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Family Day in Canada

Quick Facts

The Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia celebrate the importance of families on Family Day.

Local names

NameLanguage
Family DayEnglish
Jour de la FamilleFrench
Tag der FamilieGerman

Family Day 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014 (British Columbia)
Monday, February 17, 2014 (AB, ON, SK)

Family Day 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015 (British Columbia)
Monday, February 16, 2015 (AB, ON, SK)
List of dates for other years

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.

Children and mother playing with letters

Family Day gives people time to spend with their children.

©iStockphoto.com/matka_Wariatka

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.

Public life

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.

Background

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

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is a statutory holiday
MonFeb 191990Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 181991Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 171992Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 151993Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 211994Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 201995Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 191996Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 171997Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 161998Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 151999Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 212000Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 192001Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 182002Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 172003Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 162004Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 212005Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 202006Family DayLocal holidayAlberta
MonFeb 192007Family DayLocal holidayAlberta, Saskatchewan
MonFeb 182008Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 162009Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 152010Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 212011Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 202012Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 112013Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 182013Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 102014Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 172014Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 92015Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 162015Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 82016Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 152016Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 132017Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 202017Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 122018Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 192018Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 112019Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 182019Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK
MonFeb 102020Family DayCommon Local holidaysBritish Columbia
MonFeb 172020Family DayCommon Local holidaysAB, ON, SK

Related holiday

Other holidays in February 2014 in Canada

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