British Columbians are getting ready to celebrate their first Family Day statutory holiday on Monday, and even if they’re not sure why it’s here, few will turn up their noses at a day off.
When Premier Christy Clark announced the new holiday last year, she was joining five other provinces that already have such a day. As of this year, two-thirds of Canadians will live in provinces that celebrate a Family Day in February.
Of course, B.C. couldn’t do it exactly like everyone else, so we get the second Monday in February, while the others all get the third Monday, which corresponds to the American Presidents Day.
While most of us are hoping for good weather to make the most of our new celebration, business owners are grinding their teeth at the cost of another stat holiday. For those businesses in retail, food service and leisure activities, perhaps the cloud will have a silver lining as the holiday-makers rush out to spend money instead of working.
We should also think of those who work for the federal government, which doesn’t recognize Family Day anywhere. For federal civil servants around Victoria, including the thousands in the Canadian Forces, Monday is just another day at work.
For the rest of us, it’s a welcome break in what has always been a bleak stretch of winter between New Year’s Day and Easter. We face the delightful challenge of figuring out how to make the most of it, and turn it into a day that really is about families.
You can do anything you like because there are no traditions.
There are lots of options. Unlike most other Canadians, we can almost certainly spend our Family Day outdoors without the risk of frostbite. B.C. Ferries is getting into the spirit by offering free trips for kids under 11 who travel with their families. Most recreation centres (except Victoria’s Crystal Pool) are open.
If you want ideas, check out the Explore page at the back of today’s Go section.
On this first B.C. Family Day, spend the time with your family and start your own traditions.
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