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

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Saanich to hear update on regional sewage treatment plant

Likely subjects of presentation include fate of trees along Grange Road, costs

Canadian students are smart cookies

Canadian teachers also among highest paid in the developed world

Local fundraising initiative addresses tampon recall

Period Posse checking donations during 10-day campaign

Langford light up celebration was the biggest one yet

The city spends about $25,000 annually on Christmas lights

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

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

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Most Read