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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Discover the cultural aspects that are celebrated by Canadian provinces on first Monday of August i.e. Civic Holiday !!

The first Monday is a holiday for people in many parts of Canada Known as “Civic Holiday”. Discover why Canadian provinces celebrate some aspects of their history and achievements! - Brought to you by PartsAvatar Aftermarket Auto Parts.

On the first Monday in august, in some places throughout the first week of Augusts, various cultural events are held to celebrate local history and achievements. Know what every Canadian province and territories do on this holiday.

Provincial Day
In many parts of Canada, holiday on the first Monday in August is simply called civic day or august holiday. But, a wide range of local names are also used. Some of these are named after the name of their province such as British Columbia day, New Brunswick Day and Saskatchewan day.

Others use names to highlight a particular aspect of the celebrations such as Natal day in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward’s island which marks the birthdays of these provinces. It is called heritage day in Alberta.

In Ontario a range of local names are used such as in Toronto it is called Simcoe day, in Ottawa it is called colonel by day in honour of John By.
In Qu├ębec and Yukon dates are different for the celebrations of local culture.

Heritage day in Alberta

Civic holiday or Heritage day is an optional holiday in Alberta. Museums may be open, many provincial government employees have a day off and post offices are closed, so there is no regular delivery or collection of mail.

In 1974, the Alberta government declared first Monday of august as annual holiday to celebrate the heritage of Albertans. In 1975, a multicultural concert was held to celebrate first heritage day. The Yukon also celebrates its heritage day.

Mostly Albertans use this opportunity to go on out of town trips and to spend time with family and friends. Many families plan camping trips, hiking tours or quiet retreats.
A special event is held at Fort Calgary to celebrate heritage day which features interpretive tours, movies, crafts, face paintings, a treasure hunt.

The major attraction of this day is Servus heritage festival also called Edmonton heritage festival which is attended by more than 400000 people every year.

Natal Day in Nova Scotia
People in Nova Scotia hold birthday parties for their province on first Monday of august. Nova Scotia has been a member of a Canadian confederation since July 1, 1867. Natal in Latin means birth. Hence, Natal day is the official birthday of the province.

The first natal day celebrations were organized in 1895 and were intended to mark the arrival of the railway line in the area. But the construction work was delayed and day became celebration of history of Halifax and surrounding area.

Natal day is not a statutory holiday but many people in the province of Nova Scotia have a paid day off. Many events are organized around natal day and last for a whole week. At Natal day festival in Halifax which includes parades, communal breakfasts, live entertainment, festival tents, family events and fire work display around Mc Donald Bridge.

British Columbia Day

BC day is a statutory holiday in British Columbia and many people have a day off work. Post offices, libraries are closed on this day. Public transport services may be reduced or may not run at all.

Indigenous people have inhabited BC. It is said that BC was travelled by Majorcan born Spanish navigator Juan Jose Perez Hernandez in 1774. In 1778 James cook reached Nootka Sound and set foot on British Columbian soil. In 1871, British Columbia became the sixth province of the Dominion of Canada.
BC people use their holiday weekend to make short trips out of town and into one of the areas of beautiful scenery in this province. Some go camping, while other plan walks, hike or canoe trips.

Many people incorporate BC Day into their summer vacations to plan longer trips. Various celebrations are organized in Vancouver which includes firework displays, parades and cultural festivals. There are various events to honour the people from Canada’s west coast in the areas of sports, cuisine, and technology and Canadian Japanese culture.

New Brunswick Day
New Brunswick area has been populated by first nations communities around 6000 years. In 1600s and 1700s the area was colonized by French and later by British. In 1867, New Brunswick was one of the four provinces which formed the Canadian confederation.

New Brunswick day has been celebrated since 1976. Like British Columbia, this day is also a statutory holiday in New Brunswick. Post offices, libraries are closed and people have a day off work.

Another interesting event takes place on this day. The New Brunswick day awards were introduced in 1991 and have been celebrated ever since. New Brunswick merit awards are presented to residents, businesses and organizations that contribute in improving the life in the city, town or village.

Many communities hold birthday parties for their province. A huge civic birthday cake is cut and distributed among residents. There are various live entertainment events organized on this day.

Many family friendly events are organized that feature face painting, story tellers and sports events.  Large communal meals are organized that include breakfast, barbeque or supper.
Many other culinary competitions are organized featuring local produce such as Atlantic salmon, fiddleheads.

Multiple local names in Ontario
The holiday is called Simcoe day in Toronto in honour of the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. Civic holiday has various local names as:

Colonel By day in Ottawa

George Hamilton day in Hamilton

Joseph Brant day in Burlington

Alexander Mackenzie Day in Sarnia

James Cockburn day in Cobourg

Peter Robinson day in Peterborough

Though a work holiday is given to employees of federal and municipal governments, it is still not a statutory holiday in Ontario. Schools are already closed due to summer vacations so people plan longer trips. Many celebrations are low key and are organized by community members.

In the end, you can plan long trips as summer vacations and civic holiday come at the same time. It’s a good chance to recharge yourself!

Enjoy your Civic Holiday!


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