Family Day in Canada
Family Day is observed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan on the third Monday of February. In British Columbia, Family Day falls on the second Monday of February. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.
What do people do?
On Family Day, many people plan and take part in activities aimed at the whole family. These include visiting art exhibitions, watching movies, skating on outdoor ice rinks, playing board games and taking part in craft activities. Some communities plan special public events, and art galleries and museums may have reduced price or free entry.
As the weather is usually very cold in February, hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies are popular snacks. Other people use the long weekend as an opportunity for a short winter break or to travel to visit family members or friends. As Family Day falls on the same date as National Heritage Day (except in British Columbia), some people use the day to explore their personal heritage and family history.
In the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia many people have a day off work and schools are generally closed on Family Day. Many businesses and organizations are closed, but post offices may be open. Public transport services may run to their usual or reduced timetables.
In the province of Manitoba, the third Monday of February is a general holiday, known as Louis Riel Day. Many people have a day off work and school and many businesses, organizations and stores are closed. In some communities, stores are open after noon. Public transport services may run to Sunday or holiday timetables. In rural areas, there may be no services.
In the other provinces and territories of Canada, Family Day is not observed, and neither the third nor the second Monday in February are holidays there. Businesses, organizations, schools and post offices are open as usual and public transport services run to their normal timetables.
Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. British Columbia observes Family Day as a statutory holiday for the first time in 2013. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period when there were no holidays from New Year's Day until Good Friday.
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.
Family Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday type||Where it is a statutory holiday|
|Mon||Feb 19||1990||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 18||1991||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 17||1992||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 15||1993||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 21||1994||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 20||1995||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 19||1996||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 17||1997||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 16||1998||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 15||1999||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 21||2000||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 19||2001||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 18||2002||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 17||2003||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 16||2004||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 21||2005||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 20||2006||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta|
|Mon||Feb 19||2007||Family Day||Local holiday||Alberta, Saskatchewan|
|Mon||Feb 18||2008||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 16||2009||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 15||2010||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 21||2011||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 20||2012||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 11||2013||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 18||2013||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 10||2014||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 17||2014||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 9||2015||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 16||2015||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 8||2016||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 15||2016||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 13||2017||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 20||2017||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 12||2018||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 19||2018||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 11||2019||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 18||2019||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
|Mon||Feb 10||2020||Family Day||Common Local holidays||British Columbia|
|Mon||Feb 17||2020||Family Day||Common Local holidays||AB, ON, SK|
Quick FactsThe Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia celebrate the importance of families on Family Day.
Family Day 2015Monday, February 9, 2015 (British Columbia)
Monday, February 16, 2015 (AB, ON, SK)
Family Day 2016Monday, February 8, 2016 (British Columbia)
Monday, February 15, 2016 (AB, ON, SK)
Name in other languages
|Jour de la Famille||French|
|Tag der Familie||German|
Other holidays in February 2015 in Canada
- Groundhog Day ―Monday, February 2, 2015
- Tu B'Shevat (Arbor Day) ―Wednesday, February 4, 2015
- Valentine's Day ―Saturday, February 14, 2015
- National Flag of Canada Day ―Sunday, February 15, 2015
- Islander Day ―Monday, February 16, 2015
- Carnival/Shrove Tuesday ―Tuesday, February 17, 2015
- Ash Wednesday ―Wednesday, February 18, 2015
- Chinese New Year ―Thursday, February 19, 2015
- Yukon Heritage Day ―Friday, February 20, 2015