Casa Dante Lodge No. 19, as it is familiarly known, was founded in 1937 as Italo Balbo and renamed Dante Alighieri Lodge O.S.I.C. in 1947. The Lodge is a non-profit organization. The Lodge building was completed in time for New Year’s Eve 1956 and inaugurated Columbus Day, 1957. In the 1980’s, the hall was extensively renovated. In 2003, major up-grading and renovations were completed and in 2004, the pavilion was added.
All this construction work was costly. But the Casa Dante members worked diligently to pay down the debt, while at the same time honouring their responsibilities to the Lodge and to the community at large. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Lodge was famous for a series of annual barbecued pig or “maiale arrostito” events that it sponsored as fundraisers. The funds from these and other events were donated to benefit a wide variety of causes. The recipients included Italian language classes for anyone wishing to learn the language, the Heart and Stroke Foundation as well as many Community charities.
In recent years, the Lodge has been buzzing with fundraiser activities such as the yearly Elimination Draw, monthly Pasta nights, Gnocchi Take-out meals, Polenta Night, Spring Dinner Dance, Harvest Dinner Dance, and Italian Night Celebrations. The hall is also used for Seniors’ activities and other community support events. Our members enjoy Christmas Parties, children’s Christmas parties, bowling teams and bocce teams.
Casa Dante takes great pride that our fundraisers activities enable us to make significant donations annually to local charities as well as to victims of international disasters. Our total donations average from 16 to 20 thousand dollars annually.