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.
Greeks in Vancouver have brought over this tradition of PANIGYRI and introduced “Greek Day” to our community at large since 1974. Greek Day on Broadway is the largest one-day Greek festival in Vancouver and the grand finale event is a month-long Greek Heritage Festival. 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.
Greek Day has been a constant success over the last few years. Attracting thousands of people to West Broadway who love to come and celebrate the “Greek way” for a day. The Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC, in cooperation with the Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce and The West Broadway Business Association, are pleased to announce that June 2018 is officially named the Greek Heritage Month, with June 24th 2018 being the official Greek Day in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Greek Days has enjoyed tremendous success over the years and will include more cultural activities at various venues in Vancouver.
A five block stretch on 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.
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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