The CEGA Awards were created to Celebrate Excellence in Greek Achievement. They have been
conceived within the inspiration of honouring top achievement by Canadians of Greek decent. The
awards honour preeminent individuals, who have excelled in their respective fields, strive for
excellence and serve as role models within and beyond our Hellenic community.
The CEGA Awards bestow appreciation for the achievement of Greek Canadians by recognizing
excellence in one of five categories: the promotion of Hellenism; Education; Philanthropy; Civic
Responsibility and Family & Individual Excellence. These categories represent the five pillars of
the AHEPA mission statement.
The inaugural 2011 CEGA Awards are being held on October 15th 2011 at the prestigious
Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada. This black tie (optional) event will
bring together prominent individuals in a dinner celebration and create an opportunity for leisure,
social and cultural experience outside the normal everyday experience. We will celebrate human
achievement by producing a unique, memorable event with celebrity guest speakers. This group of
recipients was selected by the AHEPA Toronto, 2011 CEGA Awards committee which is comprised
of seven members.
The CEGA Award for the Promotion of Hellenism will be presented to the Honourable Dimitris
Azemopoulos, Consul General of Greece in Toronto since February 26, 2009. Mr. Azemopoulos’
career has focused on serving Hellenism and the Hellenic Republic. With multiple degrees and
fluency in eight languages, he has represented Hellenism in several positions and countries,
including the diplomatic Cabinets of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the
Republic, as Consular in the Greek Embassy in Warsaw, in the Council of the EU, as Head of the
Cabinet of the Director General Responsible for the International Organizations and Security, as
Director of the Cabinet of the Secretary General for the European Affairs and First Consular at the
Embassy of Greece in Norway. His hard work, innovative ideas and dedication have earned him
numerous awards and recognitions. These include The Eagle of the Polish Republic, The Cross of
the Commander of the Italian Republic and The National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada
Award for his leadership to the courses of social justice, human rights and democracy among all
The CEGA Award for Education will be presented to Nancy Athan‐Mylonas, theatre
director/choreographer. Ms. Athan‐Mylonas is a classically trained dancer & actor who is
enamoured with the exploration of her Hellenic roots through the cultural arts. Her
journey initially lead her to open The School of Movement and The Greek Folklore Centre in
Sydney, Australia in 1966, where she taught Greek traditional & modern dances, dance theatre,
ballet and mime. This journey continued with the founding of Theatre Nefeli for the Greek
Community of Toronto in 1991, which has since seen the nurturing of 7 generations of young talent in these cultural arts.
Ms. Athan‐Mylonas’ productions are designed to convey to their audiences the importance of carrying on the Hellenic spirit, pride & heritage, and they do so
in the most entertaining fashion that appeals to all generations.
The CEGA Award for Philanthropy will be presented to John Dagonas, Director of the Hellenic
Hope Centre for Persons with Special Needs. Mr. Dagonas’ contributions transcend the standard
notion of philanthropy by the shear volume of organizations, committees and projects in which he
participates. His leadership as Chairman of the Board of the Hellenic Hope Centre for Persons with
Special Needs has resulted in the construction of a larger and more modern facility for the
organization. He has served as President of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation, of Athens Villa –
Non‐Profit Housing Corporation of Ontario and of The Federation of Aegean Islands, Director of
Hellenic Canadian Congress, Hellenic Home for the Aged, The National Bank of Greece, West Park
Hospital and Metamorphosis School. In 2002, he was named Archon of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate. More recently, Mr. Dagonas was elected SAE Coordinator in Canada
The CEGA Award for Civic Responsibility will be presented to Nick Aroutzidis, Past President of
AHEPA Canada for three consecutive terms. In this capacity Mr. Aroutzidis worked tirelessly to
raise the visibility and image of the Canadian AHEPA Family by encouraging members to seek
greater interaction and cooperation with local organizations, as well as with municipal and
provincial governments in their respective communities. He built a network of both formal and
informal forums with the Canadian government thus providing a viable opportunity for voicing
the opinions and concerns of Canadians of Hellenic descent. To that end, Mr. Aroutzidis
spearheaded The Parliament Hill Hellenic Friendship Day that took place May 13th 2010. This was
a momentous event because it was the first time that the Hellenic organizations ‐ AHEPA, The
Canadian Hellenic Congress, PSEKA and SAE Canada spoke with one voice.
The CEGA Award for Family and Individual Excellence will be presented to Ted Manziaris,
President of Turtle Island Recycling. With a degree in Environmental Studies, the entrepreneurial
spirit and a desire to make a difference, Mr. Manziaris founded Turtle Island Recycling in the early
1990s, before green business became popular. Today this successful business employs 600 people
and contributes to an environmentally friendly community. Mr. Manziaris also founded the
Toronto Greek Film Retrospective, a series of free screenings that celebrate Greek cinema. He
generously donates his time and skills to such worthwhile causes as ProAction – Cops and Kids,
and the Hellenic Hope Centre for Persons with Special Needs.
The proceeds from this event will help build the AHEPA Toronto Scholarship Fund.