Family Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February in most Canadian provinces. It is a provincial statutory holiday in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan. The third Monday of February is observed as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, in Nova Scotia, it’s called Nova Scotia Heritage Day, and in Prince Edward Island it is observed as Islander Day. In Manitoba, Louis Riel Day was celebrated in honor of Louis Riel, who is the founder of Manitoba, and fought for the rights of the Metis people. In Nova Scotia, Heritage Day celebrates local heroes like Viola Desmond who was a human rights activist in New Glasgow.
In general, the third Monday in February has also been celebrated as Heritage Day across Canada buts it’s not listed as a statutory holiday in the Canadian Labor Code. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Nunavut the third Monday in February is a regular working day. In Yukon, the last Friday of February is celebrated as Yukon Heritage Day. The Family Day celebrations started in Alberta when the Family Day Act intruded on the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Helen Hunley in 1990. In 2007, Saskatchewan started celebrating Family Day, Ontario in 2008, and New Brunswick in 2018. BC was celebrating Family Day on the second Monday in February but in 2019, moved it to the third Monday to match with the other provinces.
Family Day is a public holiday in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. International Family Day is celebrated on May 15 every year around the world since 1995. The United Nations launched the World Family Day project in 1994 and that year is called “International Family Year.” Family day is celebrated all over the globe to raise awareness of problems affecting families, as a symbol of bond, love, and strength of families. To celebrate the beginning and end of the World Family Day program, International Family Day was established as a global celebration on May 15, 1995.