Our History

The Dante Alighieri Society (Italian: Società Dante Alighieri) was founded in Italy in 1889 by Nobel Laureate poet Giosuè Carducci with the aim of promoting appreciation and understanding of the Italian language and culture across the world. It was named after the Florentine pre-Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), author of The Divine Comedy and traditionally considered the father of the Italian language. 

The Society's head office in Rome is the central reference point for over 500 chapters, 400 of which are located outside of Italy, in 60 countries across five continents.
The Society "is independent of political ideologies, national or ethnic origins or religious beliefs; it is a free association of people – not just Italians – but all people everywhere, united by their love for the Italian language and culture and the spirit of universal humanism that these represent.” 

Our Board

Tom Henry


Tom Henry is a retired senior officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force and a retired senior business manager from a British Columbia technology company.  He is a graduate engineer. He has studied the Italian language for many years and had the good fortune to visit Italy for work and pleasure many times. 


Federica Ferruda


Federica Ferruda was born in Padua and grew up in Verona, where she graduated from Secondary School in Linguistic Studies. For over 20 years she has been working in partnership with her husband, a professional artist, in the management and development of his professional career.


Laura Nelson.jpg
Laura Nelson

Memberships & Partnerships

Laura Nelson has retired from a career in health care. Firstly, as a Registered Nurse followed by twenty years as a Business Professional in Bio- Pharmaceutical sales and business development. 

Born in Canada with roots in Italy, Laura has a deep interest in Italian travel and culture and is a student of The Dante Italian Language School.


Former Board Members 

David Avren


David Avren is a founding Board member. Born in Canada, with English as his native language, he is a longtime student of Italian language, and an enthusiast for Italian culture. He is a lawyer and is Vice President, Legal and Compliance at the

Real Estate Council of BC.

Cultural Events Coordinator

Arianna Dagnino is a writer, lecturer and literary translator. She holds a Master's degree in Modern Languages from the University of Genoa and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of South Australia. Her novel The Afrikaner (Guernica Toronto; in audiobook) is inspired by the five years she spent in South Africa as a reporter.

She teaches Italian Studies at the University of

British Columbia.

Monica Liscio Gordon

Language Instructor &
PLIDA Certification Coordinator

Monica Liscio Gordon was born in Turin, where she completed her studies in Philosophy and Social Anthropology. She holds a Masters in Modern Language Education. She teaches Italian language and culture at the University of British Columbia.

Adele Tremblay

Education & Courses

Adele Tremblay has retired from a career of teaching and administration. She holds a Master’s degree in French. She has been pursuing her passion for the Italian language at various schools in both Vancouver and Italy.

Gary Waines

Public Relations

Gary Waines is a supporter of the Italian cultural and linguistic landscape and passionate about Italian music, design, and architecture.

Stefano Gulmanelli


Stefano Gulmanelli holds a PhD in Sociology and International Relations and a Master in Economics. He was born in the Middle East and has lived in Europe, Africa, Australia and Canada.

He has matured his professional experience in the corporate world, journalism and academia, He is currently a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and

Simon Fraser University. 

Our Current Committees
Keyboard and Mouse
Keyboard and Mouse


Coordinator: Patrizia Pietroniro
Administrator: Benedetta Franzini

Keyboard and Mouse

Cultural Events

Coordinator: Arianna Dagnino

Keyboard and Mouse

Marketing & Communication

Coordinator: Arianna Dagnino
Communication Manager: Benedetta Franzini

Former Committee Members

Modern Living Room

Ludovica Soleri

Instructor, Administrator & Marketing Manager

Ludovica Soleri was born and raised in Milan where she studied International Law and took a Fundraising and Cooperation course at ISPI (Institute for Studies of International Policy). 
In 2018, she moved to Vancouver where she discovered her love for teaching while sharing the wonderful Italian culture and language. 

Silvia Giabardo

Teaching Coordinator, Language Instructor,
PLIDA Certification Examiner & Book Club Coordinator

Silvia Giabardo, born in Italy and naturalized Canadian, completed her studies in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari. For over 25 years she taught Italian as a second language and Italian culture. For the last six years of her career, she also worked as teaching coordinator at the Dante Italian Language School in Vancouver.

Governance, Constitution and Bylaws

The Dante Alighieri Society of British Columbia is incorporated under the Societies Act of British Columbia. Our constitution and bylaws set out our purposes and our procedures, and conform also to the requirements of the Dante Alighieri Society in Rome and its governing legislation. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

Image by Aditya Chinchure