Saanich levée moves to Commonwealth pool

Saanich is trading in its traditional, somewhat stuffy, New Year’s Day levée

Saanich is trading in its traditional, somewhat stuffy, New Year’s Day levée – a meet-and-greet with the mayor and council – for something the whole family can enjoy.

Families are instead invited to Saanich Commonwealth Place for a free swim from 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 1, 2013.

“Levées have been fading in popularity for some time, so we said to our staff, ‘For the little bit of money we’re spending, what other ideas do you have so we can reach some more people and some new people?’” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “They came back with this suggestion, and I’m hoping it becomes a new tradition.”

In Canada, levées are held on New Year’s Day and stem from a custom that dates back to the fur trade, when traders would pay their respects to their government representatives on January 1.

Leonard says Saanich has been hosting levées as far back as he can remember, but he’s optimistic that a free family swim is more suitable for families in this day and age.

“I would be willing to see how it goes (this year) and then expand it to other rec centres,” he said. “I’d really like to see this grow so that New Year’s Day morning is a real family outing for folks.”

Oak Bay isn’t hosting a levée, either. Instead, an hour-long community walk with mayor and council will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by a free skate and swim beginning at 1:30 at the Oak Bay rec centre.

Victoria and Esquimalt will both host traditional levées in their respective council chambers on New Year’s Day.

Leonard says he and council will be at Commonwealth during the free swim and light refreshments, but it won’t be in a formal meet-and-greet. He said he hasn’t yet decided whether Saanichites will get to jump in the pool with their mayor.

Regardless, he’s optimistic the event will be popular, adding that it’ll be a much more pleasant swim than the annual Polar Bear Swim at Elk Lake. The 37th annual Polar Bear Swim happens Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. at Hamsterly Beach.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

New Year’s Day levées around the region

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

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

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

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

-Noon to 1:30 p.m.: City of Victoria, City Hall, 1 Centennial Square

 

n 1 to 2:30 p.m. Township of Esquimalt, Municipal Hall, 1229 Esquimalt Rd.

 

 

Just Posted

Norma Stewart joins Langford council

Stew Young beats challenger Robert Fraser

Rob Martin is the new mayor of Colwood

Martin will be joined by four new faces on council

West Shore voters run to the polls in the final minutes

Approximately 4,500 votes cast in Colwood

Results are in for the District of Metchosin

Ranns to serve another term as Metchosin mayor with two new council members

Two new faces on the Sooke School Board

Bob Beckett and Allison Watson become SD62 trustees

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Most Read