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New Year's Levée

The tradition of the levée started in the 17th century with King Louis XIV as his opportunity to welcome select subjects to his bedchamber at the start of a new day. The custom spread through Great Britain in the 18th century as a formal court reception hosted for men in the early afternoon.

The association between the levée and New Year’s day began in Canada as this was the day that fur traders paid their respects to their government representatives.

The first formal Canadian levée was recorded on January 1, 1646 in the Chateau St. Louis by Charles Huault de Montmagny, the Governor of New France (later Québec). During the levee, Huault de Montmagny greeted residents and shared the state of affairs within the area. 

Today, levées are the receptions (usually, but not necessarily, on New Year's Day) held by the governor-general, the lieutenant governors of the provinces, the military and others, to mark the start of another year. It provides an opportunity for those in service to the office and the military to exchange New Year’s greetings and best wishes for the coming year, and meet the public in a sociable atmosphere. 

The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and his wife standing with men in military and RCMP uniforms at the New Years Day Levee 2020

In Regina, the Levée provides hundreds of people with the opportunity to exchange New Year’s greetings with the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and tour the historic Government House while enjoying entertainment, refreshments, and activities. For all details please visit the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan website.