Tag Archive | Canada

Week #7 | WWN Reflections by @JulietKego – Happy Family Day Canada!

HAPPY FAMILY DAY Whole WoMan Network

Brief Background: Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the twin values of ‘family’ and ‘home’ which were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and it also give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families.

Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period with no holidays, from New Year’s Day until Good Friday. (Source: www.timeanddate.com).

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A Happy Victoria Day!

From all of us at Whole Woman Network, we hope you have a wonderful Victoria Day celebration! If you live in Canada, you may be aware of the recent political furor over the proposed plan by some ‘notable’ Canadians to rename ‘Victoria Day’ as ‘Victoria and All Peoples Day’, this is basically to include and honour the first Nations Peoples in the Victoria Day celebration.  Hmmmn, why do we always have to mix things up, why juxtapose two entirely different things? Let’s celebrate the day and leave out all the unnecessary drama!happy Victoria day

I am definitely in support of the First Nations People being accorded their place in history but why do we have to combine the two? June 21 is already a National Aboriginal Day in Canada, (however it is important to note that it is not recognized as a Statutory Holiday).

The question is this: why are the ‘notable Canadians’ such as authors Margaret Atwood and Thomas King, actors Graham Greene and Peter Keleghan, and Green MP Elizabeth May, who are at the forefront of a petition to effect the name change, not clamoring to make the existing Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday or better still, fight to make it a more engaging and reflective day to share the rich heritage and contributions of the First Nations Peoples?

Anyways, lets leave the politiking and petitioning aside and share some fun facts and history about Victoria Day in Canada and Queen Victoria herself:

1. Victoria Day (in French: Fête de la Reine) is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria‘s birthday.

2. Queen Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on June 20, 1837 and reigned until her death on January 22, 1901. Victoria is still the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

3. The monarch’s birthday has been celebrated in Canada since before the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign. After her death, in 1901, May 25 became known as Empire Day.

4.  In 1952, Empire Day was moved to the Monday before May 25 and since 1953, the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II has been celebrated on this date in Canada. So ‘Victoria Day’ is also the day to officially celebrate the birthday of the reigning monarch.

5. In 1958, Empire Day became known as Commonwealth Day, which was moved to the second Monday in March. The Monday before May 25 then became known as Victoria Day, which is now a Canadian statutory holiday and what we celebrate today!

Did you know that Queen Victoria inherited the throne at the tender age of 18? She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their 9 children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”. The Victorian era was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

wedding dressAnother fun tidbit: Queen Victoria has been credited with starting the western tradition of white bridal gowns, although she was not the first royal to be married in white. During her wedding n Feb 10, 1840, she selected a white dress, fabricated from heavy silk satin, which was considered an unusual choice at a time when colours would have been more usual.

The lace used for her wedding dress proved an important boost to the Devon lace-making and to future royal wedding attire. At the time, Victoria’s choice was criticized since she did not wear many jewels, velvet trimmed with ermine, or a crown, and the color was unusual. Wearing white was quickly adopted by wealthy, fashionable brides, even though white had been a distinctly uncommon choice for bridal gowns before Victoria’s wedding!

Blogger’s Note: Interested in learning more about Queen Victoria, then we recommend the period movie: The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt, who delivers a stunning performance as Queen Victoria in the turbulent first years of her reign. Watch the trailer here: http://tiny.cc/c8uexw

Once again, wishing you all a Wonderful and Happy Victoria Day!!

Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.


Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.

You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!

w(H)olistically Yours,

Whole Woman Network


History of the British Monarchy (www.royal.gov.uk); Canadianhistory.com; CBC.ca

Celebrate National Poetry Month this April, turn off your TV sets and read a good book!

This April marks the 15th anniversary of National Poetry Month across Canada! Celebrate the power and beauty of words with your children, spouses, friends and colleagues. Turn off the TV sets for at least one day in April and spend time re-connecting through a diverse collection of oral and written works of poetry. And if poetry is not quite your thing, simply pick up a good book and read! Lest we relegate poetry to a lost art in this age of constantly evolving technology….we can all agree that ‘texting’ has done more than enough damage to the art of writing.Poetry Coloured

History of National Poetry Month in Canada

Established in Canada in April 1999 by the League, National Poetry Month brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture. Communities and businesses participate through readings, festivals, book displays, and other events.

The goal of National Poetry Month is to expand and educate poetry audiences, especially young audiences, and to increase the profile of poetry and poets, while boosting sales of Canadian poetry books. National Poetry Month has inspired an increase in reading, writing and teaching of Canadian poetry. National, provincial and regional media report on many National Poetry Month events, review poetry books and interview poets. (Source: Poet.ca, accessed April 1, 2013, 9:20 pm EST)

CBC ‘Canada Writes’ Poetry Contest

Competition opens: March 1, 2013
Deadline to submit: May 1, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET

This prize is awarded once a year to the best original, unpublished, poem or poetry collection submitted to the competition. All Canadians can participate.

The competition is blind. A jury composed of well-known and respected Canadian authors will select a 1st place winner and 4 runners-up.

The First Prize winner will receive $6,000, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and will have his/her poetry published in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and on the Canada Writes website. He or she will also be awarded a two-week residency at The Banff Centre‘s Leighton Artists’ Colony (details about the residency here), and will be interviewed on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers.

The 4 runners-up will each receive $1,000, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and their stories will be published on the Canada Writes website.

Submissions to the poetry category must be between 400 and 600 words.

A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry. For more information, visit this website: CBC Canada Writes.

Events in York Region:

Poetry RedCelebrate National Poetry Month at the Central Library in Richmond Hill. Join the Whole Woman Network team there for a magical day of words.

Richmond Hill Public Library will be joining libraries across Canada in celebration of poetry and its vital place in Canadian culture. Our celebration of Canadian poetry will take place on Saturday, April 6 at the Central Library from 1:00 – 4:00 pm in Room A/B, 2nd Floor. Six prize-winning poets are invited to read from their works to present an afternoon of poetic delight! Poets of honour include: Chris Banks, Barry Dempster, Susan Gillis, Susan Glickman, Maureen Scott Harris, and John Steffler. For additional information, visit the Richmond Hill Public Library’s website.