Vaughan - One of the goals of the Basilicata Cultural Society of Canada is to develop a cultural partnership between Matera and Toronto. The Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, the Deputy Mayor Vincent Crisanti, the Economic Development Committee Chairman, Councillor Thompson and Director of Economic Development, George Spezza, have shown an overwhelming support for this initiative.
Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, and it recently was declared the Italian host of Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2019.
Last Saturday’s Gala Night celebrated the “twinning” of the two cities and as Deputy Mayor Crisanti expressed in his opening speech it served to “showcase the rich Italian culture of Matera and the Basilicata region in Canada [and] more specifically in Toronto”.
The Consul General, Giuseppe Pastorelli, was in attendance and congratulated the president Manny Di Lecce and the Basilicata Cultural Society for the excellent work they have been doing within the Italian community throughout the years and especially for the exemplary recent efforts to raise funds for the earthquake victims, for the commitment to raise $50,0000 over the next 5 years for the new Mackenzie Health Vaughan Hospital, and for laying the ground work for the Toronto-Matera partnership.
The Society also awarded bursaries to Adriana Pagnani and Giordana Nocita for their outstanding work in post-secondary studies, thanks to the Marzano and Marrese families who have generously set-up this prestigious annual scholarship fund.
Matera ‘s own tenor, Natale Guida, displayed his magnificent operatic talents throughout the evening. The successful event held at the Riviera Parque, in Concord, was hosted by Filippo Gravina and Maria Milano .
It was refreshing to see that a substantial number of young families and their children was present at the Gala in addition to the numerous local businessmen and community leaders.
It is our hope and wish that these young minds will continue to embrace and nurture these traditions and cultural endeavours for generations to come.
The Corriere Canadese congratulates the Board of Directors of the Basilicata Cultural Society .
Photography by Tony Pavia & Rocco Grossi