Many residents of British Columbia are getting ready to enjoy a long weekend as the province marks its second statutory holiday of the year on Monday. Five other provinces and a territory will follow suit a week later, on Feb. 17.
B.C. designated the second Monday of February as a statutory holiday in 2013, following on the heels of Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where the mid-winter holiday takes place on the third Monday of the month.
It's named Islander Day in Prince Edward Island, Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Heritage Day in Yukon, and Family Day in B.C., Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
B.C. chose its date after residents voted in an online poll. In the other five provinces, the holiday coincides with Presidents' Day south of the border.
The idea of establishing a long weekend in February was spurred partly by a need to give people a break during the months-long stretch between Christmas and Easter.
Since the February holidays have been established at the provincial level, federal employees are still required to report to work. That means federal offices such as Passport Canada and Crown corporations like Canada Post will be operating.
But many other businesses will likely close for the day, including retailers like grocery stores, banks, provincially-run liquor and beer stores, as well as schools and libraries.
Nova Scotia could be the next to join the club of provinces that enjoy a long weekend in February, after the provincial government introduced a bill to establish a holiday on the third Monday of February beginning in 2015.
As it stands, two-thirds of Canadians live in provinces that celebrate a statutory holiday this month.