Unforgettable Smyrna – 100 Years Since the Asia Minor Catastrophe (Anniversary Events)

The Hellenic Congress of Quebec, in collaboration with the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal, the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation, the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal and the Montreal Greek Film Festival, is organizing a two-day event, on November 6 and 7, 2022, on the theme of the Asia Minor Catastrophe. This is a multi-dimensional pantheon of events to honour the historical memory of one of the greatest tragedies in modern Greek history, a century after the dramatic events.

The Asia Minor Catastrophe (1922) is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, calamity of Hellenism over time. With the Treaty of Lausanne and the compulsory exchange of populations, the Hellenism of the East disappeared after two thousand years, and some 1.5 million refugees came to Greece under miserable conditions. The bloody history of the Asia Minor Catastrophe haunted Greece in the pre-war years and continues to be a plague to this day.

Thus, on Sunday, November 6, at 10 a.m., a memorial service for the fallen will be held at the St-George Cathedral.

Afterwards, at 1 p.m., the photo exhibition entitled SMYRNA 1922: THE UPROOTING will be launched. The exhibition is signed by museologist Dr. Nadia Askouni, Special Advisor of the Region of Western Greece on issues of culture, cultural diplomacy, and management. The photo exhibition will be hosted at the Foyer of the Hellenic Community Centre Adrian Maris. Admission is free. 

A scientific workshop will follow from 2 pm – 4 pm, coordinated by the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation and Dr. John Hadjinicolaou. The scientific workshop, which will include speeches by renowned academics about the Asia Minor Catastrophe, will take place in the Foyer of the Hellenic Community Centre Adrian Maris. Admission is free. 

Sunday’s events will close with a cultural tribute in the Grande Salle of the Hellenic Community Centre Adrian Maris. This event will feature Orpheas of the HCGM’s Laografiko Ergastiri Montreal and La Troupe Folklorique Grecque Syrtaki. The dance groups will present dances of Pontos and Asia Minor. 

A live local band featuring Panagiota Tsitsou will take us on a musical journey with selected rebetika and Smyrna songs taken from the everyday life and activities of the people before the catastrophe of Smyrna and from the refugees in Greece. The cultural tribute will start at 5 pm. Admission: $30. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the HCGM Hellenic Cultural Institute. 

On Monday, November 7 at 7 p.m., the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal, in collaboration with the Montreal Greek Film Festival, will host the premiere of the epic film SMYRNA, MY BELOVED at the Cinémas Guzzo (Sphèretheque). Tickets for the screening of the film are already sold out. We thank the community for their warm support.

For information and tickets for the cultural tribute, please contact Michael Patsatzis at (514) 575-0932, Georgia Haloulou at (514) 898-9226 or Justine Frangoulis-Argyris at [email protected].