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.

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

 

 

Just Posted

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

Victoria police retrieved a number of stolen items May 15 after arresting a man and woman squatting in an empty building. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police look to return stolen items following arrest of squatters

Golf clubs, power tools, jackets, cell phones and a MacBook Pro were retrieved

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)
Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

A building in the 300-block of Mary Street sustained significant damage Saturday night after a suspicious fire was started. Police arrested an arson suspect Sunday. (Courtesy of Victoria Fire Department)
UPDATE: Vic West shelter resident to be evicted following suspicious fire

Building in 300-block of Mary Street sustained significant damage Saturday night

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance after sustaining life-threatening injuries. (Collin C photo)
Motorcyclist airlifted with life-threatening injuries after Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Most Read