HCAAO Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Association took place  on Sunday, December 1, 4:00-7:00pm  at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto.

Remembering the Polytechnic Uprising

The Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario, the Greek Community of Toronto and the Greek Canadian History Project organized an event for the 40 year anniversary of the student uprising at the Polytechnic School of Athens on November 17, 1973.

The event featured talks by two York University historians, Prof. Sakis Gekas and PhD student Chris Grafos. Sakis presented a brief account of the history of Greece in the 1950s and 1960s – what country many of the Toronto immigrants left when they came to Canada. Chris talked on the anti-dictatorship struggle in Toronto and Montreal and specifically how the events at the Polytechnic school were reported in Canada.

The event was hosted by the Greek Community of Toronto at the Polymenakeio Cultural Centre.
See also poster.

Smyrna: The Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City, 1900-1922

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History and
the Hellenic Studies Program at York University present,

Smyrna: The Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City, 1900-1922

A documentary film by Maria Iliou (2012; in English; 87 min.)

Thursday, November 28th, 6:30 pm, LSB (Life Sciences Building) 105,
York University, Keele Campus

Director Maria Iliou and historian Alexander Kitroeff will be present to
introduce the film and answer questions after the screening.

Free and open to the public

Following premieres in Athens and New York, this critically acclaimed film
is being screened at 21 universities in the US and Canada, thanks to a
generous grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The HHF Chair in Modern
Greek History at York is honored to have been selected for one of the
screenings and welcomes director and screenwriter Maria Iliou to York
University and Toronto.
Synopsis: Smyrna: the Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City, 1900-1922
(Maria Iliou, director; Alexander Kitroeff, historical consultant;
a Proteus production, 2012), is based on new archival footage and
photographs, collected and preserved by the non-profit organization Proteus.
The film includes appearances by Giles Milton, author of the best-selling
Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922 and the film’s main narrator,
Eleni Bastéa (University of New Mexico),
Jacques Nalbantian (eyewitness in 1922),
Leyla Neyzi (Sabanci University, Istanbul),
Vana Solomonidou (diplomat) and Thanos Veremis (University of Athens).
This documentary focuses on the multi-ethnic cultural history of Smyrna
(modern-day Izmir, in Turkey) and on the peaceful coexistence of
Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Armenians throughout the 19th and
early 20th centuries.
It also presents the major political events that led to the city’s
destruction: the rise of nationalism, the decline of the Ottoman Empire,
and the competing political objectives of Greece, Turkey and the leading
international powers. It seeks to present a balanced narrative that honors
the discipline of history as well as the victims of the city’s destruction.
Smyrna premiered at the Benaki Museum in Athens, January 2012, and in
New York City, October 2012, as part of the Greek Film Festival. It was
screened in theaters in Athens, Thessaloniki, London, Paris, and New York
City and met with wide acclaim and praise by audiences and film critics.
For more information: webpage.
See also poster.

Reception in honour of Greek Filmmakers participating in TIFF-City to City 2013

This year ten Greek movies were featured as part of TIFF’s City-to-City line-up. The City-to-City series, has previously showcased movies from Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires and Mumbai. This year the spotlight was on Athens.

The Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario organized a reception and open discussion with participating filmmakers of the ten Invited Greek films (September, Sitting Aside, Watching, Wild Duck, The Daughter, JACE, To the Wolf, The Eternal Return of Anthonis Paraskevas, Miss Violence, Unfair World and Wasted Youth).

The event was held on September 7 at the Munk Center for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. In attendance were Directors, Producers, Actors and Cinematographers from the first seven films listed films. The hall was packed with over 150 people with an interest in Contemporary Greek Cinema including students and faculty from Toronto universities, members of various Greek community organizations and individuals working in the Toronto film industry.

The film trailers were shown during the wine and cheese as the audience congregated and mingled with panelists. A more structured discussion followed with short panel presentations from the 7 Directors in attendance, who first spoke about their films and then responded to questions from the audience. The directors spoke about their motivation to connect with audiences around the world through their films. They described what they thought characterized contemporary Greek cinema and distinguished it from previous cinematic periods in Greece. They spoke about the ways in which they maintain an open dialogue with each other, supporting and reinforcing each other’s work. Finally, they articulated how their filmmaking has been impacted by current socio-economic and political conditions in Greece. The audience was impressed with this dynamic generation of filmmakers who have shown great fortitude and creativity in developing their films during a period of time when financing for the film industry is scarce.

The event was made possible by the generous sponsorship from the Pan Macedonian Association of Ontario, the Canadian Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Mr. S. Mirkopoulos, of Cinespace Film Studios.

HCAAO Get-together Dinner 2013 & Fundraiser for humanitarian assistance to Greece

Dear colleagues and friends,

Thanks to the help of many, we managed to put together an exceptional program with academic speakers and live piano performances (4 artists) at a cost to us of approximately $40 per person. Given that the ticket price is $100, approximately $60 per ticket will be donated to the Doctors of the World – Greece (DoW).

In appreciation of this HCAAO initiative, the President of the DoW, Dr. Nikitas Kanakis sent us a video message (in English and Greek) to say ‘thank you’ and a separate video about the work the DoW do ‘on the ground’ (to be shown at the event; 15 minutes). They also sent us their official 2012 activity report (to be distributed at the event).

Greece, and now Cyprus, is experiencing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. The burden of the crisis falls disproportionately on the young, the unemployed, the minorities, the poor and the vulnerable. At the same time, a majority of the media worldwide portray the people of Greece as lazy and corrupt indiscriminately. We need to help change this negative and unfair stereotype. We need to help change the dominant narrative. We just need to help…

For this reason, this dinner function is mainly about giving people an opportunity to engage in dialogue about the situation in Greece and help increase awareness about the humanitarian crisis facing the country. It is also about us saying ‘we care’. This is not an invitation to a charity event. This is a call to show solidarity to the people of Greece.

Please see event details and promotional poster below.

We hope to see you there.

RSVP: Dr. Tina Martimianakis <tina.martimianakis@utoronto.ca>

Warm regards,

Theodore Tolias

President, HCAAO


Event Details (View Poster)

HCAAO Get-together Dinner & Fundraiser for Humanitarian Assistance to Greece

Date & Time: Friday April 5th, 2013 at 7:00pm.

Venue: Grand Luxe Event Boutique, 3125 Bayview Avenue, Toronto (just south of Finch Avenue on the east side)

Post-Dinner Speakers:

Costas Douzinas, ‘We are all Greeks’ Shelley

Costas is Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. He is well known for his work in Human Rights, Aesthetics, Postmodern Legal Theory and Political Philosophy. He is also frequent commentator in The Guardian. Here is a link to one of his latest books.

Vicky Stergiopoulos, Addressing health disparities: what does it take?

Vicky is Psychiatrist-In-Chief at St. Michael’s Hospital, Director of the Division of Adult Psychiatry and Health Systems and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Her work and advocacy efforts focus on health disparities and the development and evaluation of interventions to address the needs of people who are homeless, poor and underserved.

Live piano performances:

Dimitra Marangozis, Pianist, Faculty, Royal Conservatory of Music

Constantine Caravassilis, Pianist, Composer

Christina Petrowska-Quilico, Pianist, Professor, Faculty of Music, York University

Felix Wong, Pianist

Ticket price per person: $100

Due to the fundraising nature of the event, there is no provision for complementary invitations.

The HCAAO is not a charity and the receipt issued for the ticket cannot be used for tax purposes.

RSVP: Dr. Tina Martimianakis <tina.martimianakis@utoronto.ca>

Please indicate the TOTAL number and names of the people attending.


We are grateful to the management and associates of the Grand Luxe for their generous support.


HCAAO Distinguished Guest Speaker Series 2013: Professor Douzinas

Featured a lecture by Dr. Costas Douzinas: “Between catastrophe and resistance: Greece and the future of Europe”.


‘The ‘new world order’ announced in 1989 was the shortest in history.  From the Arab spring, to Puerta del Sol, Syntagma Square and Occupy, protests and uprisings have erupted all over the world. History has started moving again as we enter a new age of resistance and radical change.  The timing of new resistances and uprisings is unpredictable but their occurrence certain. Both mainstream political science and radical philosophy failed to predict this rebirth of history and have remained skeptical about the recent uprisings. The talk will argue that the resistance movements are well ahead and offer an invaluable corrective to political theory. All major themes of political philosophy, including the theory and practice of resistance, need to be re-visited in the light of recent experience.

The talk examines the causes that led to the current socio-economic, political and humanitarian crisis and the types, strategies and forms of resistance that have emerged in the last three years. The Greek people face a stark choice between accepting the catastrophic austerity imposed by the troika or continuing on the path of resistance which will lead the power system that brought the country to its knees to its end. Europe faces the same choice. The future of democracy and of the idea of Europe are currently played out in their place of birth.’

Dr. Costas Douzinas, is Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London.

Lecture to be followed by wine & cheese reception.

Date & Time: Thursday, April 4th, 2013, 6:30pm
Place: Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, First Floor, University of Toronto (just south of the St. George subway station)

This is a free event, but seating is limited and registration is required.
Follow this link to register online: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/13860/

This event is organized by the Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario (HCAAO) in association with the HHF Chair of Modern Greek History at York University, with the generous support of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation (HHF).
View Poster

A tribute to Theo Angelopoulos and his “Cinema of Contemplation”:

Lecture by Andrew Horton, the Jeanne H. Smith Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of Oklahoma
Organized by the Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario and the HHF Chair in Modern Greek History at York University
Date & time: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 6:30pm
Venue: 200 College Street, Wallberg Building Room 116 University of Toronto

View Poster

Theo Angelopoulos, one of the most treasured filmmakers of the 20th century, died on January 24, 2012 at the age of 76. This event is a tribute to the artist and his art on the occasion of the one year anniversary of his so untimely and tragic death.

Building on his own research, which includes two published books and numerous essays on Angelopoulos’ films as well as over thirty years of interviews with the director, Dr. Horton will share the nature and importance of Angelopoulos’ films with clips from films including Eternity and a Day (1998), Ulysses’ Gaze (1995), and The Weeping Meadow (2004). He will explore how Angelopoulos often brought the present, history and myth together in a single sequence or shot, thus offering us who live in a frenzied paced world, a “cinema of contemplation”, in which we as viewers are free to enter scenes and characters on a variety of levels that are not possible in the non-stop swift editing pace of most of contemporary Hollywood cinema.

Andrew Horton is an award winning screenwriter and author of twenty seven books on film, screenwriting, literature and culture including The Films of Theo Angelopoulos: A Cinema of Contemplation (Princeton U. Press, 1999).