February 2023 Volume 1

 Discover the Tastes of Cinque Terre!

Join us on a journey to the Italian Riviera coastline with a

4-course menu inspired by food from Cinque Terre.

Taste of Cinque Terre

Our popular ‘Taste of Italy’ series is back, and this time we’re heading to Cinque Terre. Spend the evening indulging in delicious and authentic Italian dishes prepared by Slow Food Toronto President and Chef, Luciano Schipano. All guests will enjoy a full 4-course menu and complimentary wine during dinner service. Explore the full menu below and join us for an unforgettable culinary experience.


Date: Friday, February 24, 7:00pm

Tickets: $100.00

Price includes complimentary wine during dinner service. Additional wine, beer, mixed and soft drinks will be available for an additional cost. 

Location: Ristorante Boccaccio, Columbus Centre


Antipasto – Starter

Insalata di Polpo con Patate, Farinata di Ceci, Salame Genova

e Bruschetta con Lardo di Castelnuovo Magra all’Albicocca

Octopus salad with potato, chickpea savoury pancake, Genoa salami

and bruschetta with lard pâté and apricot

Primo – First Course

Pansoti con Salsa di Noci e Trenette al Pesto 

Pasta stuffed with ricotta, borage flower and herbs topped with

salsa di noci and trenette pasta with fresh basil pesto sauce

Secondo – Entrée

Ricciola con Erbette, Olive, Capperi e Patate 

Herbs-infused whitefish with olives, capers and potato

Dolce – Dessert

Torta Sacripantina

Liqueur-soaked sponge cake separated by layers of

cream filling and amaretti crumbs

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Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute

#TributeThursday – Donor Spotlight

It’s #TributeThursday, where we feature immigrant histories from the Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute Project. This week, we're sharing the story of Giuseppe (Joe) Bortolussi who immigrated from the Province of Pordenone in 1927.

Tribute Thursdays

“Giuseppe Alessandro Bortolussi was born in 1908 in Zoppola, Province of Pordenone. At age 18 he immigrated to Canada, having been sponsored by "The Italian Colony Farm" and worked as a farm labourer in Manitoba… In 1939 he started his own tile company. He met Bernice Cuneo from Hamilton and they were married in 1941. They lived in a two-room flat until he built a small bungalow. They had two children, JoAnne and Robert. Joe sponsored his brother Ivano, who came in 1948 and lived with the family. Joe soon bought a larger home which became the destination for many friends and relatives who arrived in Toronto from Zoppola.”

Read Giuseppe’s full story on our Immigrant Map and explore all the immigrant experiences. 

Honour your family and share their story!

Purchase Your Plaque

Villa Charities

Avanti Group

Villa Charities and Avanti Group – Partners Since 1985

Villa Charities has been supporting the Avanti Low Vision Support Group since it was established in July 1985. The group was launched following a fundraising gala with special guest Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, with proceeds going towards the Columbus Centre and to create this specialized program to serve Italian-speaking visually impaired individuals. Volunteers from the Avanti Group guide and assist community members with the use of facilities at the Columbus Centre including the gym and café.

Join our Italian Aperitivo Nights Every Monday

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, February 6 at 7:30 – 8:30pm (for Italian speakers).

Register Now

Ballo Liscio

Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes for Ballo Liscio

Join us every Wednesday evening at 6:30pm for our popular Ballo Liscio social dancing nights. Come down to the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery at the Columbus Centre and join us as we dance to live music. Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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Wine tasting

NEW! Explore Italian Wines at Vini d'Italia

Interested in expanding your knowledge of wines from Sicily and Calabria? Join us for a guided wine tasting and discussion with WineHouse Imports Inc. on February 15 at 7:00pm. All guests will get the chance to explore four Italian wines to refine your taste and learn how to discern among the multitude of fragrant notes. Light snacks will accompany the tasting and wines will be available for purchase.

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Italian for Toddlers

NEW! Italian Classes for Toddlers & Parents

Centro Scuola and Villa Charities are offering Italian classes for toddlers (ages 1 – 3) and their parents! These classes will give your children the chance to learn Italian in a fun and engaging way through songs, games and stories. This is a 10-week program, with sessions on Wednesdays, February 15 to April 26, from 10:30 to 11:30am.

For more information and to register call 416-789-4970 or email [email protected].

Register Now


Carnevale Free Family Friendly Event!

In celebration of Mardi Gras, we're teaming up with Leonardo Da Vinci Academy to host a special Carnevale event on Tuesday, February 21. Join us for an afternoon of fun activities for the whole family with live music, arts & crafts, face painting, traditional Carnival desserts, and more. Dress to impress with a Carnival-themed costume and bring your own Mardi Gras spirit to the festivities! This is a free event that anyone can attend.

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Club Del Libro

Online Italian Book Club "Club del Libro"

Register for our next book club event where we’ll be discussing “Il senso del dolore: l’inverno del commissario Ricciardi”/”I Will Have Vengeance: The Winter of Commissario Ricciardi” by Maurizio De Giovanni. This is the first book in a quartet of masterful crime novels set in fascist Italy that has taken European readers by storm. Our book club is a great place to meet likeminded people and socialize from the comfort of your own home. Register now to join our next virtual event on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:00pm.

Register Now

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, February 10. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 or email [email protected].

Book Your Meeting

Villa Charities Foundation

Giro 2023 - FREE Registration

FREE Early Bird Registration for Giro 2023!

We’re gearing up for the 16th Annual Villa Charities Giro Cycling Fundraiser on May 28, 2023, at the Veneto Centre in Woodbridge. Register with our Early Bird promotion and we’ll waive your registration fee (regular $100). Offer ends February 28 so sign up today before it’s too late!

Plus, the first 50 riders to register will automatically be entered for a chance to win two premium tickets to see Toronto FC vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at BMO Field, courtesy of Edward Sorbara and The Sorbara Family. See full contest rules

Register Now

Columbus Centre

Athletic Club Offer

50% Off for New Members Extended: Columbus Centre Athletic Club

You’re in luck! Due to popular demand, we’re extending our January offer into February. You now have until February 15 to secure this great deal: zero enrollment fees, 50% off your first 2 months, and 10% off select personal training for new members only. Get access to the 11,000 sq.ft. main gym, state-of-the-art equipment, squash and racquetball courts, spinning rooms, large indoor pool, indoor running track, and fitness classes, all under one roof!

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Summer Camps Coming Soon!

Be one of the first to learn more about our Summer Camp and pre-register today. Summer Camp at the Columbus Centre will return from July 3 to August 25 for children aged 5-14. From general camps to specialty camps in sports, dance, music, art and more, there’s something for everyone! Plus, with our full-day,

half-day and extended care, we have options to suit your scheduling needs.

Pre-register now to learn more and reserve a space for your child/children.

Pre-Register Now

Winter Landscapes

“Mini” Winter Landscapes Painting Workshop

Advance your skills and discover the art of painting with oil and acrylic. This new 4-class “mini” workshop will focus on the beauty of winter. Students will learn to paint winter landscapes creating atmospheric effects using techniques for oil and acrylic paint. Workshops will be held on Wednesdays, March 1–29, from 12:30 to 3:30pm.

Learn More

Villa Colombo Toronto

Valentines Baking

Villa Colombo Toronto Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Villa Colombo Toronto will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with lots of events and activities planned throughout the month of February, to enjoy quality time and show love and appreciation to the residents, family members, staff and clients. Some of the activities planned include baking Texas Valentine’s cake, making Valentine’s Day cards, celebrating National Dark Chocolate Day and National Pizza Day, and making Nonna’s best gnocchi - Che bontà! Family members and the VCT community can learn more on InTouchLink.

Volunteers Needed at Villa Colombo Toronto! 

Give back to your community and gain unique and enriching experience by volunteering to support our seniors. Villa Colombo Toronto needs volunteers just like you! There are many opportunities for you to get involved with different programs and areas including the gift shop, friendly visits, eating assistance, recreation programs, drivers for Meals on Wheels, and more. If you’re interested in finding out more or applying, please email [email protected] or call 416-789-2113 Ext. 2216. 

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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 | [email protected] | www.villacharities.com

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

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