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Mayor & Council New Year’s Levee continues a Canadian tradition

January 31, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

On Sunday, January 26, from noon until 3 p.m. the annual Mayor & Council New Year’s Levee took place at the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre, 7300 Industrial Parkway, Alliston.

A Town-organized event, the fourth annual Levee was held in The Hornets Nest on the second level, followed by free public skating from 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

The event, which had been rescheduled from January 12 due to inclement weather, honours an 18th Century tradition, during the reign of King Louis XIV.

The tradition of a New Year’s Day Levee began in Canada with fur traders who paid respect to the master of the fort on New Year’s Day.

The New Year’s Day Levee was later adopted by the Governors General and Lieutenant-Governors.

The first Canadian Levee was held on January 1, 1646, in the Chateau St. Louis. The Levee was hosted by Charles Huault de Montmagny, who at the time was the Governor of New France.

Greetings for the New Year were extended to the citizens by the governor. The Levee would also inform guests of significant events in France as well as the state of affairs within the colony.

The Levee was the equivalent of a modern day pep-rally where settlers were expected to renew their pledges of allegiance to the Crown.

The Levee tradition was continued by British colonial governors in Canada. Today, Levee’s are conducted by the Mayor of the City or Town where these take place – including New Tecumseth.


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