Levées kick off year of celebration

When Esquimalt and Victoria residents ring in the new year, they will have more than one reason to celebrate.

When Esquimalt and Victoria residents ring in the new year, they will have more than one reason to celebrate.

Esquimalt will turn 100 years old in 2012, and to mark the occasion municipal council will don their best historic fashions for the municipality’s New Year’s Day levée.

Residents are also invited to dress up for the traditional levée, one of more than a dozen open houses hosted that day throughout the Capital Region.

“I just thought it would be fun and exciting to do something special at the levée, and how much more special would it be to start off the year in 1912 garb,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins.

Likewise, the City of Victoria’s levée will get a festive boost to kick off the first of many celebrations marking the municipality’s 150th anniversary.

In addition to cups of java and baked goods, anniversary balloons, stickers, pins and mugs will be handed out in honour of the anniversary.

“It’s an early reminder to people that we’ll be celebrating this year,” said Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, who will be acting mayor during the levée.” It’s an incentive to get up early.”

The Jan. 1 levées began in Canada in 1646 and Victoria in the 1800s. The word levée has French origins, meaning ‘to rise,’ especially from sleep.

In addition to open houses hosted by several municipalities on the South Island, military reserve units in Victoria and Saanich are once again welcoming the public on the first day of the new year.

At Government House, more than 1,000 people will pay a visit to B.C.’s Lt.-Gov. Steven Point and his wife Gwendolyn.

In Saanich, the event will again feature young musicians from the Greater Victoria school district’s string orchestra, and coffee, tea and cookies will be served.

But the time may come when the levée will need to be modernized to appeal to a wider cross section of residents.

“Year to year I see these things ebb and flow (in attendance numbers),” said Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard, adding the levées are typically attended by elderly residents.

“I’m open to suggestions on how it could change.”

The Langford Legion is keeping up the levée tradition for the West Shore, which has the ever-popular “moose milk” drink on offer.

Levées across Greater Victoria

HMCS Malahat, The Wardroom, 20 Huron St., 9 to 10 a.m.

– City of Victoria, City Hall, 1 Centennial Square, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

– Government House, 1401 Rockland Ave., 10 a.m. to noon.

– Canadian Scottish Regiment, Bay Street Armoury, 715 Bay St., 10 to 11 a.m.

– 11 Victoria Field Ambulance, 11 Service Battalion and 12 Military Police Platoon, Lt.-Gen. E.C. Ashton Armoury, 724 Vanalman Ave., 10:30 a.m. to noon

– District of Sooke, council chambers, 10 a.m. to noon p.m., 2205 Otter Point Rd.

– Corporation of Oak Bay, Monterey Recreation Centre, 1442 Monterey Ave., 1 to 2:30 p.m.

– Township of Esquimalt, municipal hall, 1229 Esquimalt Rd., 1 to 2 p.m.

– District of Saanich, municipal hall, 770 Vernon Ave., 1 to 2:30 p.m.

– Royal Canadian Legion in Langford, 761 Station Ave., 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Car crash at Quadra and Finalyson Streets affects Saturday traffic

VicPD and the Victoria Fire Department responded

We Are One! celebrates solidarity, inclusion with song and dance

Nov. 30 performance includes performers from across Greater Victoria

Greater Victoria students help bring small-scale urban farming to community

The high school students presented their work at City Hall on Nov. 13

VIDEO: North Island man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read