Greek Heritage Month Returns in June with a Street Festival, Art Showcase, and Live Comedy

Photo: Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC

The Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC is thrilled to announce the lineup for Greek Heritage Month, which takes place in-person from June 3–26, 2022. The month-long program celebrates traditional Greek art, culture, food, and history, bringing together the Hellenic diaspora with diverse audiences from across the Lower Mainland. Celebrations will close with Greek Day on Broadway, one of Vancouver’s largest street festivals, on June 26.

Photo: Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC

“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.”

Greek Heritage Month began with the inception of Greek Day on Broadway, which was first established in 1974. The event pays homage to Panigyri, a centuries-old festival traditionally organized by Greek villages to celebrate their patron saint. Villagers would thank the patron saint for their benevolence by gathering to eat, sing, and dance in their honour. It is a celebration of life that inspires a sense of well-being and togetherness. The local iteration of Greek Day on Broadway embodies this tradition with live performances and booths that highlight local restaurants, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Photo: Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC

Since the first Greek Day, the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC has created additional programming to further share traditional and contemporary aspects of Hellenic culture. The aim of Greek Heritage Month is to remember the past, while celebrating the future.

A highlight in this year’s program is Golf with the Gods, the Congress’s first-ever charity golf tournament that will benefit the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Other events include an art showcase, an educational lecture on the history of ancient Greece, the inaugural Vancouver Greek Film Festival, a comedy show by world-renowned performer Basile, a ceramics workshop, and Greek Day on Broadway.

For more information, visit greekheritagemonth.com.

Photo: Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC

Greek Heritage Month Events

June 3 at 1pm | Golf with the Gods: Charity Golf Tournament
Mayfair Lakes Golf and Country Club at 5460 No. 7 Road, Richmond

The first-ever charity golf tournament hosted by the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC and its charitable arm, the Hellenic Canadian Federation of BC Charitable, Cultural, & Educational Foundation. The event will benefit the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

More information at golfwiththegods.com.

June 4 at 12–7pm | Greek Art Showcase
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House at 2305 W 7th Ave, Vancouver
Free admission

Discover the creations of nine local Greek artists, whose practices span from painting, photography, and copper work. The artworks in the showcase focus on themes of mythology and Greek nature.

June 11 at 1pm | The History of Ancient Greece: Educational Lecture
Hellenic Community Centre of Vancouver (Upper Hall) at 4500 Arbutus St, Vancouver
Free admission

Join professor emeritus Peter G. Prontzos as he shares his guided travels in Greece. Traveling in a small group is a wonderful way to experience Greece in the spring. In addition to historic sites like the Parthenon and Olympia, he will show elements of modern Greek life and culture.

June 11 at 4:30pm | Reading by Author Peter Katsionis
Hellenic Community Centre of Vancouver (Upper Hall) at 4500 Arbutus St, Vancouver
Free admission

UBC professor and writer Peter Katsionis reads 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. The sword-and-sandal narrative whisks readers away to another time.

June 12 | Cyprus Day
Hellenic Community Centre of Vancouver (Upper Hall) at 4500 Arbutus St, Vancouver
Free admission

Learn about Cyprus through presentations about its past and present, including information about visiting the country today. Cycling routes, winery tours, and more will be on offer for curious travelers.

June 16–19 | Vancouver Greek Film Festival
The Cinematheque
Tickets from $14 at thecinematheque.ca

The inaugural Vancouver Greek Film Festival, co-presented by the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC and The Cinematheque, will be an in-person event. The program celebrates film as art, and features an eclectic offering of contemporary and classic Greek films.

June 18 at 7:30pm | Basile the Comedian: Comedy Night
Hellenic Community Centre of Vancouver at 4500 Arbutus St, Vancouver
Tickets from $50 at greekheritagemonth.com

One of the most renowned Greek entertainers today, Basile has had more than 100 television appearances around the world, including on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, and the Tonight Show on NBC. He was recently nominated for an Emmy for his work on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series segment, “The Legend of Jimmy the Greek,” as the voice of Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder (Syionidis).

June 18 at 10pm | Greek Night: After Basile the Comedian
Hellenic Community Centre of Vancouver at 4500 Arbutus St, Vancouver
Tickets from $10 at greekheritagemonth.com

An after-party with audience members following Basile’s comedy set.

June 24 at 10am–5pm | Come Clay with Me
Suzy Birstein Studio in Kitsilano
Free admission but registration is required, available for ages 16+

Learn to make Greek-inspired pottery in this special workshop with local artist Suzy Birstein. Birstein has become known for her unique style that blends inspiration from powerful women in history and pop culture. Workshop welcomes all levels of experience.

June 26 from 11am–9pm | Greek Day on Broadway
Greektown in Kitsilano
Free admission

Celebrate the cuisine and culture of Greece through this day-long festival on West Broadway. With live music, performances, food vendors, and a kids’ corner, this family-friendly event has something for everyone.

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