunning virtual tours of some of the grandest, palatial villas in the Veneto region. The next episode will be shared tomorrow, Friday, June 11 at 12:00pm.
IHM Event: Italian Heritage: Perspectives from Black Italians
Join us for a discussion between Silvana Rose Miller (Canadian activist and television producer) and Fred Kuwornu (Italian activist, filmmaker, and educator) for a discussion of Black Italian identities, experiences, and heritage both in Canada and in Italy. This event will be presented in partnership with Italian Canadians for Black Lives (ICFBL). The event is scheduled for Monday, June 21 at 7:00pm and advance registration is required.

Virtual Community Open Forum Scheduled for June 24
We invite all members of the community to join us for a virtual public meeting to discuss highlights from the Villa Charities Annual General Meeting on Thursday, June 24 at 6:00pm. The meeting will be hosted on the GoToMeeting platform and will include a brief presentation and Q & A for Villa Charities Inc., the Columbus Centre and our seniors' apartments. If you would like to participate, please RSVP by Tuesday, June 22 to and we will send you the meeting link to use.

Don’t Miss the Last Club del Libro Workshop of the Spring Term
Our online book club is an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary
Italian literature while learning Italian. Join us for our June session, where
we will embark on literary adventures with extraordinary works by acclaimed prize-winning authors. The workshop is on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00pm as we read "Seta / Silk" by Alessandro Baricco.
Mississauga Italfest Returns as a Virtual Celebration
Villa Charities is pleased to support Mississauga Italfest as an Amici Sponsor. On June 26, 2021, the Mississauga Italfest celebration will showcase "A Virtual Taste of Italfest" featuring emerging artists and headline performers, dancers, comedians and authentic recipes prepared by popular chefs. Highlights of the past eight years will spotlight everything Italfest, a community rich in heritage and time-honoured traditions.
Book Your Virtual One-on-One Meeting for Friday Chats with the CEO
You can have a virtual meeting with Marco DeVuono, Acting 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 Marco 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. The next Friday Chats is scheduled for Friday, June 11. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 ext. 240 or email
Villa Charities Sponsors Italian Contemporary Film Festival
Villa Charities is a Film Sponsor of the 2021 Italian Contemporary Film Festival. The ICFF will celebrate its 10th Anniversary with the best of Italian contemporary cinema from June 27-July 17 at Ontario Place, along with the Canada-wide ICFF at Home online program available July 5-13.
Step 1 Reopening for Villa Charities and Columbus Centre
Please be advised that as per the direction from the Ontario government and local public health authorities, Villa Charities and the Columbus Centre will operate following the Step 1 Reopening guidelines effective June 11th at 12:01am. Indoor operations remain suspended but outdoor fitness activities will be offered with restrictions. Visit our COVID-19 Updates page for full details.
Register Now for the
Ital-Canadian Golf Open at Eagles Nest Golf Club
Join us for the inaugural Ital-Canadian Golf Open on Monday, August 30, 2021. The CIBPA Toronto, ICCO Canada and Villa Charities Foundation are coming together to celebrate our community and give back in a meaningful way. Proceeds from the Golf Open will support programs provided by CIBPA Toronto, ICCO Canada and Villa Charities, as well as scholarships and bursaries for students across the country.
Villa Charities’ 50th Anniversary featured in
City Life Magazine
Check out the article on Villa Charities’ 50th anniversary in City Life magazine! In the May/June 2021 issue, Marco DeVuono, Acting President and CEO of Villa Charities, talks about how our work enriches lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage and what the vision is for the coming years.
Outdoor Fitness Programs to Begin June 14
Please be advised that effective Monday, June 14, the Columbus Centre Athletic Club will begin to host outdoor group fitness classes (10 participants max) as well as personal training sessions on the Columbus Centre grounds. Indoor classes and operations continue to be suspended. Contact for more information.
Book A Tennis Court at the Columbus Centre
Our outdoor tennis facilities are open for member use following strict guidelines and booking schedule. The on-site indoor operations for Columbus Centre Athletic Club continue to be suspended. Register for outdoor tennis now! Games can be played in doubles. Book the court now and get your body moving! to learn more.
Few Spots Remain for June's Painting Masterclass
Join professional artist and multi-award recipient Sam Paonessa for a Tuscan Landscape painting masterclass in celebration of Italian Heritage Month on Thursday, June 17 at 6:30pm. Sam will guide you in creating your very own masterpiece while enhancing your understanding of specific panting techniques. The workshop is suited for students with prior painting experience.