The Dante Alighieri Society was first established in Italy in 1889 with the primary objective of promoting Italian language and culture throughout the world. The society has expanded over the years and now forms an international network of over 500 independent local committees, over 400 of which operate outside of Italy. The Canberra Dante Alighieri Society is a locally constituted non-profit association, which is affiliated with the Dante Alighieri network. It is managed and operated by dedicated volunteers.
The Canberra branch of the Society has been actively promoting Italian language and culture continuously for over 60 years. It has around 300 members and is one of the most active branches of the Society in Australia, as well as being one of Canberra’s most successful cultural associations. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Italian language and culture.
The Society’s main activities in Canberra revolve around the teaching of Italian and the promotion of Italian culture. For over a decade, the Society has been the primary provider of Italian language classes for adults in the ACT. The classes cater for all levels of proficiency from beginners to advanced and are held on weekday evenings. In addition to formal language classes, the Society offers conversation evenings on Thursdays. The conversation groups cater for all levels of proficiency and provide an excellent opportunity to practise the language.
The society has a library that is open to all members during office hours and contains a range of books, including easy readers suitable for beginners.
The Society also organises a range of cultural events throughout the year including talks on art, music, history, literature, cinema, as well as social activities. These events are advertised in the Dante Review, the Society’s bi-monthly newsletter.
The Society’s choir, Dante Musica Viva, has been performing Italian folk and popular songs to the public for over five years. There are no auditions for membership of the choir.
Every year, the Society offers its financial members access to Italian language courses in Italy at a reduced cost – discounts of up to 40% are available for various language institutions in Italy. All current members of the Society are eligible to apply for these discounts.