By Giorgio Moretti
Marco Polo Who is Bianca Fusco Zanatta?
Bianca Fusco Zanatta Family, tradition, Italian heritage & culture, royalty, creative, trail blazer, entrepreneurial, worldly, colorful and Maruzzella, best describes me. I am based in Vancouver with my supportive and soul hearted husband Marco of twenty-four years and our son, Marcangelo, ‘the apple of our eye’ and we have recently added a newest member to the family, a beautiful Siberian Husky dog named Mr. Atlas Oxford.
As an international designer of architecture, who loves to travel to the sunny harbours of Portofino, Italy, the countryside of Florence and Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, to be stimulated by the exquisite masterpieces of Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea Palladio. My travels inspire innovative design ideas that curate a One of a Kind approach when customizing a client’s home and home collection.
MP How did you decide to pursue a career in design and architecture? What inspired you?
BFZ I recognized my artistic calling at a very young age. My mother crafted numerous ball gowns for many weddings within the family. She was inspirational and taught me to appreciate artisans at work, the detail of craftsmanship, and how to appreciate beauty within oneself.
She was a self-taught seamstress, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, and a woman ahead of time.
As the creative vision behind M. Zanatta Homes & Design, I have been surrounded by beautiful things. Presently I spend my days encouraging and educating my clients to embrace the potential that European architecture and design can bring to ones home and lifestyle’.
MP How did you decide to establish your own firm?
BFZ It was when I embarked on a world voyage that I discovered the beauty of architecture and the Renaissance and it’s when I truly found my path.
My love for the period shines in the European-styled, antique-filled interiors that enhances the palate of my custom designs throughout all projects.
Due to my passion for showcasing individual and specific characteristics that attribute to distinct recognition, with a focus on quality material, signature pieces, and the creation of a lifestyle, I have become a respected leader in the custom home and design industry.
MP What type of projects do you specialize in?
BFZ M. Zanatta Homes & Design is a collaboration of architectural, landscape and project management teams, who cater to the most discerning of tastes. One of my specialties is to work with renaissance design, (the word is derived from the term ‘la rinascita’, which means rebirth). Bringing together Italian renaissance design and adding a modern twist allows for a rebirth in creativity, craftsmanship and the heart of holding on to the sentiments of yesteryear.
I love the Italian Renaissance, the music, art forms, rich palettes, architecture and textiles. It’s a historical style of luxury where colour heightens the ambiance and makes architecture sing, says Fusco Zanatta.
A recent project, in collaboration with Timothy Bullinger, International Architect was the creation of an 80,000 square foot Italian theme at the Luxury Home & Design show that featured a piazza as envisioned emulating a true Italian Renaissance experience. Working alongside a number of artisans, designers and creators to realize the vision, I showcased the piazza as a perfect gathering place to enjoy an espresso, share ideas and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding architecture as true to my Italian heritage and culture.
The evening cocktail reception was la piece de resistance sponsored by Consulate General of Italy of Vancouver, Massimiliano Iacchini and the Italian Chamber of Commerce Canada West (ICCC), offering guests imported antipasti, wines and cheeses from Italy and a new gelateria from Vancouver. Those who attended the show watched opera singers perform traditional Italian music making the evening un Grande Successo!
MP What is your signature on your projects?
BFZ Zanatta Homes signature projects bring together pieces of architectural designs and details that include hand picked Italian sourced materials and unique stained glass emblem over the entryway to every project. Inspiration is limitless – it’s he who executes at 150%, says Fusco Zanatta.
Excellence in each custom creation, from vision and design, to quality detailed craftsmanship and finishes, is paramount to me. For example, I designed a custom home and was inspired to use the famous Gauloises Blondes blue that is in renaissance of the hilltop village of Mougins that separates France from the provinces it lost to Germany. What also inspires me is travelling to places of artistic influence such as the Venetian canal. It was here that I found Fortuny textiles, which provided artistic, timeless, and magical designs.
In Milano, I discovered Simone Guidarelli who initiated a new frontier to my future in design.
Bianca’s fundraising efforts include:
I am driven by a strong social consciousness and in turn committed to my community and those marginalized, in particular youth includes Kids Help Phone, a national charity providing professional anonymous counselling 24/7 – always open to provide a safe and trusted place for young people in any moment of crisis or need.
2I designed and decorated our home, for Homes for the Holidays annual philanthropic event that offers tours of the city’s most stylish Westside homes decorated for the holidays. The last 10 years, I have served on the organizing committee and as current Chair I am preparing for the 15th annual tour taking place this year. In recognition of my contribution, I was appointed in 2018 to the Kids Help Phone National Board. I found a way to unite my love of architectural design with a desire to help children.
I have promoted philanthropy and continued to be actively participating for the following organizations:
Kids Help Phone – Homes for the Holidays, Chair 2009 – present
Kids Help Phone, National Board Member 2018 – present
Boys and Girls Club Foundation of South Coast BC, 1997 – present
(hosting over 2000 children at the RFOS Children’s Christmas Party)
Variety Club Children’s Charity, Board Member 2016 – 2018, Heart Award Committee
Vancouver College, Finnegan Ball and Mothers Christmas Tea, 2009 – 2015
Founder, Reach for Outer Space
Canadian Italian & Professional Association, Past President
Founder, Famous Mother’s Fashion Show & Luncheon, benefiting Italian Cultural Center Society and Variety the Children’s Charity
Founder, The Venetian Ball benefiting Italian Cultural Center and Variety the Children’s Charity
Italian Cultural Center Society
Shadbolt Center for the Arts, Capital Campaign
In 2000, I launched Reach for Outer Space, a volunteer run organization serving the purpose of helping underprivileged children and women in need. Providing comfort, hope and joy, hence the motto families helping children that best describes the organization.
I am recognized in my community as a steadfast front-runner, inspiring the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community. Through my professional designation, a luxury homebuilder and a Designer of Architecture, I open doors daily with every opportunity that presents itself.
Reach for Outer Space came to life because of my influence in working with a variety of individuals, organizations, companies, family and friends as RFOS is funded to deliver the following programs:
RFOS 18th Annual Christmas Party recognizes the need to help mothers with children in transition houses provide a Christmas experience for their children despite their situation. RFOS grants a child’s gift wish while providing each child with a new pair of boots. This annual Christmas Party provides access to the private and discreet locations however determined to help make Christmas a time of joy for those less fortunate. I work effortlessly with my team of volunteers guiding them through RFOS’s vision that is specifically targeted for women and children. Gently used items, furniture and books are donated while working with community partners to overcome the cost barrier and these items are arranged for delivery to remote areas as well as local shelters. The RFOS team collectively succeeded in engaging 5 transition houses in 2018 and have hosted over 2000 children in 18 years. Reach for Outer Space will continue to evolve as the need continues to grow with a focus on children and women.
RFOS Annual Ladies Charity Luncheon attracts socially minded influential women who contribute financially to support this philanthropic programs. Finances are provided to purchase specifically requested gifts for the children. In turn, the children received stockings full of treats, personal items , new shoes and boots for Christmas.
RFOS Reading Corners idea started with YWCA Crabtree Corner where it became apparent there was a need to install various social service facilities including women’s transition houses, shelters and child care centers. I am committed to connecting friends and volunteers to gather gently used books to be installed in reading corners in these areas where none previously existed. Particularly where children are positioned in situations that are challenging, I believe the idea of a reading corner with books in which to lose oneself seems a viable requisite to lighten the imagination in times of difficulty. In addition and in collaboration with retail book suppliers, I have established a steady supply of new and gently used books for the RFOS Reading Corners.
Today, the Reading Corners provide a comforting spot for children most in need to curl up and let their imaginations soar. Since inception, reading corners have expanded to include 24 locations specifically First Nations communities, transition houses and shelters located in 16 cities encompassing 11 schools, 11 community organizations and one village in Africa. Reach for Outer Space Youth Ambassador Program was established in 2018 at York House School. The young women play an important part in collecting new and gentle used books for the RFOS reading corners. This program mentors young girls through after school programs and I act as a role model teaching fundraising skills and techniques, focusing on bringing awareness and the importance of philanthropy while guiding them through the process of identifying community fundraising projects through to completion.
Reach for Outer Space Outreach Program – coming soon June 2019
MP 36th Annual Women of Distinction Awards. What exactly does this mean to you?
BFZ I am honored to be included amongst all of these capable women. Being nominated for the 2019 YWCA Women of Distinction Award under the Community Champion category is a humbling honour as this nomination is an account of all the wonderful volunteers who share my vision, creativity, and initiative to help families and children across the country. As a philanthropist, my commitment and contributions in focusing on families helping children is why I support the YWCA Early Learning and Care program because I believed in the importance of quality care for children at an early age. As a community minded leader, I acknowledged a local community need and initiated meaningful change, dedicating my own time and resources to champion this cause. What started as a volunteer crusade now becomes a full-time role for me. I have made a significant and sustained difference in Metro Vancouver while being recognized as a source of strength and heart. This enables me to harness the time, talent, and capacity of others in various ongoing philanthropic endeavors. My family and circle of friends is the core that continues to support my vision.
Their support enables me to continually seek new opportunities in a market where the competition is fierce for charitable dollars.
My words we can do it and it takes a village mentality lights the fires in those who understand my quest to give back.
MP What is the best advice you have received, and what advice would you give to others?
BFZ My Mammanonna, and mentor, raised me to believe that the fundamental value of every household is to ensure a healthy community, which starts with children. My family motto families helping children is the foundation on which we engage our network of family, friends and business associates to help build a healthy community.
MP How can our readers follow you and your projects?
BFZ M. Zanatta Homes & Design Ltd. www.zanattahomes.com
Reach for Outer Space www.reachforouterspace.com
Kids Help Phone www.kidshelpphone.ca