Villa Charities

Changing the narrative through arts and culture


Villa Charities Inc. is a registered charity that celebrates and promotes Italian heritage, culture, language, arts, food and family values. The organization, known for its positive influence, found itself embroiled in controversy for the proposed redevelopment of its community hub, the Columbus Centre. The negative press was coming through almost daily, and there seemed to be no reprieve.


The only way to “change the tape” was to recreate the prevailing narrative around the Columbus Centre and focus on its iconic status as a place of arts, culture and good works. And what better way to tell that story than focus on these aspects of the iconic building.

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MAVERICK and Villa Charities developed a narrative surrounding Canadian-Italian artist Tony Luciani’s exhibition “MAMMA, In the Meantime”. The exhibit debuted in the Columbus Centre’s Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery. Our pitch strategy focused on a universal theme – the inexorable march of time and how aging touches everyone. Amid dementia’s despair, artist captures moments of beauty with his aging mother.


This complex and poignant story was a big success for the artist, the gallery, the Columbus Centre and Villa Charities. The evening and associated coverage broke the collective media “spell” surrounding the redevelopment of the Columbus Centre. Overall there were 12 stories for a total media reach of 903,313, including a photo spread in Toronto Life.