Our Team

We pride ourselves in teaching the Italian language and culture to children, youth and adults for over 30 years. All our teachers are highly qualified and experienced. They make use of the latest teaching materials. In both children’s and adults’ classes, they will ensure not only that students learn the language, but that they have loads of fun while doing it.

 

Sofia Dal Pastro

I was born in Bassano del Grappa, a city close to Venice. I’m an Italian pre-school and primary school teacher with Canadian citizenship. I have a master’s degree in Primary teacher Education. I love teaching and educating because of its impact on future generations. I moved to Canada in 2019 to learn more about the Canadian school system and to improve my teaching skills in another environment. I’m the Italian teacher of the group of students aged 6/7 at the Italian Cultural Centre and of the students aged 6-11 at the Holy Cross school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Betta De Cillis

I was born and raised in Genova, Italy.  I hold a University degree in Sports Science. In Italy I worked in the physical and motor skill development field. In 2004 I moved to the States with my husband and my two children. Relocated to Canada, in 2010, I started to work at the ICC. I teach to children from toddlers to teens. In the last three years at the Centre I have been coordinating the children’s theater group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonia Del Torto

I was born in a small region of Italy, Molise, have you hear about it? Then I moved to the north of Italy (Emilia-Romagna) where I obtained my Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Protection of Human Rights. I discovered the passion for teaching while working as Assistant Grant Writer in an NGO in Greece. There I started to teach Italian to young refugees and to hold seminars about human rights in high schools and other non-formal educational settings. Once back in Italy, I continued to teach Italian to migrants and I started to study at Università per Stranieri di Siena.

Furthermore, as a Grant Writer, I had the chance to promote inclusion and diversity in the education system, thanks to proposals I made in the areas of Youth and Children, Disabled people, Education and Social Services. I proposed strategies for parents, teachers and community workers to confront educational poverty in disadvantaged backgrounds, introducing intercultural teaching practices with the help of cultural-linguistic mediators.

To me, teaching holds so many invaluable meanings: it is turning into success the potential that every student has; it is understanding our communities to build better ones; it is a life-learning process thanks to the engagement with students from different backgrounds; it is falling in love every time with the Italian culture.

 

 

Sara Fera

I was born in Naples but I raised in the nearby town of Caserta, Italy. I hold a Master Degree in Social and Territorial Policies at the University of Federico II of Naples. I specialized with a thesis studying migration flows of Italian graduates in the United States of America. To complete my studies, I lived and studied in the USA for three years. During this period, I had the opportunity to start teaching Italian at the University of Tennessee. In August 2018 I moved to Vancouver, Canada and I began teaching at the Italian Cultural Centre. I love teaching Italian language, but also sharing my culture. What I particularly like about teaching is the opportunity to meet students from many countries around the world and come into contact with various cultures.

 

 

 

 

Gianna Omenetto

I was born in the Friuli region and then I was adopted by the city of Trieste.

Graduated in Architecture in the same city loved by James Joyce, I discovered my passion for photography and social projects. During my university years, I worked as an educator in a non-profit association focused on building independent life paths with/for people with mild disabilities. Photography has definitely led me to embrace Urban Planning and Sociology.

Professor of History and Technique of Photography at the University of Trieste, I had the pleasure of carrying out spatial and social research through the use of photographic images, collaborating with various Italian Universities. Among my interests: the theme of living, the spatiality of social action, the urban and social transformations of the contemporary world. A teacher started to call me an “urban hound”, I think because I love to go in search of the meaning of things, beyond things.

I arrived in Vancouver in 2018 and the following year I joined the teachers’ team of the Italian Cultural Centre. The strong interest of students for the Italian language and culture leads me to give my best and to pass on what I have learned over time with energy and passion, in a continuous and fruitful exchange.

Personally I love the words of the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis: “The ideal teachers are those who offer themselves as bridges to knowledge and invite their students to use them to make the crossing; then, when the crossing is complete, they withdraw satisfied, encouraging them to build new bridges for themselves”.

Andrea Privitera

I’m originally from Verona, a city famous (among many things) for a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre called “Arena” and for hosting Dante while he wrote Paradiso.

I’ve been in Canada since 2012. I spent several years in London, Ontario, where I earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from Western University. At Western, I taught Italian language, Italian Renaissance literature, and cinema. I moved to Vancouver in 2019: since then, I’ve been teaching Italian language and culture courses for adults at all proficiency levels.

I am passionate about education because I consider myself a lifelong learner, and my teaching approach is influenced by how I learn. Teaching languages is an excellent way to connect with people and discover something new every day. Moreover, Italian heritage is so diverse and rich that even an Italian instructor can learn something new about Italy from other avid Italophiles!