List of Donors

John Mason

Ampelio Guglielmo “John” Mason of Guelph (Ontario) is a man of many achievements whose long career spans the automotive and real estate sectors. Mason has also many interests and hobbies which include cattle farming, winemaking, playing the accordion and Italian folk songs.

Over the years, he has been an active promoter of many community-based enterprises. Mason’s generosity supports numerous research initiatives and projects at the University of Guelph and in the broader community. Mason had a vital part in the committee responsible for the conceptualization, development and creation of the iconic Family Fountain statue that stands in St. Georges Square in downtown Guelph.

As he explained in his presentation at the Italian-Canadian Archives Project’s (ICAP) national conference in October 2017, the Family Fountain is a tribute dedicated to honouring the residents of the Royal City, and a gift to all families of all origins. Mason and his family are well known for supporting and celebrating Italian-Canadian culture in Guelph.

His contribution has supported student work in Italian heritage at the University of Guelph and has made it possible to feature their exhibits on the Guelph Italian Heritage Project site. It has allowed the running of a pilot class in Italian Heritage and Digital Applications that was tested in 2019 and since 2021 is a regular offering at the College of Arts. John Mason’s donation has been instrumental to the creation of the Italian Canadian Narrative Showcase national site in 2019 and has facilitated the application to successful grants from Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives. Through such grants, students received contracts to help showcase the Italian heritage projects developed at the local and national level.

We are profoundly grateful to John Mason for his generosity, his vision, and his commitment to promote the legacy of Italians in Canada.

An interview with John Mason and Richard Gazzola about the Family Fountain in Guelph, ON

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The ongoing support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has promoted the development of Italian Heritage courses in Italian Programs at the University of Guelph, Western University, St. Jerome’s University (Waterloo), the University of Ottawa.