Δευτέρα 11 Μαρτίου 2024

3rd Greek Fashion Show with Vassilis Zoulias Featuring Soprano Soula Parassidis


3rd Greek Fashion Show with Vassilis Zoulias

And Pericles Kondylatos


Opera soprano and cancer survivor Soula Parassidis



The internationally renowned Greek designer, Vassilis Zoulias, has been selected by the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal (LGWM) to present his summer creations at their 3rd Annual Greek Fashion Show in Montreal, this April 16th, in support of the project for the very early diagnosis of ovarian and endometrial cancer, the “DOvEEgene.”

 "I am thrilled that, through my work, I can contribute to such important medical research that has the potential to spare millions of women from ovarian cancer, this insidious disease known as the "silent killer.” I commend the LGWM for taking the lead in disseminating the DOvEEgene research and supporting it financially while promoting Greek fashion at the same time," said Vassilis Zoulias.


The fashion show will also showcase the talent of the well known jewelry designer, Pericles Kondylatos, who will present his latest collection inspired by his love of nature.

The spectacle will be highlighted by the presence of Zoulias’ muse, internationally acclaimed Canadian soprano, Soula Parassidis, who is a cancer survivor herself and who will strut the catwalk in a special Zoulias’ gown created expressly for the evening's live auction.

 Ambassador Robert Peck and his wife, Maria Pantazi, will be the honorary hosts of the event which will be co-ordinated by philanthropist Maria Fotopoulos.

Mr. Peck, the former Canadian ambassador to Greece, noted that "it is a pleasure to serve, alongside my spouse Maria, as honorary co-chair, of this fashion show in support of the DOvEEGene project that has shown great promise for the very early detection of ovarian and endometrial cancer.”

“We admire both the mission and philanthropic endeavours of the LGWM and would like to recognize the generous support of the Greek fashion icon, Vasilios Zoulias. The participation of his friend and collaborator, Soula Parassidis, will be memorable indeed."

 Five women, THE FABULOUS FIVE, who have survived ovarian and breast cancer will also walk the runway: They are Amalia Markakis, Yula Kiskiras, Ioanna Photiadis, Sheyda Senoglou, Josée Barbe.

Justine Fragouli-Argyris, president of the LGWM, stated that “we, the Greeks of Canada, are grateful to the two renowned Greek designers, Vassilis Zoulias and Pericles Kondylatos, for their participation in this event in support of the DOvEEgene. a pioneering molecular detection test whose dissemination and universal acceptance by the medical community will help save future generations of women from ovarian and endometrial cancer.”

“At the same time, we will be showcasing acclaimed Greek fashion and I am very proud that the LGWM is in the forefront of the promotion of Greek creativity abroad.”

 “This year we are blessed to have the participation of world class soprano, Soula Parassidis, who will both highlight the allure of Greek fashion as well as the storied history of Greek opera by enchanting us with an aria or two sung by Maria Callas."

The Doveegene Project

Dr. Lucy Gilbert is in the final stages of the clinical research for the new molecular “Pap-type” test that will detect ovarian and endometrial cancer very early. Many LGWM female members have already taken the test and two were diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in their abdomen and underwent hysterectomy, saving them from the silent killer that is ovarian cancer.

 While many researchers are working on ovarian and endometrial cancers, Dr. Gilbert is the only local researcher looking for an early detection test. She is uniquely positioned to achieve this goal. While labs in the US may have more funding, her expertise as a physician and her access to a diversity of women within our public healthcare system are key to enabling her to finish the clinical study needed to confirm her discovery. This is historical and it is happening right here, in Montreal! 


About the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal (LGWM)


The Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal is a foundation registered with CRA, a non profit organization that promotes cultural and feminist issues among its other activities.

 The 15 women from various professions and backgrounds who comprise the board of directors of the LGWM are Canadian ladies of Hellenic origin with passion and dedication to various causes. From its creation in 2016, the LGWM has promoted unique aspects of Greek culture beginning with their first major undertaking, the “STATUE OF THE GREEK IMMIGRANT,” a work by the esteemed international sculptor, Giorgos Houliaras, that was donated to the City of Montreal on the occasion of its 375th anniversary and has become one of the city’s major landmarks.

 With numerous successful events to its credit, the LGWM has been a major force behind the research of the DOvEEgene Project being carried out by Dr. Lucy Gilbert's team at McGill University and which will soon become the (new) tool for the prevention of ovarian and endometrial cancer. 

 Although its roots derive from traditional Hellenic culture, the LGWM has influenced and continues to influence Montreal’s macro-culture, leaving its mark on the modern cultural landscape of the city.



A letter from Dr. Lucy Gilbert 


Dear Friends and Well-Wishers,


On behalf of my clinical and research team and all the women whose lives you have positively impacted, I would like to thank the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal and the Greek community at large for your wholehearted and generous support of the DOvEEgene project to Detect Ovarian and Endometrial cancers Early using a genomic pap test.

 This genomic pap test is the only one of its kind in the world to be undergoing Phase 3  clinical trial testing in healthy women. We began the clinical trial in May 2021, and, to date, we have tested 2736 of the 3600 women we intend to test. So far, we have identified 27 cancers. The test also identifies women who are carrying a hereditary mutation that substantially increases their risk of ovarian and breast cancer. As such, the DOvEEgene test identifies current cancer as well as future risk. No other test does this. The results have far exceeded our expectations. Buoyed by your generous support and the fact that even small improvements have profound consequences, we continue to make refinements to the test. 

 The very first screening test for women’s cancers--the pap test invented by a Greek Physician, Dr George Papanicolaou--has saved millions of lives.  It has driven cervical cancer from the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among Canadian women to 14th place.

 Ovarian and endometrial cancer is currently the third most common cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women. Your help has been crucial in allowing us to get the DOvEEgene trial off the ground and your continued support will help us make this test part of routine preventive health care for women.

 Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Lucy Gilbert, MD, Chair, Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology (GBDO), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), McGill University


Director, MUHC Gynecologic Oncology Division

McGill University Health Care





Παρασκευή 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2023

Glam and Fundraising for Foodies at the LGWM Christmas Gala!


Glam, Fundraising and Food at the LGWM Christmas Gala!


ByJustine Frangouli-Argyris


 Despite the severe snowstorm that battered the city on Sunday, December 3rd, 400 guests flocked to the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal's (LGWM) annual Christmas gala, a culinary happening that was dedicated to the historic "Afroditi" Greek bakery this time.

 The profits of the event, which amounted to $50,000 this year, were given to the great researcher, professor and Director of Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology at McGill, Dr. Lucy Gilbert, in order to support the completion of her "DOvEEgene" project, the new preventive test for the detection of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

 This is a pioneering molecular test which takes fluid from the fallopian tubes in order to ascertain, the existence of pre-cancerous or atypical cells since, as Dr. Gilbert has published, ovarian cancer forms in the fallopian tubes, circulates through the blood and lymphnotes and only reaches the ovaries at a late stage with 75% of the instances resulting in death. In the clinical research conducted by Dr. Gilbert on over 3000 women so far, 1% were found with precancerous cells and proceeded to a hysterectomy while 7% were found with atypical cells and have been enlisted for repeated checks every two years.

 Dr. Lucy Gilbert, who raved about Athens during her trip to Greece this summer, revealed that she met with the then Chancellor of the University of Athens, Dr. Thanos Dimopoulos, with whom she initiated contacts in order for Greece to receive the DOvEEgene test once it has been approved and certified by Health Canada.

 "The DOvEEgene test will be given to Greece as the LGWM has contributed greatly to its clinical research, both monetarily and by disseminating the project, since ¼ of the women who have undergone the test come from the Greek-Canadian community,"  announced the renowned researcher.

 Personally, as President of the LGWM who had the good fortune to accompany Dr. Gilbert to Greece, a woman who has 7 sisters who are all distinguished doctors in their own right in the United States, I am very proud of the LGWM's participation in this research that has, not only a scientific value since it will save millions of women's lives in the future, but is also imbued with the deep piety of the research doctor herself who believes in the power of prayer!

 During the course of the evening, the Secretary-General of the Canadian Ministry of Tourism and MP for Vimy, Annie Koutrakis, and the MP for Saint-Laurent, Emmanuela Lambropoulos, were honored for their promotion of bilateral relations between Greece and Canada as was Archon Anestis Karagiannidis for his entrepreneurship, phlotelism and long-standing support for the Greek Orthodox Church of Canada.

 Delicious hot appetizers with a nouveau Greek take were prepared by Chef Ted Dranias of "Petros Taverna" while Chef Barbara of "Embassy Plaza" offered up tasty bites influenced by the Mediterranean flavours of Greece and Italy.

 The dessert table that featured traditional Greek Christmas deserts as well as modern confectionary masterpieces was created by the chefs of "Afroditi Bakery" led by Christos Hatzimarkou.

 The fundraising gala was welcomed by the Consul-General of Greece in Montreal, Katerina Varvarigou, and Marie-Hélène Laramée, president of the MUHC Foundation, a fundraising institute of McGill University, who emphasized the important contribution of the LGWM to the DOvEEgene Project.

 The evening was hosted by the internatinally known journalist and Professor of Journalism at Concordia University, Aphrodite Salas, while Artemis Lagopoulou captivated everyone with the performance of her musical group . Co-chairs of the event were the LGWM's treasurer, Vicky Georgiadou, and its secretary, Eleni Drakopoulou.

 Among those present at the happening were the mayor of Pierrefonds, Dimitrios Beis, the municipal councillors of Montreal, Mary Deros and Effie Giannou, the municipal councillors of Laval, Sandra El Hallouh, Vassilis Karydogiannis and Aglaia Revelakis, as well as the presidents of many women's organizations including Melpa Kamateros (Shield of Athena), Ioanna Tsoumplekas ("Filia,"  the Friendship-organization of the Third Age), Belle Grivakis (Hellenic Ladies Benevolent Society), Panagiota Tsitouras (St. George's Philoptochos) and Denise Vourtzoumis (Pink in the City).

 Food and wine were plentiful in a Greek-centric evening with TV coverage from Dimitris Papadopoulos' "Edo Montreal," Giorgos Giusmas' "Kalimera Patrida" and Nasos Papanikolopoulos' "Zoume Montreal.".


Παρασκευή 14 Απριλίου 2023

“How Far do You Want to Go?—Lessons From a Common Sense Billionaire.”


By author/journalist

Justine Frangouli-Argyris 

Like all authors, I am a voracious reader. Recently, I packed my usual 3 or 4 titles for a week of r&r down south. A couple of days prior to departure, however, I encountered my dear friend, John Catsimatidis, for dinner at Milos. I have known John since the turbulent days of Archbishop Spyridon when he was named vice-chairman of the Archdiocesan council. 

 In the years that were to follow, I would write Spyridon’s biography, The Lonely Path of Integrity, and a novel based on the life of John’s mother, For the Love of Others, both of which became bestsellers in Greece.

 That evening, John gave me a signed copy of his recently published autobiography, “How Far do You Want to Go?—Lessons From a Common Sense Billionaire.” Upon returning home, I quickly put it at the head of my trip’s reading list.

 Well, needless to say, I was not disappointed. Although I have known John for some 25 years, there was and is much to the man and his life that was completely new to me. Such as the role he played in the Camp David church construction to his West side street festival to his brilliant “buy North American oil” ads that doubled sales in no time. 

 John’s intent may have been to pass on his business knowledge and advice to the reader but it is much more than that. Written in a curt, direct tone that makes it a very easy read, it delves into the deficiencies of the American political system, the benefits of giving back to society, the love of family and even America’s missteps in Iraq.

 It is a fascinating rags to riches story that begins in Nysiros, Greece and travels, via Upper Harlem, to 5th Avenue. It gives us an inside look at what made the man such an amazing success and how, even though he was earning $1M a year at the tender age of 24, his ideals have remained steadfast to this day.

 Καλοτάξιδο, my friend! 

Πέμπτη 19 Ιανουαρίου 2023

The HCGM and the Archdiocese Agreement!


This is an agreement that was voted by the General Assembly eight years ago. I found it in my archieves and I present it here, so there won't be any misunderstandings, gossip etc!

The agreement was altered during the COVID period as the Archdiocese accepted less contribution from the Community's churches when they were sealed because of COVID restrictions. 

AGREEMENT FOR ECCLESIASTICAL CONTRIBUTIONS (the Agreement) made as of the 18th day of December 2018 at Montreal, Quebec and is made:



BETWEEN:                                                   THE     HELLENIC     COMMUNITY     OF     GREATER

MONTREAL, a Registered Charity corporation formed under the laws of Quebec






TORONTO     (CANADA),         a    Registered    Charity corporation formed under the laws of Ontario



 each, a Party, and together, the Parties









The HCGM is an organization established for the purpose of ensuring the progress and promotion of the culture of the population of Greek origin in the greater metropolitan region of Montreal and, more particularly, to preserve and promote the Greek language, to set up charitable, welfare, and educational organizations for the benefit of the population of Greek origin, and to preserve and perpetuate the Greek Orthodox faith and tradition promulgated by the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople according to the doctrine and the faith proclaimed and applied by the Greek Orthodox Church.


The Metropolis is the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical authority in Canada under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. ·


The HCGM owns and operates six Greek Orthodox churches in the greater metropolitan region of Montreal, being St. George's Cathedral, Evangelismos tis Theotokou, Koimisis tis Theotokou, St. Jean Baptiste, St. Nicholas and Holy Cross (each, a HCGM Church, and collectively, the HCGM Churches).


The HCGM and the Metropolis desire to enter into an agreement to define their respective rights and obligations in connection with the provision of a financial support given by the HCGM to the Metropolis, and the assignments of the priests for the purpose of providing religious services and the administration of holy sacrements by the Metropolis for the benefit of the parishioners of the HCGM churches.


The HCGM's advisory board has recommended to the HCGM's board of directors (the HCGM Board), which has accepted and approved such recommendation, that the HCGM enter into this Agreement.


The members of the HCGM have approved, by way of resolution adopted by a 2/3 majority at the special meetings held on the 9thday of June 2014 and the 1?1h day of Juhe 2015, respectively, for

such purpose (the HCGM Special Meetings), the terms and conditions of this Agreement and

have authorized the HCGM to enter into this Agreement.

 NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing, the mutual covenants and agreements set forth herein and other good and valuable consideration (the receipt and sufficiency of which are acknowledged), the Parties hereby covenant and agree as follows:





1.1          Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the HCGM hereby agrees to make annual financial contributions to the Metropolis in the amounts and in respect of the time periods set forth below:


1.1.1          An amount of two hundred and forty thousand dollars ($240,000) for the twelve­ month period commencing on January 1, 2019 and terminating on December 31, 2022, representing an annual financial contribution of $40,000 per HCGM Church in operation;


1.1.2          Upon renewal of this Agreement, the annual financial contribution per HCGM Church in operation shall be equal to the contribution paid to the Metropolis at such time by the other Greek Orthodox Churches in Canada under the jurisdiction of the Metropolis.


1.2        The amounts payable by the HCGM pursuant to Section 1.1 shall be payable in equal monthly instalments starting on January 2019.


1.3          All payments shall be made in Canadian dollars and shall be made by way of delivery by the HCGM to the Metropolis, on or before January 15 of each year, of twelve (12) post-dated cheques representing the monthly contribution instalments in respect of such year.






 2.1          In consideration for the financial contributions the HCGM agrees to make to the Metropolis pursuant to the Article I, the Metropolis shall provide duly ordained priests, shall use its ecclesiastical and moral authority to provide support to the HCGM and its Churches, and shall authorize the administration and registration (where applicable) of sacraments to and for the benefit of all HCHM Churches and their parishioners, including the sacraments of baptism, Eucharist, confession, matrimony, unction, funeral and commemorations.


2.2          The Metropolis shall fulfill its obligations and provide support to and for the benefit of the HCGM and its Churches in good faith and with the same degree of care and diligence as the Metropolis provides similar services for the benefit of churches and parishes which adhere to and comply with the Uniform Community Regulations and Bylaws of the Metropolis, and shall use its best efforts within the organization of the Greek Orthodox Church and the priests who are employed in the HCGM Churches to ensure that this Agreement is respected in its application.


2.3          During the term of this Agreement but subject to Article IV herein, the Metropolis covenants and agrees that it shall not, directly or indirectly, and shall cause every person under its authority not to (directly or indirectly), apply any fee, charge, commission, cost, or other amount in respect of the administration and registration of sacraments to and for the benefit of all HCHM Churches and their parishioners.





3.1          The obligations of the Parties to this Agreement shall take effect immediately, provided that the HCGM's contribution obligations shall commence as provided in Section 1.1.


3.2          This Agreement shall terminate on December 31, 2022 (the Term). The parties agree to negotiate in good faith and conclude by no later than June 15, 2022, a new agreement for the said four (4) years ("Renewal Term").




4.1          The HCGM may terminate this Agreement if the Metropolis defaults in any material respect in the performance or satisfaction of its obligations contained in Article II of this Agreement. In the event a Default occurs and is continuing, the HCGM shall send a written notice of such Default to the Metropolis. Unless the Metropolis has cured the Default within sixty (60) days of the date of receipt of such written notice, the HCGM may exercise any rights and remedies the HCGM may have under law.


4.2          The Metropolis may terminate this Agreement if the HCGM defaults in any material respect in the performance or satisfaction of any agreement, provision or covenant contained in this Agreement. In the event a Default occurs and is continuing, the Metropolis shall send a written notice of such Default to the HCGM. Unless the HCGM has cured the Default within sixty (60) days of the date of receipt of such written notice, the Metropolis may exercise any rights and remedies the Metropolis may have under law.

4.3          In the event a Payment Default (as defined below) occurs and is continuing, the Metropolis shall send a written notice of such Payment Default to the HCGM. Unless the HCGM has cured the Payment Default within sixty (60) days of the date of receipt of such written notice, the Metropolis may exercise any rights and remedies the Metropolis may have under law. For the purposes hereof, a Payment Default shall mean any past due amounts owing by the HCGM pursuant to Section 1.1 which has not been paid in full within fifteen (15) days of the initial payment due date.




5.1          The Metropolis will be added as an additional insured under the HCGM's General Liability Insurance Policy, but solely with regards to the HCGM Churches' premises, operations and/or projects. Upon request, a Certificate of Insurance will be provided each year to the Metropolis.


5.2          This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the Province of Quebec and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein.


5.3               This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts (including counterparts by facsimile) and all such counterparts taken together shall be deemed to constitute one and the same instrument.


5.4  The Parties acknowledge that they have required that the present Agreement be drafted in English. Les parties reconnaissent avoir exige la redaction de la presente convention en anglais.




IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the parties hereto has caused this Agreement to be executed by its duly authorized officer.















Per:                                                                              Name: Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios

Title: President