Villa Charities proudly celebrates Italian Heritage Month with a month-long festival dedicated to Italian culture and heritage. 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.

An Immigrant Story: The Exhibition

In celebration of Villa Charities’ 50th anniversary, the website, 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.

  • June 1 – 30


Pirandello and “Six Characters in Search of an Author” – 100 Years After 

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 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.

  • Tuesday, June 1 at 7:00 – 8:00pm

Price: FREERegister Now

Festa della Repubblica | Italian National Day

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. Video will be shared here on June 2, 12:00pm (ET).

  • Wednesday, June 2 at 12:00 – 1:00pm

Price: FREE

Serata Musicale: A Spotlight on Young Italian-Canadian Talent 

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. Videos will be shared here weekly at 12:00pm (ET).

Price: FREE

Performance ScheduleJune 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 10June 17June 24

My Secret Venice with Sebastiano Bazzichetto 

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. Videos will be shared here weekly at 12:00pm (ET).

  • Friday, June 4, 11, 18, 25 at 12:00 – 1:00pm

Price: FREE

Cucina con noi!

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. 

  • Tuesday, June 8 at 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, June 16 at 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, June 22 at 6:00pm
  • Tuesday, June 29 at 5:00pm

Price: FREE

Workshop Schedule
June 8 – Cucinato – Pranzo della Domenica: A Typical Southern Italian Sunday Meal

Chef Bio

Bruno’s culinary journey began in his mother’s kitchen in Naples. From an early age he admired her skills in the kitchen and her love of cooking, making beautiful meals for friends and family daily. To this day she remains his inspiration! 

By the age of 14 Bruno was working in kitchens and studying at one of Italy’s oldest culinary schools, Ippolito Cavalcanti. In 1999 his career led him to London, England, where he worked in a number of Michelin Star restaurants before immigrating to Australia, where he worked as a chef and master pizza maker, and where he met his wife, Elizabeth.

By 2009 they moved back to Elizabeth’s home in Canada, where Bruno has worked as a chef, pizza maker, culinary consultant and instructor. Today they have a beautiful home in Burlington, with 3 kids, two cats and a dog.June 16 – Eataly – Pasta alla CarbonaraJune 22 – Cucinato – Taste of RomeJune 29 – Eataly – Risotto al Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Register Now

Cory Weeds Quartet Plays Italian Standards 

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! Video will be shared on June 18, 6:30pm (ET) for ticket holders.

This virtual concert is presented by Villa Charities (Toronto) and Il Centro (Vancouver).

  • Friday, June 18 at 6:30pm

Price: $10.00 for Concert only. Concert and Dinner packages also available – details TBC.Register Now

Italian Heritage: Perspectives from Black Italians

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 ItalyThis event will be presented in partnership with Italian Canadians for Black Lives (ICFBL).

  • Monday, June 21 at 7:00pm

Register Now

Here & Now: Readings and Discussion 

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.

  • Tuesday, June 29 at 5:00pm

Register Now

Participating authors and organizations

CJ Volpe
Jonathan Settembri 
Anthony Portulese 
Monica Meneghetti
Liana Cusmano
Licia Canton (editor)
Books and Biscotti Literary Series 
Italian Heritage Month

An Evening of Dance 

Villa Charities presents this special performance, featuring dancers from DanzArts Toronto, the Columbus Centre’s very own prestigious dance school, and artists in residence ACE Dance Theatre. Video will be shared here on June 30, 7:30pm.

  • Wednesday, June 30 at 7:30 – 8:00pm