This year the event will be a family affair with free skating at the Archie Browning Sports Centre (1:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.) and free swimming at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre (1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.). Mayor and Council will be in attendance for a “meet and greet” in the Esquimalt Recreation Centre atrium from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The event provides an opportunity for members of the public and municipal government to come together and welcome in the New Year. Light refreshments will be served and parking is available at the Recreation Centre.
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.
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