Villa Charities Kicks Off Year-Long
50th Anniversary Celebrations
On April 15, 2021, Villa Charities will proudly celebrate its 50th anniversary. To commemorate this momentous occasion, we will host a series of inclusive programming and initiatives throughout the year that will honour the past, recognize the history and contribution that the Italian Canadian community has made to Canada, and look forward to future growth and opportunities.
 
Villa Charities Inc. (VCI) was established in 1971 as the Italian Canadian Benevolent Corporation (ICBC) to raise funds, and to develop, administer and coordinate projects in the health, social, cultural and educational fields, which enrich and enhance the quality of life and honour the Italian heritage.
 
Since then, the organization has transformed and grown to adapt to the needs of the ever-changing community around us. A registered charity, Villa Charities’ mission is to enrich lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. For almost 50 years across the GTA, the organization has provided cultural and educational programs and supported culturally sensitive long-term care and independent living apartments for seniors. We fulfill this mandate through a broad range of activities, services and facilities, both directly and in conjunction with our affiliates and independent organizations. The Villa Charities affiliates include Columbus Centre and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; Villa Charities Foundation; Villa Colombo Toronto; Villa Colombo Vaughan and apartments for independent seniors Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo. Each of these organizations is an integral part of the Villa Charities family with separate legal status and its own governance Board.
 
For the past five decades, VCI has played an important role in supporting the Italian community and advancing the appreciation and promotion of Italian culture. Today, Villa Charities also attracts an increasingly diverse non-Italian community who enjoy Italian culture through many programs and experiences.
 
Stay tuned for more details and join us!
 
On-Site Operations for Villa Charities and Columbus Centre Remain Suspended
Please be advised that following the 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. For full details, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.
 
Learn Italian by Doing Workshops Return for the New Year
Join us virtually, enjoy a drink, and master the Italian language with the “Art & Aperitivo” classes! This workshop is an opportunity to talk about art in a relaxed environment while enjoying our favourite drink together. In this free online interactive workshop, we will discuss the most significant art news and events from around the world, using Italian magazines and newspapers. We invite you to practice your Italian while expressing your views.

New Year, New Book! Club de Libro is Back with the Best in Italian Literature
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, January 27 at 7pm as we read In altre Parole/In Other Words” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jhumpa Lahiri.
 
Columbus Early Learning Centres Opens Registration for 2021
For more than 30 years, we have provided the highest quality of childcare to those within our community between the ages of 18 months and 12 years. We are proud to offer diverse, engaging services that reflect the values on which we were founded. Columbus Early Learning Centres are taking every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the children, families, and our staff. We are following the guidelines from the Ministry of Education, City of Toronto, and Toronto Public Health.
 
Virtual Workshops Available for the [Re]Connected Seniors Tech Project
[Re]Connected Seniors is a digital learning project by Villa Charities, funded in part by the Government of Canada and United Way of Greater Toronto. [Re]Connected Seniors has initialized an iPad lending library within Villa Charities’ apartments for seniors (Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto, Casa Abruzzo) and has also launched a series of virtual workshops to improve the digital literacy of seniors throughout the GTA! To book a place in one of the workshops, contact Matteo Brera at reconnect@villacharities.com or by phone at 416-789-7011 ext. 333.
 
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 are scheduled for Friday, January 8 and Friday, February 12. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 ext. 240 or email csimpson@villacharities.com.
Columbus Centre Issues Request for Expressions of Interest
As we look ahead to 2021 with optimism that soon the worst will be behind us, the Columbus Centre like so many other organizations is faced with new challenges regarding how and what services should be provided that best meet the needs of the entire community.

The Columbus Centre has a rich history of evolving and providing programming to meet community needs and we have every intention of delivering on that mandate going forward. However, in an effort to preserve this tradition, we will be exploring new avenues to engage partners and identify fresh opportunities to enhance the spectrum of services offered through a public “Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI)” to be launched in January.
          
Throughout this process we intend to be open and transparent with all involved either directly or indirectly. Our goal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization through programs and services that provide the most value to the community.
Virtual Landscape Painting Classes Begin January 12
Don’t miss the opportunity to hone your painting prowess! With a focus on landscape studies, this 11-week class will explore principles such as tone, colour, form, texture, brush techniques, mixing, contrast and composition. Virtual classes are offered at limited capacity, which provides for enhanced one-on-one instruction. Suitable for adults of all levels and experience. To learn more, visit our website and register today!

New Year, New You – Try our Live Virtual Group Fitness Classes
Achieve your New Year’s resolutions this year! Virtual Group Fitness classes are the perfect workout from home with certified instructors to motivate you every step of the way. Our new weekly Instructor’s Choice class allows 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 fee is only $24.99 + HST and includes access to our full fitness class video library. For more information, visit our website and register today.
 
Become a Music Star, Register for our Online Virtual Music Lessons
Have you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument? The new year is the perfect time to explore your musical passion. Our music instructors are teaching private lessons virtually via apps such as ZOOM, Facetime or Skype. For scheduling and availability visit our website. Lessons will begin the week of January 11th.
 
Canada and Italy Sign New Youth Mobility Agreement
The agreement, signed on December 11, 2020, by Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, will improve labour market access for Canadian and Italian youth between 18 and 35 years of age by allowing them to work and travel for 12 months. Candidates can participate twice for a total of 24 months. Participants will also be able to gain professional work experience with the addition of two streams: International Co-op and Young Professionals. The exchange will allow the next generation of Canadians and Italians alike to gain a better understanding of each other’s culture, languages and history.