Members of a dance troupe from Mesolonghi

Members of a dance troupe from Mesolonghi

Greek Fest celebrates tenth year in Greater Victoria

The much-loved celebration of Greek food, entertainment and culture takes place at the Greek Community Centre, on now through to Sept. 5.

Bring out the baklava, and get ready for lamb for lunch. Greek Fest turns 10 this year and it’s bigger than ever.

Ask any fan of the festival and the authentic food is likely to be a highlight. But for organizers, Greek Fest is about more than just 200 roasted lambs.

“It’s a bit of everything for the family, for younger people or for older people,” said Michael Ikonomou, president of the Victoria and Vancouver Island Greek Community Society. “We have Greek dancing lessons, so a lot of people come on stage and learn to dance.”

The most important element is to showcase Greek culture and heritage.

New this year are paintings with classic iconography, completed by monks and nuns in Greek monasteries. The art will be unveiled to the public for the first time, having just arrived at the Greek orthodox church, where the festival is located.

Juan de Fuca, a captain in the Spanish navy, was the first Greek to come to Victoria. He’ll be honoured in a heritage display.

As well, 25 dance groups from across Canada and Europe will take the stage.

But the food is not to be overlooked. In order to maintain the authenticity of Greek Fest, even the barbecues used to cook the lamb are being shipped from Greece.

Last year, more than 30,000 people visited Greek Fest. Ikonomou hopes, rain or shine, people will again come out to enjoy the festival – which happens to be equipped with 1,100 covered seats should the West Coast rain roll through.

“We have a word in Greek that says philoxenia, which means we are friends to strangers,” he said.

“We make everybody feel at home. It’s a really nice atmosphere and people here have a lot of fun.”

The much-loved celebration of Greek food, entertainment and culture takes place at the Greek Community Centre, on now through to Sept. 5.

Proceeds from food sales on Wednesday and Thursday will benefit the Tillicum Elementary school hot lunch program and the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

Seniors also receive a 10 per cent food discount on Thursday. The festival runs daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 4648 Elk Lake Dr., beside Commonwealth Place.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read