Family Day (AB,NB,ON,SK)

Quick Facts

Hashtags#FamilyDay, #CanadaCares
2020 DateFebruary 17, 2020
2021 DateFebruary 15, 2021
Family Day (AB,NB,ON,SK)

Family Day History

Family Day seeks to allow Canadians from certain provinces to enjoy a break between New Year's and Easter while emphasizing the importance of family life. Family Day originally began in the province of Alberta. In 1990, the Family Day Act was passed and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Helen Hunley, declared the third Monday of every February a provincial public holiday known as Alberta Family Day.

It took nearly two decades before other provinces began to create February holidays known as Family Days, Saskatchewan in 2007, Ontario in 2008 and British Columbia in 2013. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario celebrate Family Day on the third Monday of February whereas British Columbia has chosen to celebrate it on the second Monday in February. Four other provinces and territories have created their own February holidays while the remaining five are currently under heavy pressure to conform with the rest of the country.

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Family Day Facts & Quotes

  • There are over 9.3 million families in Canada, 38% of which live in the province of Ontario : 2011 Census.
  • Although they are not known as Family Days, to follow suit, four other Canadian provinces and territories (Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Yukon) created similar February holidays in order to break up the long stretch between New Year's and Easter. These provinces have opted for names relating to heritage; Manitoba (Louis Riel Day), Prince Edward Island (Islander Day), Nova Scotia (Heritage Day) and Yukon (Heritage Day).
  • Family Day has been controversial in some provinces due to the fact that it is not a statutory holiday. Sometimes parents are expected to work however their children's schools and state-run day care facilities are closed.
  • Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. - Disney's Lilo and Stitch
  • You don't have to give birth to someone to have a family. We're all family -- an extended family. - Sandra Bullock

Family Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Take your family on a long weekend ski trip to a nearby mountain. Enjoy the extra day in a wintery paradise.
  • Enjoy one of many free skates at local skating rinks. Many skating rinks open up for a day of free skating on Family Day. Check your local skating rink for times.
  • Tourist attractions are open on Family Day, so take advantage and bring your loved ones to visit an attraction or museum.
  • Watch a movie about the importance of family. Our favorited picks: The Family Man (2000), Click (2006), The Pursuit of Happiness (2006), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), the Sound of Music (1965) and Finding Nemo (2003).
  • Focus on your family. Try to spend the day without your phone in order to reinforce quality family time.

Family Day References and Related Sites

Department of Labour: Family Facts
www.canlii.org - Canadian Legal Information Institute CanLII: Family Day Act
louisrielday.com: Louis Riel Day
Ontario Dept of Labour: Family Facts

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