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Villa Charities Celebrates International Women’s Day 2023!

International Women's Day 2023

"Our Voices, Our History"

An evening of stories about the challenges and successes of Italian-Canadian women.

In partnership with Vibrant Women’s Voices, we celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day with a presentation that reflects on the stories of a group of Italian-Canadian women. From professional figures to volunteers, and community leaders to authors, these women share their perseverance, stamina, courage and determination in a world where their presence has not been valued, or, their efforts and contributions recognized. Register for free today to join us for an exemplary journey for future generations.

Presenters and speakers include Marisa Agostini, Lina Colosino Aykler, Emily Ferrari, Caterina Gliosca, Isabel Mazzotta and Grace Pluchino.


Date: Wednesday, March 8, 7:00pm

Tickets: A ‘Pay What You Can’ Event

(Donations welcome at the door)

Location: Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre


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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 Pietro Ritacca and Virginia Mirabelli, who immigrated from Calabria in 1953 and 1955 respectively.

Immigrant Tribute Story Photos

“Pietro Ritacca and his wife Virginia grew up in a small village called San Ianni, near Rende. Growing up Pietro was a farmer and a shepherd. As a young man he served in the Military in Bologna and at the age of 24 he left Italy for Toronto where he spent most of his working days at a Toronto G.E. factory. Pietro was a highly respected husband, father, brother, friend and family member. (…) In 1955 Virginia arrived at Pier 21 by ocean liner with her 4 year old son Salvatore to join Pietro and several other family members at their shared home in Toronto. She was a beautiful hard working mother, a dedicated wife and highly respected by her relatives and friends. (…) On June 14, 1961, while leaving for work, Virginia suffered an aneurysm and died instantly in her home on Christie Street (south of St.Clair). Her sudden premature death created great sadness for family and friends and filled their lives with grief for many years. Nathan Phillips, the mayor of Toronto at the time, wrote a personal letter to Pietro expressing his sympathy and condolences. Her son Salvatore Ritacca, co-founder of the Leonardo Da Vinci Academy (1983), was 10 years old at the time of her death. Not a day goes by that Sal does not feel the love she shared with him and his sister Amy. Virginia was buried at Holy Cross Catholic cemetery at the age of 30 and her husband joined her 50 years later.”

Read their full story on our Immigrant Map and explore other immigrant experiences. 

Honour your own family and share their story.

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Villa Charities

Art & Aperitivo Socializing

Italian Aperitivo Nights Continue Every Monday!

Come down to the Columbus Centre on Monday nights for socializing, snacks, and sips in our “Art & Aperitivo” sessions. These sessions are a great place to meet new people, make new friendships, practice your Italian, chat about art, and enjoy a drink and bite to eat – the perfect way to start your week! Our next weekly session is on Monday, March 6 at 7:30 – 8:30pm (for Italian speakers). Register today to join us!

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Italian Wine Tasting

Vini d'Italia – Guided Wine Tasting

Join us on March 22 to expand your knowledge of wine with a guided wine tasting and discussion in collaboration with WineHouse Imports Inc. Don’t miss this informative and entertaining session featuring four Italian wines from Calabria and Sicily 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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Ballo Liscio - Senior Dancing Nights

Wednesday Night Dancing at Ballo Liscio

Get into the Italian spirit at Ballo Liscio every Wednesday night. Bring friends, partners, or come on your own for a fun night of dancing and mingling! The event features live music performances in the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery at the Columbus Centre for your entertainment. Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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Jazz Series at the Columbus Centre

Jazz Concert Series is Coming to the Columbus Centre!

Hilario Duran Trio will be performing the first concert of our three-part Jazz Series on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00pm. Join Hilario Duran (Piano), Roberto Occhipinti (Bass), and Mark Kelso (Drums) as they delight you with an evening of smooth and funky jazz melodies. 

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Italian Favourites Concert

Spend a Magical Musical Evening with Beatrice & Adolfo

On Friday, March 24 at 7:30pm, we will be hosting “Italian favourites with Beatrice & Adolfo”. This concert will feature classically trained duo Beatrice Carpino (singer) and Adolfo De Santis (pianist) as they perform a selection of Italian Favourites. Join them as their songs take you on a musical journey to Italy.

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Book Reading - Cultural Tuesdays

Cultural Tuesdays Return with a Book Reading by Cristina Scarano

Kicking off the return of our Cultural Tuesdays series is Italian author Cristina Scarano. Join Cristina on Tuesday, March 28 for this special book reading and presentation of “Life and Death an Eclipse of Being”, a collection of poems and moments of emotion, elaborated with the heart and mind and a pinch of transcendental madness. Explore all upcoming Cultural Tuesdays events.

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Online Book Club

March’s Book Club Selection is Here!

We invite you to embark on literary adventures with extraordinary works by acclaimed prize-winning authors! Register now to discuss "I leoni di Sicilia"/"The Florios of Sicily" by Stefania Auci on Wednesday, March 29 at 7:00pm. Our "Club del Libro" online workshop with Violante Binazzi is an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary Italian literature while socializing and learning Italian.

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Taste of Naples

Our Next ‘Taste of Italy’ Dinner is Now Available for Booking 

We’re excited to announce the next stop in our Taste of Italy series. This time, we’re headed to ‘The Birthplace of Pizza’, Naples. Join us on Friday March 31 to enjoy a four-course set menu inspired by the flavours of Naples. View the delectable dinner menu online now.

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Singing Together 2023

Singing Together - A Celebration of Cultural Diversity 

Villa Charities is a proud Community Supporter of ‘Singing Together 2023’, an event celebrating cultural diversity. Head down to Toronto Korean Presbyterian Church on April 22 to enjoy the soulful voices of local ethnic choirs as they perform a repertoire from their own cultures and unite to perform pieces by Canadian musicians.

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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, March 10.  Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 or email

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Villa Charities Foundation

50% off Giro Registration

50% off Giro 2023 Registration!

Feel like challenging yourself in 2023? Take the opportunity to put your stamina to the test and register for the 16th Annual Villa Charities Giro Cycling Fundraiser on May 28, 2023! Whether you’re an avid cyclist or you’re just getting started, we’ve got a route to suit all levels and abilities. Do something to make yourself proud and give back to your community! Sign up today for 50% off the registration fee and be entered into the draw to win two premium Toronto FC game tickets for July 1. Learn more about the event and routes here.

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Columbus Centre

Aquafit programs

Registrations Open Soon: Aquafit Classes

Shallow and Deep Water Aquafitness spring programs start soon! Aquafit provides a great stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic workout – perfect for toning muscles, improving flexibility, and improving heart health. Registrations open on Monday, March 13 for Shallow Water Aquafitness Classes and Tuesday, March 14 for Deep Water Aquafitness Classes.

To learn more or register, contact or 416-789-7011 Ext. 213.

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Tennis Court

Tennis Court Registration is Now Open!

Tennis court membership registration is now open! Secure your membership today to access our outdoor courts when they open on April 1, 2023. Members and Non-Members can register for Early Bird Tennis Court Memberships until March 15 to save $10! Our tennis season will run from April 1 to October 31, 2023.

To learn more or register, contact or 416-789-7011 Ext. 213.

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Squash lessons

Spring Squash Programs Just Announced

Interested in learning how to play squash? Check out our spring squash programs now! Designed for kids and adults of all levels, these programs will focus on squash fundamentals including strokes, footwork, grips, and the rules of the game. No experience is required! Check out our full list of programs online now.

To learn more or register, contact or call 416-789-7011 Ext. 229.

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Squash programs

Play in our Competitive Monday Night Squash House League 

Put your squash skills to the test in our Squash House League! Join the spring season of our Squash House League on Mondays from 5:20 to 9:00pm, from April 3 through June 5. Players will be able to choose between three levels (beginner / intermediate / advanced) to play against other squash players and win prizes!

To learn more or register, contact or call 416-789-7011 Ext. 229.

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Summer Camps

Registration for Summer Camp at Columbus Centre Coming Soon!

The Columbus Centre is the place to be for summer camps! Our camps provide interactive learning opportunities, engaging activities and a chance to make life-long friends. Half and full-day camps are available for children aged 4 to 13.

Pre-register your interest today to learn more and secure a space for your child/children. Summer Camp will return to the Columbus Centre from July 3 to August 25.

Pre-Register Now

Villa Colombo Toronto


Volunteer Opportunities Available at Villa Colombo 

Interested in volunteering? Villa Colombo Toronto needs you! We’ve got multiple volunteer opportunities available from Gift Shop Helpers, and Meals on Wheels Drivers to Eating Assistants and Friendly Visiting. Volunteers help our team continue the amazing work they are doing, and as a volunteer, you too can help and make a huge difference to the lives of our residents! If you’re interested in finding out more or applying, please email 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 | |

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

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