Some of our earliest memories are those of stories carefully and colourfully given to us by our families, our school friends, our neighbours. The stories themselves are often memories, of their own childhoods and experiences, told sometimes to instruct and, when we’re lucky, to move and delight us.
In newcomer communities people end up mapping their memories in unique ways and sometimes buildings, structures, and geographical co-ordinates become foundations in their lives. The Columbus Centre is one of those places. There the memories of one soil were deposited into another, building up the foundation of the new land by creating an open space for all the expressions of ourselves that make up our lives and fill up our memory banks, becoming the stories we tell.
Villa Charities is preparing for an exciting renewal starting in the Spring 2017. From the remarkable store of “memories” it has in its paper and oral histories, retold by many, Villa is making way for a contemporary vision and new facility. The Salone di Cultura on June 2, 2016 will be the first celebration of the Columbus Centre’s history, influence and importance for Italian-Canadians in Toronto.
As we make our way towards the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017, a country which the Italian community has definitively left its mark on, we will honour our remarkable achievements and turn our sights and imaginations to the possibilities of the future. Possibilities that the Salone has consistently illuminated by turning the spotlight toward the living, contemporary Italian-Canadian culture Torontonians have come to know and admire. The Salone di Cultura focuses on the ideas expressed artistically and intellectually that are driven by vibrant and determined visions of the future. Countries, communities, people, artists: we evolve, we move, we grab hold of a riff – or it grabs hold of us – and we go. We go with it, trying always to orchestrate the world around us.
I am honoured that Salone will be partnering with Villa Charities to present this year’s edition on June 2nd to celebrate our Memory and Vision.
I also am thrilled that Espresso Manifesto gets to share the spotlight on June 2 with vibrant and talented artists like Gabriele Mirabassi who was a key player in defining European Jazz over the last 20 years, Domenico Capilongo who will read from Hold the Note his collection of “visceral, syncopated, experimental”, jazz-inspired poetry, and Sara Angelucci whose work focuses on the way we frame particular stories, “creating histories, and memorialization”.
Join us so we can create new memories and get new material for the stories we’re always telling each other!