VICTORIA - Tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 11, British Columbians will celebrate the inaugural B.C. Family Day.
With a wide range of interesting and affordable opportunities waiting to be discovered throughout the province, B.C. Family Day is the perfect time for British Columbians to create new memories and enjoy the best of B.C. with a "B.C. Staycation".
"For too long, British Columbians have had to go the long stretch between New Year's and Easter without a break and that ends this weekend with the first Family Day, a day picked by the public for a made-in B.C. holiday," said Premier Christy Clark. "Whether you hit the slopes or take the kids on a hike, this weekend is about spending time together. I hope everyone enjoys the extra day to spend time together with the people important to them."
To help celebrate this first B.C. Family Day, the Province has worked with a variety of partners - including B.C. Parks, municipalities, regional tourism associations, the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the Canada West Ski Areas Association and the private sector - to create affordable opportunities for families to enjoy a special day together, and to help provide a series of free family-focused special events around the province.
"Family Day will provide a significant boost for our tourism sector during the winter months," said Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell. "We're delighted that B.C. tourism operators are getting into the Family Day spirit with events and price cuts across the province. I encourage all British Columbians to take advantage of these opportunities and be a tourist in their own province this February 11."
"B.C. Restaurant Week February 11 to 17 coincides with Family Day and showcases the incredible innovation and value of our industry" added Ian Tostenson, president, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association. "We encourage everyone to get together with their loved ones on Family Day and support the many people who own and operate restaurant and food establishments in B.C. and continue that celebration throughout the week."
These special events will focus on the value and meaning of what "family" means to British Columbians, and will feature activities highlighting all the province has to offer.
"Family Day is recognition for those who are too often criticized rather than supported," said Marianne Drew-Pennington, executive director, BC Association of Family Resource Programs. "Setting aside an annual holiday in B.C. that values parenting and the role of families in raising children and building communities demonstrates appreciation for these unsung heroes."
"B.C. Family Day is a time to celebrate families in all their diverse configurations," said Joel Kaplan, executive director, BC Council for Families. "Building strong bonds with the people we consider our family can have lasting positive impact on our health and well-being. The council works to support families throughout the continuum of family life."
While events will vary from community to community, families will be able to enjoy a range of free family-friendly activities such as concerts featuring local performers, face painting, storytelling, and presentations on B.C.'s cultural riches and natural beauty. More details on the schedule of community events can be found at: www.bcfamilyday.ca
Last year, British Columbians were asked to voice their preference on whether the province should celebrate B.C. Family Day on the second Monday in February or the third. Following what resulted in the largest public consultation process of its kind undertaken by government, more than 31,000 votes were cast, with a clear majority in favour of the second Monday in February.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour