Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute

Buy Your Personalized Name Plaque Today! 

Name plaques for the Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute project are now available to purchase! Canadians from coast to coast can now buy a plaque to commemorate their loved ones and honour Italians who journeyed to Canada to begin a new life.

As a supporter of Villa Charities, we want to ensure that you purchase your name plaque as only a limited quantity is available, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Personalized single or double name plaques are available and will feature the name of the family member and the year they immigrated to Canada. A tax receipt will be issued for the maximum allowable amount. If you would like to split your purchase with a family member(s), please contact our sales office at 647-951-9874. The name plaques will be installed on the Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute in alphabetical order when construction begins.

Purchasing a plaque also means you can share your family’s immigration journey online by submitting a brief family history and up to four images, to appear on the Immigrant Map at

This collection of immigrant stories will create an engaging and creative digital space for the public to explore and learn about the shared experiences of the Italian Canadian community. 

Here’s a story from one of our Tribute Project donors:

Our mom and dad raised us on the Italian immigrant journey and the dream. They were post WW2 immigrants. Our Toronto home at 386 Lauder Avenue was the backdrop for the magical transition that would take place. We were all becoming Canadian Italians while holding a warm heart for our Italian heritage. We were told of the sacrifices, and early bewilderment of a foreign land where few spoke Italian and the rest ate sweet white bread.  

Our mom Carmela Lupinacci was 17 years old when she left the port of Naples. Waving goodbye until there was no one left to see. It would be 14 days and nights before she would arrive at Pier 21. There she boarded a train and arrived exhausted and elated. Her first job was on River Street sewing powder puffs in a factory. She was a trained seamstress and had a sewing machine in our basement, that spun dreams.

Our father Pasquale Guido joined his beloved Carmelina a year and 6 months later. They married within 30 days. His family would never join him in the immigration exodus. He was always restless about that. His first job was laying down sod in Mimico. He eventually got a job at the iconic factory Tip Top Tailors on Lakeshore Blvd. There he pressed suits. He was a union man and worked piece work for 25 years until he became a floor supervisor. They raised three children and had five grandchildren that would spin dreams beyond their imagination.”

Proceeds from the sale of each plaque through Villa Charities Foundation will support Villa Charities programs and services such as senior care, cultural programming, scholarships and youth services, and capital needs.


Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute

Virtual Town Hall for Tribute Project on November 3

We invite you to join us on Thursday, November 3 at 6:00pm for our next Virtual Town Hall with Marco DeVuono, President and CEO of Villa Charities. At this meeting we will be sharing information and answering questions about the Villa Charities Italian Canadian Immigrant Tribute project, honouring Italian immigrants and their families. If you would like to participate, please RSVP by Tuesday, November 1 to and we will send you the GoToMeeting link to use.


Villa Charities

Coming This Sunday: “Beatrice & Adolfo: Doing What They Love”

On Sunday, October 16 at 3:00pm, Villa Charities presents “Beatrice & Adolfo: Doing What They Love”. This lively musical concert will feature the talented duo of Beatrice Carpino (singer) and Adolfo De Santis (pianist) as they present a selection of popular Italian and English songs, Neapolitan songs, and Broadway songs.

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Last Chance to Experience Lilian Broca’s “Mary Magdalene Resurrected” 

There’s only a short time left to experience this monumental mosaic series at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery by master artist Lilian Broca. Made of 6-foot-high mosaics constructed from Venetian glass, this series of 7 monumental scale panels explores the figure of Mary Magdalene. Broca’s work will leave viewers contemplating and reassessing this woman who has been greatly misunderstood for 2000 years. The exhibition runs until Thursday, October 20, 2022.

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An Evening of Italian Poetry with Fabio Andina and Guido Catalano

On the occasion of the 22nd Week of Italian Language in the World, the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Montreal, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto, and Villa Charities present an evening with Italian poet, Guido Catalano, and Swiss-Italian poet, Fabio Andina, who will be offering dramatic readings of their compositions. Join us on October 21 at 6:30 pm at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura. Light refreshments will follow.

This event will be in Italian.

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See the Final Performance of “Stories, Strange Stories”

Under the direction of Italian theatre director and pedagogue Gianluca Barbadori, Villa Charities and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto, in partnership with Ponte tra Culture Society present “Stories, Strange Stories” (“Storie, strane storie”) an experimental performance aimed at bringing people together through theatre. After a 5-week intensive theatre course, our students and non-professional actors will bring to the stage the world of famous Italian writer and dramatist Dino Buzzati. “Stories, Strange Stories” guides the audience through mysterious, metaphorical, eccentric and intriguing narratives that reflect on the nature of being human and living in our contemporary society. Register today for your ticket to this ‘pay what you can’ performance on Saturday, October 22 at 7:00pm. 


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Read Contemporary Italian Literature at “Club del Libro

Register now for our next workshop on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00pm,

when we will be discussing

La forma dell’acqua” / “The Shape of Water” by Andrea Camilleri.

Our online book club is an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary Italian literature while learning Italian. 

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“Mimmo Baronello: Sustenance” Opens on October 27

Villa Charities is proud to present “Mimmo Baronello: Sustenance” at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery. This exhibition celebrates the work of Sicilian-born artist Mimmo Baronello, who explores the morphing of nature through painting, drawing, and installation applying classical symbols and styles in a contemporary perspective. His paintings blend the mannerist and baroque style present in Sicilian culture and architecture, with contemporary imagery from Canadian natural richness. Join us for the opening night reception on Thursday, October 27 at 6:30 pm. Exhibition runs to December 3, 2022.


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“A Night of Opera” with Sara Papini and Romulo Delgado

Join international opera singer, Sara Papini, esteemed tenor, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Romulo Delgado, with accompaniment by pianist Ivan Jovanovic for a memorable musical performance on October 28 at 7:30pm. Experience the power and passion of two of the most beautiful voices in the country and enjoy famous popular songs and iconic opera arias in an unforgettable concert!

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Learn How to Make the Pasta Shapes of Southern Italy 

On November 1 at 6:30 pm, join us for our second pasta-making class, “Eggless Shapes of Southern Italy.” Learn about making fresh eggless dough including the process beginning from the “well” method, the importance of resting and choosing the right flours. Chef Anthony Sestito from Pastaio will teach participants about some simple, yet significant shapes and styles of pasta made using eggless dough, all with minimal tools and experience. A focus on handmade pasta shapes including Cavatelli, Orecchiette, Fileja, and Lorighittas. At the end of class, enjoy a simple sauce and final dish of Orecchiette with Sausage & Rapini. 

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Live Music and Dancing Continues Weekly at Ballo Liscio 

Villa Charities, with funding by the Government of Canada’s New Horizon’s for Seniors Program, hosts Ballo Liscio social dancing nights. Dance the night away every Wednesday at 6:30pm until December 14 in the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre. These indoor events are open to everyone and feature live musical performances.

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The South: An Exploration of Southern Italian Folk Music

Join singer-songwriter, dancer and actor Andrea Ramolo on November 1 for a Cultural Tuesdays lecture that explores the ancestral music of the “Tarantella” and “Pizzica”. With a focus on the Salento region of Italy, we’ll discover the cultural phenomenon of the taranta spider, and Southern Italian music as a form of healing. Topics such as tarantism, the tamburello and zampogna, Ernesto De Martino, le seranate, and more will be discussed. Andrea will also reflect on her time filming her first documentary in Salento.

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Celebrate with Us at Sagra della Castagna / Roasted Chestnut Festival 

Sagre (festivals) are traditional events where we come together as a community to socialize, discover and enjoy seasonal Italian food and traditions. Each month we present a sagra featuring a different Italian food theme. Join us for our next festival of the season on Wednesday, November 9 at 6:30pm with Sagra della Castagna / Roasted Chestnut Festival. This event will coincide with Ballo Liscio, featuring live musical performances and dancing! Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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 Learn Italian and Socialize at “Art & Aperitivo”

Our friendly and interactive “Art & Aperitivo” sessions are an opportunity to learn and practice Italian, in a relaxed and social environment. Enjoy a drink and snacks together with instructor Daniela Sanzone and fellow classmates as we discuss and explore Italian art, from frescos to magnificent fountains, paintings to monumental architecture and hidden treasures of Italy. Register now for classes beginning November 7, for both English and Italian speakers.

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Explore our Fall & Winter 2022-2023 Program Guide

Download your copy of our digital Fall & Winter Program Guide and enjoy everything we have to offer at Villa Charities and the Columbus Centre. We have programs for all ages and interests including cultural events, art exhibitions, Italian language workshops, health and fitness, dance, visual arts, music, special culinary events and more. 

View The Program Guide

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 and must be scheduled in advance. The next Friday Chats is scheduled for Friday, October 14. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 or email 

Book Your Meeting

Columbus Early Learning Centres

Celebrating “Every Child Matters” at St. Raphael Child Care Centre 

The children in our Before and After School Programs at St. Raphael Catholic School commemorated the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and celebrated “Every Child Matters” by proudly wearing their orange shirts. 

Columbus Centre

Meet Your Fitness Goals with Small Group Personal Training 

Our new Small Group Personal Training program is a great opportunity for Columbus Centre Athletic Club Members to benefit from the energy and camaraderie of group fitness with the individualization and the attention of a personal trainer, at a fraction of the cost. Sessions are designed to provide motivation and accountability, ensuring consistency in reaching your fitness goals. Our trainers specialize in providing results for those who are looking to build muscle, gain strength, improve endurance, and boost fat loss.  

For more information, visit the Membership Office or email

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Online Painting Masterclasses Continue with “November Sky”

Join professional artist and multi-award recipient Sam Paonessa, as he guides you on creating your very own masterpiece, developing your skills of specific painting techniques. Masterclasses continue with “November Sky” on November 24 at 6:30pm. Students will learn to tell a story through painting, creating a narrative utilizing atmosphere, mood and colour. A lone tree stands against a dramatic steel gray sky creating a symbolic image of isolation. Ochre corn fields provide a feeling of warmth and provision.

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Registration is Still Open for DanzArts Toronto’s 2022/2023 Season

DanzArts Toronto at the Columbus Centre provides professional-level training to students of all ages and skill levels. Registration is still open for our recreational and adult classes. Don't miss your chance to dance with us this season! Contact us at for more information.


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Villa Colombo Toronto

GO-VAXX Bus Vaccination Clinic at VCT on October 15

Villa Colombo Toronto in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is bringing the GO-VAXX Bus back to the Villa Charities campus, on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The Bivalent Vaccine will be available at this clinic for anyone who qualifies. Walk-ins will also be accepted.

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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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