After being announced in May 2012 as B.C.’s newest statutory holiday, the first B.C. Family Day will take place on Monday, February 11, 2013.
Sun Peaks Resort Corporation (SPRC) was one of the voices of the B.C. tourism industry actively involved in the decision process.
“If you have (Family Day) the same time as (Alberta’s holidays and the USA’s Presidents’ Day) you limit the options for the local people to come to your resort,” said Darcy Alexander, general manager of SPRC. “So we made our suggestions to the minister of tourism and to the premier and they decided that they would have a public poll online.”
The result of the poll was overwhelmingly in favour of the second Monday of February.
“We’re very pleased with the holiday going forward. We’re going to try and turn it into a big celebration for B.C. residents to come out and enjoy their local resorts,” Alexander said.
However, despite this glowing endorsement, there were calls from independent MLAs and businesses outside the tourism and hospitality industries that argued the holiday will increase labour costs and result in a loss of productivity.
But Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks, claims that the holiday is about something more important than business.
“It’s exactly what it’s intended to be . . . trying to align with the provincial government’s desire for supporting health, and supporting lifestyle, and supporting families. And the ski industry as a whole has come together and supported that.”
B.C. residents will have access to 50 per cent discount on the price of Alpine lift tickets at a host of ski resorts, including Sun Peaks, for B.C. Family Day only. Proof of residency is required.
Family Day is now B.C.’s 10th statutory holiday joining Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan to host the holiday.