[Re]Connected Seniors - Making a Difference
for Those Who Need It Most
Since the launch of Villa Charities’ [Re]Connected Seniors project in October 2020, more than fifty residents of our independent seniors’ apartments Casa Abruzzo, Casa Del Zotto and Caboto Terrace have been able to borrow an Apple iPad from the IT library created through the project, thus discovering new ways to stay in touch, learn and socialize.
As part of the project, which is funded in part by the Government of Canada and United Way of Greater Toronto, an online and in-person workshop series is being offered by Villa Charities in partnership with TechServeTO, which helps many seniors reconnect to their communities, families and manage – at least virtually – their lives, all while improving their digital literacy.
Small groups of seniors have been meeting once every two weeks in the common rooms of our residences to learn about a variety of topics. Introductory workshops were organized to allow beginners to learn how to utilize iPads, create an email address and use videoconferencing apps such as Zoom. Thanks to these workshops, seniors can now use their new tablets to engage in several initiatives organized by Villa Charities, as well as associations, cultural circles and public libraries across the GTA.
The workshops, which were launched in December 2020, are organized in compliance with municipal and provincial COVID-19 bylaws that provide our seniors with a clean and safe space to learn new digital skills.
Participants benefited greatly from the initiative, especially during these extremely challenging and very isolating times.
Erlinita, a Caboto Terrace resident, shared her feelings about the program:
“The virtual training offered by Villa Charities has been a great opportunity for all seniors, especially during this pandemic. Thanks to [Re]Connected Seniors, I was able to maintain a social life with my family and friends in our community. I could take care of financial issues as required in a timely manner. I was also able to reach the community’s medical and social support. This training helped me achieve a more independent lifestyle and assisted me with my daily routine during such difficult and uncertain times.”
To learn more about [Re]Connected Seniors and the next scheduled workshops, visit the page below.

Villa Charities Celebrates 50 Years with Special Playlists
In celebration of our 50th anniversary this year, we’re launching lots of fun and interactive social media content for the Villa Charities community. Check out our new #VCI50 commemorative Spotify playlists. The ‘Top 50 Songs from 50 Years Ago’ playlist takes you down memory lane to the hits from 1971, the year of VCI's founding.

Cultural Tuesdays Returns with New Online Presentation: Seven Decades of Fellini
This seven-part virtual lecture series commemorates Federico Fellini’s one-hundredth birthday by taking a journey through the Maestro’s filmography. Each lecture will be dedicated to a specific period of Fellini’s career by concentrating on dominant themes that characterize his films of the period in question. Whatever the decade, Fellini never ceases to explore the mystery of life with a sense of wonder. Don’t miss the first lecture on Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00pm. Register for the complete seven-part lecture series for only $35.00!

Enjoy Festa di Carnevale - Commedia dell’Arte
Villa Charities proudly presents Festa di Carnevale  Commedia dell’Arte, a special video performance by Adam Paolozza from Bad New Days. Experience Pulcinella’s irreverent antics, as he ponders about life, death, food, love and his childhood in the “old country”. Dora Award-winning performer, Adam Paolozza, explores his roots embodying the mischievous Pulcinella, a mask which comes from the Campania region in Italy, from where Paolozza’s own family hails. Tickets are $5.00 for unlimited access to the 15-minute video performance, which will be shared on Friday, February 26 at 7:00pm.

Short Stories in Italian Workshop, Racconti In Italiano, Now Available
These free monthly classes will offer students of Italian at all levels the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of contemporary literature in both Italian and English translations. The selection of short stories covers a rich variety of themes and styles. It includes stories by established literary figures such as Italo Calvino and Primo Levi, as well as the new generation of writers. Aspects of Sicilian and Italian life are explored by Leonardo Sciascia and Goffredo Parise. The focus of the class will be on learning new vocabulary and Italian words. An electronic copy of the story will be provided in advance upon registering. The next workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00pm.
Don’t Miss February’s Club del Libro Book “Le Assaggiatrici”
Our online book club is an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary Italian literature while learning Italian. Join us for the winter 2021 sessions, where we will embark on literary adventures with extraordinary works by acclaimed prize-winning authors. Join us on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00pm as we read “Le Assaggiatrici/At the Wolf’s Table” by Rosella Postorino.
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. The next Friday Chats is scheduled for Friday, March 12. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 ext. 240 or email csimpson@villacharities.com.
On-Site Operations for Villa Charities and Columbus Centre Remain Suspended
Please be advised that as per the current direction from the Ontario government and public health authorities, on-site operations at Villa Charities and the Columbus Centre remain suspended. Online programs and services continue to be offered. Stay tuned for any updates and visit our COVID-19 Updates page for full details.
2021 Villa Charities Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications
Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Villa Charities Scholarship Program. This opportunity is available to students of any heritage who help further Villa Charities’ mission of enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. Four awards of $2,500 are available to Undergraduate students and four awards of $5,000 are available to Graduate level students. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021.

Introducing New Online Workshops: Painting Masterclasses
Join professional artist and multi-award recipient Sam Paonessa for a new series of masterclasses for adults. Sam will guide you on creating your very own masterpiece while enhancing your understanding of specific painting techniques. Classes are suited for students with prior painting experience. Register for the first class on Saturday, February 27 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm for “Rushing Waterfalls” and learn to paint the dynamic feel of a splendid cascade by capturing the characteristics of moving water. Enroll now!
Columbus Centre Athletic Club Announces New Virtual Programs
The Columbus Centre Athletic Club is introducing a series of new virtual programs as well as virtual personal training sessions. Virtual programs will include Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Vinyasa Yoga, Restorative Chair Yoga and Boot Camp. You’ll also have a new option for personal training to continue sessions from the comfort of your own home. For pricing and to learn more, visit our website today!
Live Virtual Group Fitness Classes Continued to be Offered
If you prefer to exercise in a group setting instead, then the Columbus Centre Athletic Club’s Virtual Group Fitness classes are the perfect workout from home. Our certified instructors are offering courses six days a week. Check out Friday’s ‘Instructor’s Choice’ class, allowing instructors to bring their own flavour and choice to the classes. It can be a Body Pump, Strength Circuit, Bootcamp, Yoga, BLT (Bum, Legs, and Thighs) or even a Cardio Dance class. Monthly membership fees are only $24.99 + HST and includes access to our full fitness class video library. For more information, visit our website and register today.
It’s Never Too Late to Learn a New Skill with Adult Dance Programs
Geared towards adults who are interested in full-body exercise, the online classes at DanzArts Toronto provide a complete body workout, which will improve muscle tone and posture. Everyone can benefit from developing their strength, coordination and flexibility. No prior experience is necessary – just come out and have fun! Classes include Adult Tap, Adult Barre Fitness, Adult Hip-Hop and Adult Ballet. For more information about Adult Dance Classes, including schedules and registration, please contact DanzArts Toronto at the Columbus Centre today.

The Italian Cultural Centre Celebrates Parole Libere: Festival of Italian Poetry in Canada
Parole Libere is a Festival of Italian Poetry in Canada organized by the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver, BC, from January 28 - May 15. These workshops will be a meeting point for amateur and professional writers, language instructors and anyone who loves Italian poetry and culture. Check out their upcoming virtual event, “How to Read Poetry,” on February 25 at 2:45pm EST. To learn more and to register for other virtual events, visit the page below.