Παρασκευή, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2018

A New Greek Origin Judge in Montreal!

Another prominent Greek origin legal mind, Dennis (Dionisios) Galiatsatos was nominated judge in Quebec this past August. Dennis Galiatsatos who was a prosecutor in high profile criminal cases is making history as the third Greek origin judge in Quebec ( Judge Hatzis and judge Dionysia Zerbisias)

It was in August that Quebec’s justice minister announced the nomination of five new judges Wednesday, including Dionisios (Dennis) Galiatsatos, the prosecutor who convicted Richard Henry Bain.

Galiatsatos was nominated to be a Quebec court judge alongside Johanne Gagnon, Kathlyn GauthierSonia Mastro Matteo and Benoît Gariépy.

According to the statement from the cabinet of the justice minister, Matteo Mastro and Galiatsatos will both serve as criminal court judges at the Montreal courthouse.
Mastro Matteo and Galiatsatos were prosecutors who both worked high-profile cases in Montreal.

Galiatsatos began working as a prosecutor in 2009. Mastro Matteo began in 2015.

Τρίτη, 16 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Chairman George brings the Greek-Chinese Party to Ottawa!

24 Hour Reminder! 

Don't miss the Party when Greece Collides with China in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre! (VIDEO)

This year 2018 is significant because it is the 20th anniversary of my 'dabbling' with Greek and Chinese music. Come and celebrate with me and my amazing band in Ottawa at the CD Release Party at the National Arts Centre on October 17 & 18 this week. We will be thrilled to see you. Watch the short video below for a bit of my verbal kitchen musings on multiculturalism and how this plays into our shows this week 
celebrating our CD Bringing the Greek Party to China!. 
CD Launch Concerts
Bringing the Greek Party to China!
National Arts Centre (Ottawa, Canada)
October 17 & 18  at 8:30pm

Bringing the Greek Party to China!
Φέρνοντας τὸ ἑλληνικὸ γλέντι στὴν Κίνα!

CD Release Concerts for Chairman George's groundbreaking Greek-Chinese fusion album Bringing the Greek Party to China!. Extravaganza featuring popular Greek songs performed in Mandarin Chinese. Chairman George and his band offer the perfect musical introduction, from one ancient culture to another. It’s a Mediterranean cruise up the Yangtze, and this is the party. Also features Fred Guignion (electric guitars), Yadong Guan (pipa), Ross Murray (drums), Anders Drerup (guitars, electric bass, vox) and Zichan Yang (guzheng). Ώπα! 干杯!

Hurry tickets are going fast!

Tickets are $35 (plus surcharges) and are available at the NAC Box Office or through Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-888-991-2787.

National Arts Centre Show Description HERE
Purchase your tickets online HERE

CLICK IMAGE BELOW to view the Official 2018 Music Video 'Golden Night'  

Δευτέρα, 15 Οκτωβρίου 2018


Justine Frangouli-Argyris

I learned about premature babies in Lefkada 55 years ago, as my mom had harbored two aunties with premature babies after they had come out of the local hospital leaving their newborn in the incubators. Thank God, the twins of my aunt Chrisavgi and the only baby boy of my aunt Marina had survived under the medical care and with my mom’s unconditional love. Today, they are grown-ups enjoying the gift of life.
Years later in Montreal I met the Neonatal specialist dr. Apostolos Papageorgiou whom I interviewed many times, so I learned everything about premature babies and incubators.

But what has made me really respect these special neonatal units in our hospitals was the fact that our cousin Stam Conidaris and their mother Tonia gave birth to triplets of whom two survived through the meticulous care of the doctors and the nurses in the NICU at the Montreal Children’s Hospital!

Eleni and Loukas today are two beautiful children no different than their brother Nikos who was born on time.

The NICU at the Montreal Children’s Hospital is in dire need of funds though.

On November 7, 2018, join committee members Luciano D’Iorio, Helen Wolkowicz, Karen Aziz, Samantha Singer and Stam Conidaris at the Bell Centre to support our tiniest patients!

The Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) accounts for a third of its beds, and cares for the province’s sickest, tiniest babies, half of whom are born in other hospitals.

People’s support will help to ensure the gold-standard of care in the NICU, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year by funding the training these nurses require in the continually evolving field of neonatal medicine.

“We have a unit that includes 52 beds, with 900 admissions per year,” said Neonatologist Dr. Thérèse Perreault at last year’s event. “It’s a difficult situation for parents to see their premature babies on life support. This fund has allowed us to purchase much needed equipment, but most of all it has contributed to education for our staff, so we can be better prepared to treat these babies and react to emergency situations. This level of excellent care would not be possible without private donations, such as those coming to us from Tiny Survivors.”

*                   The fundraising committee along with the Albert and Florence Aziz Family Foundation calls for financial aid:

*                  TThis year, we have an ambitious and auspicious goal; raising $77,777 for the NICU at the Montreal Children’s Hospital!

Our kids are lucky.

Thanks to the exceptional care in the NICU, my son, Laurence was able to survive.

Born at 24 weeks and 5 days, Laurence weighed a mere 765 grams and was barely longer than a ruler at 31 centimeters.

Despite a rather dismal prognosis, Laurence was able to survive.
His survival would not have been possible without the help of the team at The Children’s.
Laurence’s story is one of over 900 stories at The Children’s every year!

We are forever grateful that 10 years later, we continue to celebrate and recognize the tireless efforts of the Neonatal Unit.

 We truly hope you can join us for a wonderful evening of food, drink, silent auctions, and raffles, with EMCEE’s Catherine Verdon-Diamond & Elias Makos of CityTV’s BT Breakfast Television.

Tickets are $150 (partial tax receipt to be provided) and can be purchased here: https://fondationduchildren.com/en/events/tiny-survivors

New this year! A limited quantity of VIP tickets available which include a unique private tour of the Bell Centre prior to the cocktail. Only 27 tickets available at $200 – get yours now!

 Show your support for our littlest patients by sponsoring the Tiny Survivors event!



To receive a sponsorship package and more details on how you can help, please contact
Alessia - 514-934-4846 #29237.

You can also show your support by donating prizes for our auction or raffle.
To find out more, please contact Maria.

You can also join our presenting sponsor in supporting Tiny Survivors. We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities available for you. Feel free to message me for more details.

Looking forward to seeing you again this year!

Παρασκευή, 5 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Say Yes For a Debt-Free Community

by Justine Frangouli-Argyris

And so, on Sunday, October 14th, we are called to a General Assembly of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal in order to vote on the sale of the Godin building for which a $10 million offer has been received.

As soon as the announcement was made, contrarian voices began to ring out against the sale, frivolous and irresponsible calls that leave me astonished especially since many have their origin amongst serious protagonists of our community.

The facts are as follows:

1.Currently, the property yields a paltry 1.6% ($158,000.00) while, at the same time, the Hellenic Community incurs annual interest payments of $800,000 on its debt;

2. The complex encompasses the historic J.-A. Godin building and a small hotel but the aging structure’s condition is unpredictable and indefinable, making for a nebulous economic calculation of the property’s value when it reverts back to the HCGM in 2053;

3. At a recent press conference, Mr. Trakakis stated that the HCGM has petitioned other potential buyers but to no avail, given the unprofitability of investing $10 million at 1.6%;

4.In 35 years from today, should rates rise (as is occurring presently), the HCGM will be facing even higher interest payments (for ex., $900,000 in annual payments).The Community will pay in mortage expenses from to today to 2033 up to $31,500,000 and even more;

5. There should be no consideration given to a sale exclusively to Greek hands, as has been mentioned, as any buyer, other than the hoteliers behind the current offer, Greek or other, will undoubtedly look to resell in quick order.

The arithmetic is sound. We are faced with the existential question of do we want to leave our next generation a community without debt or should we burden it with an HCGM mired in an endless debt spiral. 

Do we opt to sell the Godin complex (and, please, refrain from calling it “Holy Trinity Church” as there has been no Holy Trinity for 30 years now) and collect $10 million, here and now, or refuse this opportunity and risk the future of the HCGM itself.

And, of course, the debt of the HCGM is not as sinful as some people claim as the community center may have cost $3 million to build but is valued at over $30 million today. Those who are criticized for daring its undertaking did not drown us in debt, but, rather, left us with a highly prized and priced asset that serves as the nucleus of our community.

Now, at last, there is the possibility to free our community from the bonds of this painful debt. The children of our Socrates-Demosthenes schools cannot continue to live under the threat of a possible bankruptcy. For, as the community’s auditors have repeatedly pointed out, if the status quo is pursued, the day will come when the HCGM will be unable to repay its loan obligations, placing all its institutions and services in jeopardy.

The slogan “Do Not Sell Community Property” resounds very melodramatic. However, this sale must proceed, here and now, in order to rid the HCGM of its loan obligations.

The slogan should be “A Community Free Of Debt.”

That is why, on Sunday, October 14th, with hand in heart, and with an eye towards our children and grandchildren, we must vote YES to the sale.

Our community must survive and thrive, HERE and NOW!

As for any potential future investments in schools and homes for the elderly, it is not for us to discuss such scenarios at present. The next administration will be able to decide all this with its books free of debt and with $2.7 million on hand.



Κυριακή, 27 Μαΐου 2018

KERAMIKON: The Art of Modern Greek Ceramics!

Justine Frangouli-Argyris

A new store full of beautiful ceramic items made in Greece by acclaimed artists is now open in Montreal, featuring a selection of spectacular ceramics that can be used in everyday life or be presented as decorative objects. Its name is KERAMIKON and it's is centrally located at a most elegant gallery in the heart of Outremont.

Angeliki Kounenidakis, the owner of the store has selected these objects from the most talented Greek ceramists!

A theatre artist herself, Angeliki, having lived in Montreal since 2012, had long been an admirer of modern ceramic art and wished to create a cultural bridge between Quebec and Greece by disseminating this unique art form.

Deeply rooted in both cultures, ceramic art finds its contemporary expression in harmonious, delicate and graceful shapes, as well as unusual displays of colour.   Its abstract, minimalist forms, at times playful, at times surprisingly fluid, reveal a fascinating strength while expressing the organic relationship between the creators and their material.

Keramikon features items made by the fabous Greek ceramists : Catherina Bouga, Theodora Chorafas, Ilias Christopoulos,Margarita Ecclessiachou, Lenia Economou,George Vavatsis. Lately the work by the Quebecoise Marie Massin has been added to the collection.


612 avenue Champagneur, Outremont
QC H2V 3P6 

Angeliki Kounenidaki

(514) 649 4321


Κυριακή, 15 Απριλίου 2018

"Freedom Besieged:” Hope Springs From The Youth!

Written by Justine Frangouli-Argyris

With the title “Freedom Besieged,” the young Greek-Canadian director from Vancouver, Panayiotis Yiannitsos, attempts to complete his documentary about the post-crisis era in Greece.

Using captivating interviews with international personalities and the youth of Greece who have been trying to overcome the difficult times through innovative ideas, the Greek Canadian director carries out a dialogue beyond the criticisms of the crisis, seeking to open a new chapter with the hope of renewing the functionality of the state and its institutions.

A child of immigrants with an experiential relationship with Greece, Gianitisis attempts to balance the past and the future with his documentary, recounting stories with messages of optimism with an eye towards a vision of liberation from the crisis!

 Why Freedom Besieged?

I titled the movie Freedom Besieged inspired by the famous Dionysios Solomos' poem, "The Free Besieged", which was inspired by the third siege of Missolonghi, an important battle during the Greek War of Independence. One of Solomos' themes in the poem is the Greek fighters "freedom of the will", that is, the spiritual and psychological advantage they carried over their oppressors. It was in fact this strength of mind and soul, not sheer brute of force, that thrusted the Greeks to victory. Such is the focus of my film: the psychological path to freedom.

What is the film about?

Freedom Besieged is a feature-length documentary concerning the current economic and political climate of Greece and specifically how it has impacted the psychology of the nation's youth. The film follows the stories of several young Greeks and community leaders in their journey to re-discovering their identity as Greeks and the actions needed to re-ignite an era of innovation and prosperity in the country moving forward. In addition, the film includes the perspectives of several world-renowned intellectuals, politicians, and experts of various fields to offer insight and re-build a bridge of communication between young Greeks and the world around them.

What is your perception of the crisis in Greece?

My perception is that Greece will feel the effects of this economic crisis for years to come and the country will have to swallow the pill that is we will be under economic supervision for decades. That does not mean the country's youth are shackled to the floor, especially in this era of information and endless technological achievement. As a side effect of the crisis, many young entrepreneurs in the country today have a heightened sense of creativity and resilience that we have already seen produce groundbreaking and world-renowned work with limited resources. The conversation has shifted from taking place only in this stagnant era of crisis. One of my favourite phrases is, "Η άλλη Ελλάδα" (The other Greece). For the first time in many years, a foreshadowing of life after the crisis has begun for many young Greeks and what I am waiting for now is a Greek state that modernizes itself to catch up to them. Although I don't expect a complete overhaul of the Greek political system or way of governance, I do sense that the next party in power will have no choice but to find tangible ways of enacting change to engage the young population.

Have you experienced it through family, friends etc?

One of the moments that convinced me to create this documentary was while I was sitting around the dinner table with some of my friends in central Athens. We were all in our very early 20s in 2014 and I asked my friends what their goals and dreams were after graduating from University. Some in political science, agriculture, and micro-biology. I had mentioned that I was aspiring to open a new film production company. A good friend of mine turned to me, laughed, and said "What's wrong with you? We don't talk about our future, anymore. Ask me what I'm doing tomorrow." It was the laugh that struck me the most, that the notion of goal-setting for the future had become a futile exercise for this table of young, talented Greeks whilst for myself it was an expectation and a norm in provided by my home country of Canada. The difference was stark and worrisome. This tiny moment shook me to my core.

But I have also witnessed the resilience of the Greek people in many ways. Look no further than John Karkalatos who, for the past sixteen years, has run a youth development camp in the village of Kiveri, often self-financed, despite the fact that he is a modest farmer struggling to get by. That is the definition of self-sacrifice for the future and after coming to know his story I realized a film had to be made. There is also the unique fact that I participated in John's basketball camp when I was ten years old and have seen many young Greeks, including myself, benefit from his methods of empowerment over the years.

What elements make your documentary different from the other documentaries on the Greek crisis?

Because, frankly, this isn't a documentary about the Greek crisis. It mentions the past for ten minutes and then moves on to the future and into a conversation we've been needing to have with our nation's youth for decades. That is, one of hope and promise for a new Greece. The next version of this country and finally, one that includes a firm hold of the modern Greek identity. This is about a place where we challenge our children to come up with the next great transformative idea that will ignite the nation. This is a film in which Greek eco-villagers in the mountains of Evia island building Mongolian-style yurts are in the same film as Noam Chomsky, the European Commission in Brussels, and a basketball coach from a Peloponnese village of 1000 people. This is an unprecedented gathering of not only Greek minds, but minds from all over the world to talk not about the past, but about the path towards a new era of prosperity and innovation.

What is your message?

As Peter Economides' says in the film: "This economic crisis is a social crisis. And that social crisis stems from an identity crisis." Adding to that, in order to enact systematic change we must first heal the Greek individual. And in many instances, that is by enacting local change and empowering our communities with leaders whom children can build a sense of neighbourhood around and exist in a social environment that promotes self-respect, self-governance, discipline, teamwork, and pride in investing their future back home.

Where do you stand when you say there is innovation in Greece?

Young Greeks have withstood an incredible amount of pain to build their businesses and innovate over the course of the crisis. Working within such harsh conditions has made them increasingly resilient and creative, which has shown through in their world-renowned work. But, we should not take their innovative spirit for granted because I can tell you as someone who has been on the front lines that many Greeks who have fought for over a decade in the country to realize their dreams have grown tired. As we all know, many have left to succeed abroad. This attitude of innovating in spite of and against the inefficiencies of the state can only last so long. At some point, some support must be given to convince young Greeks to invest their future in the country again because these are some of the brightest and most creative minds Europe has to offer.

Why did you interview Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and not the prime minister Mr. Alexis Tsipras?

For close to three years, I have made over a dozen attempts to organize an interview with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to speak about the identity , psychology, and future of Greek youth in the nation. Unfortunately, I have not been granted this request. Kyriakos Mitsotakis agreed to interview, as have dozens of prominent figures from around the world, and for that I am grateful. The first step is communication. If Prime Minister Tsipras has a change of heart, and as he is the youngest Prime Minister since 1865, I would gladly hop on a plane to receive his perspective.

Do you think that the whole crisis was a financial conspiracy?

I believe that Greece is to fault for many things that led up to this collapse. Not only corruption within the political field but also individual corruption among its citizens that became a social norm. Having said that, Greece was aided and abetted by foreign conglomerates along the way to hide its debt so that others could cash in. But, again, this entire crisis, if you want to call it a financial conspiracy, was made possible because of the social and identity crisis that has existed in Greece since it regained its independence from the Ottoman Empire. To understand the "whole crisis", I really believe one must have a full view of the historical context that has taken Greece to where it is today.

Do you think that Greece can get out of the crisis with wishful thinking or with a few innovation projects here and there?

Greece needs much more than wishful thinking and a few bright ideas in the long term, but it is through the actions of a few major individuals that can start the fire needed to inspire a new vision throughout the country. That, for me, is without any doubt. It starts there, whether in an eco-village, a basketball court, a small bedroom. Greece needs a transformative idea.

How do you foresee the future of this young generation of Greeks?

Today, Greece is like a pot full of fertile soil. Its youth are among the most innovative and promising around the entire planet. But the truth is, if you do not supply fertile soil with light and water, sustainable growth is difficult.

Do you believe there is a lost generation from the crisis in Greece?

There are estimates from some experts that nearly 600,000 Greeks have left the country over the last decade. To put that into perspective, I've been told that is like 20 million people getting up and leaving from the United States. A statistic like this cannot be ignored. Having said that, I feel this label is a generalization that fits nicely into a headline but is not a reflection of reality once you spend significant time on the ground. The fact is, the many brilliant young Greeks who has stayed and fought for their future deserve more respect than to be labeled as fat left on the bone of this exodus. Young Greeks are tired of being caricatures of this crisis. In addition, many within the generation of youth who left during the crisis have gone on to accomplish extraordinary things in their education and within the workforce. What must be understood is that, frankly, many of them want to come back. The key is that they come back not for nostalgia's sake but with a plan. This generation is not yet lost.

How can your film offer a cure to the spread desease that has been called the debt crisis?

I'm often asked if my film contains the solutions to Greece's economic inefficiencies or the magic button to solving decades of political unrest. The fact is, this film will provide some answers with real testimony as to what type of social environment we need to create as citizens and community leaders in order to inspire our youth to want to look for the step-by-step reforms needed to turn this country around. This film is about the bridge between these two steps. 

What would you like to shout out to the world about your homeland?

Greece is a country in which has a proud and rich history, the cradle of western civilization, one of the food capitals of the world, and unparalleled natural beauty. Its people are among the most hospitable and caring on the planet. Make no mistake, much of what exists and survives in Greece today already is sought after by many hence the country welcomes tens of millions of visitors per year. The resources and the talent exist in hoards. Having said that, it is also a country in which has over the years squandered the opportunity to formulate an identity as a modern state. This is due to a lack of vision and the Greek people have paid dearly for this. But from within the ashes of this despair have risen a new generation for the world to see with the gusto, resilience, and creativity that would make the ancient innovators of the past proud. They have taken back their freedom from the death grip of the crisis and with or without the state, will move on, but I ask a bridge of communication be rebuilt. I hope my film helps start that conversation. 

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