ENT - Louis Riel Stature at the LEG, Public art The Louis Riel sculpture is a monument to Louis Riel located on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg. Commissioned by the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and sculpted by Miguel Joyal, the statue is located on the building's south grounds and faces the Assiniboine River. Photo for the Indigenous public art team project, Aug 3, 2021

Louis Riel Day

Louis Riel Day is observed as a public holiday in Manitoba, where it is celebrated on the third Monday in February. This provincial statutory holiday was named to honor Louis Riel, a Canadian politician and the founder of the province of Manitoba. Because this is a provincial holiday and not a federal one, some federal employees may not have the day off.

With that being said, it is a day off for most people and is also a day when some businesses may decide to close. This holiday is the equivalent of Family Day—a holiday that is observed in some provinces in Canada.

The History of Louis Riel Day in Manitoba

This holiday was first observed in February 2008 after Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly passed the act that enabled it the following year. The name of this provincial holiday was suggested by students from Manitoba schools, who felt that the day should honor a man who is considered to be the Father of Manitoba. The holiday was named despite the fact that Louis Riel is one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history.

Fun Facts About Manitoba

We wanted to leave our readers with some facts that they probably didn’t know about Manitoba, so we did a little bit of research and came up with the following list of facts. We hope that they are not only a source of entertainment but are also very informative as well.

  • Winnipeg is not only the capital of Manitoba, but it is also the geographic center of Canada.
  • Winnipeg is also one of the coldest cities in the world.
  • Manitoba is home to over 100,000 lakes.
  • Manitoba is home to Folklorama, the Manito Ahbee Festival, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
  • Winnie the Pooh was named after Winnipeg. A commemorative statue is at Assiniboine Park.
  • The word ‘Manitoba’ comes from a native Cree word that means “the narrows of the Great Spirit.”
  • The Plains Bison is the official mammal of Manitoba, and the Great Grey Owl is the official bird of the province.
  • The White Spruce is the official tree of Manitoba.

Observing Louis Riel Day in Manitoba

This holiday is observed in much the same way as Family Day is observed in other provinces. People spend time with their families, go out and enjoy nature, and/or simply enjoy their three-day weekend. People also spread the news about this day online using the hashtag #LouisRielDay. Because this is a provincial holiday, some businesses and offices may be closed, but others may remain open for the day.

Where is it celebrated?
Canada (Common local holidays) - Manitoba
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 19 Monday
Next year (2025)
February 17 Monday
Last year (2023)
February 20 Monday