Genesis of the Melbourne Games


Greek Australian singer/songwriter Joanne Xenidis is set to perform her debut album Genesis at this year’s Pan Hellenic Games cultural festival.
This is the first time that Melbourne is hosting the Pan Hellenic Games – a mini version of the Olympic Games for young athletes of Greek heritage from around Australia and New Zealand. It is tipped to be a tremendous event, one that will see 600 athletes compete in the spirit of friendly sporting competition.
Bringing people of Greek descent together makes for a perfect audience for Joanne’s music – a unique combination of emotive, personal lyrics and an enchanting voice, Joanne encapsulates the beautiful marriage between her Hellenic roots and eclectic Melbourne style.
Joanne is an avid supporter of Greek community events and the highlights of her career to date include performing at the Antipodes Festival 2005-2009, Greek Carols 2005-2009, as well supporting multi-award winning Greek Australian author Paul Kiritsis at his recent ‘Fifty Confessions’ book launch.
The Pan Hellenic Games cultural festival is a free event that will be filled with music, song and dance and will be held at the Palm Lawns, Albert Park, November 29.

Greece supports Australia for UN Security Council seat


According to an article published in the Age, Greece is amongst the countries that is positively inclined towards voting in favour of Australia for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council for the period 2013-2014. The Security Council has 5 permanent members (USA, Britain, France, China and Russia) and 10 temporary members. Australia’s competitors for the seat “Western Europe & others” are Finland and Luxembourg and European countries are expected to vote in their favour. Although 11 million dollars has already been spent on campaigning for Australia’s membership, PM Kevin Rudd says there is no guarantee that Australia will win. However, the Australian government has scheduled diplomatic moves towards the 53 African nations in order to gain votes. 28 countries are so far planning on voting for Australia, among which Israel, Holland, Hungary, Poland and Bosnia- Erzegovina. Positively inclined include countries such as Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, FYROM, Sweden and Canada.



New boost to Melbourne greek neighbourhoods


The state of Victoria will spend 8 million dollars to renovate immigrant neighbourhoods of Melbourne, including greek ones, in order to attract more tourists. The initiative belongs to the Victorian Multicultural Commission, head of which is Giorgos Lekakis. This council is the link between different nationalities that live in the state, the Australian government and the society in large.

Among the Council’s current programs is the expenditure of 8 million dollars for the elevation of the ethnic style of the Melbourne neighbourhoods including the greek Lonsdale street, Italian neighbourhoods and Chinatown. The Victorian Multicultural Commission is a consultant to the government on multicultural issues and –amongst others- funds events and programmes of various nationalities.

Source: ana-mpa

Greek Australian top business person for 2009


She is just 28 years old but has been proclaimed the top new-comer business person in the state of Western Australia. We are talking about Yvette Manola, from Perth W.A., former mechanical engineer of Woodside energy, one of the greatest australian companies who operates in oil and natural gas extraction.
Yvette is considered amongst the most qualified people in the world in her field which is the analysis and development of explosive mixtures. The young greek australian recently completed a new digital programme which is used by all companies in the world that specialize in oil and natural gas extraction.
She is now employed within the mining field of Western Australia and with her knowledge contributes to the discovery of ores and towards their most effective usage.
Source: ana-mpa

Greek heart-shaped strawberry


Greek Australian pharmacist, Paul Xinos, succeeded in creating a new variety of heart (!) shaped strawberries, since they are considered one of the most afrodisiac fruit.
The first heart shaped strawberries, will be introduced into the Australian market during the festive season. Mr Xinos’ goal is to export his expertise abroad.

Camilla Vergotis in Mao’s Last Dancer


Camilla Vergotis is starring in a new australian feature film which is going to be screened internationally. The title of the film is Mao s Last Dancer and is already one of the most successful australian box office hits of all time, since within 4 weeks it has grossed over 14 million dollars. It is also considered a quality movie, as it has been nominated for Australian Film Institute awards, the ceremony for which will take place later this year. Her main opponent will be the film ’Blessed’ by greek australian Anna Kokkinos which stars Victoria Charalambidou.

The feature film Mao s Last Dance is based on the memoirs of Chinese dancer Lee Kanxin. Kanxin, who was obsessed with dancing, was chosen by the Mao government to study ballet in Beijing. From the ballet of Beijing, he escaped to the US where he led an envious career and ended up in Melbourne working for the Australian ballet.

That is an additional reason why Greek Australian Calmilla Vergotis, who plays an Australian ballerina in the film and Kanxin s second wife, states she is thrilled about her participation in the particular movie.
’I used to watch him dance when I was a student at the Australian Ballet and was blown away.. I danced with him on stage. I read his memoirs. He is a person that inspires you to reach for what seems impossible’, the Greek Australian ballet dancer and actor tells us.
She also shares Kanxin’ s passion for ballet. She was born on the Gold Coast of Queensland and at 16 left her home to study at the Australian Ballet, in Melbourne. With the Australian Ballet she took on amazing roles on stage for nine years before she was given a leading position at the Ballet of Hong Kong, where she now lives and has been creating for the past few years. She even learned Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), adding that apart from english she speaks a bit of greek. However, although she enjoys the international recognition, she misses her family.

’I am away from home, but I speak to my mother twice daily thanks to Skype’, she says. Her appearance in Mao s Last Dancer was her debute in the film industry and she hopes that there will be more to come. After all, the critics described her as ’amazing both as a dancer and an actress’ and are positive that Camilla Vergotis will be around on the international  movie and ballet scene in the years to come.

Source ana-mpa

Ploutarhos Tour


Giannis Ploutarhos (Greek: Γιάννης Πλούταρχος) is a Greek singer. He was born on 18 December 1970 in a small village outside Orxomenos called Mavrogia. He lived there until the age of sixteen when he then decided to go to Athens to make his dream come true: to become a singer.

He sang professionally for the first time in a small music hall in Koridalos area. Disappointed by the conditions prevailing in the music business, he abandoned it twice and occupied himself with other professions and in particular hairdressing so as to make a living.

But something urged him to come back to singing. Two years after his first appearance, he sang in at “Rodolfo”. Big music halls followed such as “Neraida”, “Fantasia”, and “Tunnel” where he worked with well-known artists such as Giannis Poulopoulos, Rita Sakelariou, Themis Adamantidis and contemporary singers such as Stelios Rokos and Giorgos Mazonakis.

Wherever he worked, he made fans but most of all friends. That was when he met Dimitris Kardagis and Ilias Filipou who had both faith in him and his talent and brought him into contact with his first producer Giorgos Makrakis. He was the one who gave him his pseudonym “Ploutarhos”. *wikipedia*


Saturday Jan 16 – Vancouver @ Rocky Mountain Hall
For tickets/info call: 514-969-7375 &1-877-OPA-SHOW

Sunday Jan 17 – Boston
For Tickets/Info Call: 617-426-1038

Friday Jan 22 – Montreal @ Le Palace

For tickets/info call: 514-969-7375 &1-877-OPA-SHOW

Saturday Jan 23 – Chicago
For Tickets/info Call: 630-234-2183

Friday Jan 29 – Toronto
For tickets/info call: 514-969-7375 &1-877-OPA-SHOW

Saturday Jan 30 – Atlantic City
For Tickets & Info :1877-Greek-Tix

Sunday Jan 31 – Sacremento
For Tickets & Info : 1877-OPA SHOW



JAN/FEB 2010


Montreal restaurants target of arson attacks


A series of firebombings targeting nine different Montreal restaurants and cafes has police in the city mystified and is fuelling speculation of a turf war involving gangs or the mafia.
No one has been injured in the wave of overnight arson attacks, which began Oct. 28, but several restaurants have been damaged by the fires.
Most have targeted Italian and Greek establishments, leading to speculation that Italian organized crime may be involved.
Montreal has seen three firebombings in the past two days, the latest early yesterday morning when police were called to investigate an alarm at the Cafebar Ferrari in the suburb of Riviere-de-Prairies. Officers found a front window had been smashed and a Molotov cocktail thrown into the lobby. In this case the flames died out quickly and caused very little damage.
Other establishments haven’t been so lucky. The Greek establishment Cafe Nouba (foto) was torched early on Monday for the second time in eight days. The cafe’s owner, John Zoumis, told journalists that he had recently parted ways with a business partner who owes a six-figure sum to some “bad people” who want to be repaid.
City police have said that in most cases, the owners of the targeted cafes have given them so little cooperation that they’ve been forced to turn to the public for help in solving the crimes.
“These guys don’t cooperate much with the police,” said Jacques Robinette, assistant director of the Montreal police, who said the investigation was proceeding slowly as a result.
Authorities say they aren’t ruling out any possibilities yet. Some popular theories for the arson include a conflict within the Italian community, a street gang trying to muscle in on the drug trade or even the work of a copycat arsonist. Others suggest cafe owners are being punished for not cooperating with organized crime in the area.
Investigators confirmed they’ve only been able to link two of the incidents. “It’s certain that they’re not all related,” Robinette said.
“We have part of the picture, there’s a part we don’t have and another that we’re trying to understand,” he explained.
“We don’t have the whole picture for the time being.”
(source: examiner)

Charges of molestation of girl during church service


Two individuals were charged and will be tried with molesting a young Greek girl during church services in Sydney Australia. The two men, Athansasios Psyhogios, 39, and Antonis Golosian, 62, impersonated clergy members and molested the young woman during “prayer” service claiming they would relieve her of a curse.
The two men, convinced their victim to accompany them to various hotels rooms where they would cure her of the “black magic of a curse”.
(source: greek insight)

Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos Visits Greece


“If we can create talent, we can create the best movies as well,” Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and CEO, Jim Gianopulos, stated Monday at a press conference in Athens.

Gianopoulos pointed out that Greece can develop a more robust film industry by releasing quality pictures with a strong Greek identity.  He believes this can lead films to become box office hits both in the domestic and international markets.

In addition, he underlined that it is difficult for American films to be shot entirely in Greece or within the  European Union, in general because of the high production costs.

The chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment, also talked about piracy and how it harms the film making industry. He suggested that the US should join France in cutting off Internet connection of users who repeatedly download copyright-protected films. “Internet piracy is the single biggest threat to the film industry worldwide, and independent films are the hardest hit. The bad news is that the Internet is big, and it’s anonymous,” Gianopulos explained to a news conference in Athens.

He said punishing repeat offenders would help create “a level playing field” for filmmakers.
“If we can do that, it would be a big victory against piracy,” he said, cautioning that taking away the small percentage of profit many films make threatens the industry.”

Later in the evening, Gianopulos gave a lecture at Athens’ Megaron Hall on the subject of “Hellenism and Hollywood: From Aristotle to Alexander (Payne)”, while on Tuesday morning participated in a round table discussion at the Greek Film Archive Foundation.

Gianopulos, a Greek-American, attended a round table discussion in Thessaloniki’s John Cassavetes Theater on Sunday, held within the framework of the city’s 50th International Film Festival (TIFF).

His visit to Thessaloniki and Athens comes within the framework of the Fulbright Program “Great Ideas” incentive, underway in cooperation with the US embassy and the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.