Opening Remarks By Prof. Theodore Tolias, President, HCAAO, at DGSS 2010

Professor Pandermalis,

Distinguished guests,

Dear colleagues and students,

Dear friends and volunteers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the inaugural lecture of the Distinguished Guest Speaker Series, organized by the Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario.

As you all know, the topic of tonight’s lecture is “The Acropolis Museum: Architecture and Collections” and the speaker is Professor Pandermalis, President and Curator of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens.

In the audience here tonight are political and consular dignitaries, leading academics in the fields of Classics and Archaeology from across Ontario and beyond, Ontario university leaders, distinguished members of the Arts & Culture community, patrons of the Arts, prominent journalists, students, volunteers, and notable members of the community at large.

We are delighted that you were able to join us tonight to learn more about this spectacular new museum and its collections. We apologize for not been able to recognize each one of you by name because of time constraints.

This event was put together in partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, the Consulate General of Greece in Toronto and in collaboration with the HHF Chair of Modern Greek History at York University. Without them, this event could not have taken place. Thank you.

Also, this event would not have taken place without the generous support of several organizations, businesses and individuals listed in the program flyer. We are grateful to all of you. Thank you.

The Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario (HCAAO) was established in 1991 and is the Association of Canadian Academics of Hellenic descent working as faculty members in 14 Ontario Universities.

A core part of our mission is to facilitate communication, collaboration, exchanges and partnerships between Canadian and Greek Academics, professionals, students and people of Letters, Arts & Culture.

We know that in acting as enablers and catalysts in this way, we are helping to create value in this diverse and cosmopolitan community of ours here in Toronto and beyond.

In its long history, Hellenism has been relevant only to the extent that it was cosmopolitan and outward looking. Cosmopolitanism is also Canada’s brand and it is recognized as such worldwide. Tonight’s event brings these great traditions together for the benefit of all. It brings together two great ambassadors of universal values and traditions: The Royal Ontario Museum and the Acropolis Museum.

We are grateful of the ROM’s warm reception, hospitality and generous support of this event. We are also grateful to Professor Pandermalis for accepting our invitation.

Thank you.