Celebrating the fact that the Australian state of Victoria has the largest Greek population in the world outside Greece, some of Melbourne’s top landmarks will be lit up in blue and white to commemorate the Greek Bicentennial this year.
“Victorians have a lot to celebrate after a very challenging year and the Multicultural Festivals and Events program will support our communities to safely come together and do just that,” the Australian state of Victoria’s Multicultural Affairs Minister Rob Spence stated.
“We know that sharing and preserving culture is part of what makes Victoria such a successful multicultural society – and this will continue.”
23 different organizations will have programs and events
The Minister announced that the state government is making good on its pledge to the Greek people, granting $200,000 for events to celebrate the bicentennial of Greece’s independence.
There will be a total of 23 community organizations that will share in the funds allocated for Greek festivities to commemorate this important national milestone of 200 years since the declaration of the War of Independence agains the Ottoman Empire.
These funds will help make possible a variety of events, parades and festivals over the coming months – both virtual and in-person.
The Greek Community of Melbourne will host its program called “Greece21,” offering a full slate of activities to celebrate, commemorate and educate others about the struggle of the Greek people for their independence.
The program will feature a lecture series, musical events and public art exhibitions near Lonsdale Street, as well as a performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre, a writers’ festival and even the launch of a comic book publication.
The opening presentation will occur at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady, which is the oldest Greek church in all of Victoria.
The Cretan Foundation of Australia and New Zealand will hold a tribute concert in April of this year and AHEPA (Victoria) will run a series of lectures at the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne in May.
All Greek Bicentennial events will be Covid-safe
The subject of the lectures will be the heroes and heroines of the Greek War of Independence.
The Minister stated in the announcement that all events will adhere to COVIDSafe restrictions, with many organizations choosing to continue hosting digital events as of now.
Since Victoria’s formally flourishing entertainment and events industry was so heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, this funding aims to support the safe return of festivals and events to the state’s cultural calendar.
It is also hoped that the grants will further support the revitalization of Victoria’s economy after the pandemic.
For a full list of events, please visit their website.