On Monday morning, the city said outdoor events at City Hall were cancelled due to weather. The temperature at the time was nearly – 20 C, but with the wind chill it felt more like -27. There was also a big dump of snow overnight.
Games and activities planned included ice skating and roasting marshmallows. The city said it had also planned to have food trucks on-site for those wishing to purchase snacks.
Indoor events, however, are still going ahead.
From noon to 4 p.m., there will be an Alberta Musical Theatre performance of Sleeping Beauty, Blaze ‘n Day musical duo, a magician, roving performers and characters, as well as City Hall tours.
Those still wanting to skate can take in the final day of the 10-day-long Silver Skate Festival at Hawrelak Park in the river valley.
Rooted in Dutch winter traditions, the family-friendly event is the longest-running winter festival in Edmonton and combines sport (especially skating), arts and culture, and recreation.
Festival-goers can take in snow sculpture, winter sports, horse-drawn sleigh rides through the park, and cook bannock over an open fire in a Cree Winter Camp.
There are also live music and theatrical performances.
There’s limited parking available on-site at Hawrelak Park, but Edmonton Transit Service is running to the park (regular fares apply) and there is a free shuttle from the University of Alberta. The shuttle will begin at noon, running every 15 minutes until 6:15 p.m.
There are several other activities also taking place in Edmonton, including at the Alberta Legislature.
“Thirty years ago, Alberta began the tradition of Family Day, a day for spending time with our families and appreciating the place they have in our lives. Since then, four other provinces have joined us in recognizing the holiday,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement Monday.
The holiday was proclaimed by Premier Don Getty in 1990 to promote the importance of families and family values in the province.
“Family is the basic and most important social institution. From the families of the first Indigenous Peoples, to intrepid settlers, through war and depression, family has kept people together and resilient. We can thank our families for many of our blessings, and for instilling strong values in us.
“Whether in person or through technology, I encourage everyone to enjoy time together with family today.”
Family Day is celebrated in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island. A similar day called Louis Riel Day is celebrated in Manitoba.