January 1, from 1 – 3 p.m.
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
The public is invited to attend the Township of Esquimalt’s New Year’s Day Levee, a time honoured tradition in Esquimalt dating back to 1947. This year, the event will be a family affair with free skating at the Archie Browning Sorts Centre from 1 – 2:50 pm and free swimming at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre from 1 – 3 pm.
Mayor and Council will be in attendance for a meet and greet at the Recreation Centre atrium from 1 – 2:30 pm.
The levée, derived from the French verb “to rise,” has a rich history that dates back to the court of Louis XIV, Sun King of France, who ruled from 1643 to 1715. In Canada the levée became associated with New Year’s Day, and is not connected with the old form of the practice. Instead, it carries on an ancient custom of this country, dating from the days of the fur trade. Today, the levée is a New Year’s Day social event, hosted by many levels of government and other institutions.