Festive Celebrations at Canadian Legislatures
Provincial and territorial capitals all across Canada are kicking off the holiday season by holding festive celebrations. The Christmas Lights program was originally launched in 1985 to help brighten up dark winters in Ottawa, but over the years the program has expanded beyond Parliament Hill and now illuminates the wintry capitals of the 13 provinces and territories and has become known as Christmas Lights Across Canada.
The maritime provinces began their celebrations in November. In Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, up to 8,000 lights were illuminated at Province House on November 23rd. Nova Scotia’s Legislative Assembly celebrated the beginning of the holiday season at the Halifax City Hall Building on November 24th. In New Brunswick, holiday festivities began on November 30th with the lighting of 7,500 lights.
In St. John’s, the Newfoundland and Labrador capital, the annual Christmas tree lighting and illumination of over 60,000 energy efficient LED lights took place at Confederation Hill yesterday. On November 29th, local Girl Guides, Sparks, Brownies, Pathfinders and Rangers were invited to the Government House to help decorate the Christmas tree. The ornaments were all handmade from girls all over the province.
In Ottawa, celebrations were held on Parliament Hill last night (pictured above). Hundreds of thousands of lights decorated Parliament Hill and other historic landmarks in the Capital Region. Guests were invited to join in on Christmas caroling, free hot chocolate and beaver tail pastries.
In Saskatchewan, holiday goers were asked to brave the cold in order to kick off the holiday season at the lighting of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building yesterday. Alberta’s Legislative Assembly marked the beginning of the holiday season with choir performances followed by the lighting over 125,000 outdoor lights last night. A special “Made in Alberta” Christmas event will be held tomorrow to showcase local producers.
Tonight, Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly is holding a special lighting ceremony at the Legislative Building with over 3,200 lights for guests to enjoy. A special holiday open house will also be held tomorrow with the premier, cabinet ministers and MLAs on hand to welcome holiday goers. Musical performances, craft stations and holiday picture taking are offered to those attending.
Also today, Iqaluit, Nunavut is holding the Illumination of Lights. In the Northwest Territories, the Legislative Assembly is inviting guests to the Great Hall to witness the illumination of thousands of lights, all to the tune of holiday carols performed by local choirs. The Yukon Legislative Assembly held a series of celebrations from December 3 until today as part of their holiday season kick off.
In Victoria, British Columbia, festivities began on November 27th on the front steps of the Provincial Parliament Buildings with the lighting of 5,000 Christmas lights. Guests were treated to Christmas caroling performed by local choirs.
In Quebec, more than 20 historical buildings were illuminated on December 1st to kick off celebrations held during QuebecAdabra!, a holiday season event showcasing dazzling light shows, live entertainment, parades, exhibitions and outdoor activities that run from December 20th to January 2nd.
Ontario’s Legislative Assembly in Toronto lit up over 8,000 lights on December 3rd while being serenaded by the St. Victor School Choir.
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