There's no shortage of good food at the annual Greek Fest as grandad Loukas Papaloucas feeds four-year-old Apostolos Bouckley souvlaki in this 2010 photo.

Greek Fest widens scope

Greek food abounds, but event now a folk celebration

Get ready to feast on spanakopita, souvlaki and gyros at Greek Fest next week.

The free, family-friendly event, put on by the Victoria and Vancouver Island Greek Community Society, features a variety of Mediterranean food, live music and folk dance.

But the festival isn’t just a celebration of Greek culture, it’s a celebration of community, says one organizer.

“It’s not only Greek stuff,” Jim Koutougos, vice president of the society, said. “We definitely celebrate the Greek culture, and in general Greekness, but we’ve actually created a little bit more of a multicultural festival.”

Now in it’s 11th year, the festival is based on the Greek tradition of philoxenia, or “love of strangers.”

In Greek culture, neighbours often invite strangers or acquaintances to festivals and make them feel at home, Koutougos explained. “This is carrying on a tradition that you will find all over Greece.”

Each year the festival keeps growing, Koutougos said. An estimated 30,000 people attended the week-long festival last year.

This year’s event will include more seating, and more entertainment, he said, including performances from Spanish flamenco to Polynesian drumming.

“It’s more of a folk festival,” Koutougos said.

There will also be heritage exhibits, arts and crafts and face-painting. As well, Greek dancers from Mesologi, Greece, will be returning to perform.

However, the main draw to the event is “tons of delicious authentic Greek food.” Koutougos promises

“If you like that type of cuisine, there’s something that you’re not going to get at any Greek restaurant in town, and that’s the roast lamb,” he said.

Greek Fest runs Tuesday to Monday (Aug. 28 to Sept. 3), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the front of Commonwealth Place, 4648 Elk Lake Dr. See www.greekfest.ca for more information.

Eating Greek goes to good causes

While the annual Greek festival is the main fundraiser for the Victoria and Vancouver Island Greek Community Society, donations and proceeds from vendor purchases will contribute to several different causes.

The society has partnered with the Saanich Fire Department to raise funds for the hot lunch program, which provides food for children in Victoria schools.

On Aug. 28, 10 per cent of proceeds will go to Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

As well, there will be a 10 per cent discount on all food items for seniors on Aug. 30.

reporter@vicnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read