Greek Heritage Month – Revisit the past, celebrate the future – Greek Heritage Month

Photo courtesy of Greek Heritage Month

Greek Heritage Month is back in full swing this year with a street festival, an art showcase, and live comedy. The June-long program (from Jun. 3-26) celebrates traditional Greek art, culture, food, and history, bringing together the Hellenic diaspora with diverse audiences from across the Lower Mainland.

“Since they first settled in Vancouver more than 100 years ago, the Greek community has brought many rich traditions from Greece,” says George Diamantopoulos, president of the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC. “We’re honoured to be able to share our heritage with others, and are excited to bring back the celebrations of Greek Heritage Month this year.”

Art, history and more

This year’s events include: The History of Ancient Greece: Educational Lecture during which professor emeritus Peter G. Prontzos will share his guided travels in Greece. In addition to historic sites like the Parthenon and Olympia, he will show elements of modern Greek life and culture.

Traditional Greek dance. | Photo courtesy of Greek Heritage Month

UBC professor and writer Peter Katsionis will be reading an excerpt from his latest novel, Reigning Hellfire, a sequel to his 2009 title Patrida, which was set during the era of Alexander the Great. Among other events, the hellenic community is happy about the inauguration of its first Vancouver Greek Film Festival as well as a comedy show by performer Basile.

The works of nine local Greek artists, whose practices span from painting, photography, and copper work, focusing on themes of mythology and Greek nature will be on display.

A look back

First established in 1974, Greek heritage Month began with the inception of Greek Day on Broadway. The event pays homage to Panigyri, a centuries-old festival organized by Greek villages to celebrate their patron Saint’s benevolence through food, songs and dance. The celebration is meant to inspire a sense of well-being and togetherness. Locally, Greek Day on Broadway embodies this tradition with live performances and booths that highlight local restaurants, businesses, and non-profit organizations in the area.

Grilled meats are a festival favorite. | Photo courtesy of Greek Heritage Month

Since the first Greek Day, the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC has increasingly offered additional programming to share traditional and contemporary aspects of Hellenic culture. Greek Heritage Month aims to revisit the past, while celebrating the future.

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