Esquimalt hosts levée on Jan. 1

The levée dates back to 16th century France, but Canadian observance usually held on New Year’s Day.

Tammy Schuster

Victoria News

New Year’s Day has its host of traditions.  A day to start a year of fitness and health goals, or a day of movies and take-out.

For Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, her New Year’s Day tradition is hosting the levée at Esquimalt Municipal Hall.

“Tradition is something people value,” said Desjardins, “and this has been a tradition for a long, long time in Esquimalt.”

The levée dates back to 16th century France, but has mostly become a Canadian observance held on New Year’s Day.

The word levée means “rising” in French and originated in the Levée du Soleil (Rising of the Sun) of King Louis XIV. It was his custom to receive his public in his bedchamber just after rising, a practice that spread throughout Europe.

Esquimalt has been welcoming the public into it’s bedchamber every New Year’s Day since 1947.

A reception held by many levels of government to mark the start of the year, Desjardins said the levée is an opportunity for members of the community to meet informally with municipal government.

She said it’s especially important in a year when new council is elected, with three council members newly sworn-in.

Desjardins invites the public to drop-in and chat with their elected officials, and enjoy coffee and goodies this New Year’s Day. “It’s a nice way to finish off the holidays.”

The Township of Esquimalt New Year’s Day Levée is on Jan. 1 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in council chambers, Esquimalt Municipal Hall, 1229 Esquimalt Rd.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Fire Department investigating explosion at supportive housing complex

The explosion blew out a window and caused damage to the frame of the building

Victoria to consider new appeals process for rejected short-term rental applications

There is not an established process in place for people seeking to reapply

Vehicle bursts into flames due to mechanical failure, occupants escape injury

View Royal firefighters were on scene less than five minutes after the first 911 call

Current Taxi offers free rides for healthcare workers to or from hospitals

Rides must stay within 20 km of Victoria General or Royal Jubilee Hospital

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Most Read