Biography - Gilbert Baruzzo
Born in Concordia Sagittaria, Venice, Italy, March 2, 1941.
In 1955, at the age of 14 years, my apprenticeship began as a metal worker/blacksmith. With a lot of love and passion I was particularly attracted to welding arts. At 19 yrs., I completed a course in general mechanical design. Singing opera was always a passion of mine. And at 20 years old I began study as a tenor with professors at the Santa Cecilia Opera Academy of Venice. Then in 1962, at 21 years, I began my mandatory military service. Upon completion, I earned the rank of Corporal Major of the Assault Troops with 12 soldiers under my command. When I was 25, I had the pleasure to participate as an honorary host at the “Festical di Voci Nuove” in Concordia Sagittaria, Venice.
Then in 1966, I made the important life choice to immigrate to Canada as a qualified welder. Shortly after my arrival in Toronto, I enrolled in the government sponsored E.S.L. program called “Program Five”. Because of this language course I communicated much better and entered the workforce quicker. I also developed my welding skills more proficiently in a multitude of pipes and metals. In 1968, I started to work for Ontario Hydro in Sarnia.
I was always interested in the Arts and so in 1969, with a group of university students in Sarnia, we started the “Italo Canadian Beautiful Arts Association”.
In 1970, I worked hard to be the third founder of the “Associatzione Bersaglieri D’Italia - Achille Marcocchio” of Toronto. I also had the pleasure of being a director for 10 years.
Then in 1975, I was pleased to be involved in fundraising for the building of the famous Villa Colombo, a great retirement home for the elderly.
In 1977, I started to work for Atomic Energy of Canada and at the same time I studied advanced welding methods at Centennial College. This education enabled me to earn welding specialist licenses for 12 separate techniques. In 1980, the Minister of Justice chose me for jury duty where I spent 4 weeks in service.Then in 1983, I was a junior boy’s soccer coach where we ended up winning the tournament. In 1984, I was secretary of the “Italian Infantry War Veterans resident in Toronto.”
In 1990, I studied for 5 weeks to become an advanced ‘Green Badge’ qualified for Atomic Energy of Canada. In 1997, I joined the “Veneto Federation – Gruppo Regionale” Social/Cultural club where I currently volunteer.
In 1999, I was asked by my superiors at the Pickering Nuclear Power Station, to be a welding instructor because of my expertise in metals and piping.
In the year 2000, for my poetic composition “La Fede - Faith,” I was awarded the “Trofeo Rana d’Argento 2000”. Then in 2003 I was awarded, along with my wife Josie, the Valigia d’Oro Award for Italian Immigrants who have made a positive contribution to Canada. In March 2003, I retired from Ontario Hydro at Pickering. I am also a member of the “Academia dell’Eta D’Oro” of Toronto.
Since my retirement, I have created many unique art pieces in steel for your enjoyment. I believe my art is a piece of my soul for the world to enjoy.