DIASPORA

Canadian Institute naming revamped center after Greek-born film studio pioneer

canadian-institute-naming-revamped-center-after-greek-born-film-studio-pioneer

The Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG) has announced that its revamped premises in Athens, due to be unveiled in the first half of 2022, will be named after Greek-Canadian entrepreneur, film studio pioneer and philanthropist Nick Mirkopoulos.

The CIG’s Nikolaos Mirkopoulos Center is located at 3 Orminiou, near the Athens Hilton hotel, in a historically significant building that was the residence of acclaimed writer, artist and art critic Stratis Doukas from 1938 until 1981, and is hailed as an important example of 1930s Athenian architecture. 

Its radical renovation has been made possible by a $300,000 donation from the Mirkopoulos family, which represents one of the largest ever received by the CIG. 

“The board of the CIG expresses deep appreciation to the Mirkopoulos family for its trust and is proud to honor the memory of this remarkable Greek-Canadian,” Scott Gallimore, the president of the board of the CIG, said in an announcement published on Monday.

Mirkopoulos emigrated to Canada in 1968 and created a family business that renovated and upgraded many heritage landmark buildings in Canada. Most notably, however, he was a prolific builder of film studios and in 1988 spearheaded the development of the first large-scale film production campus in Canada, Cinespace, later developing four additional campuses in Toronto and Chicago.

“The Mirkopoulos family is pleased to support the academic vocation of the CIG, notably its important role in promoting cultural relations between Canada and Greece. Our beloved brother, Nikolaos (Nick) Mirkopoulos, was a proud Canadian but remained deeply connected to the country of his birth,” said Steve Mirkopoulos, president and CEO of Cinespace Films Studios Inc.

Mirkopoulos also contributed personal time and resources to support the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, Toronto’s Hellenic Community, Toronto’s East General Hospital, DePaul University’s School of Cinema, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Mount Sinai Medical Center of Chicago, the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv and the Ark of the World children’s charity of Greece, among many others. 

Mirkopoulos was born in the village of Kalochori in Kastoria, northern Greece, and died there in 2013 at the age of 71.