Martin C. Barry
The twelfth annual Notte in Bianco, a dress-white fundraising event held on Sept. 4 at the Terrebonne home of Maria and Vincent Guzzo of Cinémas Guzzo fame, raised more than $250,000 to help support innovative children’s mental health research.
Held for the benefit of the Guzzo Family’s initiative in youth mental health, funds from the event will be distributed to the Jewish General Hospital, the Shriners Hospital and Youth Mental Health (Literacy for Dyslexia).
The well-attended event was organized by Maria and Vincent Guzzo under the honorary presidency of Robert Dumas, president and CEO of Sun Life Financial Quebec. They welcomed more than 350 guests who danced the night away to the music of the Crystal Waters.
Helping out youths
Maria Guzzo, vice-president and head of charitable donations for the company, is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Psychiatry (with an emphasis on youth mental health issues) in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.
Vince Guzzo, president and CEO of Cinemas Guzzo, has been a Dragon on the hit TV show Dragon’s Den. Both have directed their philanthropic energies into support for youth mental health research, hoping to offer young people a better life.
Based partly on a summertime party tradition the Guzzos brought back to Montreal from the Hamptons on the ocean coast of New York State where they have spent many summers, dress white is considered ‘de rigueur’ each year for Notte In Bianco. Several hundred guests pay $1,000 a ticket each year to take part in an event that is regarded as a must on the Montreal social calendar.
Laval movie screen delayed
In an interview with Newsfirst Multimedia, Vince Guzzo said the company has experienced a delay in opening a new movieplex near Autoroute 13 in Sainte-Dorothée, although discussions remain underway with the City of Laval.
“The problem in Sainte-Dorothée is a simple one: the city’s infrastructure,” he said. “Their infrastructure at the site cannot necessarily take 2,500 people in terms of sanitary services required for that building.
Film distribution division
“But they’re now giving us a timeline of when they think we can do this. In the meantime, if it’s not our next project after one we’re doing in Saint-Jean on the South Shore, it will be the next after a Quebec City expansion which we’re also looking at very seriously.”
In another development within the company, Guzzo said they have also been exploring with success the idea of becoming a distributor of films. “It’s going to be a growing segment,” said Guzzo, while adding that they had also explored the possibility of producing movies, although distribution appears to be the more promising prospect.
Family’s impact on theatres
Following his arrival in Quebec from Italy in 1967, Vince Guzzo’s father, Angelo, became one of the pioneers of independent multi-screen movie theatres in Canada. As a talented, responsible and warm-hearted businessman, Angelo Guzzo built a solid reputation for himself in movies, earning widespread respect in the industry.
For many years, he led the struggle for independent movie theatre owners to obtain the right to project first-run movies, thus opening the way for others. Today, both father and son work as a team to bring moviegoers the best cinema has to offer. Angelo Guzzo is President of the company, while Vincenzo has been Executive Vice-President since 1990.
Learned from his dad
As an only child, Vince started going to the movies with his parents when he was four and soon became fascinated with the selection of movies. He developed what he calls a flair for a good film.
During his teens, he was actively involved in the family business. His father took him along on many business trips to the United States to select movies for their programming.