Brisbane's Paniyiri returns in 2021

Brisbane's Paniyiri returns in 2021

Brisbane's Paniyiri returns in 2021

Brisbane is getting ready to celebrate the 45th Paniyiri Greek Festival, which is the city's biggest cultural event.

The capital of Queensland will turn blue and white over the weekend of May 22 and 23 within The Greek Club precinct and online.

The program, a combination of real and virtual events, features Greek cooking classes, a traditional taverna night, a hosted food adventure evening, a day of Greek dance and music, cultural experiences and a honeypuff pop-up.

Paniyiri Organising Committee Chair Mr Chris Kazonis said the decision to change the format was a direct result of operating in a COVID-19 world.

“Paniyiri Greek Festival is a community initiative of the Greek Orthodox communities of South East Queensland with any funds raised channelled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George Brisbane. We stage this incredible event by the grace of our community and our sponsors, and have had to adopt to a format that protects us against any future lockdowns, yet still allows us to share our incredible culture, flavours, music, dance and history with greater Brisbane,” he said.

Tickets are available here.

Paniyiri 2021 Program

Alex Kondos Memorial Lecture: Women of the revolution and revolutionary women

It’s the 200-year anniversary of Greek independence from the Ottoman empire, so what better subject to dive deep into this year than women of the revolution and revolutionary women. Melbourne lawyer, writer, journalist and poet Dean Kalimniou will speak about the role that Greek women played in the War of Independence and how these brave heroines helped shape Greece’s fight for freedom in 1821.

Then, local historian Helen Gregory will speak about modern revolutionary women. The author, curator and regular ABC Radio guest has been researching the Greek Orthodox Community of St George Brisbane. Her talk will cover three remarkable local women who chose to challenge the unfamiliar in their daily and professional lives - Presvitera Roula Sakellariou (wife of Father Gregory Sakellariou) from a local perspective, Professor Maria Kavallaris on the national scene, and Maria Callas internationally. Vocalists Christina Lignou, Katerini Manolatos and Pana Kalatzis will also sing a selection of modern Greek songs composed or written by Greek women, including an aria made famous by Maria Callas. This lecture is an annual Paniyiri Greek Festival event and honours the memory of Alex Kondos, a long-serving Councillor of the Greek Orthodox Community of St George Brisbane and one who had a passion for the community’s cultural activities.

Ambrosia at Nostimo Restaurant – an evening of Greek flavours hosted by chef-in-residence Alex Xinis

In Greek mythology, ambrosia is the food or drink of the ancient Greek gods. At this special evening you will feast on a banquet fit for Zeus with octopus, taramosalata, grilled local fish, lamb shoulder, galaktoboureko and more as you hear about food, life and culture in conversation with Nostimo chef-in-residence Alex Xinis.

Growing up in Brisbane, it was Alex’s Greek grandparents who ignited his love of food and cooking. He has worked at Hellenic Republic Kew and now runs Hellenic Mastic. He originally studied Applied Science at the University of Queensland before taking the leap into cooking. Back in 2008 his apprenticeship at the award-winning Isis Brasserie in Brisbane began his culinary career before he moved to Greece. When he wasn’t working the pans at two-star Michelin restaurant Funky Gourmet in Athens, he travelled the country deepening his understanding of culture and food.

Don’t miss incredible whirlwind culinary journey to Greece through an evening of food, music and conversation.

  • When: Thursday 20 May, 2021, 6:30pm arrival for 7pm
  • Where; Nostimo Restaurant, The Greek Club, South Brisbane
  • Tickets: $80 per person
  • Bookings: The Greek Club (07) 3844 1166 or via
  • Note - tickets must be purchased in the same transaction to guarantee you are seated with family & friends.
Pasarella Fashion Parade

Expect a kaleidoscope of colour, draping and Grecian glamour to hit the pasarella in this showcase of Greek-inspired fashion, presented by Goya.

Greek-Australian models will take to the runway in incredible pieces by local Australian designers, celebrating the latest trends.

This evening of fashion and kickstarts the official Paniyiri Greek Festival weekend. The event will also feature a bazaar with an array of offerings from deli goods to jewellery.

  • When: Friday 21 May, 2021, Doors open 7pm
  • Where: The Greek Club Ballroom
  • Tickets: $30pp plus booking fee, includes drink on arrival
  • Bookings
Taste of Greece Cooking Demonstrations

The famous Paniyiri Cooking Program will take place at The Greek Club over both days of the weekend, with two sessions each day. The sessions are FREE, but bookings are needed to reserve seats! So long as you don’t overindulge in honey puffs, science says that eating Greek food can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Learn how to cook your favourite authentic, traditional Greek dishes live, hosted by Paniyiri’s famous cooks (and try and uncover those special ingredient secrets that only cooks keep)!

Saturday 22 May, 2021

  • Session 1: 12noon to 1pm
  • Session 2: 2pm to 3pm

Sunday 23 May, 2021

  • Session 3: 12noon to 1pm
  • Session 4: 2pm to 3pm
  • Where: The Terrace, Level 1, The Greek Club
  • Tickets: Free but bookings required
  • Bookings
Paniyiri Cultural Program

This program promises to educate, inspire and entertain, in the 200th year of Greek independence.

  • Where: The Greek Club
  • Tickets: Free but bookings required
  • Bookings

Saturday 22 May, 2021

  • Session 1: 1.30pm - Screening documentary “Triumph over Time” (1947). A look at the Corinth region from an archaeological and contemporary perspective presented by Dr. Amelia Brown (UQ).
  • Session 2: 3.30pm – In conversation with two outstanding Queensland Hellenic Women Associates in Antiopi Varelias from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Dr. Sia Athanasas, Research Manager Burns Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre (UQ).

Sunday 23 May, 2021

  • Session 1: 1.30pm - Warriors, Weapons and Wild Women: The Amazons in Greek Art, A presentation by Dr. Roslynne Bell Honorary Research Fellow University of Melbourne.
  • Session 2: 3.30pm - Musical recital featuring Brisbane Hellenic singers Christina Lignou, Katerini Manolatos and Pana Kalatzis.
Traditional Taverna Night with Greek Singers

It’s the famous traditional Greek night of food, wines, warmth, dancing and music! Be transported to a warm summer evening in a small Greek village; imagine wandering into the local square where the food, song and conversation flow as freely as the wine.

Nostimo chef-in-residence Alex Xinis will serve a three-course traditional dinner - pita bread, olives, tzatziki and fava, a platter of grilled octopus, keftedakia with herbed yogurt and baked feta to start, then oven-baked lamb and potatoes plus chicken gyros, horiatiki salad and horta before finishing with Greek yogurt with quince and halva. Greek singers and music will of course, accompany all night! OPA!

  • When: Saturday 22 May, 2021, doors open 6.30pm
  • Where: The Greek Club Grand Ballroom
  • Tickets: $80 per adult plus booking feet, $30 per child plus booking fee
  • Bookings: The Greek Club - 07 3844 1166 or
  • Tickets must be purchased in the same transaction to guarantee you are seated with family & friends.
Paniyiri Honeypuff Pop-Up

For the first time Paniyiri Greek Festival will stage a Honeypuff Pop-Up! Walk up only.

  • When: Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23, 2021
  • Time: 12pm to 4pm
  • Where: Greek Orthodox Church of St George Carpark, Entry off Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane

Brisbane's Paniyiri returns in 2021

Sunday Paniyiri Dance Program

Opa! Opa! Dance is an important part of Greek culture as it brings the community together in celebration. Across Greece it is easy to find more than 4000 traditional dances from all regions, islands and towns across the country.

Paniyiri Greek Festival gives Brisbane the chance to dance!

  • When: Sunday 23 May, 2021
  • Time: From 11.45am, Upstairs at The Greek Club
  • Free event, no bookings required. Lunch, sweets and coffee available to purchase.


  • 11.45am West End State School

Kicking off the Sunday Paniyiri Dance Program is West End State School. The local school offers Greek Dancing to all students interested, and you can witness the dedication of this wonderful new generation.

  • 1.15pm Hellenic Dancers Modern Performance

Established in 1979, the Hellenic Dancers of Brisbane have been wowing Paniyiri audiences with the famous Zorba, Sirto, Kalamatiano and more ever since. Don’t miss this performance by a group of dedicated young dancers.

  • 1.30pm Hellenic Dancing Academy

The Hellenic Dancing Academy teaches students from tiny to teems the art of traditional Greek dance. Every Friday night the Academy gathers to practice and learn new dances from different regions of Greece. One not to miss!

  • 1.45pm Greek School of St George

Since 1927 the Greek Ethnic School has been teaching Greek language and culture to students, which of course includes dancing. The senior Greek School dance group rehearses once a week during class time and after Greek school. Watch the results of their efforts.

*Images by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright).

*More on GCT: Paniyiri in Brisbane celebrates another successful year!
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.