History of Thanksgiving in Canada
Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October.
The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in 1578 in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England. in search of the Northwest Passage.
The first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness. In 1957, Parliament fixed Thanksgiving as the second Monday in October.
The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed each year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In its early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary.
For most of Canada Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday with the exception of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, where it is an optional holiday. Companies that are regulated by the federal government recognize the holiday regardless of its provincial status.