Family Day in Canada 2021
By Isabelle Griesmer
Family Day is intended to remember the essential values of family and home. Those were important to the original families who founded Alberta and to give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Starting in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008, British Columbia observed Family Day as a statutory holiday for the first time in 2013, New Brunswick in 2018.
Holidays to celebrate families are also held in other places around the world. For example, in South Africa, the day after Easter Sunday is Family Day.
Did You Know?
Family Day was proposed by the province’s former premier, Don Getty, after his son was arrested for dealing drugs. Although Getty denied any connection, it is believed that this event inspired him to establish an occasion to counter what he saw as the decay of family values in Canadian society.
In five provinces, family day is an official public holiday where the majority of the population including businesses, and schools take the day off. Although, other provinces and territories of Canada don’t view Family Day as such. Businesses, organizations, schools, and post offices are open as usual, and public transport services run to their normal timetables.
How is Family Day Observed?
Some communities depending on the providence, plan special public events. Art galleries and museums may have reduced prices or free entry as well. If families don’t want to participate in those activities they typically plan and take part in activities that are family-oriented.
These activities include: visiting museums, movie nights, ice skating, playing board games, and taking part in craft activities. Other people use the extended weekend as an opportunity for a short winter break or to travel to visit family members or friends.
Family Day After COVID-19
After being quarantined for what seemed like forever to most, the concept of a family day feels that much more special. While most are still social distancing, there is still a chance to spend time with family and reach out to loved ones out of reach. Here are some ways you can still observe this day while staying safe: first option, Zoom or Skype. It’s easy and you can have several people in the chat all at once. Another idea is to send a fun gift box to a distant loved one! It can be local treats, framed photos, themed family fun kits, or even a customized gift. You can also take part in online exhibit tours by checking places in your area to find out what they offer. Lastly, a classic game night at home. Nothing beats sitting around the home with your family laughing, playing games, and making sweet memories while staying safe.