They sure know how to party.
Colourful homemade crafts for sale, beautiful voices and smiling faces were all in abundance on Oct. 18 as the West Hill Social Club celebrated its 50th annual Canadian-Italian Heritage Day.
“We’re celebrating our 50th year of this celebration and I think it has been more wonderful year after year,” said Carmela Bianco, the current president of the West Hill Social Club for seniors, located at Manse Road and Lawrence Avenue in Scarborough.
Information booths and craft tables surrounded the foyer just inside the front door of the Scarborough Civic Centre, where performers sang and danced to lively Italian songs. Many seniors in the crowd got up and danced along while others stayed in their chairs and enjoyed the music.
“By holding this event, we wanted to make all of the older people happy while celebrating our heritage,” Bianco said.
The club aims to get seniors active in the community by socializing at least two times a week in various parties and trips.
Tucked away out of the excitement, one of the display tables was covered with old Italian records, miniature statues and yellowing Italian magazines, but something didnít belong. A brand new, plastic wrapped, black and white covered CD sat amongst the artefacts with a sign beside it that read “Sara’s CD $10”.
Lemonade Daze was the name of the CD, showing the face of a young Italian woman named Sara Cavaiola, who had performed at the event for the second year in a row. When Cavaiola was writing her six track, Britpop inspired album, she wanted to stay true to her Italian heritage.
“I like to play around with words,” Cavaiola said. “I think Italians are very good with poetry in their own language but I try to do that with my songs in English.”
Cavaiola is working on her second album, You’re Brilliant, which will be out soon.
Anna Pilato, an avid member of the West Hill Social Club has helped organize the event for four years. She says personal stories and great entertainment add to the flavour of the event.
“The best thing is that our community gets to get together and we have a day of fun and friendship,î Pilato said. ìIt gets better and better every year.”