British Columbia Day!

British Columbia Day!

British Columbia Day is a public holiday in British Columbia, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

History

Indigenous people have inhabited British Columbia, as described in their oral traditions. There are claims by the English to have explored the region in the 16th century. Still, it was the Majorcan- born Spanish navigator Juan Jose Perez Hernandez, who did the first documented travel 1774. In 1778 English explorer James Cook reached Nootka Sound and set foot on British Columbia soil. There were several gold finds in British Columbia’s mainland as a crown colony in 1858, naming it the Colony of British Columbia. In 1871 British Columbia became the sixth province of the Dominion of Canada!

The British Columbia Day Act was first introduced to the Legislative Assembly in 1974, and it gained royal assent in the same year. The aim of the Bill was to create a statuary holiday on the first Monday in August to recognize the pioneers in the province.

Terry Fox Day

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, he embarked on an east to west across- Canada runs to raise money and awareness for cancer research. 

Beginning in 2015 Manitoba designated the first Monday in August, formerly known as Civic Holiday, as Terry Fox Day.

What Do People Do?

In British Columbia, many people use the long weekend to make short trips out of town and into one of the areas of beautiful scenery in this province. As the first Monday in August falls in the middle of the summer vacation or plan it as part of a longer trip. In urban areas, particularly in Vernon, various celebrations are organized. These include firework displays, parades, and cultural festivals. Events are held to mark the achievements of people from Canada’s west coast in the areas of sport, technology, cuisine, and Canadian- Japanese culture.

Public Life

BC Day is a statutory holiday in British Columbia, and many people have a day off work. Post offices and many businesses and organizations, such as libraries, are closed. A few stores may be open, depending on the local custom. Public transport services may be reduced or may not run at all. Schools are closed as the first Monday in August falls in the middle of the summer holiday period.

Symbols

There are a number of symbols of British Columbia. These include the Steller’s Jay (a bird), the Pacific Dogwood (a flower), jade (a mineral), the Western Red Cedar (a tree), and the provincial tartan, which contains colors to represent many aspects of the province. Two important symbols of British Columbia are the flag and the coat of arms.

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