Your Canadian Study & Work Abroad Expert

Canadian Holidays 2017

Over here we celebrate some uniquely Canadian holidays. Do you know which ones they are and why we celebrate them? Read on …

Public (statutory) holidays in Canada or stat holidays  consist of a variety of cultural, national and religious holidays in Canada. Some of them are widely celebrated across the whole country and others are recognized only provincially. Here we explain some of the uniquely Canadian holidays and give you a great tip for celebrating Canada in 2017! Scroll down for a list of 2017 Canadian holidays.

Family Day

Family day occurs on the third Monday in February. What I love about this holiday is that it provides a break from school, often coincides with Chinese new year which is celebrated by many people in Canada and provides an opportunity to spend quality time with family. Canadians celebrate this day in a wide variety of ways; many families go skiing or snowboarding, some visit an exhibition, other watch movies, and some families use this break to take an extended break to a sunny destination. On this day many museums and art galleries have reduced prices or free entry. My personal favourite is sipping hot chocolate after a long winter walk in nature.

Victoria Day

Canada celebrates Victoria day on the Monday preceding May 25. This holiday is celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Fireworks displays or parades are held to mark this day. This day is also considered the opening of the spring and summer season in Canada as well as the “camping season”. Many amusement parks open their doors to visitors on this day and many Canadians enjoy camping and picnics in order to enjoy the breathtaking fireworks. One of the most notable and amazing parades is held in Victoria, British Columbia because the city itself was named after the Queen.

Canadian Holidays - Victoria Day

Canada Day

On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.

Canadian Holidays: Canada Day

On this day many Canadian paint their faces red and white, the national colours. The Canadian flag is displayed everywhere. The day usually starts with a pancake breakfast. During this day many events take place such as parades, festivals, concerts, carnivals  and firework displays. New Canadian citizens get their citizenship in a ceremonial manner. It is a very proud day for all Canadians to celebrate diversity, openness, nature and the beauty of our country!

TIP: This year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. In order to celebrate this significant Canadian holiday, Parks Canada’s is offering free admission in 2017. Take advantage of free admission to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas for the entire year. Get curious about Canada’s unique natural treasures, hear stories about Indigenous cultures, learn to camp and paddle and celebrate the anniversary of Canada’s national historic sites with us. Find adventure, fun for the whole family or a short break from the everyday in more than 200 special places across the country. More details here.


Thanksgiving in Canada takes place on the second Monday in October. Canadian Thanksgiving is different from the American one in its origins; it was declared in 1957 as a day of religious thanksgiving for the harvest and has always been and remains purely a harvest festival.

Nowadays, the Canadian Thanksgiving three-day weekend is usually used for visiting or receiving family and for giving thanks for family, friends and the many of the benefits we enjoy as Canadians. During the weekend a special dinner takes place, usually consisting of roast turkey, seasonal vegetables and pumpkin pie.

Some people use the extended weekend for a short vacation before the winter falls. Hiking and fishing are very common Thanksgiving activities, since many people enjoy the amazing colours that nature gives during Autumn.

Canadian Holidays - Thanksgiving

Canadian Holidays 2017:

Holiday Date in 2017 Observance
New Year’s Day January 1, Sunday National
Islander Day February 20, Monday PEI
Louis Riel Day Feb 20, Monday MB
Heritage Day February 20, Monday NS
Family Day February 20, Monday (Feb 13 in BC) BC, AB, SK, ON
Valentine’s Day February 14, Tuesday Not a stat holiday
Leap Day Not a leap year
St. Patrick’s Day March 17, Friday Not a stat holiday
Good Friday April 14, Friday National except QC
Easter Monday April 17, Monday QC
Mother’s Day May 14, Sunday Not a stat holiday
Victoria Day May 22, Monday National except NB, NS, NL
Father’s Day June 18, Sunday Not a holiday
Aboriginal Day June 21, Wednesday NWT
St. Jean Baptiste Day June 24, Saturday QC
Canada Day July 1, Saturday National
Civic Holiday August 7, Monday AB, BC, SK, ON, NB, NU
Labour Day September 4, Monday National
Thanksgiving October 9, Monday National except NB, NS, NL
Halloween October 31, Tuesday Not a holiday
Remembrance Day November 11, Saturday National except MB, ON, QC, NS
Christmas Day December 25, Monday National
Boxing Day December 26, Tuesday ON

So, now that you have the list with all the Canadian Stat Holidays, where do you plan to spend them? Share your opinion with us on facebook or twitter!


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