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Other Observances   

Canada, like many other countries of the world, has identified holidays that are of religious and historical significance to the nation. The nine holidays – Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, and Victoria Day – are mandated federal holidays.  These holidays celebrate and/or commemorate special events or individuals. 

Provincially the number of statutory holidays vary. Ontario has eight recognized holidays; Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday in Ontario. The Civic Holiday, also known as Simcoe Day, and Family Day are regionally designated holidays in Ontario.

Boxing Day
The day after Christmas is the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. This day is also known as Boxing Day, as church poor boxes are opened. In Canada and many western countries, the day is observed as a public holiday. The day is celebrated by many in giving or purchasing gifts. It is also customary to hold sporting activities on the day.

Canada Day
This day celebrates the anniversary of July 1st, 1867 which is the date of the Constitution Act.  Many Canadians enjoy festive activities with family and friends including outdoor activities, sharing meals and observing fireworks. It is a statutory holiday in Ontario. 
Family Day
Family Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, PEI and Saskatchewan, and the second Monday in February in BC.

Inuit Day
The late Eben Hopson of Barrow, Alaska, founded the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) in 1977 which represents 160,000 Inuit of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Chukotka (Russia). To thrive in their homeland, Inuit had the vision to realize they must speak with a united voice on issues of common concern and combine their energies and talents towards protecting and promoting their way of life. In 2006, the ICC was instructed to annually proclaim November 7, the birthdate of Eben Hopson, Sr., as Inuit Day, and to urge all Inuit governments, agencies, and communities to annually proclaim this day as Inuit Day, and conduct appropriate ceremonies and celebrations.

Labour Day
This day celebrates working people and is held on the first Monday of September. Celebrations include picnics, water activities, fireworks, and public events. For many, it is a last chance to travel before the school-year begins.

Louis Riel Day
Louis Riel Day is celebrated on November 16, the anniversary of Riel’s execution in 1885. Although Louis Riel Day commemorates one of the great tragedies of Canadian history, it is also a day to celebrate Métis people and culture, and the continuing progress in fulfilling Riel’s dream with the Métis people taking their rightful place within Confederation. Riel fought for the rights of all landowners in Western Canada, including First Nation people, Métis people, and European settlers; he fought for the protection of language rights for both French and English speaking people; and he dreamed of the day when the religious prejudices of Europe would not impact people in what is now Canada.

National Aboriginal Day
This day celebrates the rich history, heritage and contributions Aboriginal peoples have made and continue to make in Canada. It is celebrated on summer solstice (the longest day of the year) as it has symbolism within their cultures. It is a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories.

New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for the past 400+ years. Celebrations include making of resolutions for the year to come, parties on the evening of Dec. 31, and a toast at midnight when the New Year officially begins. On New Year's Day itself, many people watch football games, parades and spend the day with family and friends.

Powley Day
Every year on September 19, Powley Day is celebrated to remember the decade-long struggle for Métis rights that led Steve and Roddy Powley to the Supreme Court of Canada. On that day in 2003, in a unanimous judgement, the Supreme Court declared that Steve and Roddy Powley as members of the Sault Ste. Marie Métis community, had the Métis right to harvest.

Remembrance Day
Canada honours the memory of men and women who have served our country in times of war and conflict, and also in recent peace duties. A moment of silence is observed at the 11th hour and poppies are distributed as flowers of remembrance.
Thanksgiving Day
This North American tradition celebrates the harvest and is a time to give thanks. Families and friends gather together to enjoy meals.

Victoria Day
Canadians celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday on the Monday proceeding May 24 which is her actual birthday. This is a statutory holiday in Ontario.