With a new 2019 calendar tacked up on your wall, you’re already beginning to plan for public holidays across Canada. Holidays can affect everything from shipments to payroll.
As you map out the year, keep this schedule of provincial holidays handy.
Canada-Wide Statutory Holidays
The federal government mandates several statutory holidays throughout the year. Although the provinces and territories are responsible for determining holidays in their jurisdictions, they generally adopt most of the federal scheduled holidays.
The first one is New Year’s Day. The next federal scheduled holiday doesn’t occur until Easter, which falls on the weekend of April 20-21 in 2019. Good Friday, April 19, is a statutory holiday.
Since Easter always falls on a Sunday, only businesses that are open on Sundays need to worry about this holiday. Many businesses opt to take off the Monday after Easter, known as Easter Monday, to ensure their workers get a holiday. Easter Monday is a statutory holiday for federally regulated businesses such as post offices and banks, but it is not mandatory across Canada.
Victoria Day, which is celebrated on the Monday on or before May 24th, is also a federal statutory holiday. Most provinces give this holiday as well, although in Quebec, it’s known as National Patriots Day. This year, it falls on May 20.
Canada Day is usually given on July 1, although employers can opt to move this holiday to the Friday or Monday closest to July 1 if they’re not open on weekends. This year, July 1 is a Monday.
Labour Day is the next federally scheduled holiday, falling on the first Monday of September. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October. The year closes out with Christmas and Boxing Day on December 25 and 26, respectively.
A Holiday in February
The provinces are allowed to adopt their own holidays, which means there’s some variation across Canada. Several provinces mark a holiday in February, for example, but not all of them.
The third Monday in February is a holiday known as Family Day in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.
Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba also celebrate a holiday at this time. In PEI, it’s known as Islander Day, and it’s known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba. Nova Scotia celebrates Nova Scotia Heritage Day.
Yukon also observes a February holiday, but about a week later. Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, and Newfoundland have no holiday at this time.
The August Long Weekend
Several provinces also take a long weekend in August, usually around the first Monday of the month. In Alberta, it’s called Heritage Day, while Saskatchewan recognizes this as Saskatchewan Day.
New Brunswick has New Brunswick Day, BC has British Columbia Day, and Nova Scotia calls its holiday Natal Day.
Ontario, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories call this holiday either the Civic holiday or Provincial Day.
Other Provincial Holidays
Remembrance Day falls on November 11, and it’s technically a national holiday. Some provinces, however, have elected not to observe it. This includes Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
Easter Monday is a national holiday, but it’s only officially recognized in New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec. April 22 is also St. George’s Day in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Northwest Territories and Yukon both recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. Quebec celebrates St. Jean Baptiste Day a few days later.
Nunavut follows Canada Day with Nunavut Day on July 9.
As you can see, there’s considerable variation across the country. Keep a close eye on local observances and holidays, and you’ll be able to plan and schedule with ease for 2019.