This was a rather large event held on the 75 acres of the Veneto Centre, South of Highway 7 on Kipling Rd. SAVI is the Seniors’ Association of Vaughan Initiative.
What was impressive was not the sheer scale of the event, the impressive organisation, the food (lunch alone was pasta, salad, veal and a bun) which was frankly more than I expected, or the fact that there were 19 different seniors’ centres represented (each with their own tent).
No, what was impressive was the fact that this event was held together by the involvement of the very many different cultures living side by side in today’s Canadian society. I felt as if I was part of something big, as if I was riding on a large wave that knew where it was going with a purpose. Perhaps it is our seniors who are taking Canada by the horns and leading it and everybody in it into the future.
But enough of the dreaming and back to the event:
The Philippine Heritage brass band opened the event with introductions and greetings from the Mayor of Vaughan (Mauricio Bevilacqua), the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada (Julian Fantino) and SAVI’s President Isabella Ferrara, amongst others. Forgive me if I have omitted some of their more formal titles.
There was entertainment, music (the Philippine Heritage brass band; Indian, Greek and Italian music), dancing (including a Chinese Lion dance), prizes and fun. Everyone got in the groove: I felt as if I was in the middle of a film set there was so much happening.
Including volunteers, exhibitors, participants and visitors there was some 1,600 or more people at the event. Each Seniors Group from Vaughan had tables for the communal picnic which featured, as i said before, pasta, salad, veal and a bun. So delicious! Apparently there was also pizza for those still felt hungry later in the afternoon.
At lunch time I managed to speak to the Director of the Veneto Centre, Steven Andreetta, who was explaining about the programs and expansion of a new retirement home that will be built on the grounds of Centre. The programs they currently provide at this centre include Bicycle Clubs, daycare and Bocce Clubs, and of course facilities for parties and weddings.
I also managed to spend time watching the older gentlemen play bocce, a favourite game among the Italian’s young and old, but couldn’t really understand the rules. Apparently Bocce ball dates back to 5000 B.C, making it possibly the oldest game in human history. All I know is that the older gentlemen were having a wonderful time on this Sunday afternoon, and so was I.
For more information about this magnificent place please visit:
For the biking club http://www.venetocyclingclub.ca/