Le Lézard

Villa Charities celebrates Italian Heritage Month

TORONTO, May 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While unable to welcome the community to the campus, Villa Charities will celebrate this cherished annual occasion with a series of engaging digital events and programming throughout the month of June.

The roster will once again showcase the artistry and talents of Italian-Canadian performers and Villa Charities' diverse community with a lineup that includes panel discussions, music concerts, heritage experiences, live culinary workshops, dance performances and more. Villa Charities also hopes to promote multigenerational experiences and encourages families to participate in these events together, to foster a communal sense of pride and belonging.

"Throughout June we will commemorate Italian culture and heritage with a month full of exciting programs and events," says Giulio Recchioni, Executive Director of Cultural Programming, Villa Charities. "As we continue to mark our 50th anniversary, we honour the contributions of Italian-Canadians to our diverse cultural mosaic and proudly celebrate virtually with our community."

Below is the full list of virtual programs taking place to celebrate Italian Heritage Month:

An Immigrant Story
June 1 ? 30, 2021
In celebration of Villa Charities' 50th anniversary, the website immigrantstory.ca, created and developed by Sholom Wargon, features an inaugural collection of more than 40 inspirational stories of individuals who immigrated to Canada from Italy and other countries. With eloquent narratives and compelling visuals, this interactive experience broadly reflects the ethnocultural origins of the Villa Charities and Columbus Centre communities. An on-site exhibition of these immigrant journeys is planned for the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery as soon as health and safety conditions permit. Presented by Sholom Wargon Design and Pizza Nova.

Pirandello and "Six Characters in Search of an Author" ? 100 Years After
Tuesday, June 1 at 7:00pm
Join internationally acclaimed and two-time Dora Award-nominee, Daniele Bartolini, Artist in Residence for Villa Charities and Associate Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre, and one of Toronto's most renowned slam poets, Luke Reece, for a live discussion about Pirandello and his metatheatrical masterpiece "Six Characters in Search of an Author", and their production of the play for Soulpepper's series Around The World In 80 Plays. Montreal-based playwright and performer, Michaela Di Cesare, author of "In Search of Mrs. Pirandello", will also join the conversation.
Price: FREE

Festa della Repubblica | Italian National Day
Wednesday, June 2 at 12:00pm
This is a virtual ceremonial celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, with greetings from Canadian elected officials, representatives of the Italian and Canadian governments, and community leaders. Featuring a poetry reading by Gianna Patriarca and a concert by Rossano Sportiello and Pasquale Grasso.
Price: FREE

Serata Musical: A Spotlight on Young Italian-Canadian Talent
June 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 12:00pm
Enjoy this video series featuring four concerts by young professional musicians in the Italian-Canadian community. The series will highlight exciting singers and musicians from Ontario and BC, performing a variety of genres including classical music, pop, jazz, country and Italian folk.

Performance Schedule:
June 3: A concert by the Quintessence Ensemble, which features a trio of sibling string musicians: Miriam Cacciacarro (Violin), Hannah Cacciacarro (Cello) and Abigail Cacciacarro (Violin). Don't miss this musical event with a repertoire of popular and immortal Italian songs spanning from classical to operatic.   

June 10: Toronto-born artist and multiple Canadian folk music award nominee Andrea Ramolo, and singer and songwriter from Vancouver, Lisa Petrucci.

June 17: Antonio Larosa (modern country rock musician), Stephen Scaccia (contemporary pop artist), and Toronto-based jazz guitarist Andrew Marzotto.

June 24: Featuring three soloists from the Coro San Marco Choir: Sonia Stillo, Michael Nasato and Iwona Jazczur, all accompanied by pianist Adolfo DeSantis, and followed by a performance by Italian-Canadian Luca Ramelli on piano.
Price: FREE

My Secret Venice with Sebastiano Bazzichetto
June 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 12:00pm
We are proud to present a second season of exclusive ?behind-the-scenes' episodes with Dr. Sebastiano Bazzichetto. This new four-part video series will take viewers on a cultural and visual journey to explore hidden gems in the Venetian countryside and pay homage to Dante, the father of Italian language. Don't miss these stunning virtual tours of some of the grandest, palatial villas in the Veneto region.
Price: FREE

Cucina con noi!
June 8, 16, 22 and 29
"Cucina con noi!" is a series of four live interactive culinary workshops featuring local Italian chefs demonstrating how to prepare traditional Italian meals. Presented in partnership with Eataly and Cucinato.

Workshop Schedule:
June 8 at 6:30pm - 8:00pm ? Cucinato
Pranzo della Domenica: A Typical Southern Italian Sunday Meal with Neapolitan Chef Bruno Di Sarno

June 16 at 7:30 - 8:00pm ? Eataly
Pasta alla Carbonara

June 22 at 6:30 - 8:00pm ? Cucinato
Theme TBC

June 29 at 5:00 - 5:30pm ? Eataly
Risotto al Parmigiano Reggiano DOP
Price: FREE

Corey Weeds Quartet plays Italian Standards
Friday, June 18 at 8:30pm
Alto saxophonist Cory Weeds assembles an all-star Vancouver band to celebrate Italian Heritage Month across Canada.  Joined by guitarist John Lee, organist Chris Gestrin and drummer Jesse Cahill, Weeds will play music from his chart topping "O Sole Mio, Songs from the Motherland" release. Hitting #2 on the JazzWeek Charts and charting for over 16 weeks, "O Sole Mio" is a delight! This virtual concert is presented by Villa Charities (Toronto) and Il Centro (Vancouver).
Price: $10.00 for Concert only. Concert and Dinner packages will also be available.

Italian Heritage: Perspectives from Black Italians
Monday, June 21 at 7:00pm
Join us for a discussion between Silvana Rose Miller (Canadian activist and producer) and Fred Kuwornu (Italian activist, filmmaker, and educator) for a discussion of Black Italian identities, experiences, and heritage both in Canada and in Italy. This event will be presented in partnership with Italian Canadians for Black Lives (ICFBL).
Price: FREE

Here & Now: Readings and Discussion
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 5:00pm
Villa Charities, in collaboration with the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW), Accenti Magazine, Longbridge Books, and English Language Arts Network (ELAN), is pleased to invite you to a conversation with the editor and contributors of "Here & Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writing." Italian-Canadian and LGBTQ2S writers will host this literary panel discussion on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which are commemorated annually each June during Pride Month.
Price: FREE

An Evening of Dance
Wednesday, June 30 at 7:30pm
Villa Charities presents this special performance, featuring dancers from DanzArts Toronto, Columbus Centre's very own prestigious dance school, and artists in residence ACE Dance Theatre.
Price: FREE

For complete information and to register for Villa Charities' Italian Heritage Month events, visit villacharities.com/ihm.

About Villa Charities Inc.
Villa Charities Inc. (VCI) is proudly celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1971. A registered charity, Villa Charities enriches lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. For 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. VCI fulfills their mandate through a broad range of activities, services and facilities, both directly and in conjunction with its affiliates and independent organizations. Affiliates include Columbus Centre and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; Villa Charities Foundation; Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Seniors Centre (Vaughan) Inc. Di Poce Centre; and Italian Canadian Benevolent Seniors Apartments Corporation/Casa Abruzzo Benevolent Corporation with 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 more information visit villacharities.com.

For further information, please contact:
Jessica Patriquin
416-640-5525 Ext. 230

Kathleen Sloan, CM
Director, Marketing and Communications
Villa Charities Inc.
416-789-7011 Ext. 309

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