The Greek Day on Broadway 2019 is the finale event of the annual Greek Heritage Month festival in Vancouver. Presented by the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC, the festival aims to share the rich Greek culture which spans 2500 years of history, including over 100 years of social and cultural contributions to the City of Vancouver. The Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC is an association of Greek organizations and communities representing Canadians of Hellenic heritage in the province of BC to various levels of government. It fosters education, communication, and cooperation between Hellenic Canadians and other ethnic groups, and promotes the development of just and equitable policies and legislation concerning all citizens. The Congress encourages and promotes the retention and development of Hellenism in BC within the multicultural context of Canada.
The year, Greek Day on Broadway 2019 takes place on Sunday, June 23rd. A five block stretch on West Broadway measuring almost one kilometre, from MacDonald to Blenheim is closed off to traffic to make room for a world of delicious Greek food and drink, market vendors, entertainment, and live music offering a laid back, yet lively Greek atmosphere. This award-winning festival presents valued community partners the opportunity to exhibit products, promote travel experiences, or showcase their brand to a massive captive consumer audience.
Greek Day on Broadway is proud to be a family friendly festival, offering lots of free things for kids to do! You’ll find fun activities and entertainment for a range of ages including mini golf, bouncers, carnival games, balloon twisters and a colouring station. Face painting and glitter tattoos will be available for purchase at the popular A-Star Art Parlour booth as well. The Sm:)e Band will be back again this year to provide lively musical entertainment.
The history of Greek Day has its deepest roots in the word “PANIGYRI”, a day of special festivities usually of the patron saint of a particular village or region in Greece. It is a time when all problems and worldly cares are shelved for a celebration of life – manifested in eating, song and dance.
A SHORT HISTORY OF VANCOUVER’S GREEK COMMUNITY
Greektown in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is an area in the Kitsilano neighborhood that was historically an enclave of Greek immigrants and their descendants. The term is an informal one, and Greektown’s borders were never strictly defined; however, West Broadway at Trutch Street is generally considered the neighbourhood’s heart. Residents of Vancouver’s west side also refer to Greektown as “Greek West Broadway”.
This Greek identity has waned considerably since the area first became a community of exiles during the dictatorship in Greece of the 1960s and early 1970s, and the primary markers of Greektown are St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral, located at the intersection of Arbutus Street and Valley Drive; the local Athens Social Club; a Greek supermarket; and a higher-than-average concentration of Greek restaurants. There is also a Greek Senior Citizen Society. St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral has been noted for its traditional Byzantine Icons. St. George’s Hellenic Community of Vancouver.
The Hellenic Cultural Festival takes place every June in Kitsilano. The highlight is Greek Day, when Broadway is closed to vehicle traffic between MacDonald and Blenheim for free, family-oriented festivities. The festival is part of an ongoing effort to restore the Greek identity of Greektown.
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