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Canada Conducts Greek Fest

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Canada's 13th annual Greek Fest just kicked off and is expected to attract 30,000 participants, until its finale on August 29th.

The Greek Fest is being held outside the Saanich Commonwealth Place in Saanich, British Columbia. As Michael Ikonomou commented to the Saanich News, "We have performers coming all the way from Athens, and they're quite a spectacular group of people...They have six different programs they'll perform, one at lunchtime and one in the evening each day."

Ikonomou added, "There's been a lot of development and influence of tourism in Greece over those years, but the people here haven't been exposed to that development. We're more pure about the Greek culture".

The Greek-Canadian organizer also discussed the expansion of a Hellenic exhibit that was established a couple years ago, "We have artifacts from all the people who have been here from the early days...We also hired a student who collected stories from the many people who immigrated here years ago, and it's a work in progress. Our aim is to populate it and put it on the web with video."

Proceeds from the Greek Fest are donated to various charities, Victorian families in need, and also assist in next year's festival. Ikonomou stated, "There are families who need help, and in the last couple of years, we had a lot of new immigrants from Greece after the financial crisis. There's a big chunk of money that goes to those causes". More information about the Greek Fest can be accessed at: greekfest.ca.