Esquimalt, Victoria celebrate new year with levée

The levée, an informal reception held by many levels of government to mark the start of the year, dates back to 16th century Franc

  • Dec. 31, 2014 9:00 a.m.

The City of Victoria is starting off the new year by modernizing an old tradition.

Mayor Lisa Helps and councillors will be forgoing the usual New Year’s Day levée at City Hall for a public swim at Crystal Pool. They will be in the lobby greeting and shaking hands with people and the pool will also be open for free swimming.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins is going back to a more formal meet and greet this year.

Desjardins, along with a few members of council, will hold the levée offering light refreshments at Esquimalt Municipal Hall. She said next year they will again look at having a more active levée with free skating or swimming.

Lt.- Gov. Judith Guichon will host the traditional levée at Government House on New Year’s Day. She will greet the public and deliver her remarks at 11:30 a.m. The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums will entertain. Light refreshments will be served.

The levée, an informal reception held by many levels of government to mark the start of the year, 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 greet his public just after rising, a practice that spread throughout Europe.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe has been suggesting council look for a change regarding the City of Victoria levée for the last few years.

It was rookie Coun. Jeremy Loveday who suggested having the event at Crystal Pool this year.

“I thought [it] was a great way to make the levée more inclusive and make it something that all members of the public can participate in,” said Loveday.

“After Christmas holidays, a lot of families will be looking for something to do on New Year’s Day, and we can celebrate in a public pool.”

Added Desjardins: “Tradition is something people value. It’s a nice way to finish off the holidays.”

• Government House, 1401 Rockland Avenue

10:00 a.m. – noon

ltgov.bc.ca

• The City of Victoria

Crystal Pool, 2275 Quadra Street

times to be determined

victoria.ca

• Township of Esquimalt

Esquimalt Municipal Hall, 1229 Esquimalt Road

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

esquimalt.ca

 

Just Posted

Potential for Greater Victoria sewage project to go over budget

“Our confidence [in meeting budget] is not high”

City of Victoria endorses potential class action lawsuit against fossil fuel giants

Data will be gathered to quantify how much environmental damage the city has faced

Residents push back on downtown Victoria tree removal

The birch tree at the Wharf-Government intersection will be removed to make way for bike lanes

Braves host 2019 Prospects Game, Sunday at Pearkes

- This story was updated to correct the date of the Prospects… Continue reading

Toronto Arrows players take aim at youth rugby clinic

Juan de Fuca team offers get acquainted clinics

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read