Time to rename Victoria Day?


A group that includes some prominent Canadian actors, writers and politicians is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to change the name of Victoria Day.

Author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and actor Gordon Pinsent are among those behind an online petition to rename the public holiday, which is celebrated on Monday, as “Victoria and First Peoples Day.”

Peter Keleghan, an actor and spokesman for the group, says the new name would give Canadians a chance to honour both the Crown and the indigenous peoples of Canada.

“I know there is a great deal of monarchists in this country but I think also that there is also an awful lot of talk about how First Nations people, Inuit people, indigenous people in this country are being treated,” he said Sunday.

Victoria Day marks the birthday of Queen Victoria and is celebrated every year on the last Monday before May 25. Quebec celebrates National Patriots’ Day on the same day, to honour the rebellion against the British in 1837.

There is already a day to honour Canada’s indigenous peoples, but Keleghan pointed out it’s not recognized as a federal public holiday.

National Aboriginal Day is celebrated every year on June 21.

Keleghan said the group is trying to spread the word about the proposed name change on social media. He’s hopeful the message will gain traction in the days to come.

The petition, which is posted on the group’s website, victoriaandfirstpeoplesday.ca, calls on Harper to recognize the country’s history.

“For centuries, Canadians, the First Nations, the Inuit, and the Metis have had a close affinity with the British Monarchy,” the petition says.

“The newly named holiday would be an opportunity to commemorate that venerable relationship, to celebrate unique Indigenous cultures, to revisit our shared history, and to provide an opportunity for all Canadians to participate in the diverse and extraordinary heritage of our country.”

Singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark, one-time NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp and Thomas King, an author who often writes on First Nations issues, have also signed the petition.

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Time to rename Victoria Day?

  1. Why not make the day to honor first nations people a national holiday. That would make more sense.

    • There already is one, it is June 21!

  2. Such a ridiculous idea.

    • yes for sure lets celebrate the invaders !!!

      • The Indians were invaders too!
        Before then it was all children and rivers of chocolate in Canada.

  3. Better yet, let’s both move and rename the Victoria Day weekend into late May or early June. In most of Canada, the weekend often ends up falling into sleet, snow, or cold rain (we lucked out in Ontario THIS year, but check out Newfoundland!).

  4. Why can’t we just leave our heritage, religions, etc alone? if you want something celebrated, make something new – focus it on what you want it to represent.

  5. I see only one…….hardly ‘prominent’ politician named in the article and frankly tizze lizzie would sign anything if it got her headlines.

    If these people were truly serious about renaming Victoria Day…….one might think they would show a tad more imagination than the abortion of a name they came up with…..especially considering some of them are ‘artist.’

    Leave well enough, already.

  6. Absolutely

    It should now be called “Queen Victoria Kick Azz day and We are Proud of our English Heritage No Matter How Many Lefties are Upset Day”

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