Nearly two-thirds of Canadians reside in a province that observes a statutory holiday on the third Monday of February. The holiday is called Family Day in five provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan), Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. There is no Federally established Family Day.
This holiday was first observed in Alberta in 1990, followed by Saskatchewan in 2007 and Ontario in 2008. On May 28, 2012, the B.C. government announced that Family Day would be observed on the second Monday in February each year, starting Feb. 11, 2013. The week of its observance was then changed from the second Monday of February to the third Monday starting in 2019.
As this is still a fairly new holiday, there are no traditional activities that are associated with the day. Canadians use the long weekend for whatever purpose they like. In at least British Columbia, the decision to add this public holiday is due to the lack of any public holiday between the lengthy gap between the New Year’s day and Good Friday public holidays. Otherwise, Canadian provinces have a public holiday at least every other month.
Family Day is what you make of it, but more and more families are starting to create their own traditions to look forward to and revisit each year on this special day just for them.
Many families share an outdoor adventure on Family Day. Perhaps, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, skating, sledding, ice fishing or other winter activities weather permitting.
Others look for inside entertainment by gathering the family together for a day of visiting with relatives, sharing a meal, indoors games, or just hunkering down to watch a great movie on TV.
The sky is the limit for you to create your own special family day activity. Even if you have no immediate family available, you can plan your day just for you; maybe it will just be a quite walk with the dog, visiting an elderly friend, or snuggling up on the sofa with a good book.
However, if you are looking for entertainment check out the communities throughout the North Thompson and what they have to offer for Family Day activities.
In the Barriere area on Sunday, Feb. 16, from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. the Ridge school will be filled with fun activities for families of all ages to enjoy throughout the evening. Once there you’ll also find a parent’s retreat, bouncy castle, Uncle Chris the Clown, a movie, and a whole lot more.
On Monday, Feb. 17 (Family Day) the Barriere and District Riding Club will be hosting a Family Fun Day at the North Thompson Agriplex. The event will include a gymkhana for riders, a tack sale, stick horse games for the youngsters, displays, door prizes and more; admission is free and doors open at 10 a.m.
Whatever you decide to do, or not to do, this is your Family Day – how you celebrate it is up to you.
Happy Family Day 2020!