December 27, 2011
For immediate release
Something new for New Year’s Levée
Lieutenant Governor's Office
The levée will be at the Government House, the Lieutenant Governor’s residence, on January 1 from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Keeping with tradition, refreshments will be served with the help of staff and many dedicated volunteers.
The modern levée is a uniquely Canadian tradition with its origins pre-dating Confederation by over two centuries, to the days of New France. British colonial governors continued the New Year’s Day tradition, and levées hosted by the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors have remained an annual ritual.
Prince Edward Island has a particularly strong levée tradition that has expanded from Government House to all levels of government, branches of the military, religious and secular institutions, businesses and even private homes. Levée-goers have found it an excellent way to start the year, exchanging good wishes with family, friends and new acquaintances.
His Honour has been a regular and enthusiastic attendee at Island levées for as long as anyone can remember. In his first year as host, he extends a light-hearted apology to the hosts of those levées he will be unable to attend on his usual rounds.
Until the early 20th century, levées were attended exclusively by men. Today’s levées are open to all members of the public, including children. Business attire is customary but not necessary and business or calling cards are appreciated at many levées. The cards are used when visitors are introduced to their hosts. Provisions are made for anyone who may not have calling cards.
Vehicle traffic onto Government House grounds is restricted during the levée. The main floor of Government House is accessible and mobility impaired visitors may be driven to the building; however, parking space is very limited.