15th Odyssey Festival officially launches in South Australia

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After a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular Odyssey Festival has returned to South Australia with its familiar glamour.

The 15th edition of the festival officially opened last Friday, September 30, with the historic Olympic Hall in Adelaide shining once more with the colours and sounds of Greek culture.

Member of the SA Legislative Council, Irene Pnevmatikos, spoke at the event on behalf of the state Premier, Peter Malinauskas, and referred to the festival’s theme – the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution – by paying tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for freedom and prosperity. 

“It is no exaggeration to say that Greek culture today is alive here in South Australia as a result of this heroic struggle,” Ms Pnevmatikos said. 

The Greek Orthodox Community of SA (GOCSA), who organised the event, was praised for its 90-year presence and unstoppable activity in the state by both the Federal Member for Adelaide, Steve Georganas MP, and Chair of the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, Adriana Christopoulos, who attended the event. 

The event was also attended by Member for Badcoe, Jayne Stinson; Mayor of the City of Charles Sturt, Angela Evans; Mayor of the City of West Torrens, Michael Coxon; and Board member and Treasurer of Community Language Schools SA, Manoher Soroush.

The Vice President of GOCSA, Panagiotis Gardiakos, spoke about how cultural events such as the Odyssey festival strengthen the Greek diaspora and their connection to their heritage.

He also asked the attendees to observe a minute of silence to honour the former President of GOCSA, the late Bill Gonis.

Alongside the formalities, the evening was filled with traditional songs and dances, with the Meraki orchestra filling the Olympic Hall with nostalgia and the Community Dance Academy enchanting the crowd.

During the event, the presentation of the Odyssey Art Awards also took place, with prizes for first, second and third place being handed out.

The works were evaluated by three art judges, Russell Leonard, Jane Blacket and Joe Felber. 

The Odyssey Festival will be running until Sunday, October 30, 2022. For more information visit gocsa.org.au.

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