Islander Day is a statutory holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February each year to create a long weekend.
|Year||Date||Day||Holiday||Provinces and Territories|
|2019||18 Feb||Mon||Islander Day||PEI|
|2020||17 Feb||Mon||Islander Day||PEI|
The holiday is relatively new in Prince Edward Island. As part of his election campaign, Premiere Robert Ghiz promised to add a holiday specifically for Prince Edward Island. The new holiday was approved on November 28, 2008.
Islander Day is designed to allow citizens to celebrate family and their community. There was some controversy related to the original date of the holiday, which was planned for the second Monday in February. Businesses suffered as they were out of sync with other provinces as well as the United States, who celebrates President’s Day on the third Monday in February. In 2009, the date was changed to the third Monday in February.
Celebrations and Traditions
The main purpose of Islander Day was to give employees an additional day off and enjoy a short winter break. It does not mark any specific event in Canadian or Prince Edward Island history. Residents spend the day with family or friends. Many plan short vacations as the holiday falls on a Monday, allowing for a long weekend in February.
Some locations plan festivals and events that are designed for families. People are encouraged to get outdoors and enjoy the many parks and ski trails throughout Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown holds an Islander Day Festival which starts with a pancake breakfast. There is a family skate and family glow-in-the-dark bowling. Live performances of plays and musicals are also common on Islander Day.
Mill River Provincial Park offers cross country skiing and snowshoeing discounts on Islander Day as well as a lighted toboggan hill. In the winter, horse drawn sled rides are offered and bonfires on Friday and Saturday are an excellent way to enjoy the long holiday weekend.
Prince Edward Island National Park also has open cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing and hiking trails available for the holiday. It is important to note that park staff does not clear cross-country ski trails or maintain Dalvay Lake for skating during the winter months. Washroom facilities and warm-up shelters may also be closed. There is no emergency service provided by Parks Canada in the winter at the park as well. It is advised that those who wish to visit Prince Edward Island National Park contact the park service prior to visiting for Islander Day.