The Simcoe County District School Board recognizes the following heritage days/months. These days/months are either celebrated in the province of Ontario or nationally across Canada.
Ukrainian Heritage Day (September 7)
Ontarians of Ukrainian descent have left and continue to leave a historic mark on our province. Their contributions span communities across Ontario and are reflected in our economic, political, social and cultural life. Ukrainian Canadians have played an important role in the development of Ontario into one of the most desirable places in the world to live and have contributed to making Canada the great country that it is today. It is important to recognize and celebrate these contributions. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/11u03.
Franco-Ontarian Day (September 25)
The Francophone community of Ontario is the largest French-speaking community in Canada outside Quebec. French is one of the two official languages of Canada. In Ontario, it is recognized as an official language in the courts, in education and in the Legislature. The Francophone community has made and continues to make a significant contribution to the vitality of Ontario’s society. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/10f04.
Hispanic Heritage Month
As early as 1914, Canadians who originated from the 23 Hispanic countries began immigrating to the province and today the Hispanic community is one of the fastest growing in Ontario. By proclaiming the month of October as Hispanic Heritage Month in Ontario, we recognize the rich contributions of Hispanic-Canadians to our social, economic, political and multicultural fabric. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the outstanding achievements and contributions of Hispanic people in the province. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/15h04.
Hindu Heritage Month
Hindu Canadians from across Ontario have made significant contributions across all fields: science, education, medicine, law, politics, business, culture and sports. Hindu Canadians have helped build Ontario into the multicultural success story that it is and have helped to build this province into the best place to live, work and raise families. Hindu Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Hindu Canadians and the important role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/16h35.
International Day of the Girl (October 11)
Every girl deserves an equal start in life and the chance to grow to her full potential. That equality starts with clean water, healthy food and a safe place to live. It starts with education, support from the community and freedom from violence. This day reinforces that we can create these conditions for girls across the globe. We can help girls thrive and take their place as leaders in the world. We can show them that gender equality is, not just possible, but necessary. For more information, visit http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/idg-jif/index-en.html.
Islamic Heritage Month
Islamic History Month Canada aims to celebrate, inform, educate, and share with fellow Canadians the rich Muslim heritage and contributions to society: sciences, humanities, medicine, astronomy, and other disciplines that have greatly benefited human progress. Islamic Heritage Month believes that through education and sharing positive stories, all Canadians can grow and connect in the best way possible. For more information, visit http://www.ihmcanada.com/.
Women's History Month
This month Canadians celebrate the achievements of women and girls as trailblazers throughout our history. It is a time to learn about the contributions women have made that have shaped our way of life. It is a time to recognize that “Because of Her” Canada is the extraordinary country that we know today. Much of our progress as a nation is the work of remarkable women, who pushed for change, even in the face of intractable social barriers, discrimination and resistance. For more information, visit http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/whm-mhf/index-en.html.
Albanian Heritage Month
Since the early 20th century, the Albanian-Canadian community has made and continues to make significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the province of Ontario. By proclaiming the month of November as Albanian Heritage Month, we recognize the meaningful contributions immigrants have made in building Ontario’s communities and the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of Albanian-Canadians throughout the province. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/16a29.
Treaties Recognition Week (November 5-11)
Treaties Recognition Week was introduced in 2016 by the province to honour the importance of treaties and to help Ontarians learn more about treaty rights and treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It is recognized during the first week of November every year. The first legislation of its kind in Canada, Treaties Recognition Week will provide a recurring opportunity for teachers to plan learning activities about treaties during the school year and will help promote awareness of treaties in the broader public. Treaties Recognition Week is also one of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects Ontario's commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/treaties#section-4
Veteran's Week (November 5-11)
The people of Ontario must never forget the extraordinary courage and profound sacrifice made by the men and women who bravely and unselfishly gave their lives for Canada in wars and in peace support operations. As a gesture of respect for them, it is appropriate to proclaim the week preceding Remembrance Day in each year as Veteran’s Week and to unite in honouring their memory by observing two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day itself. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/16r21.
Remembrance Day (November 11)
Remembrance Day commemorates the armistice signed to end the First World War at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, being the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of that year. Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. We honour those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. For more information, visit http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/a-day-of-remembrance.
Holodomor Memorial Day (fourth Saturday in November)
The Holodomor is the name given to the genocide by famine that occurred in Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. As many as 10 million Ukrainians perished as victims of a man-made famine under Joseph Stalin’s regime, with 25,000 dying each day at the peak of the famine. To memorialize those who perished, it is appropriate to extend to Ontario the annual commemoration of the victims of the Ukrainian genocide by famine. A memorial day provides an opportunity to reflect on and to educate the public about the enduring lessons of the Holodomor and other crimes against humanity. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/09h07.
National Child Day (November 20)
Celebrating National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives and in communities, as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision-making. For more information, visit http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncd-jne/index-eng.php.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25-December 10)
The 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begin on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and end on International Human Rights Day (December 10). As a society, it is important to look closely to see the roots of gender-based violence around us and make connections so we can put a stop to it. For more information, visit http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/index-en.html.
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (December 6)
Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women. As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. For more information, visit http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/remembrance-commemoration-en.html.
Tamil Heritage Month
Tamils began migrating to Ontario as early as the 1940s. Since that time, Tamil Canadians have overcome tremendous obstacles and have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of Ontario. The province of Ontario recognizes the valuable contributions that Tamil Canadians have made to Ontario’s social, economic, political and cultural fabric. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/14t04.
Black History Month
Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. Throughout our history, Black Canadians have played a key role in building and shaping the diverse, compassionate and prosperous country that we are proud to call home. For more information, visit visit https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history-month.html.
Bangladeshi Heritage Month
Bangladeshi Canadians from across the province have made significant contributions to Ontario’s scientific, athletic, cultural and political development, and they continue to help foster growth, prosperity and innovation throughout Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/16b32.
International Women's Day (March 8)
International Women’s Day recognizes women’s achievements and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face in the quest for gender equality. For more information, visit http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/iwd-jif/index-en.html.
Irish Heritage Day (March 17)
Irish immigrants brought Ontario and Canada their values of hard work, devotion to family, service to the community and the perpetual hope for a better future for themselves and their fellow citizens. Today the rich cultural heritage of Canada’s Irish community is an integral part of Canadian national culture and identity and belongs to all Canadians of all backgrounds. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/04i10.
Sikh Heritage Month
Sikh Canadians represent a growing and dynamic population. They have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of Ontario. Sikh Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Sikh Canadians and the important role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/13s12.
Vimy Ridge Day (April 9)
The Battle of Vimy Ride is widely regarded as a watershed moment in the evolution of Canada as an independent nation. The Battle marked the first time that Canadian Divisions fought together on the same battlefield under Canadian leadership to carry out Canadian strategy. It is important to remember the importance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge to Canada’s identity. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/10v03.
International Day of Pink (April 12/second Wednesday of April)
The International Day of Pink is a day where communities across the world can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny and all forms of bullying. For more information, visit http://dayofpink.org/about/.
Holocaust Memorial Day, Yomha-Shoah (April/May - determined by the Jewish lunar calendar)
It is important to establish Holocaust Memorial Day – Yomha-Shoah in Ontario to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust of 1933-1945. This day provides an opportunity to reflect on and educate about the enduring lessons of the Holocaust. It also serves as an opportunity to consider other instances of systematic destruction of peoples, human rights issues and multicultural reality of modern society. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/98h25.
Asian Heritage Month
In Ontario, diversity is our strength and immigrants from many Asian countries have chosen this province to be their home. People from these regions who have immigrated here over the past 100 years and longer have significantly contributed in the settlement, growth and development of Ontario. This month recognizes and pays tribute to the contributions that Asians have made and continue to make to the development and general welfare of Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05a10.
Dutch Heritage Month
Since the early 1800s, the Dutch Canadian community has made and continues to make significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the province of Ontario. By proclaiming the month of May as Dutch Heritage Month, we recognize the important contributions that Dutch Canadians have made to the economic, political, social and cultural fabric of our society. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/11d04.
Jewish Heritage Month
Since the early 1800s, the Jewish Canadian community has made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of Ontario, while overcoming tremendous obstacles. Jewish Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the inspirational role that Jewish Canadians have played, and continue to play, in communities across Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/12j01.
South Asian Arrival Day (May 5)
For South Asians, the month of May has been a time of celebration and commemoration of their arrival from the Indian subcontinent to the Americas beginning on May 5, 1838. It is appropriate to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions South Asians have made, and continue to make, to the development and general welfare of Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/01s29.
South Asian Heritage Month
South Asian immigrants began arriving in Ontario at the start of the 20th century. Working primarily in the sawmill industry, South Asian immigrants settled in various parts of the province. Today, South Asians make up a significant proportion of Ontario’s population and are proud to draw upon their heritage and traditions, contributing to many aspects of culture, commerce and public service across this province. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/01s29.
Italian Heritage Month
By proclaiming the month of June as Italian Heritage Month, we recognize the important contributions immigrants have made in building Ontario’s communities and the economic, political, social and cultural achievements of Italian Canadians throughout the province. Italian Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Ontario’s rich history. For more information visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/10i17.
National Aboriginal History Month
June is National Aboriginal history Month. The history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis is essentially the very history of our country as they are the first peoples of Canada and continue to play important roles in its development and its future. Today the Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations in this new era of reconciliation to build stronger First Nations communities. For more information, visit http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1466616436543/1466616481533.
Portuguese History and Heritage Month
Portugal played a pioneering and leading role in the discoveries of the 15th and 16th centuries that contributed to the passing from an age of closed worlds into an age of space exploration. The year 2001 marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Portuguese explorers in Canada. For the past 500 years, people of Portuguese heritage have settled and made their homes in Canada. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/01c22.
Portugal Day (June 10)
The month of June and the day of June 10, in particular, have always been a great time of celebration by the Portuguese community. The celebrations honour the life of Luis de Camoes and his famous poems, the Lusiads, with cultural performances, history seminars, poem recitals, street parades, and many other activities. The Lusiads are epic poems narrating the history of Portugal up to and including the era of the discoveries of the 15th and 16th centuries. June 10 is the anniversary of the death of Luis de Camoes. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/01c22.
United Empire Loyalists' Day (June 19)
The people of Ontario recognize and celebrate their heritage of loyalty to the Crown. One of the earliest groups to demonstrate that loyalty were the United Empire Loyalists who emigrated to Ontario from the United States of America so that they could continue to live under the Crown after the United States gained their independence in 1783. It is important to recognize the contribution that the United Empire Loyalists have made and that their descendants continue to make to the development and general welfare of Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/97u42.
National Aboriginal Day (June 21)
National Aboriginal Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous Peoples. In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day. For more information, visit http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013718/1100100013719.
Jean St. Baptiste Day (June 24)
The cultural pride and rich heritage of Canada’s Francophones are expressed in the colourful parades and lively festivities that mark Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. Francophones and Francophiles across the country celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day—especially in Quebec, where June 24 has been officially declared the National Holiday. For more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/celebrate-canada-days/baptiste-day.html.
Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27)
Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and our commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect and to appreciate the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society. For more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/celebrate-canada-days/multiculturalism-day.html.
Canada Day (July 1)
Canada Day is an opportunity to gather in our communities to proudly celebrate all we have in common. It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, which were born in the audacious vision and shared values of our ancestors, and which are voiced in nearly all of the languages of the world through the contribution of New Canadians. For more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/celebrate-canada-days/canada-day.html.
Canada History Week (July 1-7)
Canada History Week provides Canadians throughout the country with opportunities to learn more about the people and events that have shaped the great nation that we know today. All Canadians, from the youngest to the oldest, are invited to participate in history-related activities organized by museums, historical societies and cultural organizations. For more information, visit http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1467113851440.
Emancipation Day (August 1)
It is important to recognize the heritage of Ontario’s Black community and the contributions that it has made and continues to make to Ontario. It is also important to recall the ongoing international struggle for human rights and freedom from repression for persons of all races which can be best personified by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Accordingly, it is appropriate to recognize August 1 formally as Emancipation Day and to celebrate it. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/08e25.