Family Day is a holiday that has caught on across Canada.
A number of provinces in Canada have some sort of incarnation of Alberta's February Monday holiday, which began in 1990 when Alberta's premier of the day, Don Getty, emphasized it was important to Albertans to take time for their families and realize the importance of family values.
In this day and age, in our fast-paced world, packed with tight schedules, increased work commitment and ever-advancing digital technology, that everyday, meaningful contact with family can be difficult to achieve.
Today's modern families often branch out in many different directions every day, as after-school activities sports and our daily duties keep many of us from spending quality time with loved ones. It also highlights the need for families to slow down once in a while, and actually take a little time to listen to one another and get a solid handle on what is going on in the lives of each family member.
That may sound like a relatively simple goal but in the grand scheme of things, the speed at which southern Albertans live their lives today often does not allow much of that to happen.
So, when a day like Family Day does pop up on the calendar, it gives rise to an important opportunity to do just that - slow down and connect.
Lethbridge and surrounding areas provided ample opportunities for families to get out and do something productive, from taking in Play Day at the University of Lethbridge to Family History Day at The Galt, Community Fest in Coaldale and many other activities.
Judging by Monday's turnout at the U of L event, for example, when it was estimated more than 2,500 people took in Play Day, which surpassed 2012's numbers, it appears city residents were eager to get out and spend some time on worthwhile activities.
And with events like Play Day, local families are beginning to make Family Day weekend more of a priority, and are actually making a point to spend it productively. Certainly, there can be some big advantages to creating memories, disconnecting from the digital world for a day and making the most out of activities community volunteers work to create for southern Albertans.
Family Day may have started as just another long weekend in Alberta but hopefully, it has evolved and will continue to evolve into an important yearly event on the calendar for local families.
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