Saanich levée moves to Commonwealth pool

Saanich is trading in its traditional, somewhat stuffy, New Year’s Day levée

Saanich is trading in its traditional, somewhat stuffy, New Year’s Day levée – a meet-and-greet with the mayor and council – for something the whole family can enjoy.

Families are instead invited to Saanich Commonwealth Place for a free swim from 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 1, 2013.

“Levées have been fading in popularity for some time, so we said to our staff, ‘For the little bit of money we’re spending, what other ideas do you have so we can reach some more people and some new people?’” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “They came back with this suggestion, and I’m hoping it becomes a new tradition.”

In Canada, levées are held on New Year’s Day and stem from a custom that dates back to the fur trade, when traders would pay their respects to their government representatives on January 1.

Leonard says Saanich has been hosting levées as far back as he can remember, but he’s optimistic that a free family swim is more suitable for families in this day and age.

“I would be willing to see how it goes (this year) and then expand it to other rec centres,” he said. “I’d really like to see this grow so that New Year’s Day morning is a real family outing for folks.”

Oak Bay isn’t hosting a levée, either. Instead, an hour-long community walk with mayor and council will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by a free skate and swim beginning at 1:30 at the Oak Bay rec centre.

Victoria and Esquimalt will both host traditional levées in their respective council chambers on New Year’s Day.

Leonard says he and council will be at Commonwealth during the free swim and light refreshments, but it won’t be in a formal meet-and-greet. He said he hasn’t yet decided whether Saanichites will get to jump in the pool with their mayor.

Regardless, he’s optimistic the event will be popular, adding that it’ll be a much more pleasant swim than the annual Polar Bear Swim at Elk Lake. The 37th annual Polar Bear Swim happens Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. at Hamsterly Beach.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

New Year’s Day levées around the region

-9 to 10 a.m.: HMCS Malahat, The Wardroom, 20 Huron St.

-10 a.m. to noon: Government House, 1401 Rockland Ave.

-10 to 11 a.m.: Canadian Scottish Regiment, Bay Street Armoury, 715 Bay St.

-10:30 a.m. to noon: 11 Victoria Field Ambulance, 11 Service Battalion and 12 Military Police Platoon, Lt.-Gen. E.C. Ashton Armoury, 724 Vanalman Ave.

-Noon to 1:30 p.m.: City of Victoria, City Hall, 1 Centennial Square

 

n 1 to 2:30 p.m. Township of Esquimalt, Municipal Hall, 1229 Esquimalt Rd.

 

 

Just Posted

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

Leaving dog in hot car can result in $75,000 fine, prohibition from owning animals, prison

B.C. SPCA received 800 calls last year about dogs left in hot cars

Radio Host Erin Davis pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by North Saanich woman gives advice to others struggling with grief

Bed Races on Beacon champs ready to defend their title

Race takes place July 7 on Beacon Avenue, raising funds for the Peninsula Youth Clinic

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

WATCH: Thousands enjoy sunshine at second annual Village Block Party

Cook Street filled with local food, music and more

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read