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The Vitanova Foundation

Vitanova

The past 3 months I’ve been running a choir group at The Vitanova Foundation, www.vitanova.ca, a Canadian charity that provides a range of addiction-related services. We recently performed for nearly a thousand people at the annual Celebration of Life gala. I am very proud of my group’s effort, dedication and passion and I am also very greatful to have met so many amazing individuals with incredible stories, strength and courage. Everyone has their own story so don’t judge people before you know them. The truth might surprise you.

Volare-The Great Story of Domenico Modugno

EU Film FestivalI was very honoured to be asked to perform for the European Union Film Festival 2013 Canadian premiere of “Volare-The Great Story of Domenico Modugno” starring Giuseppe Fiorello and directed by Riccardo Milani. Held at The Royal theatre in Toronto, it was a packed house. This is an inspirational film that shows off the spirit of Italy through the journey of a young singer and his life as a struggling artist through the 1950s and 60s. “Volare”, “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu”, co-authored by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci, won the Sanremo Music Festival contest in 1958 and became an enormous success worldwide, including the United States. It received two Grammy Awards with sales above 22 million copies. I would definitely recommend this film to any and all audiences. It is beautifully crafted and acted and it is quite refreshing. Thank you to the sponsors and partners for helping make this such a great success.

Partners: Italian Cultural Institute, British Council, Alliance Française, Spanish Centre, Camões-Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua Portugal, Goethe-Institut Toronto.

Co-presented by icffItalian Contemporary Film Festival and IC Savings

www.eutorontofilmfest.ca

Carassauga-Mississauga’s Festival of Cultures

carassaugaI am honoured to be invited as this year’s host for the Italy Pavilion at Carassauga by MICBA (Mississauga Italian Canadian Benevolent Association) happening this weekend May 24, 25 & 26. Experience the tastes and sounds of more than 72 countries at the largest multicultural Festival in Ontario.

Walk through Italy and delight your senses with authentic foods, fashion, arts and culture, Ferrari, Fiats, Vespas and more! Fun for all, there will be a Kids Corner as well as a main stage stacked with great entertainment by well known performers such as: David Michael Ciufo and the 3 Tenors, Canadian Idol Finalist Vincenzo Benenati, Claudio Santaluce, Belinda Naccarato, Victoria Fragomeni, Zingaro Baci, myself and many more. Also, direct from Italy, my friends Lucrezia Liardo and Roberto Mauri of I Mediterranea. Come celebrate all things Italian right here in your own backyard. www.carassauga.com

The 2011 Italian Walk Of Fame

What a glorious day and splendid evening we had celebrating the 2011 Italian Walk Of Fame. The 3rd annual IWOF (co-founded by Marisa Beaco-Lang and Jimi Bertucci) was held Sept. 5th and I was honoured to be invited as a special guest performer at the the Gala ceremony held at the Riviera Parque Convention Centre.

This year’s inductees included singer and Order of Canada recipient Bobby Curtola, singer/actress Connie Stevens, award winning international actor Franco Nero, Olympic Gold Medallist and Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, real estate/agricultural entrepreneur and owner of the Vancouver Canucks Luigi Aquilini, and contractor/developer/builder Alfredo DeGasperis.

It was such a pleasure meeting all of this year’s inductees who shared their stories, speaking of their pride being of Italian descent to the hardships and sacrifices they and their families endured to make a better life. All the while their culture and the values associated to it were key factors in the steadfast dedication and hard work they put into their careers and families. Congratulation to your successes, much deserved!

The event was emceed by masters of ceremonies Andrea Trentadue and Massimo Nicoletti of CHIN with additional performances by Michael Burgess, Laura Palumbo and Peter Marino. Be sure to stay tuned for next year’s celebration which has currently begun accepting nominations. For more information, visit www.italianwalkoffame.com                                                       See more images on my photo page.

3rd Annual Italian Walk Of Fame

Mark it off in your calenders, September 5th/2011 the stars will come out for the 3rd Annual Italian Walk Of Fame.

I’ve been invited to perform at the Gala Awards dinner and from what I witnessed last year,

it will definitely be the place to be and become a highlight of my year.

The IWOF, co-founded by Jimi Bertucci(Abraham’s Children) and Marisa Beaco-Lang, aims to contribute to the preservation of Italian Heritage by recognizing and celebrating the acheivements of Italians locally and worldwide.

It is appropriately located on College St. in Toronto’s Little Italy, the city that is home to the largest community of Italians outside of Italy. Stars are placed permanently in the sidewalk and unveiled during a red carpet ceremony followed by a gala awards dinner.

Previous inductees include:

2009-Connie Francis, Giancarlo Giannini, Johnny Lombardi, Julian Fantino, Phil Esposito and Rudolph Bratty.

2010-Armand Assante, Enrico Colantoni, Dean Martin, Frank Mancuso Jr. and Frank Iacobucci.

Come and celebrate the stars at this year’s Italian Walk of Fame, you won’t be disappointed.

For more information check out www.italianwalkoffame.com

Corso Italia Festival

What an amazing Canada Day weekend, the weather was superb and the people were out in numbers on one of the busiest weekends of the summer. I had an awesome time performing for this years 14th Annual Corso Italia Festival. The festival is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to experience the food and culture of Toronto’s own Corso Italia on St. Clair.

Over 30 bands/musicians perform live on street corners, patios and balconies.
Lined up along the street as well you’ll find vendors, games and fun for all.
In addition, food and beverage retailers offer a mouth-watering selection of tastes and flavours.
Corso Italia boasts a variety of superb stores and services,including bakeries, book stores, fashion boutiques,
food markets, beauty salons, gift shops, jewellery stores and more.

This year’s line up saw the likes of some great acts like: Cobra Kings, Yiannis Kapoulas, Claudio Santaluce, Sambacana, Inner Soul, Puente del Diablo, Mississauga Big Band, Grupo Rey, Havana Express, Toronto All Star Big Band, Imbayakunas, Silver Elvis, Magic Matt and Johnny Scat.

Thank you to the wonderful festival organizers, Lido, Fernando and Pat who work tirelessly with so much passion along with the help of the following sponsors: Panoram Italia, TTC, Corso Italia, Yelp, CIRV Radio, Sol Melia Hotels.

 

R.A.V.E. Awards

Tonight a community that gave me so much honoured me with an award for practicing artist at the third annual R.A.V.E. Awards
(Recognizing Arts Vaughan Excellence) held at City Hall.
Established in 2008, the R.A.V.E. Awards formally recognize the contributions made by individuals, businesses
and organizations to the visual, performing and literary arts in Vaughan.

Within each art discipline, nominations were received in one of the following four categories:
patron of the arts, art educator/mentor, practicing artist, and rising star.
All nominations were reviewed by a panel of professionals representing the three disciplines of visual arts, performing arts and literary arts.

This year’s winners in each category are as follows:

Visual arts discipline:

Renuka De Silva, art educator/mentor
Farhad Nargol-O’Neill, practicing artist
Isabella Suppa, rising star

Performing arts discipline:

Amy Clements-Cortes, art educator/mentor
Carlo Coppola, practicing artist
Sara Papini, Alyssa Rubino and Sundown (Shane Preston, Vince Sasso, Christian Selvaggi, Nicolas Selvaggi, Tyler Tsang), rising stars

Literary arts discipline:

Deborah Kerbel, art educator/ mentor
Edmee Nataprawira and Simon Paluck, rising stars
Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to the City of Vaughan and the following event sponsors for their contributions and financial support
of the arts and the R.A.V.E. Awards.

Eagles Nest Golf Club
Liberty Development Corporation
SNAP Newspaper Group Inc.
Expo by Cortel Group
The Remington Group Inc.
Vermont Floral Designs Inc.
TACC/Fieldgate Developments/Paradise Homes

Micheal Castaldo‘s Believe, Heal & Hope concert

This past Sunday night I was treated with an opportunity to be a spectator and audience member at Micheal Castaldo‘s Believe, Heal  & Hope concert. This is something I rarely get the chance to do since my own performance schedule keeps me quite busy and often booked when fellow artists are performing. It was held at Saint Bernard Church-Toronto in support of Caritas and Sharelife. Don Gianni Carparelli, author of the new book ‘Ocean Drop – Storia Di Una Goccia’ had a poem reading by poet/author Gianna Patriarca. Father Gianni was also on hand after the show sharing delightful stories with a book signing reception. It was a wonderful evening with such a warm, touching and spiritual vibe. Hats off to all who contributed in the celebration, all for a good cause!

Italian Heritage Month at Columbus Centre

What a great day today, I’m so thankful that mother nature didn’t rain on our amazing celebration for Italian Heritage Month at the Columbus Centre. Free entertainment and food open to all that ventured their way to the iconic grounds at Dufferin and Lawrence where Italians have communed for years now to a place where they can feed their mind, body and spirit.

Today tons of people came out to enjoy the day with sponsors such as Pizza Nova, Sicilian Ice Cream, Active Green & Ross. The event was also sponsored by Z-103 and none other than Tony Monaco was on hand always proud to celebrate his Italian roots and support IMH.

The line-up of singers, artists, comedians and dj’s was impressive. Alyssa Rubino, Danny Rubino, Mimma Palazzolo-Elissa, Zoe, Gabriella, Jessica, Christopher Dallo, Claudio Santaluce, Angelica Dicastro, Frank Spadone, Jack Dani, Michael Ciufo, Bruno Falvo, Melissa Rose and Dj Zee(Zio) .

A big thank you to all the supporters, sponsors and volunteers that worked tirelessly to prepare and make sure all went well. Check out more at ItalianHeritageCanada.ca

2011 MARTY AWARDS

MARTY AWARDS – Tonight I was at the Living Arts Centre where they rolled out the red carpet for the 17th annual MARTY Awards sponsored by the Ontario Arts Council and the Mississauga Arts Council. I was honoured to be nominated for Established Performing Artist of the year. My category was slammed with amazing artists and I was humbled to be included in such good company.
The MARTYS began with a red-carpet television special recorded live by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Liberty Silver. Over 100 nominated artists walked the carpet and mingled with the numerous media companies who covered the event. Following the red-carpet launch, the MARTY award ceremony was hosted by celebrity writer Kathy Buckworth who had the audience in stitches with her infectious brand of comedy. The audience enjoyed performances by jazz vocalist Shannon Butcher, the “I Rock with the One” dance troupe, the Jay Boehmer Jazz Trio and the Patrick Panus Trio. Kathy proudly announced the winners of the awards…

2011 MARTY AWARD WINNERS:
Emerging Literary Arts – Zohra Zoberi
Established Literary Arts – Peter Jailall
Emerging Media Arts – Jeffery Pike
Established Media Arts – Peter Rowe
Emerging Performing Arts – Vikas Kohli
Established Performing Arts – Don Breithaupt
Emerging Performing Arts Group – Cut Throat Kids
Established Performing Arts Group – Orchestras Mississauga
Emerging Visual Arts – Jeff MacIntosh
Established Visual Arts – Leszek Wyczolkowski
Creative Community – Ian Greening
Laurie Pallett – Gerry Townsend
Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year – Kofi Sankofa
People’s Choice – Liberty Silver

A big CONGRATULATIONS to all of them for the much deserved recognition!

For a full list of the 2011 MARTY AWARD NOMINEES click here

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