2023 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT
Steve Mirkopoulos was born in Kalohori, Kastoria, Greece and immigrated to Canada after graduating from high school in 1969.
He is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Nuclear Discipline with Honours (class or 74). After spending several years at the Atomic Energy of Canada and Ontario Hydro’s Nuclear Division, he joined the family business of real estate development and construction.
Until its sale in late 2021, Steve was the CEO and President of the flagship family business – Cinespace Film Studios Inc, the largest independently owned studio in the world with 1.5 million sq. feet over 50 acre campuses in each of Toronto and Chicago.
Under Steve’s leadership, the Mirkopoulos family in Toronto and the Pissios family in Chicago, elevated Cinespace to a preeminent studio in North America. Its client list featured the who is who in Hollywood including Warner Bros, NBC, CBS, Fox, Netflix, Miramax, Amazon, Apple TV and a number of Canadian productions including the iconic Road to Avonlea, the Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries and Flashpoint, to name a few. A further testament to the tremendous success of Cinespace is that the only two made in Canada movies to win an Oscar for Best Picture, were filmed at Cinespace – Chicago (2002) and Shape of Water (2017).
Steve has also been very active in the community. He has been a Board Member of the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation, the Toronto Port Authority and the York University Foundation. He is passionate of his Hellenic culture and ancestry and has been involved in various Hellenic community organizations.
He is a founding member as well as the second President of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation and was instrumental in the establishment of both the Hellenic Studies Chair at York University and the Hellenic Studies Program at the University of Toronto. Steve served as a Board Member of the HHF for 25 years. Steve is currently a Board Member of the Hellenic Home for the Aged and of the Hellenic Initiative Canada as well as an Honourary Director of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation.
Steve is a philanthropist and community leader with a deep love of his family and Greek heritage. His vision for the Hellenic Studies Programs at York and UofT will serve future generations of students and enrich a better understanding of Greek language, culture and heritage in Canada. In addition to the HHF, he has been a lifelong and generous supporter of the Greek Orthodox Church in Canada, the Greek Community of Toronto, the Hellenic Home for the Aged, the Hellenic Initiative Canada, the Canadian Institute in Greece and many other organizations and institutions.
In memory of his late brother, Steve was instrumental in establishing programs to benefit the community, including:
• A partnership with the ROM to create the Nick Mirkopoulos Curatorship of Ancient Greece and Rome to deepen public engagement of this collection
• The opening of the Canadian Institute in Greece, Nikolaos Mirkopoulos Centre
• The creation of the HHF/Nick Mirkopoulos Scholarship to be awarded annually to a PhD Student within the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music
• The Nick Mirkopoulos Canadian Content Initiative to provide rent-free facilities to select Canadian film, TV and digital media projects