Home   Calendar   Holidays   Canada   Islander Day
Flag for Canada

Islander Day in Canada

Islander Day is a holiday in the province of Prince Edward Island on the third Monday of February. It gives people the chance to have a day off to relax or to take a short winter break.

Is Islander Day a Public Holiday?

Islander Day is a public holiday in Prince Edward Island, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

The blue jay is one of the symbols of Prince Edward Island.

©iStockphoto.com/Jello5700

What Do People Do?

Many workers in the province have the day off work or school on Islander Day. The holiday gives people the time to rest, relax and engage in personal activities. The idea of this holiday also centers on celebrating family and the community.

Public Life

Islander Day is a statutory holiday for many people in the province of Prince Edward Island. Schools and many businesses are closed and provincial government employees get the day off but federal government employees in the province may have to choose between Islander Day and the one they receive in August, known as Natal Day.

Background

Islander Day was recently created in the province of Prince Edward Island. The province’s premier Robert Ghiz promised in a previous election that he would look at having a new holiday for the province.  He reiterated his promise in April in 2008, saying the new holiday would afford everyone an opportunity to celebrate family and community. The province’s legislator approved the new statutory holiday for Prince Edward Island on November 28, 2008.

It was announced that the second Monday of February would be known as “Islander Day”. Its first observance was scheduled for February 9 in 2009. However, this new holiday caused some concern regarding federal government employees. The Public Service Alliance of Canada’s officials said that federal government employees in the province would need to choose between the February holiday and a federal government holiday in August.

Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Carolyn Bertram raised the issue with Federal Minister of Labour Rona Ambrose. Ms. Bertram said that Islander Day was intended to be a paid holiday for all workers in the province. However, a federal collective agreement happens outside of provincial jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Ms. Ambrose confirmed that she would consider this issue. The holiday's date was later changed in 2009 to be on the third Monday of February. This change was to take effect from 2010 onwards.

Symbols

Prince Edward Island has various provincial symbols including armorial bearings, a great seal, and an official wordmark. The provincial bird is the blue jay (cyanocitta cristata) and the flower is the “lady’s slipper”. The provincial tartan features the following colors:

  • Reddish-brown, which signifies the soil’s redness.
  • Green, which represents the grass and the trees.
  • White, which symbolizes for the caps on the waves.
  • Yellow, which represents the Sun.

The red oak (quercus rubra) is the province’s tree. Although many consider the red oak to be the tree on the provincial coat-of-arms (adopted in 1905), this was never formally recognized.

Islander Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015MonFeb 16Islander DayCommon local holiday
2016MonFeb 15Islander DayCommon local holiday
2017MonFeb 20Islander DayCommon local holiday
2018MonFeb 19Islander DayCommon local holiday
2019MonFeb 18Islander DayCommon local holiday
2020MonFeb 17Islander DayCommon local holiday
2021MonFeb 15Islander DayCommon local holiday
2022MonFeb 21Islander DayCommon local holiday
2023MonFeb 20Islander DayCommon local holiday
2024MonFeb 19Islander DayCommon local holiday
2025MonFeb 17Islander DayCommon local holiday

You might also like

Watch Comet 46P/Wirtanen!

Watch Comet 46P/Wirtanen!

All of December, this comet will be bright enough to spot with the naked eye. Find the comet on our Interactive Night Sky Map and see when and where you can watch it. more

Family Day

Family Day is a public holiday in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and New Brunswick. more

Nova Scotia Heritage Day

Nova Scotia Heritage Day is a day off for Canadians in Nova Scotia. It aims to recognize cultural or historical contributions to the province. more

Natal DayCanadaNova Scotia Flag

Natal Day

Natal Day is a civic holiday to celebrate the “birthday” of the Nova Scotia province. It is held on the first Monday of August. more