Thousands attend Laval Hellenic Summer Festival

A double celebration for Canada Day and Greek heritage

Martin C. Barry

Thousands of people of Hellenic heritage from all over Quebec had the opportunity on Canada Day weekend to take a refresher in their cultural origins when the Laval Greek Orthodox community held its annual Hellenic Summer Festival on the grounds of Holy Cross Church on Souvenir Rd. in Chomedey.

A big yearly event

The Laval Hellenic Summer Festival is one of the biggest Greek cultural events that takes place in Quebec each year. People arrive from as far as Ottawa and Toronto eager to meet and greet old friends as well as members of their families.

In Laval alone there are an estimated 39,000 Greek residents, with their numbers rising. All proceeds from each year’s festival support local Greek educational needs, as well as charitable causes in the Greek community.

The Canada Day cake

This year, stirring performances of traditional Greek dancing were given by students attending schools supported by the Greek Orthodox community of Laval. Another highlight each year on July 1 is a Canada Day celebration with a large Canadian flag cake.

As usual, the Hellenic folk dancing during the festival by Greek school students was exquisite

While the weather this past Canada Day for the V.I.P. event was rainy all day, by early evening the sun had started breaking through the clouds and it finally shone for a few hours before setting.

Rain impacts attendance

Denis Marinos, president of the Laval chapter of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal, said the weather had “made a big impact” on festival attendance which was off all day, but picked up that evening as Greek folk dancers were getting festival-goers into the mood to party.

“Hopefully things will hold up for us now and we’re going to have a good evening,” he told Newsfirst Multimedia. He was heartened by the fact that on the evening before, several hundred people turned up in the last few hours, contributing to the festival’s overall headcount.