Monday, 10 March 2014

Freezing but what a fabulous February!!

February 27th - "Relay for Life" Launch 

I’m very excited to be a member of Team Vaughan at this year's "Relay For Life" (benefiting Canadian Cancer Society). I had the opportunity to meet my team members during the launch at T2 Lounge. What a great group of people! Looking forward to June...

I was deeply moved by cancer survivor Ian's eloquent speech 

Ida Vivacqua and her childhood friend, Tony! 

Joe and Pina Montagnese 

Strong women!! Regional Councillor Deb Schulte with Councillors Rosanna DeFrancesca and Sandra Yeung Racco 

February 26th - Cinephile Society Pre-Oscar Party 
...and the Oscar goes to both Alessandra Piccolo and yours truly!  Well, according to CBC film critic Tom Ernst...although he doesn't really know for what exactly! Fun, fun, fun at the Cinephile Society's Pre-Oscar Party. Can't wait to see Tom again at the Vaughan Film festival this coming April. (National Club, Downtown Toronto) 

Oscar recipients Alessandra Piccolo and yours truly with Tom Ernst...thanks Tom! 

February 26th - Mayor's Luncheon 

Hosted by the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce, the luncheon was a great opportunity for business and community leaders to come together. In his speech Mayor Bevilacqua discussed the city's exciting current and future projects:
  • Hwy 427 Extension
  • Vaughan Mackenzie Hospital
  • Toronto-York Spadina subway extension 
  • Vaughan's Downtown Metropolitan Centre
Also mentioned was the city's successful sustainability as well as its growing relaions with vibrant international cities. Looks like Vaughan IS definitely the place to be!
Vaughan Momentum Report Online Link -
http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=192121

Anthony Pullano & Mayor Bevilacqua 

Top: Anthony Pullano, Alessandra Piccolo Bottom: Ida Vivacqua, Sandra Porretta 

Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco 

Regional Councillor Michael Di Biase 





The Big Cannoli! 

February 21st - Michael Tibollo Nomination Kick-Off 

Attorney Michael Tibollo, who is seeking the Conservative nomination for the new King-Vaughan federal riding, held his kick-off at the West River Event Centre. A long-time business leader and active volunteer Tibollo spearheaded the Italian Heritage Month of Ontario (IHM). I worked alongside Michael when I was an IHM board member.

Donata Morandi, Gino Cucchi, Michael Tibollo, Laura Tonelli, Alex Kosarew, Tony Monaco, Silvana Tibollo 

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DECEMBER 2013

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Million Dollar Smiles Project

Million Dollar Smiles Project
“See the joy in the children’s eyes….makes you wish it was Christmas every day!...” I couldn’t believe all the generous people and the businesses who contacted me through "The Italianista" in order to donate to “Million Dollar Smiles” in support of Hospice Vaughan. There’s nothing more rewarding than a child’s happiness.

Million Dollar Smiles

Million Dollar Smiles
Teddy puts a smile on my face too!

"Snapd" Christmas Party

"Snapd" Christmas Party
For the last year my culinary feature “Get the Dish”, in collaboration with Savour York Region, has been featured in Snapd Woodbridge, Snapd Vaughan East and Snapd Caledon. I’ve had the great pleasure of working with this incredible team and was pleased to celebrate the holidays together. Photo – Rob Lorusso (Snapd Managing Editor), John Amendola (owner Snapd Woodbridge, Vaughan East, Caledon, Brampton and The Beaches), Cathy Amendola, Michelle DeBuono (City of Vaughan) and Valeria Mitsubata (Snapd photographer)

Celebrating the Holidays with the Evanov Radio Group

Celebrating the Holidays with the Evanov Radio Group
The last remaining independent on the dial, Z103.5FM in Toronto is owned and operated by the Evanov Radio Group. It’s no surprise that with its Italian roots 500 staff members were treated to an incredible Italian Christmas feast at the Paramount Event Venue in Vaughan. Panettone, crepes and specialty coffees were served on masse! Photo – heir to the throne, Paul Evanov

Festival of Light @ Vaughan City Hall

Festival of Light @ Vaughan City Hall
This is a time for all members of the community to come together and celebrate the usage and symbolism of “light” in various cultures and religions. Represented were the Native community, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Sikh Dharma, Hindu, the African diaspora and many more. Photo – Pat Russo and family

Ice Cream Patio's "Joy for Toy" Drive

Ice Cream Patio's "Joy for Toy" Drive
Props to Nick Lucchese of the Ice Cream Patio! After 13 years the “Joy for Toy” Drive is still running strong. A role model for all businesses in Vaughan, the Ice Cream Patio knows that it’s not all about conducting business but also about giving back to the community. Photo _ Nadia Cerelli (Savour York Region –SYR), Rob Lorusso (Snapd), Tony Monaco (Z103.5 FM), Elvira Caria (SYR)

CIBPA Christmas Dinner at St. George's Golf & Country Club

CIBPA Christmas Dinner at St. George's Golf & Country Club
Over the last six decades the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association has become the chosen voice for the Italian community. I was happy to celebrate the holiday season with its Ladies’ Auxiliary and most especially its founder, the legendary Jackie Rosati. Arriving in Canada via Ellis Island in 1932, this Italian Canadian has devoted her life to service. Photo - Jackie Rosati and Laura Tonelli.

NOVEMBER 2013

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The Vaughan Chamber of Commerce "Women to Women" Symposium

The Vaughan Chamber of Commerce "Women to Women" Symposium
A real pleasure meeting Arlene Dickenson (Dragon's Den), guest speaker of this inspirational event. Here she is signing my book with my gal pal Felicia Pirone.

Vaughan Film Festival Media Launch

Vaughan Film Festival Media Launch
Setting the stage for the upcoming 2nd Annual Vaughan Film Festival! From April 2nd to April 4th 2014 renowned Canadian and International films will be showcased in the city of Vaughan. Aspiring, young film directors/producers will also have the opportunity to enter the VFF Student Competition. Photo Rob Lorusso (Snapd Newspapers), Rick Campanelli (ET Canada) and Tony Monaco (Z103.5 FM)

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day
Attendees braved the elements during the Remembrance Day Service at the Woodbridge Cenotaph. Photo – Vaughan MPP, Steven Del Duca

OCTOBER 2013

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Freedom Day @Yonge-Dundas Square

Freedom Day @Yonge-Dundas Square
How lucky can a girl get? Not only did I get to spend an afternoon with my hero, Max Eisen during Freedom Day in Toronto, I also met another hero, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield! Held annually at Yonge-Dundas Square, Freedom Day celebrates our human rights and spreads awareness regarding racial discrimination and intolerance. Max, a Holocaust survivor that I had the honour of interviewing invited me to this eye-opening event. Chris even played the tune he sang with the Barenaked Ladies while out in the cosmos! Great day for the kids and I encourage all parents to bring their children to next year's event. Spread the word of peace….Photo – Commander Chris Hadfield

"Light the Night" Gala @Le Parc Vaughan

"Light the Night" Gala @Le Parc Vaughan
I did it!!!! My entire adult life I’ve had a fear of public speaking. I avoided it at all costs and missed so many great opportunities because of it. Well, no more. I emceed the “Light the Night Gala” in Vaughan (proceeds benefitting the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Sunnybrook Hospital) and I have to say that I loved EVERY minute of it…I didn’t want to get off that podium!!! For those of you who live in fear of trying something new, be brave. Believe me when I tell you it’s only an illusion. If I can do something that terrified me as much as this did, so can you. Props to Joseph Montagnese of the Vaughan Citizen for this photo.

Hospice Vaughan "Giving Thanks" Gala

Hospice Vaughan "Giving Thanks" Gala
Photo - Anthony Pullano, Vaughan City Councillor Rosanna De Francesca, Eva Pullano and Ontario PC Candidate for Vaughan, Peter Meffe

Hospice Vaughan "Giving Thanks" Gala

Hospice Vaughan "Giving Thanks" Gala
In the last few years I have become friends with some incredible and extremely selfless people who are doing amazing things in our community. Believe me when I tell you that the energetic, fuzzy vibes they give off are infectious!!! Congrats to my friends Alessandra Piccolo, John Amendola, all the other board and committee members as well as the volunteers of Hospice Vaughan for putting together such a wonderful event. The role of Hospice is vital not just in our community but in all communities. Photo – Fabio Gesufatto, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Alessandra Piccolo of Hospice Vaughan

Savour York Region Restaurant Week

Savour York Region Restaurant Week
Enjoying the culinary delights of Vaughan! The Savour York Region Restaurant Week launch party was a great opportunity to sample dishes from local restaurateurs and spend an evening among friends. A job well done, Elvira Cariaand Nadia Cerelli. How about a heaping tray of raw oysters next year? Photo – Nadia Cerelli (Savour York Region), Vaughan City Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco, Alessandra Piccolo (Hospice Vaughan), Tony Monaco (Z103.5FM) and Elvira Caria (Savour York Region)

SEPTEMBER 2013

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MICBA "Let's Get Together" Event

MICBA "Let's Get Together" Event
The Mississauga Italian Canadian Benevolent Association hosted an evening of great food and entertainment at the 2nd Annual “Let’s Get Together Event” (Roma’s Hospitality Centre). All proceeds to this organization benefit their Long Term Care Facility in Mississauga. Photo – Laura Tonelli, Carmela Liporati (MICBA), Tony Monaco (Z103.5FM), Darlene and Victoria Fragomeni

Snap'd Re-Launch Party @ Richview Manor (Vaughan)

Snap'd Re-Launch Party @ Richview Manor (Vaughan)
Snap launches a new name and a new look. Now known as Snap’d here’s a photo of John Amendola and Rob Lorusso of Snapd Vaughan East, Woodbridge, Caledon, Brampton and The Beaches. Great party and great cake, guys!!

Al Pacino at Massey Hall

Al Pacino at Massey Hall
This is one experience I will never forget! Shaking Al Pacino's hand and bantering with him in Italian. I was absolutely thrilled to meet this living legend and to sit in the audience and here his life story of trials and tribulations. He is a true inspiration! Photo- the Z103 FM gang and Al Pacino

TIFF "Our Man in Tehran" After-Party at the National Club of Toronto

TIFF "Our Man in Tehran" After-Party at the National Club of Toronto
I had the great pleasure having a friendly conversation with The Right Honourable Joe Clark at the “Our Man in Tehran” TIFF after-party. I also had the privilege of meeting former ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor including documentary director, Drew Taylor. Photo – Alessandra Piccolo and PM Joe Clark

Prime Minister's Gala

Prime Minister's Gala
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Italy's Prime Minister, Enrico Letta were honoured by the Italian community at Paramount Event Venue (Vaughan). Great speeches, delicious food courtesy of byPeterandPauls.com and incredible entertainment provided by Christopher Dallo, Belinda Naccarato, Brian Roman, Daniele Monticelli and Enrico Galante.

Prime Minister's Gala

Prime Minister's Gala
Belinda Naccarato, Christopher Dallo and Carmela Liporati

AUGUST 2013 Julian Fantino Picnic (Vaughan)

AUGUST 2013 Julian Fantino Picnic (Vaughan)
Sarah Salituro, Bruno Falvo and accordion sensation, Claudio Santaluce

JULY 2013

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4th Annual Viva Italia Reunion

4th Annual Viva Italia Reunion
The Evanov Radio "Viva Italia Cuba" Reunion Luncheon was such a blast that we all stayed at Posticino Ristorante until evening. The artists gave family and friends a special treat with some beautiful in –house performances. Purely spontaneous, it was truly magical! Photo – Juno Winner, Robert Michaels

Italian Contemporary Film Festival Closing Party

Italian Contemporary Film Festival Closing Party
Enjoying the night with some Italian celebs at Andrew Richards Designs, Downtown. Photo - Fabio Gesufatto and cousin Emma De Francesca

JUNE 2013

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MICBA Street Festival - Forum Drive, Mississauga

MICBA Street Festival - Forum Drive, Mississauga
MICBA Board - Bruna Ronaghi, Cav. Carmela Liporati and Cav. Frank Trevisan

MICBA Street Festival

MICBA Street Festival
A wonderful performance by vocalists Carlo Coppola, Victoria Fragomeni and Vincenzo Benenati!

Italian Flag Raising at Vaughan City Hall

Italian Flag Raising at Vaughan City Hall
The 2nd Annual Italian Flag Raising at Vaughan City Hall kicked off the month-long Italian Heritage Month of Ontario. This momentous occasion celebrates Italian culture as well as the contributions made by Italian Canadians. Photo – Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and OMNI News anchor, Vincenzo Somma.

Flag Raising at Vaughan City Hall

Flag Raising at Vaughan City Hall
Donata Morandi and Mayor Bevilacqua

1st Annual Piazza Italia Festival

1st Annual Piazza Italia Festival
People of all ages and backgrounds gathered at the 1st Annual Piazza Italia festivities held at the Liberty Grand in Downtown Toronto. Showcasing Italian culture, cuisine, fashion and entertainment Piazza Italia is a one-of-a-kind celebration in honour of the Italian Heritage Month of Ontario. The recreation of an Italian Piazza, the music of Daniel Panetta, Victoria Fragomeni and Belinda Naccarato as well as the fleet of Ferraris were just some of the highlights. Great food…great friends…I am looking forward to next year!

Piazza Italia

Piazza Italia
Luxury Italian cars lining the street outside the Liberty Grand

23rd Annual MICBA Golf Tournament

23rd Annual MICBA Golf Tournament
Striking a pose with the Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders (Mississauga Italian Canadian Benevolent Association golf tournament) at Lionhead Golf & Country Club. Do I know how to play golf? Nope…that’s my goal for 2014!

"Ora" - Culture Canada - Italy

"Ora" - Culture Canada - Italy
This is unique event at the Bata Shoe Museum downtown was a celebration of heritage and culture. A speaker's circle discussed culture within the city of Toronto. The evening ended with a jazzy repertoire performed by Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto.

Inspire 2013

Inspire 2013
This purpose of this bi-annual event is to motivate and inspire students from universities throughout Toronto. Founder and professor at York University, Luciano Volpe invites speakers from all walks of life to give their wisdom and lend their expertise to a younger generation. Photo – Luciano Volpe and ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli, host of the Inspire summer event.

Inspire

Inspire
Journalist Rosanna Bonura and Rick Campanelli

MAY 2013

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Hospice Vaughan Fashion Show

Hospice Vaughan Fashion Show
The first annual, this event featured the incredible designs of Domenic Serio.

CIBPA Ladies' Auxilliary "Moda In Motion" Fashion Show

CIBPA Ladies' Auxilliary "Moda In Motion" Fashion Show
Ladies Auxiliary of the CIBPA presented their signature fashion show MODA IN MOTION. Hosted by Tony Monaco all proceeds benefitted the Caritas School of Life and Baycrest Hospital.

"Snapd" at the Chocolate Ball

"Snapd" at the Chocolate Ball
Enjoying delectable and mouth-watering chocolate with my friend, Alessandra Piccolo

"Choc n' Roll" Chocolate Ball

"Choc n' Roll" Chocolate Ball
Held at Le Jardin Event Centre in Vaughan this event was a chocolate lover's paradise! Present were a slew of chocolatiers offering samples of their gourmet chocolate. Can't wait for next year! Photo - The gals of Call Me Cupcakes in Vaughan

APRIL 2013

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4th Annual Viva Italia Cuba Event

4th Annual Viva Italia Cuba Event
This month-long Evanov Radio event in Varadero, Cuba is a celebration of Italian Canadian music. Emceeing the event were radio personalities Tony Monaco (Z103.5 FM Toronto) and Franco Valli (CHIN Radio Toronto). An incredible line-up of artists entertained a global audience. Participants include Juno winner Robert Micheals, Claudio Santaluce, Carlo Coppola, Brian Roman, Victoria Fragomeni, Vincenzo Benenati and many more. Lending his culinary expertise at the Super Club Breezes and Bella Costa Resorts was Posticino Ristorante’s very own Antonio Pirone. Photo – Antonio Pirone and Franco Valli

Viva Italia Cuba

Viva Italia Cuba
In photo - performers Carlo Coppola, Vincenzo Benenati and Tony Monaco

MARCH 2013

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CHIN Radio

CHIN Radio
I had the great opportunity to “wake up Italian style” and co-host the CHIN Radio morning show with personality, Edoardo Monasterolo. The best thing about this experience was that I selected the entire musical line-up! Love you, Battisti…

FEBRUARY 2013

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Mayor's Luncheon

Mayor's Luncheon
Hosted by the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce, this event is a perfect opportunity for local business and community leaders to come together. In photo - Alessandra (Hospice Vaughan), Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Fabio Gesufatto

Caritas Ball

Caritas Ball
Former resident of Caritas, Vincenzo Benenati and president Michael Tibollo (as well as Vince's Ma!)

Caritas Ball

Caritas Ball
The Caritas School of Life (Vaughan) supports individuals suffering from addiction. The Caritas Ball raises funds and awareness for this important organization.

JANUARY 2013


Saluting Italian Heroes

Saluting Italian Heroes
The Italian Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the City of Vaughan presented the 1st Annual Saluting Italian Heroes. This event commemorates the efforts of the Italian people who courageously risked their lives to save Jews during WWII. Remembered were Giorgio Perlasca and Gino Bartali, now inducted in the Yad Vashem Memorial in Isreal. In photo - Fabio Gesufatto and Melina Zeppieri