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Bicentennial of Greek War of Independence to be Marked in Toronto

National gallery of Greece
“Episode from the Greek War of Independence,” Eugene Delacroix, oil on canvas, 66.7×81.6 cm, 1856. Credit: National Gallery of Greece

The Hellenic Heritage Committee of Toronto will mark the bicentennial of the beginning of the Greek War of Independence with the dedication of a new plaque at a historic Greek community center in the city on October 30.

The year 2021 marks an important milestone for Greek communities all across the globe as they celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, fought against the Ottoman Empire.

As part of this commemoration and under the auspices of the Greece 2021 Organizing Committee of Toronto’s Hellenic Heritage Committee, there will be a new plaque unveiled and dedicated at 170 Jarvis Street in the city, which was a very important location in the history of the Greek community in Toronto.

Toronto event commemorates Greek War of Independence

In 1912, Greek immigrants across Ontario raised funds so that the community could purchase the building, which served as its first church, first Greek School and first community center. “It’s where the earliest Greeks founded our community,” states George Keroglidis, the Managing Director of the Foundation.

Keroglidis notes “We at the Hellenic Heritage Foundation felt it was important to honor this part of our heritage and so we successfully applied to have a historical plaque erected there through Heritage Toronto.”

The unveiling of the new plaque will take place on Saturday, October 30 at 9:30 AM local time with Toronto Mayor John Tory and other dignitaries and special guests, who will speak and help in commemorating this historic event.

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation (HHF) is a national charitable, non-profit organization established in Toronto. It was founded in 1996 by a group of professional business people of Hellenic descent, with a mission to preserve, promote and advance Hellenic education, culture and heritage in Canada.

The Foundation has grown to become a highly respected and professionally managed organization that has earned a reputation for supporting groups that encourage and provide higher education in Hellenic studies. Its ongoing fundraising supports Hellenism in Canada through educational scholarships and cultural initiatives.

Hellenic Heritage Foundation promotes education

Fundraising for Hellenic educational initiatives has been at the very forefront of the foundation’s mandate since its inception in 1996. The organization has raised an astounding $7.5 million since its formation.

The Foundation is also sponsoring a podcast series to mark the Bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence.

“The Idea of Greece” is a seven-part podcast exploring the Greek Revolution of 1821, produced by the Hellenic Heritage Foundation and hosted by Georgia Balogiannis. The series is also under the auspices of the Greece 2021 Committee.

Sponsored by Agape Greek Radio, with original music by Demetri Petsalakis, the Foundation states “this is not the history you learned in Greek School!”

New episodes drop every two weeks. The podcast series sponsored by the Foundation can be heard through this portal.

The seventh podcast in the series, broadcast on the day of the Bicentennial, March 25, 2021, is entitled “The Founding of a Nation.” Georgia Balogiannis and Prof. Sakis Gekas, the HHF Chair in Modern Greek History at York University in Toronto, along with Prof. Michalis Sotiropoulos from the University of Thrace, look at how the Greek Revolution ended and nationhood began.

The podcast addresses the challenges that the new state faced and how those initial years influenced the nation Greece would eventually become. All the other podcasts in this Bicentennial series can be accessed through the same portal.

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