Statutory Holidays:

Banks, Government offices, Liquor Stores and many other businesses are closed on Statutory Holidays. (and Sundays for that matter). Most Supermarkets are usually open. Border crossings into the United States are also usually exceptionally busy on these days, as they are on the US Holidays as well. This is especially so, when a Statutory Holiday falls next to a weekend, or corresponds with a holiday in the US. If a Statutory Holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the closest Monday or Friday is usually an official day off instead. Ferries to Vancouver Island are also exceptionally busy on Holiday weekends between May and September and at Christmas. You can expect to wait for up to 4 sailing's (4 hours) unless you are a foot passenger.

New Years Day:

Jan 1st. Also Holiday in the US. (The US also celebrates Martin Luther King Day, the third Monday in January. This is not a holiday in Canada.)

Good Friday:

Varies from year to year, but falls in March or April on the Easter weekend. Occasionally Easter and Spring Break (Schools) coincide, making this a busy time at border crossings.

Easter Monday:

The Monday following Good Friday. This is not a holiday for everyone. It is usually negotiated in Union Contracts. Government offices will be closed. Liquor Stores are closed. Pubs are open.

Victoria Day:

Falls on Monday preceding the 25th of May, which is usually the 3rd weekend, but can be the fourth in some years. It nearly always falls on the weekend preceding Memorial Day in the US. This holiday is loosely based on Queen Victoria's' birthday. Very odd, since it is not even observed in Britain. This holiday is called Patriotes Day in Quebec where they don't like anything English.

St. Jean Baptiste Day:

June 24th. Only observed in Quebec. This holiday originated in France. The origin of the holiday was the pagan celebration of the summer solstice; a celebration of light and a symbol of hope. Then, in the reign of the French king Clovis, the annual event was Christianized and became a religious celebration of the birth of John the Baptist.

Canada Day:

This is Canada's' birthday. It falls on July 1st. Independence Day in the US falls on the 4th. This combination makes for busy border crossings, especially if Canada Day falls on a Friday and Independence Day on a Monday. There are lots of events and celebrations on both sides of the border.

BC Day:

 This is what they call a "bank Holiday" in the U.K. and falls on the first Monday in August. This is not a holiday in all parts of Canada.. It is, however, a Civic Holiday (under different names) in most Provinces.

Labour Day:

A holiday dedicated to the struggles of the labour movement.. It falls on the first Monday in September. (Called Labor Day in the US)

Thanksgiving Day:

Second Monday in October. (Thanksgiving day in the US falls on the fourth Thursday in November instead.). It sometimes corresponds with Columbus Day in the US. Why the date is different on both sides of the border, I don't know. Its nice to have a holiday in October, rather than 2 in November, though. It possibly has something to do with the earlier harvest in Canada, due its its northerly latitude.

Remembrance Day:

 November 11th. (called Veterans Day in the US, Armistice Day in the UK).

Christmas Day:

December 25th. Everything closed. In case your not from a predominantly Christian country, this is supposed to be the birthday of Jesus Christ. Its probably about 6 months out. Its become so commercialized that its original significance is lost in a frenzy of gift buying & consumerism. In Canada, it is widely celebrated by both Christians & non-Christians alike.

Boxing Day:

December 26th. This one confuses Americans since they don't observe it. (It originated in England. I think it was the day when people boxed up Christmas leftovers to deliver to the poor. One American friend of mine thought we all went out to watch boxing matches). This is the biggest shopping day of the year with large savings and huge line-ups especially for electronics, computers, etc. I suspect the recent slide in the Canadian Dollar will cause a big influx from across the border this year.

Commonwealth Day: Second Monday in March. This is not an official holiday as of yet and does not affect anything.

Most of these Holidays apply across Canada. The only exception is Quebec, where some Holidays, traditionally celebrated in France are also holidays there.

There are several other holidays associated with different racial groups in Vancouver, especially those associated with the Chinese and East Indian Communities. Many of the events connected with these, are open to the general public.







There are several other holidays associated with different racial groups in Vancouver, especially those associated with the Chinese and East Indian Communities. Many of the events connected with these, are open to the general public.