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Home > Calendar > Holidays > Canada > Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day in Canada

Quick Facts

Remembrance Day commemorates civilians and military personnel who lost their lives in armed conflicts.

Local names

NameLanguage
Remembrance DayEnglish
le jour du SouvenirFrench

Remembrance Day 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
List of dates for other years
Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices of people in all armed conflicts.
remembrance Day Canada
Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices that Canadians made in armed conflicts, including World Wars I and II. ©iStockphoto.com/James Warren

What do people do?

Many people wear artificial poppies on their clothes in the weeks before Remembrance Day. Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died and white poppies campaigns for non-military interventions in conflict situations. On November 11, special church services are organized. These often include the playing of "The Last Post", a reading of the fourth verse of the 'Ode of Remembrance' and two minutes silence at 11:00 (or 11am). After the service, wreaths are laid at local war memorials.

The official Canadian national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, according to a strict protocol. A service is held and wreaths are laid by armed services representatives. In May 2000 the remains of a Canadian soldier who died in France in World War I, but was never been identified, were laid in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.

Since then, members of the public have laid poppies, letters and photographs on the tomb. Similar services and events are held throughout Canada. Some schools that are open on Remembrance Day hold special assemblies, lessons and presentations on armed conflicts and those who died in them.

Public life

Remembrance Day is a national public holiday for many federal government employees, private businesses, provincial governments and schools in Canada. Its status varies by province.

Manitoba

Manitoba retail business is prohibited between 9am and 1pm on Remembrance Day, with exception to professional health services, goods or services relating to:

Remembrance Day is not a general holiday under Manitoba's labour legislation but most industries in Manitoba are not allowed to operate that day, with some specified exceptions.

Ontario

In Ontario, some employers give their employees a holiday on Remembrance Day, but they are not require to do so under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

Quebec

Remembrance Day is also not a statutory holiday in Quebec, although corporations that are federally registered may make the day a full holiday, or instead, designate a provincially recognized holiday on a different day. When Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday or Saturday that is a non-working day, workers are entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately preceding or following the general holiday.

Nova Scotia

Remembrance Day is governed by the Remembrance Day Act in Nova Scotia. Some employees may be entitled to a benefit. Employees required to work on Remembrance Day in Nova Scotia get an alternate day off with pay, except for those types of businesses that are exempt from the Act. Employees who do not work that day, do not get paid for the day, unless the employer offers pay as an added benefit. Remembrance Day must be observed on the actual date.

Background

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918. World War I was a massive conflict was played out over the whole globe, but particularly in Europe, where troops from Canada supported the Allied forces.

World War I resulted in the loss of huge numbers of lives amongst both civilians and military personnel. Many more people were badly injured. The war left great emotional scars in the servicemen, who had experienced it, and in the communities, whose sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers had died. Remembrance Day commemorates those who died in armed conflicts, particularly in and since World War I.

In Canada, November 11 is officially called Remembrance Day, but it is also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day. Remembrance Day is commemorated in many countries, particularly members of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand (where it is also referred to as Armistice Day). In the United States, Veterans Day falls on the same date. In the United Kingdom, the Sunday closest to November 11 is known as Remembrance Sunday.

Symbols

Remembrance Day is symbolized by the artificial poppies that people wear and place at war memorials. The poppies may be worn or placed singly or as wreaths. The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called In Flanders Fields and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.

Poppies grow well in soil that has been disturbed. They also grew in large numbers on battle fields. The red color of their petals reminded people of the blood lost by victims of and casualties in the conflict. Some people choose to wear white poppies to campaign for non-military interventions in conflict situations.

Other symbols of Remembrance Day are the war memorials, which are often near the geographical center of communities. These commemorate members of the community, who have died in military action. A particularly well-known memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, Ontario. The military parades held on November 11 are also symbolic of Remembrance Day.

Note: timeanddate.com's article on Remembrance Day is a general information article only. For more information on the day, government sources such as Veterans Affairs Canada have a more detailed account.

Remembrance Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is a statutory holiday
TueNov 111980Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
WedNov 111981Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
ThuNov 111982Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
FriNov 111983Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SunNov 111984Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
MonNov 121984Remembrance Day observedCommon Local holidaysNL, NS, NT, PE, SK
MonNov 111985Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
TueNov 111986Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
WedNov 111987Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
FriNov 111988Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SatNov 111989Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SunNov 111990Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
MonNov 121990Remembrance Day observedCommon Local holidaysNL, NS, NT, PE, SK
MonNov 111991Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
WedNov 111992Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
ThuNov 111993Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
FriNov 111994Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SatNov 111995Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
MonNov 111996Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
TueNov 111997Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
WedNov 111998Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
ThuNov 111999Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SatNov 112000Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SunNov 112001Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
MonNov 122001Remembrance Day observedCommon Local holidaysNL, NS, NT, PE, SK
MonNov 112002Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
TueNov 112003Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
ThuNov 112004Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
FriNov 112005Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SatNov 112006Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SunNov 112007Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
MonNov 122007Remembrance Day observedCommon Local holidaysNL, NS, NT, PE, SK
TueNov 112008Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
WedNov 112009Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
ThuNov 112010Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
FriNov 112011Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
SunNov 112012Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
MonNov 122012Remembrance Day observedCommon Local holidaysNL, NS, NT, PE, SK
MonNov 112013Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
TueNov 112014Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC
WedNov 112015Remembrance DayCommon Local holidaysAll except ON, QC

Other holidays in November 2014 in Canada

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