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.

Until 2020 I was 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.

Now I’m one of the teachers at the childcare, Scuola d’infanzia “L’Albero Magico” opened in September 2020.



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.



Erodiana Pacitti

I was born in Canada and moved to a little town near Rome when I was 2 years old. I have been working for more than 25 years as a Primary School Teacher in Italy. Working closely with children in-home and public school environments.

After moving back to Canada in 2017, I studied to become an ECE Assistant.

In September of 2021 I started working at Scuola d’infanzia “L’Albero Magico” and teaching Italian to children aged 3-4 at the Italian Cultural Centre on Saturday mornings.


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

Ciao! My name is Gianna and I was born in Friuli (Italy). Graduated in Architecture in the same city loved by James Joyce, Trieste, I discovered my passion for photography. 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. 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.


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: 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!


Veleria Ingo

I was born and raised in a small town on the beautiful island of Sicily. I have a master degree in Euro-American Languages and literature from the University of Palermo.

I met my husband, a Vancouverite, in 2012 while teaching Italian in the French city of Grenoble. I quickly relocated with him to Vancouver. I love coming up with interesting and novel ways to share the Italian language and culture with interested people, such as on my Youtube channel and other social video platforms.



Valentina Guarneri

Ciao, my name is Valentina. Swiss-Italian born, I grew up in Lugano, a beautiful small city in the south part of Switzerland and I lived and studied in Florence, Italy. Graduated in Clinical & Community Psychology, I left Europe following the urge of exploring different countries and cultures. Experiencing different ways of life, rhythms and social circumstances changed my perception of the world – I choose to live in India for 10 years and it truly was a big adventure! I moved to Canada a year ago, along with my partner and my two crazy big dogs and since then, Vancouver has been my new love. I joined the ICC recently and teaching Italian and sharing bits of this spending culture delights me. I also enjoy hikes, reading, finding little treasures in thrift stores and pizza. Actually, good Italian pizza is my true passion, better half, soulmate, my everything.


Michele Fontana

I was born in a small town in Lombardy. Since 1998, I have worked in the arts & culture sector, always striving to engage and inspire communities with interactive and participant-centred initiatives. I taught communication at universities in Italy and New Zealand, and I have a few years of experience doing theatre, videos, and public art projects. I love to explore and share my heritage and language.

I am the facilitator of the Book Club since 2020.


Francesca Di Salvo

I was born and raised in Sicily, in the beautiful, sunny city of Palermo, “the city with the most beautiful view in the world” as Oscar Wilde stated. I hold a teaching diploma from Italy, and I moved to Canada in 2012, where I furthered my studies and became a registered Early Childhood Educator in 2019.

I have worked at the University of Toronto as an educator in a toddler room, and a year in a preschool room. I have taught Italian night school for five years with the Toronto District School Board where my passion for teaching languages grew and led me to further my studies.  I am currently in my fourth year of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University.



Maria Grazia Petrucci

Maria Grazia Petrucci is currently working as College instructor in Vancouver Lower Mainland after she has pursued and obtained a PhD at the University of British Columbia. She is specialized in Sino-Japanese History, focusing on 16th Century Japanese Piracy and Christianity as well as on mercantile associations of that period. She has been a researcher at the University of Kyushu, working on Northern Kyushu pirates and corsairs. Her current research focuses on 16th century Japanese piracy in relation to the expansion of the silver trade and on Italian missionaries in 16th century Japan. She has taught English language in Kyushu to Master students and Italian to private persons; She is currently also an Italian language teacher at Il Centro.