Family Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday of February in other parts of Western Canada, however British Columbia stands on its own where it’s honored on the 2nd Monday of February. (there is also a US holiday the same week – Presidents Day) Family Day was originally created to give people time to spend with their families but it also provides a day off between New Years Day and Good Friday. Three months is far too long to wait for a long weekend!
Fantastic – a long weekend right in the heart of winter! Or should I say ‘early spring’. This will be our 2nd annual holiday treat in the province!
Alberta was the first to kick off with Family Day by establishing it in Canada in 1990. It was intended to reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers that founded Alberta, and give employees the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007, in Ontario in 2008 and finally BC in 2013.
Family Day is not a Canadian national statutory holiday. The BC Premier got on board only last year. It seems several other provinces already had an extra statuary holiday before us. On the third Monday of February Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have their Family Day while on the same day next week, PEI celebrates Islander Day and Manitoba parties on their Louis Riel Day holiday. Even the US had a Federal holiday in February – President’s Day. I guess it just took us a little longer, but hey, who’s complaining?
One guy is! A BC man started a petition last year to convince the BC Premier to move the BC Family Day holiday to coincide with the rest of the country. He got 17,000 signatures. He’s at it again this year and looking for more support. I guess the rest of the province is out of step and he feels it is his responsibility to correct it. Oh, well…… I guess there will always be the odd person that believes they are the belly button of the province…..
And a word from our (current) sponsor – The Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. The BC government is providing $290,000 to support local BC Family Day events shared between the BCRPA ($250,000) and the Royal BC Museum ($40,000).
Humans are social creatures. The frequency of our contact with others and the quality of our personal relationships are crucial determinants of our well-being. We know that a poor work-life balance results in unhealthy levels of stress and unhappiness that ultimately takes its toll on our mental well-being. Mental health issues in the workplace cost the Canadian economy upwards of $21 billion a year in lost labour alone. Striking the right balance between work and rest makes a significant difference to employee performance and happiness. Regular leisure time enables an individual to recharge while enriching the full spectrum of their life.
Finding a suitable balance between work and life is a challenge for all workers, especially working parents. Studies have shown that workplace duties are taking a heavy toll on family time. Almost two-thirds of Canadians are working more than 45 hours a week – 50% more than a decade ago. And less than a quarter of us are happy with our lives! It certainly sounds like the work-life balance concept hasn’t quite caught on yet? Maybe now with a day given specifically to focus on family, more people will take advantage of the opportunity to re-acquaint themselves by doing things together.
Here are just a few tips to help restore some balance and harmony in both your work and personal life:
- Focus on what is important; don’t let small stuff get in the way
- Eat healthy meals because your body needs clean fuel
- Get plenty of exercise to feel more energized and refreshed
- Find a way to address the needs of the heart and soul. People that volunteer with family, neighbors and the community tend to be more satisfied
- Connecting with nature may support a spiritual outlook on life. The quality of our local living environment has a direct impact on health and well-being
Let’s look at how we combine these breaking up that long stretch of official long weekends between New Years and Good Friday and recognizing the importance of families and family life this Monday.
Firstly, what can we expect to be open on Family Day?
- Tourist attractions
- Many retail stores
- Many restaurants particularly in touristy areas and non-business focused locales
- Movie theatres
- Many museums & galleries
- Most sports related venues
- NOTE – public transportation may run on holiday schedules
What will be closed?
- Provincial government offices
You may want to take a couple of minutes to peruse these links to help you get started with your Family Day plans.
- 10 Things to do in Vancouver on Family Day
- 6 Things to do on Family Day around Vancouver
- More things to do in the BC Lower Mainland
- Super Natural BC
- Inside Vancouver’s 4 Places to Take Your Dog – for those of you spending time with furry families
FYI – Holidays to celebrate families are also held in other places around the globe. In the Australian Capital Territory, the first Tuesday of November is known as Family and Community Day. In South Africa, the day after Easter Sunday is Family Day.
Have fun recharging!
“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life”
~Hillary Rodham Clinton