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Villa Charities Scholarship Program Applications Open Monday, May 1!  

Scholarship Program

Villa Charities is excited to announce that applications for the 2023 Villa Charities Scholarship Program will be accepted beginning Monday, May 1!


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.


Eligible students are required to demonstrate leadership through community involvement or volunteering, as well as write a submission essay describing how they helped further Villa Charities’ mission. Students must be registered full-time at an accredited college or university and enrolled for the 2023/2024 academic year. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2023.


For a full list of criteria and more information on how to apply, click the button below!

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Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute

#TributeThursday – Donor Spotlight

It’s #TributeThursday, where we feature the inspirational immigrant histories from the Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute Project. This week, we're sharing the story of Nicoletta Petti and Antonio Di Felice, who immigrated from Castropignano in 1954 and 1955 respectively.


Read an excerpt below or see their complete story on our Immigrant Map.

Tribute Thursdays Immigrant Photos

“Nicoletta Petti and Antonio Di Felice were born in Castropignano, Campobasso, Molise just before WW2 permanently interrupted their lives.


Nicoletta Petti and her brother Pasquale travelled aboard the Homeland to join their father Liberato Petti (Pier 21 then Toronto May 1954) (…). Antonio Di Felice sailed the Holland from Naples, arriving in Halifax in September 1955, soon to be married to the love of his life. Antonio first met newborn Nicoletta when he was 6 months old - twenty years later, Nicoletta and Antonio were married.


Antonio (first of his family to come to Canada) with Nicoletta, hosted and enabled family and paesani to establish life as proud Italo-Canadians. Antonio brought his sister Paolina, (…) brother Pietro (…) and finally his brother Giovanni (…) to create a better life for their future families.


Commitment to each other, respect, strength, wisdom, loyalty, cultural traditions and hard work are among the lessons passed to their loving family...”(Continue reading)

The journey of Antonio and Nicoletta and their family is just one of the many incredible and inspiring family histories that are celebrated through the Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute Project.


With a donation to the Tribute Project, you’ll receive a customized name plaque and the chance to share your family’s story with the world.


Honour Your Family

Villa Charities

Italian Fallen Workers Memorial 2022

Join us to Honour the Italian Fallen Workers

Join us to honour the Italian Fallen Workers on Friday, April 28 at 3:00pm at the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Wall. On the National Day of Mourning for injured and fallen workers we will remember the more than 1,600 Italian workers who have lost their lives to workplace tragedies in Canada. Villa Charities is proud to be the home of the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Wall, which was unveiled in 2016 in partnership with the Committee for the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Project.

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Ristorante Boccaccio

901 Lawrence Ave. West, Toronto

Lower Level – Inside the Columbus Centre

Ristorante Boccaccio - Coming Soon

Chef Luciano and Chef Anthony are pleased to announce that after months of hard work, Ristorante Boccaccio is finally reopening its doors, later this spring! Ristorante Boccaccio has been redesigned to feature a modern atmosphere with updated menu. Their chefs will prepare the finest Italian fare with an emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients. Their wine list will offer a selection from the best Italian vineyard to pair with your meal. Their knowledgeable staff will be happy to welcome you to share their passion for Italian culture and cuisine.

Join their newsletter to learn more about the grand opening and to receive the latest news and offers from Ristorante Boccaccio, directly to your mailbox. We look forward to providing you with a memorable dining experience, Italian style.

Retro Dance Party

Join the Retro Dance Party This Saturday! 

Just two more days before the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery is transformed into a dance club with our Retro Dance Party. Join us this Saturday, April 29 from 9:00pm to 2:00am as DJ BUBBLES spins your favourite hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and Latin music, with a special guest live appearance by Joée (Joey DeSimone). Tickets are only $20.00 but they’re almost sold out!

Buy Tickets

Art and Aperitivo Sessions

Italian Conversation and Aperitivo on Monday Nights

Join us on Monday nights for socializing, snacks, and sips in our “Art & Aperitivo” sessions. These sessions combine the Italian tradition of ‘aperitivo’ with conversations about art to give you a platform to meet new like-minded people. Whether you just appreciate art or you’re an expert, come along and join us for a snack and a chat. Our next weekly session is on Monday, May 1 at 6:00 – 7:00 (for English speakers) and 7:30 – 8:30pm (for Italian speakers).

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Art Exhibition Poster

Academy of Realist Art Spring Exhibition Opens May 1

The Academy of Realist Art (ARA) is one of a select few academies in the world that utilizes the academic approach to drawing and painting based on the teaching methodologies used by the 19th-century European academies. As such, they have attracted many talented students from around the world who are dedicated to learning realist drawing and painting techniques. Their Spring Exhibition runs from May 1 to 26 at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, with the Opening Reception on Saturday, May 13 at 4:00pm.

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Espresso Sisters

New TV Comedy Series – Sneak Peek!

Join us for a dramatic read-through of ‘In Pole Position’, the first of six episodes of “The Espresso Sisters”, a work-in-progress Italian-Canadian TV comedy series written by mother-daughter duo Megan and Maddalena Vallecchi Williams. Register today to join us on Tuesday, May 2, and get a sneak peek into the development of a new television series.  

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Ballo Liscio dancing

Social Dancing at Ballo Liscio This Wednesday

Grab your dancing shoes and head down to the Columbus Centre on Wednesday, May 3 at 6:30pm for our popular Ballo Liscio social dancing nights. Bring friends, partners, or come on your own and join us as we dance the night away with live musical performances!

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Librissimi Toronto Italian Book Festival Logo

Villa Charities to Host Fifth Annual Toronto Italian Book Festival

Villa Charities is proud to be the venue sponsor of the fifth annual “Librissimi Toronto Italian Book Festival” on May 5, 6 and 7, 2023, organized by Comites Toronto. Back in-person for the first time since 2019, Librissimi this year offers up a full program of literary and cultural presentations with Italian roots, and global appeal. All programming will be held at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery at the Columbus Centre. 

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Celebrating How Italians Helped to Transform Canada

Italian Canadians have contributed greatly to Canada and Canadian society. This Cultural Tuesdays presentation by Angelo Bolotta, director of the “Transformations Canada” project introduces the audience to this incredible “living” tribute that documents the resourcefulness of the Italian Canadian spirit, and ensures these experiences become part of Canadian history. Join us on Tuesday, May 9 at the Columbus Centre.

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Join Us for Our Annual General Meeting on May 24

We invite all members of the community to join us on Wednesday, May 24 at 6:00pm at the Columbus Centre for the Villa Charities Annual General Meeting. The meeting will include brief presentations to share highlights from the past year and Q&A sessions with Villa Charities Inc. and each of the Affiliate organizations. The evening will also feature a short performance from our DanzArts Toronto program with a cocktail reception to follow. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to or call 416-789-7011 Ext. 240 by May 19.

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Women in Opera

Explore the Captivating World of Italian Opera at Opera è Vita

Villa Charities welcomes two of the most accomplished voices on the stage today for a new five-part series, Opera è Vita. Sara Papini will kick off the series with an exploration of the portrayal of women in opera throughout the ages in “Women in Opera” on Friday, May 19 at 7:30pm. In this concert lecture, discover how these sultry, sassy and smart women of opera were brought to life by the composers and their timeless music.

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Call for Poetry Submissions Deadline is April 30

Submissions for “L’Eco dei Dialetti”, an evening of readings designed to highlight the varied regional languages of the Italian peninsula closes April 30. Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished works (prose or poetry) of any form or genre written in dialect, to be presented at this Italian Heritage Event, on Wednesday, June 28. 

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Book Your Virtual One-on-One Meeting for Friday Chats with Marco

Have a question about our programs and services? Take the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Marco DeVuono, President and CEO of Villa Charities Inc.! Appointments are 20 minutes each between 11:00am and 12:00pm and must be scheduled in advance. The next Virtual Friday Chat is scheduled for Friday, May 12. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 or email

Book Your Meeting

Villa Charities Foundation

Free bike tune up

FREE Bike Tune-Up for Giro Riders

Get your bike in perfect shape for spring with a FREE bicycle tune-up worth $69.99 courtesy of Potenza Cycle & Fitness! Your free tune-up will include a full multi-point safety check, bike and drive-train wipe down, brake adjustment, shifting adjustment, torque all bolts to specs and tire pressure check. Register for Giro before May 26th to receive your free tune-up.

Register Now

Raffle Tickets for Ladies Raleigh Cruiser Bicycle on Sale Now!

You have until Friday, May 26 to secure your Giro raffle tickets for a chance to win a Vintage Raleigh Cruiser Single Speed Ladies Bicycle, courtesy of Ziggy’s Cycle. Raffle ticket proceeds will support areas such as senior care, youth services, education and scholarships, cultural programming, and capital needs through Villa Charities Foundation. Drop by the Columbus Centre Reception to buy yours today!

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Columbus Centre

Summer Camp at the Columbus Centre

Our Specialized Camp Instructors Make a Difference

Columbus Centre’s experienced and specialized staff provide an engaging camp experience that sparks children’s curiosity to learn and challenges them to reach their full potential while having fun and creating lifelong memories. Explore our range of Summer Camps for ages 4 to 13 and register your child today!

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Kids pool party

Book Your Pool Party With Us!

Swim with us and make a splash at your next party! The Columbus Centre Athletic Club’s large indoor pool is the perfect place for a birthday party, social functions or any other organized events. Email or call us at 416-789-7011 ext. 215 to learn more or arrange your booking.

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Swimming Lessons and Programs For All Ages

From swimming lessons for children learning to swim, to seniors who enjoy aquafitness, the Columbus Centre Athletic Club swimming pool offers swimming lessons and aquafit programs for people of all ages and levels! Discover our full range of classes and programs online now.

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Stay Active With Premium Group Fitness Classes

Our speciality Premium Group Fitness Programs will challenge you and give you the chance to explore new areas of fitness. Whether you’re interested in yoga to improve your mental and physical health or want to try your hand at martial arts such as kickboxing and karate – our premium programs are the perfect place for you!

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Villa Colombo Toronto


VCTA Gears Up For 32nd Annual Golf Tournament

The Villa Colombo Toronto Auxiliary (VCTA) is gearing up for its 32nd Annual Golf Tournament! This year’s fundraising event will be held at Glen Eagle Golf Club on Wednesday, May 31. Please join us for a fun-filled day featuring breakfast, a friendly game of golf, a delicious sit-down luncheon, raffle prizes, a silent auction, and trophies. Proceeds will benefit the residents of Villa Colombo Toronto. 

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Villa Colombo Vaughan

Easter Bunny at Villa Colombo Vaughan

Updates from Villa Colombo Vaughan

There’s been a lot going on at Villa Colombo Vaughan recently. From bidding farewell to our Personal Support Worker students, to the annual Maria Di Salvo Compassionate Care Awards ceremony, and our Easter celebrations. Check out the full update to find out more.

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Messages From Our Valued Arts Partners

Elisa Rose – “Classic to Rock”

Elisa Rose, classically trained Soprano artist, will be joined by Charles Di Raimondo and Rob Tardik to perform a crossover episode of classical music and a little rock version of a classical aria, at the Columbus Centre on Saturday, May 27 at 8:00pm. Get your tickets today and bring on spring with “Classic to Rock”!

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Organix Festival 2023 / Italian Arts Festival

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto and the Glionna Mansell Corporation present the Italian Arts Festival at Organix 2023. Organix Festival is a unique music festival featuring the grand pipe organ, its repertoire and the talented musicians who perform in this musical genre. The series is designed to present solo and ensemble performances of repertoire that would not normally be heard in a Toronto or region organ concert. Concerts will be presented in Toronto and Guelph from May 31 to June 4.

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Our Mission:

Enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage.

Our Vision:

Inspiring people to explore the Italian in all of us.

Villa Charities Inc. | 416-789-7011 | |

901 Lawrence Ave W, Toronto, ON, M6A 1C3 I About Us
Villa Charities Foundation Charitable Registration Number: 89337 0767 RR001

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