Smyrna my beloved: Immersing into the events of Smyrna 1922

Film Review: Smyrna my beloved

The film does an excellent job at portraying the events that led to the Asia Minor Catastrophe through the eyes of an prominent Smyrna family with Greek roots in a balanced fashion. It highlights the fact that the Asia Minor Diaspora held different view as to the stance to be taken in the war, or how the Turks that were living in peace with the other nationalities were pressured to either side with the nationalists or to be treated as traitors themselves. The film respects historical accuracy and offers an unbiased view, providing equal screen time to all sides that played part in this story. The captivating storytelling allows for the impact and emotional toll of the events speak for themselves. The production, attention to detail, and research that must have gone into the creation of the film are also of the highest standard. A highly recommended offering for everyone with important lessons for followers of current events.

John Sotos

THI Canada, Co-President

Film by : Tanweer Productions

The movie “Smyrna” is based on Mimi Denissi’s stage play “Smyrni moy agapimeni”


THI Canada partners with the Delphi Forum for the inaugural Toronto Economic Forum 

We are excited to share the news of the launch of the Toronto Economic Forum, which will take place in Toronto, on Monday & Tuesday, October 17-18, 2022. For the inaugural event, The Hellenic Initiative Canada is proud to partner with the Delphi Economic Forum to help bring the prestigious non-profit institution to a Canadian audience.

As the Delphi Economic Forum noted, Canada is one of the most extroverted countries in the world, playing a unique role in the global system. In its own merit, Toronto is a proudly international city, with a multitude of diaspora communities which play an active role in the city’s social, economic and political life. With the Hellenic community being a prime contributor to the city’s dynamic, at THI Canada we are happy to add our influential network of Greek-Canadian leaders to the Delphi Economic Forum’s unparalleled political and business leaders that will bring Greece’s true “voice” to Canadian audiences.

Specifically, the Toronto Economic Forum will seek to foster further economic cooperation, highlight investment opportunities in both Canada and Greece and deepen the ties between the business, political elites and civil society of the two countries.

A fundraising reception hosted by The Hellenic Initiative Canada will take place on the evening of October 17th. For tickets and sponsoring opportunities for this networking cocktail, please contact us at [email protected]

Senior Awareness Month

During the month of June, we will try to bring to light real concerns that are commonly shared among seniors, particularly in Greece, and will try to open a dialogue that will one day provide solutions available to everyone. 

Follow us on our social media to learn more about major concerns for our loved ones and how we can improve conditions for those affected.

Instagram: thi.canada
Youtube: The Hellenic Initiative Canada channel

In Greece, seniors that have always been the cornerstone of the traditional Greek family have been affected greatly by the ongoing financial crisis, but also by changes in familial structures and values.

Most of us have the image of a “Pappou” or “Yiayia” sitting in a chair in the corner of the family room and offering their life wisdom to the younger generations. It was very common up to more recent years that the elders would stay with their children and grandchildren when they could no longer live independently. The changes that have taken place in more recent years, where the living conditions have altered the family dynamic for several reasons, mainly financial, have caused a major shift in the living conditions for the so-called 3rd generation. The seniors can no longer be taken care of by their children, as it was more commonplace for past generations. We also have a much better understanding of certain degenerative physical conditions and mental health issues that require specialized professional help that families alone simply cannot provide.

The reality for many of these people is that now that they are in retirement, dependent on the severely reduced pension and benefits, they struggle to secure the basics. In the best cases, where one is in a relatively healthy state, they still require assistance with everyday tasks to get by and their limited resources and financial insecurity puts a great strain that leads to other mental health concerns. The increased costs of daily living, from groceries to utility bills and basic medical care are many times hard to meet and so this leaves them vulnerable and helpless.

During the month-long campaign, we will try to bring to light real concerns that are commonly shared among seniors, particularly in Greece, and will try to open a dialogue that will one day provide options available to everyone.

Programs such as the 60+ with Doctors of the World Greece try to provide some relief to the issues mentioned above. The program that was co-supported by TIMA foundation and THI Canada during the Pandemic and aimed at providing assistance and medical care to seniors that could not leave their homes. What was once an emergency response has now evolved into so much more. Through the initial implementation, the team was able to identify deeply rooted issues and to uncover this group’s vulnerability and lack of a safety net against adverse circumstances. We aim to present these issues respectfully and try to find solutions for them, together.


With the kind support of TIMA foundation


Doctors of the World Care for the 60+ Program Presentation

Médecins du Monde Greece held a press conference on Tuesday, July 5th, at the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, presenting the results of the “Emergency Intervention for Vulnerable People over 60 years old” program for the period 2020-2021, on the occasion of the renewal of the cooperation and support of the program by the Hellenic Initiative of Canada (THI Canada).

Doctors of the World Ukrainian Relief

The Hellenic Initiative of Canada collaborates with Doctors of the World of Greece (Mdm GR) to provide humanitarian aid, medical care and other services for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Greece. So far 40,000 CAD has been raised which will be allocated to this purpose. The Hellenic Initiative of Canada, with the help of of Doctors of the World Greece, offers humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees crossing the Greek border, through the Emergency Humanitarian Relief programme Fund for Ukrainian Refugees.

The program offers access to Polyclinics, hostels and mobile units of care in Athens, Thessaloniki and Kavala, where food, accommodation and psychological support for Ukrainian refugees.

Scholarship in Music announcement – Greek Language in Canada

The Hellenic Initiative Canada Graduate Scholarship in Music supports outstanding international scholars from Greece who demonstrate excellence, outstanding potential and a passion and commitment to music.
The Scholarship is a merit-based award aimed at supporting students from Greece pursuing a Master of Music or Doctor of Musical Arts in composition at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Scholarship provides multi-year funding to support graduate students for the duration of their program. The DMA in composition is jointly funded by The Hellenic Initiative Canada and the University of Toronto.
Applications will be assessed based on academic excellence, transcripts, and track record of accomplishments in music. Eligible candidates are requested to carefully read the scholarship application criteria and the requirement for supporting documentation before submitting the online application.
For further information regarding the announcement, the scholarship, the application process and supporting documents, please visit our website at or contact us at [email protected]
The deadline for the submission of applications is March 15, 2022.

THI Canada New Leaders Speaker Series on “Who Owns History?”

TORONTO – The Hellenic Initiative Canada New Leaders Speaker Series continues with Who Owns History? The Case for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles online on Thursday, March 24, 12 PM EDT. The discussion, featuring guest speaker Geoffrey Robertson, barrister, and moderated by Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist and Founder of Nanos Research Corporation, explores one of the biggest questions in the world of arts and culture – Who owns history, and should property taken without consent be returned to their place of origin?

Emergency Humanitarian Aid for Ukrainian Refugees

More than 2 million Ukrainians, mostly women, children and elderly victims of the crisis, have fled their homes to escape the unprovoked Russian attack of their homeland.    

The horrific Russian invasion has forced more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees to seek safety and protection in neighbouring European countries.  We applaud the humanitarian efforts in the border countries of Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia.


About 15,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Greece to date.  There is an immediate need for food, shelter, and medical aid. 

The Hellenic Initiative Canada is working with Doctors of the World (MdM) Greece to provide humanitarian aid, medical support and other services for Ukrainians arriving in Greece.  The program will provide:

  1. access to MdM Polyclinics, shelters and mobile units in Athens, Thessaloniki and Kavala to provide food, shelter, protection and care for Ukrainians arriving in Greece
  2. medical aid and psychosocial support services
  3. material aid to Ukrainian families to help cover basic needs

The Hellenic Initiative Canada has committed $25,000 to support this program.  We are asking for your help to raise additional funds to assist MdM Greece provide medical aid and other humanitarian services for Ukrainians arriving in Greece.   

Please help us help the women, children and elderly victims of the Ukrainian crisis. 


The Passion of the Greek Diaspora for their homeland

Last year’s bicentennial celebrations of the Greek revolution of 1821 have spotlighted the passion of the Greek Diaspora for their homeland. The celebrations revealed that the contemporary Greek Diaspora has a global presence and an overarching international influence. The Greek Diaspora radiates a geopolitical soft power that serves as a strategic tool for Greece’s national causes and foreign policy. In modern times, the Greek Diaspora have also been benefactors to their homeland through their philanthropy, crises relief, business mentorship, entrepreneurial empowerment, and building economic bridges with Greece for international trade and economic development.

Announcement for the Allocation of the Wildfire Relief Campaign Funds 2021

The wildfires in Greece had a devastating impact in the lives and livelihood of many residents. The wildfires destroyed extensive areas in Greece’s landscape, nearly defeating efforts by firefighters, residents and volunteers who fought tirelessly against the raging flames.

The Hellenic Initiative Canada (THIC) responded quickly with an emergency wildfire relief campaign, raising $60,000 with the support of friends and donors. Thank you to all for your generosity and philanthropy in support of the people of Greece during this time of need.

All the money raised will go to support those most affected by the wildfires. After considerable due diligence, THIC will be working with two organizations in Greece to implement programs that will provide much-needed food, medical aid and other basic necessities of life to people affected by the wildfires in Northern Evia.

  • THIC Program with Doctors of the World will support emergency response in Northern Evia, providing medical assistance, psychological support, medical consumables, food and other support for low-income families.
  • THIC Program with Desmos will cover the needs in olive oil for 200 low-income beneficiaries residing in villages in Northern Evia.

We wish to acknowledge the contribution of THIC Director and former Canadian Ambassador to Greece, Robert Peck, as well as the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal and the Greek Community of Toronto, for their support and for raising awareness of THIC’s wildfire relief campaign through their network of contacts. Thank you to everyone who joined in our effort to provide relief to people affected by the devasting wildfires in Greece.


A. Doctors of the world – Chain of Hope for the People of Northern Evia

ONGOING ACTIVITIES. MdM-Greece has recorded and supports 17 fire-affected households, including 17 fresh university students and 69 members of their families, 48 elderly people and people with chronic illnesses, 50 children in school age, 21 farm-workers by providing health, MHPSS services while the financial assistance is provided through Super Market vouchers. During October the Pediatric and Dental Care Unit was conducting missions on the field having a target to cover at least the 40% of the children in the local schools. The total number of primary schools in the area is 17 and the number of kindergartens is 15. The total number of children is estimated up to 873 and the total number of fresh university students up to 71.

The operational plan of MDM-Greece is to remain in the field to respond to the needs of the affected community.


  • Low-income Households
  • Traumatized People
  • Chronic Patients
  • People with Disabilities
  • Elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • Infants
  • Children under 12 years
  • Teens up to 18 years of age
  • Fire affected farm workers


  • Medical Care including routine checks
  • Acute care for illness or minor injuries
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support including trauma
  • rehabilitation
  • Community outreach and management of referrals to specialized care
  • Emergency Pharmaceutical Support
  • Urgent cash assistance based on evaluation of social status for 30 families
  • Provision of Medical Consumables to chronic patients, persons with disabilities, newborn mothers and women in pregnancy
  • Pediatric care


Expense categoryCost per Unit (EURO)Duration in monthsTOTAL (EURO)TOTAL (CAD)
Medical Services and Support to the Local Health System4,280417,12024,824.00
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support6,160424,64035,728.00
Material aid to low-income households*8,100432,40046,980.00
Management and Administrative support4,260417,04024,708.00
Travel and Mobile Unit costs2,20048,80012,760.00
  PROGRAM TOTAL100,000 145,000.00

Exchange rate: 1 Euro – 1.45 CAD

* The “material aid” includes the following provisions:
– Supermarket Vouchers
– Supplies / equipment to the local / farmers / cooperatives
– Supplies / equipment to the local health centers / social care structures
– PPE supplies and / or equipment to the local schools
THI Canada will provide 30.000 euros (44,400.00 CAD) of the total costs of the program.

B. DESMOS and THI Canada Food aid program for the People of Northern Evia

The Northern Evia areas affected by the 2021 Wildfires have been underprivileged for decades and the fire significantly worsened the region’s duress. The population is dispersed mainly in small villages and highly depends on small scale activities related to the forests that were destroyed, such as bee harvesting, resin cultivations, lodging, agriculture, cattle farming. At the same time, local produce from these activities made these communities self sufficient in terms of basic goods.

Moving into the winter months, N. Evia communities and municipalities have reached out to Desmos with food relief needs. Most urgently, the needs in olive oil, once abundant in the area, are communicated by our partner NGO’s that have been operating in the area, as well as community representatives and residents. Unfortunately, the wildfires, as well as the collateral heat overlaod they caused, destroyed the olive trees and have resulted in loss of olive oil production in the area.

Olive oil is one of the most expensive household food essentials. In partnership with DESMOS we will cover the needs in olive oil for 200 people in the area of Voutas, N. Evia, for 6 months, following the request of the local community and the approval of the municipality. The budget for the implementation of the program is as follows:

Food Relief – 15,000 CDN (10,340€ based on 6/12/21 exchange rates)

Project Management(Travel, comms,
admin, overhead)
1500 CDN
6 months
Food Relief – Olive OilApprox. 625 / 4ltr.*13,500 CDN
6 months
Total Budget15.000 CDN
200 residents6 months