Πέμπτη, 8 Μαρτίου 2018

Acting Classes by Stratos Tzortzoglou and Con Horgan

NEW YORK – The well-known Greek actor Stratos Tzortzoglou and Actors Studio Member Cornelius (Con) Horgan are offering acting classes in Manhattan. Having studied among some of the Actors Studio greats including Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Ellen Burstyn, Alec Baldwin, and Estelle Parsons, Horgan is a sought after instructor. Tzortzoglou- known for his breakthrough starring role as Orestes in the films Landscape in the Mist and Ulysses’s Gaze with Harvey Keitelboth directed by the Palme D’Or winner Theo Angelopoulos, and as Stavros in Up, Down and Sideways opposite Irene Papas under the direction of the 5-time Academy Award nominee Michael Cacoyannis (Zorba the Greek).
The 9-time Academy Award nominee Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander) compared Tzortzoglou to “a Stradivarius violin,” adding that “the great actors are great instruments.”
The chairman of Paramount Pictures Jim Gianopulos said, “Stratos is destined for great things, he has a unique way of capturing the audiences with his charm, his authenticity and has truly mastered his art form. He is bound to succeed in the American entertainment industry.”
The Oscar-winning actress for Moonstruck Olympia Dukakis said that “Stratos has a lot to offer to the American film industry in his unique sense of acting, combining talent, intuition, passion, and determination.”
Tzortzoglou completed his masterclasses in LA with Ivanna Chubbuck whose students include Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, James Franco, Sylvester Stallone, and with Aaron Speiser whose students include Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Gerard Butler, and Marion Cotillard. Speiser said about Tzortzoglou, “In all my experience, I have never met an actor as dedicated and talented as Stratos.”
In their class, Tzortzoglou and Horgan detail the greatest lessons they have learned through their momentous careers— the struggles and successes that made them so well-known today.
“Education has always been an important part of my life,” Tzortzoglou said in a statement.
“The teachers, mentors, and those who gave me opportunities along the way have made me feel blessed because they taught me the value of striving to be your best. I’m delighted to be part of this new wave of education. As my mentor Karolos Koun once said, ‘We must believe in miracles, in order for miracles to happen.’”
Acting classes are taking place at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 337 East 74th Street in Manhattan, on Mondays from 6-10 PM. More information is available by phone: 917-579-3707 or email: stratosleo@gmail.com.
Greek actor Stratos Tzortzoglou. Photo: Courtesy of Stratos Tzortzoglou
Well-known Greek actor Stratos Tzortzoglou and Con Horgan are teaching acting classes in Manhattan. Photo: Courtesy of Stratos Tzortzoglou

Τρίτη, 13 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Stratton Stevens, The Departure of Α Nobleman

Written by Justine Frangouli-Argyris

The Montreal Greek community recently lost a patriot, a proud Greek, a patron who supported and strengthened the community and its members.

Stratton Stevens, one of the most prominent personalities of Hellenism in Canada, lost his battle with life last week. He was often voted Montreal's most eligible bachelor and was well known for the glamorous receptions at his impressive residence on Montreal’s Golden Mile. He was a true cosmopolitan who did not limit himself to the Greek environment of Montreal but became a man of the world through his relationships with the most important people on the planet.

His most famous friendship was with legendary Canadian Prime Minister Pierre-Elliott Trudeau with whom he enjoyed dinners, conversations and trips to the Greek islands, in the immediate vicinity of which current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was often to be found.

Due to his closeness with the Trudeau family, Stratton Stevens was able to help politicians of Greek origin stand out in the Liberal Party while also supporting them economically at the same time.

Stratton Stevens, or Stratos Skafidas, was born in Montreal, Canada on April 15, 1932 to Greek parents. His father, Dionysios Tipaldos-Skafidas, hailed from the island of Cefalonia while his mother, Eugenia Poulides, was from Constantinople and Prussia. Her father, Efstratios Poulides, arrived in Canada in 1866.

Stratos' father, who was born in Typaldata, a village just outside Lixouri, emigrated to Canada in 1902 (the day his mother was born), first arriving at New York's Ellis Island and then, by train, to Dalhousie Station at Place Viger in Montreal. He was a little boy, only 11 years old, and Stratos loved to relate the story that his Dad claimed to be 17 in order to land a job in the construction company that built the Québec City bridge, only to be turned down because he looked so young. 

His father would return to Montreal and begin working in fruit distribution, initially earning $100 a year and eventually opening his own store in 1912. He would go on to support George Tzanetakos, the originator of United Amusements, a company that held the distribution rights to many films. However, his wealth would came in large part from the stock market.

Stratos' parents married in 1923 and bore five children: Harry, who would  become the first surgeon of Greek descent in Canada and take on the position of director at the Reddy Memorial, one of the country's oldest hospitals, two beautiful girls, Andrianna and Helen, as well as Stratton and his twin brother, George, a chartered accountant.

Stratton Stevens began working hard early on, opening his first restaurant at a very tender age. Anxious and smart, Stratton would quickly expand his business interests to include two hotels, other restaurants and even some kiosks at Montreal’s memorable World's Fair, Expo 67. He became a shipowner and made several acquisitions in real estate, making him one of the richest Hellenes in Canada.

The genius of the man lied in the fact that he did not simply amass material wealth but, given his charismatic persona, was able to create lifetime friendships with many prominent individuals and families---from the Guccis to the Trudeaus.

His friendship with late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau was a very close one and they were often seen eating together in Greek restaurants and holidaying in Greece. He maintained close ties with the whole Trudeau family including current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canadian Supreme Court Justice, Antonio Lamer, was also a close friend and regular attendee at Stratton’s receptions where he would join the elite of the political and business world of Montreal.

Stratton Stevens was awarded  the Order of Canada,  the highest award given to a Canadian Citizen.

Stratton will be remembered as a distinguished Canadian and a true Hellene!

Τρίτη, 16 Ιανουαρίου 2018

Parenting In The 21st Century

Parenting In The 21st Century

With an emphasis on the psychology of the child and teen, the scientific committee of The Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal will hold their annual seminar entitled «Parenting In the 21st Century», on Sunday February 18, 2018 at the Greek Community Center of Greater Montreal, coordinated by Dr. Stavroula Christopoulos and Dr. Lila Amirali.

The subjects that will be discussed are:

1) Mindful and Attachment Based Parenting: Keys to Confident and Resilient  Children

Dr. Mary Tsonis, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist

2)  Growing up Healthy in a Digital World

Dr. Stacey Ageranioti Bélanger, MD, Ph.D, D.E.S Pediatric Neurology, CHU Ste-Justine

3) Parenting an Anxious Teen

Dr. Theodora Katerelos, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist

4) Landscape of Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents in Montreal and Concluding Remarks

Dr. Lila Amirali, MD, MMgmt (IMHL), Child psychiatrist, McGill University Health Center

The seminars will be followed by a question and answer period with our panel of experts.

Coffee and deserts will be offered.

Free Entrance

Sunday February 18, 2018, 2:00pm-4:30 pm

Hellenic Community Center “Adrian Maris”

5757 Av Wilderton, Montréal, QC H3S 2K8

Τρίτη, 4 Απριλίου 2017

Liberals win Saint-Laurent riding byelection!!!

Liberals win Saint-Laurent riding byelection

By Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Emmanuella Lambropoulos, the 26-year-old school teacher who easily won Monday's federal byelection for the Liberals in the riding of Saint-Laurent, can credit her victory to a "perfect storm," her supporters say.
Once Lambropoulos became her party's candidate after a nomination process riven with controversy, she became the heavy favourite in a Montreal riding that has sent Liberals to the House of Commons ever since it was created in the 1980s.
"I'm sure it will hit me a little later," Lambropoulos said after a victory speech at an Italian restaurant in the riding that served as the party's byelection headquarters.
Lambropoulos claimed about 60 per cent of the vote, a convincing win over her closest competitor, Conservative party candidate Jimmy Yu, who managed less than 20 per cent of the vote.
Her real battle, as it turns out, was at the nomination level.
Alan DeSousa, the popular mayor of the borough of Saint-Laurent, was not allowed by the party to run for the nomination, and insists he was never given a reason why.
When that happened, "the Greeks had their chance," said Justine Frangouli, a member of a local Greek feminist association, who was among the 100 supporters who showed up to celebrate the victory.
"I knew we had it."
Lambropoulos had been up against former Quebec cabinet minister Yolande James, widely expected to replace Stephane Dion, the former Liberal leader who resigned his seat to become ambassador to Germany and the European Union.
Frangouli said voters in the riding were upset that DeSousa couldn't run and didn't want to vote for James, whom they accused of being "parachuted" into the riding by the party.
"Lambropoulos lived a perfect storm," Frangouli said.
John Theodosopoulos, president of the Hellenic Congress of Quebec, said some people in the riding were upset because they felt the Liberals wanted them to vote for James.
"All those things combined for a perfect storm for (Lambropoulos)," he said. "We are proud of her Greek heritage, but we are particularly proud of her credentials."
Lambropoulos worked in the Saint-Laurent riding office of Dion, who held the seat since 1996.
"I looked up to him," she said.
Saint-Laurent is a particularly diverse riding, with over half of its population born outside Canada, 40 per cent of whom arrived in the country after the year 2000.
The riding is also home to one of the biggest industrial hubs in the province, and the second biggest in Montreal.
Major aerospace firms such as Bombardier and CAE employ thousands in the riding, as do big pharmaceutical companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline.
"She is young and pure," Frangouli said of the new Liberal MP. "Pure in politics and sophisticated in her thinking."
Lambropoulos might be new to politics, but she quickly got the MP treatment by her Liberal party handlers: after only a few minutes of questions, she was spirited away from the cameras by party employees.
Four other byelections took place on Monday; the Liberals won in Ottawa and the Markham-Thornhill riding north of Toronto, while the Conservatives cruised to victory in two votes in Calgary.
By Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press

Δευτέρα, 13 Μαρτίου 2017

Sophie Durocher et Le Vote Ethnique!

Je ne pleurerai pas pour vous Sophie Durocher…

Je ne pleurerai pas pour vous parce que la Communauté grecque a soutenu Emmanuella Lampropoulos, qui a grandi dans la communauté, fidèle à son héritage greco-québécois et greco-canadien.

Je ne pleurerai pas pour vous Sophie Durocher, puisque, à titre de journaliste, vous devriez comprendre les faits tels qu’ils le sont :

Les Québécois constituent 80% de cette population et n’ont pas besoin de soutien extra.  Ils sont les habitants naturels de la belle province de Québec.

Stéphane Dion n’avait pas besoin de soutien extra de la part du Québec.

Il avait tout, c’était évident. Je suis certaine qu’il a été endossé par plusieurs organisations québécoises.  Et c’était juste.

Sophie Durocher, vous les Quebequois , vous êtes mainstream.

Et nous appartenons avec fierté aux communautés ethniques, nous aimons, adorons le QUEBEC et les Québécois et nous sommes fiers de parler trois langues.   

Peut-être devriez-vous commencer à apprendre à propos de la diversité du Québec !  Il n’est jamais trop tard pour arrêter d’utiliser les fameuses paroles de mon bien-aimé Jacques Parizeau contre le vote ethnique !

Justine Frangouli-Argyris

I Won't Cry For You, Sophie Durocher!

I would like to answer to Sophie Durocher and her article on ethnic voters and Quebec nationalism!

I won't cry for you Sophie Durocher ...

I won't cry for you because the Greek Community supported Emmanella Lampropoulos who grew up in the community being faithful to her heritage as a Greek-Quebecer and as a Greek Canadian.

I won't cry for you Sophie Durocher who, being a journalist you should understand the real facts:
Quebecers are the 80% of this population and they don't need any extra support. They are the natural inhabitants of beautiful Quebec.

Stephan Dion did not need any extra support from Quebec.

He had it all, it was just obvious.I am sure he was endorsed by various Quebec organizations. And it was fair. 

Sophie Durocher you are the main stream.

And we proudly belong to the ethnic communities, we love, adore QUEBEC and the Quebecers and we are proud to speak three languages.

Maybe you should start learning about Quebec's diversity Sophie Durocher! It's never too late to stop using my beloved Jacques Parizeau's famous words against the ETHNIC VOTE!

Justine Frangouli-Argyris

Δευτέρα, 6 Μαρτίου 2017

All You Would Want to Know About a Notary’s Work in Quebec!

Justine Frangouli-Argyris

You may think that a notary is an elderly man enclosed in an old dusty office, his mind overwhelmed with tedious bureaucratic details. However, in today’s world, a notary can be an elegant, sophisticated lady who works around the clock, juggling both motherhood and community service at the same time.

I recently contacted such a young female notary who is constantly lending her expertise by providing answers to questions one would ask about various notarial issues. Her name is Evangelia-Angie Pelonis and she is the proud mother of two young children. Besides being a hard-working professional, Ms. Pelonis is involved in various non-profit organizations at the same time.

Evangelia-Angie Pelonis is a Montreal notary who completed her legal studies at Université de Montréal and was received by the Chambre des notaires du Québec in February of 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science), a Bachelor of Law, and a graduate certificate in notarial law. 

 How do the roles of lawyer and notary differ?

Lawyers and notaries have the same background in that both professional orders require a law degree for admittance. Following a bachelor of laws, a future notary will need to complete a master’s degree in notarial law, and a four month articling period before they can be admitted into the order of notaries. It therefore takes at least 4 years of university in addition to the articling in order to become a notary.

Notaries play three roles in their daily practice: public officer, officer of the court and legal advisor. To sum up a list that’s too exhaustive to list here, we primarily advise clients on any legal matter and draft contracts for them to sign with the intention of avoiding legal conflicts and confusion. What sets us apart from lawyers (attorneys) is mainly the fact that we cannot represent clients in litigious situations. If a file of ours becomes contested then we must recuse ourselves since we need to remain impartial and therefore cannot represent one party against another.

 Is this divison of responsibilities becoming less defined? For example, is a notary not able to handle an uncontested divorce today?

 There are many fields in which notaries and lawyers overlap. We can do lots of things lawyers can and vice versa. Since notaries are impartial and often serve as mediators and problem solvers, the tendency towards preventive justice and out of court settlements means that our role is more important than ever in the legal sphere today.

 Notaries now have the capacity to handle uncontested divorces since the 21st of February. We were not able to in the past because it was argued that divorce is of a contested nature in and of itself, which is something that I do not personally agree with. We are actually very well positioned to handle divorces due to our knowledge and practice of marital law on a daily basis. All marriage contracts signed in Quebec must be done so before a notary, which of course includes the legal advice that comes with it, and we already settle dissolutions of marriages due to death; it is only logical then that we may submit divorce agreements to the courts in the case of a couple who agrees upon the terms of their separation.

 What requests represent the bulk of your workload?

 Real estate transactions typically represent an important part of the average notary’s workload. This is the case because every mortgage (hypothec) signed in Quebec has to be instrumented by a notary. We are also experts in title examinations, and in solving problems that exist, and preventing problems that may arise.

 The second largest segment of my practice personally, is estate law. The notarized will is the only kind that does not need to be probated following death, so we are very often solicited to draft and sign our clients’ wills. To this we add the signing of the protective mandate, which is also commonly known as a “living will”; it is basically a power of attorney only valid in the case where the person who signed it is declared legally incapable of representing themselves.

 We counsel clients on, and also handle, estate liquidation following someone’s death. We can settle an estate from start to finish, which relieves the burden from the liquidators or the heirs.

 Given the persistent strength of the real estate market, notaries have been very busy. How long do you see the condominium market can last?

 What most people don’t realise is how few notaries there are in Quebec. There are currently only 3800 notaries in the entire province. When all mortgages have to cross the desk of a notary, that makes for quite a busy profession!

 We are continuing to see a steady and strong real estate market in Quebec. The prices of homes seem to have stabilized and continue to increase, however at a slower pace than we saw during the decade of 2000-2010. As for the condominium market, demand is still high, however supply is also high. What we see in this case is that condos in desirable areas (ex: Downtown, Griffintown, Bois Franc, Plateau Mont-Royal and some parts of Laval) remain relatively easy to sell. We currently do feel, however, that it is a buyer’s market at the moment.  

 Do you receive inquiries concerning client's issues with their properties or dealings back home in Greece? What kind are those?

 Many of our clients are of Greek origin, so we are often asked about how to handle their properties back home. Often we are asked questions about land disputes, mostly regarding vacant land or agricultural land. Many clients of Greek origin have taken advantage of the transfer of property to their children that was possible without tax consequences up to a few years ago (γονικη παροχη). We also help Canadians settle estates in Greece, which is not an easy task from a distance; it takes longer than it would in Quebec, but eventually ends up settled.

 How does one go about finding a trustworthy notary? What should he or she look out for?

 Direct referral is the way most of our clients come to our offices, so it’s a good idea to ask family and friends if they’ve used a notary they were happy with. Like with many things, the lowest price should not be someone’s priority when looking for a notary.  Instead, one should look at the notary’s qualifications and experience in certain types of files. Also, because notaries and their clients can have long term relationships, it is important that the client and the notary feel comfortable working together.

 Can a Quebec notary help with affairs in other parts of Canada? In the US?

 We cannot act as lawyers in the rest of Canada or in the US because our jurisdiction is limited to Quebec. However we can sign notarised deeds relating to Quebec matters anywhere in the world. I myself have signed acts in Greece, Mexico and Florida.

 We can however help a client from Quebec who is dealing outside the province be it by signing a power of attorney, affidavit, or any legal documents that need to be signed before a notary or commissioner of oaths. We also help foreigners deal with property they have in Quebec, often from a distance, via powers of attorney. Since we are not familiar with laws and procedures in other jurisdictions, we keep a wide network of legal professionals in other provinces, states and countries.

 How important is it for an individual to have a will? What should they be conscious about?

 Every adult should have a proper will; I can’t stress this enough. Many people do not know what happens to their estate when they die without a will, and do not like what they hear when we explain the law to them. The only way to override the law is to prepare a will, ideally with a notary in order to benefit from the legal advice and knowledge. People should be conscious of the fact that a will provides surviving family members with peace of mind, tax savings and avoidance of heavy legal requirements should minor children inherit from their parents or other family members, only to name a few advantages. We have had many estates fall into court procedures because of issues that would have been avoided with a simple meeting with a notary to prepare a notarized will.

 How difficult is it to play well the roles of a wife, a mother and a busy notary?

 I am lucky enough to have an extremely supportive family. The adage of “it takes a village” rings very true in our household. My husband has been supportive during my career path since I was an articling student, and has provided nothing but encouragement and motivation. Along with sharing all household and parenting tasks equally, this allows for me to enjoy both my career and my family. My parents and parents-in-law are integral parts of our and our children’s’ lives, and thankfully love to cook and feed everyone!

 The struggle for that famous “balance” does certainly always hang in the background, but I am learning that we don’t need to do everything, instead we should focus on the things that are the most important to us. I also believe that if we seek perfection in every aspect of our lives, there is a good chance we will be disappointed with the outcome. I take things one day at a time, and think that it’s very important to keep an open and honest dialogue with those we love most.

 Do you mix yourself in the Greek Community things?

 I have always been involved in the Greek community to varying degrees throughout the years, and hope to increase my participation in the coming years. Maintaining my Greek cultural background and ensuring that my children get the chance to do this as well is very important to me.