“On behalf of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation, I wish to extend a HUGE thank you to the 200+ in attendance yesterday who were able to join us for the 100 Year Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony of the 1918 Anti-Greek Riots. Those of you who were unable to physically join us, thank you for following the event closely throughout the day on all media channels and various social media platforms. We are grateful and appreciative of all the media coverage the event has received and wish to also thank CP24, 680 News, Metroland Media, CBC, City News, Global News, Macleans, Hellas News, the Greek Press and Patrides online magazine.
The event was incredibly moving with messages of inclusion and tolerance provided by: HHF Director and Chair of the HHF History Committee – Sandra Gionas; HHF Director and Founding Member – John Sotos; Historian & Co-Founder of the Greek Canadian History Project – Chris Grafos; Mayor of the City of Toronto – John Tory; Consul General of Greece in Toronto – Alexandros Ioannidis; Past President of the HHF and current MPP (Oakville-North Burlington) – Effie Triantafilopoulos; Toronto City Councillor, Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt – Jim Karygiannis; and local author and historian of Greek-Canadian history in Toronto – Michael Mouratidis.
Both Canadian and Greek national anthems were performed beautifully by recording artist, Charissa (Pavlou) and Elena Tashus. Thank you both so much.
A very special and heartfelt thanks to the entire HHF Board for their support of this initiative, Hellenic History Committee Chair – Sandra Gionas, PR/Communications Chair – Helene Vassos and absolutely every volunteer for their incredible and herculean efforts over the course of the past year to give this historic event the proper recognition it deserves.
This commemoration was part of a year long initiative, organized by the Hellenic Heritage Foundation, to recognize one of the most violent riots in Canada which took place 100 years ago to the date, directly targeting Canadian immigrants of Greek descent.
The racism towards Greek-Canadians back then would be surprising to Torontonians today as one hundred years later, our community has moved on, fully woven within the fabric of this city and Canadian life. But we feel there are lessons to be learned from commemorating this event.
It served as a reminder to be open to newcomers and that their differences are temporary, as they begin their journey of integration. It was an opportunity to show how our city has moved past the mob mentality of the past and is now seen internationally as a leader in tolerance. This centenary commemoration was also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our diversity and recognize how far the Greek-Canadians have come in the past 100 years.
The commemoration ceremony was followed by a special photo exhibit curated in collaboration with the Clara Thomas Archivesat York University, the Greek Canadian History Project and the personal collection of Mr. Michael Mouratidis titled: Greeks in Toronto – The Immigrant Experience. The exhibit will remain on display in the Rotunda at City Hall until this Sunday, Aug 5th, 2018.
Sincerely proud and appreciative of this organization and the work we do!”