BC day (celebrated on the first Monday of August) is a hugely popular holiday here in BC. Before we dive into some of the great family travel experiences you can enjoy around BC Day, let’s look at the 3 popular reasons behind the creation of BC day:
- To recognize British Columbia becoming the Crown Colony of British Columbia on August 2, 1858.
- To officially celebrate the outlawing of slavery in the British Empire, which had been celebrated locally every August 1.
- To recognize James Douglas’ discovery of what would eventually become the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
A major reason British Columbia was recognized as an official colony of the British Empire, was to help ward off armed, American miners, who were pushing into the Fraser Canyon during the gold rush. Known as the Fraser Canyon war, American miners were attacking the Indigenous tribes of the area who were blocking their access to the gold of the Fraser Canyon. The British Empire, by recognizing the Colony of BC, could help negotiate with the Americans and protect those people who were under siege.
The two other reasons for the creation of BC Day were for locals to celebrate the outlawing of slavery in the British Empire on August 1 and James Douglas was thought to have discovered the southern tip of Vancouver Island around that time of year as well.
Due to BC Day being celebrated in early August, the weather over this long weekend is usually very good. This means a lot of locals are getting away from home and travelling around the province to enjoy the short, warm summer in western Canada. People of all ages and backgrounds often spend their 3-day weekend getting out into nature – a Canadian tradition!
If you are in western Canada over the BC Day holiday, you’ll find many outdoor attractions, both natural and man-made for you to enjoy. These attractions are family-friendly and sure to appeal to people of all ages, interests, fitness levels and budgets.
At Discover Vancouver Tours, we offer great, local tours that visit the most popular, regional attractions of western Canada. From our Discover Whistler Tour to Discover North Vancouver Tour and our new Discover Vancouver Island Tour with the Malahat Skywalk there are amazing activities to keep everyone in the family happy! These tours are easily accessible from Vancouver and along with several other tours we offer, allow you to see the best of western Canada in just 1 day – a great option over a holiday long weekend!
If you are looking for a longer package that enables you and your family to see more of BC and Alberta, look no further than our Summer Rockies Classic Tour. This tour, which takes just 4 days, features the iconic Rocky Mountains of western Canada and the resort town of Banff. Of course, there is so much you will see on this tour as you travel between Vancouver and Alberta!
Another great tour to consider is the Rockies & Pacific Rim Premium Tour which combines the best of the western Canadian destinations. On this tour, you’ll travel to the Rocky Mountains as well as to Vancouver Island! This 1-week tour includes stops in Banff National Park, Pacific Rim National Park and the Okanagan – western Canada’s very own wine region. Simply one of our best western Canada tours for someone who wants to see as much of the region as possible while they are in western Canada.
If you always dreamed of taking a family road trip in western Canada, the summer months, especially around the BC Day long weekend, are the perfect time to gather the kids, siblings, grandparents (and friends who might as well be family) and get out on the open road with Discover Canada Tours. Be sure to also get some great ideas on what to do in BC this summer with HelloBC – the official tourism website of the province of BC.
Written by Lucas Coldwell. Photos courtesy of ©Lisanne Smeele / Destination Vancouver, Hubert Kang / Malahat SkyWalk