Highlights from the Villa Charities Virtual Community Open Forum
On July 28, 2020, a virtual public meeting was held to discuss highlights from the Villa Charities Annual General Meeting and the new Villa Charities Strategic Plan, which will serve as a roadmap for the organization over the next three years.

The meeting was hosted on the GoToMeeting platform and included separate sessions with a brief presentation and Q & A for Villa Charities Inc. and each of the Affiliate organizations: Villa Colombo Toronto, Villa Colombo Vaughan and Columbus Centre.

Villa Charities Inc. Board Chair Santo Veltri and President & CEO, Anthony DiCaita led the VCI session with a review of the 2019 Annual General Meeting. Some of the key highlights included:

  • In 2019, VCI invested more than $2.6 million to improve and repair aging buildings.

  • VCI continued to expand its strategic partnerships with organizations such as Eataly Toronto, ICCO, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Comites, Mississauga ITALFEST, Cucinato, Cineteca di Bologna, York University, Myseum Toronto, and more.

  • We partnered with Italian organizations to co-host special events such as “Anteprima Eataly”, a special dinner to welcome international food brand Eataly to Toronto, and the book launch of “Land of Triumph and Tragedy: Voices of the Italian Fallen Workers,” published by the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Project.

  • Media impressions increased 333% from the previous year to a total of 133 million and our marketing database increased by 36% to 11,349 individuals.

  • Cultural Programming underwent remarkable growth. Initiatives were developed in collaboration with local and international partners to elevate the quality of product and appeal to a wider range of patrons.

  • Artist in Residence Daniele Bartolini, and his internationally acclaimed theatre company DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT), was nominated for 2 Dora Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction of “The Stranger 2.0: Above and Below.”

The meeting also included an overview of the new Villa Charities 2020-2023 Strategic Plan by Board Director Pasquale Minicucci and President & CEO, Anthony DiCaita, including a S.W.O.T. Analysis of the organization, Strategic Priorities and our new Vision, Mission and Values:

Vision – Inspiring people to explore the Italian in all of us.
Mission – Enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage.
Values – Compassion, Integrity, Transparency, Collaboration, Excellence, Respect and Diversity

The virtual public meeting continued with sessions for our long-term care affiliates, Villa Colombo Toronto and Villa Colombo Vaughan. Their respective Board Chairs, Joseph J. Fusco and Rina Tiberini, presented highlights from their 2019 Annual General Meetings, including some of their key achievements and special events held throughout the year. Both sessions also discussed new initiatives and strategic priorities, as well as their financial results.
The Virtual Community Open Forum concluded with a session for the Columbus Centre led by Board Chair, Maria Orsini. The session included a review of their 2019 Annual General Meeting and presented highlights of the Columbus Centre programs and services such as financial and capital investments to improve the facilities and welcoming new tenants on-site to enhance the vibrancy of the Centre.

We would like to express our thanks to everyone who participated in the Virtual Community Open Forum sessions. All of the Virtual Community Open Forum sessions are available to watch on our website now.

We’ve Opened Our Doors! Learn About Our Safety Measures as We Welcome You Back
As per the recent announcement from the Government of Ontario that Toronto and GTA businesses can move to the Stage 3 reopening phase, the on-site operations at Villa Charities and the Columbus Centre have resumed and we have implemented all the necessary health and safety measures to provide a safe environment for all. Be sure to read our “New Protocols and Procedures” digital guide for a summary of what you can expect before returning to the Villa Charities campus.

Join us for a Virtual Pizza Party with Eataly Toronto
In collaboration with Eataly Toronto, we will be hosting a virtual class and pizza party on Sunday, August 23 at 6pm. Enjoy a three course meal with a selection of salumi and formaggi and, using the freshest Eataly ingredients, participants will learn how to make traditional Pizza al Padellino Margherita from one of Eataly’s chefs. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Villa Charities Foundation, to support the Villa Charities’ COVID-19 Response Initiatives that continue to keep our more than 700 seniors safe during the pandemic.

Spend Quality Reading Time with Your Child with our Storia Della Notte Series
Enjoy a collection of classic Italian bedtime stories and fairy tales, narrated by Violante Binazzi. Stories are suitable for children ages 3 and up. The next story, Riccioli d’oro e i tre orsi, written by Xavier Deneux, is now available our website. Listen now!

Watch our Health & Safety Measures and Protocols Video for the Columbus Centre Athletic Club
At the Columbus Centre Athletic Club, we have worked hard to prepare our facility for your safe return. Our entire team is devoted to ensuring we meet our commitment to the health and safety of our members and staff going forward. Our “Committed to Keeping You Safe ” video highlights the protocols that have been implemented to ensure that we either meet or exceed the recommendations as determined by the public health authorities and in accordance with Health Ontario’s response to COVID-19. Please note that the protocols and amenities outlined in this video are subject to change.

Register Your Child in our Soccer Skills Camp this August
The Columbus Centre Summer Camp is opening an additional full-day camp program, beginning August 10. Our Soccer Skills Camp is designed to give campers of all skill levels the basic foundations, techniques and understanding of the sport. Campers will participate in fun soccer drills, and exercise to either develop their skills or continue fine tuning them for when they can compete again. Registration is now open for one-week sessions for children ages 6-12. Plus, there are still spaces available throughout August in our other full-day camps including Art & Crafts Camp, Multi-Media Camp and our Ultimate Experience Camps.

Paint a Masterpiece Outdoors in “En Plein Air” Art Workshop
Join us outdoors “En Plein Air”, with professional artist and instructor Sam Paonessa. Sam will demonstrate, provide helpful instruction, individual attention and constructive critique. These art workshops are recommended for participants with some previous experience. The next session will be held on Wednesday, August 19 from 9:30am to 4:30pm, with a 1-hour lunch break. We have implemented the required COVID-19 safety measures in compliance with public health recommendations and provincial guidelines. Register today!
Recreational Dance Classes for All Ages this Fall at DanzArts Toronto
Registration is now open for recreational dance programs beginning this fall at DanzArts Toronto at the Columbus Centre including Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Tap, Acrobatics and more! Plus, try our new 8-week combo classes to learn the fundamentals of both Jazz & Ballet or Jazz & Hip-Hop. DanzArts Toronto has implemented strict measures to ensure the safety and health of our dancers and will be providing both in-studio and online class options. Classes begin Monday, September 14, so register today and let your passion for dance take centre stage!
Try Your Hand at Impressionist Painting in our Summer Outdoor Workshops
Join us outdoors, as you try your hand at impressionist painting with these fun and interactive workshops. The next session will be held on Thursday, August 27 from 4:00 to 7:00pm, where we will be painting “Impressionism Venice.” We have implemented the required COVID-19 safety measures in compliance with public health recommendations and provincial guidelines. Register today!