New Year's Day Levee
Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015
Regina, December 29, 2015…Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield invites everyone to attend the annual New Year’s Day Levee on January 1st from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Government House in Regina.
“This year the Levee will mark the start of the 125th Anniversary celebrations of Government House. We’ll have free samples of the Government House 125th Anniversary Signature tea, as well as special anniversary cookies. We’re also delighted to host Ruff Rider, the Nash Project PSTD-service dog. Please join me and toast the New Year at Government House in Regina,” said the Lieutenant Governor.
The Levee is free of charge. Guests have an opportunity to meet the Lieutenant Governor in a receiving line, and enjoy refreshments and entertainment. Children will be able to create a Victorian Calling Card and a New Year’s Cracker full of treats.
Based in Alberta, the Nash Project rescues neglected and abused dogs and horses and rehabilitates them as Service and Therapeutic Animals. The Nash Project invited the Lieutenant Governor to name their newest dog-in-training, and she selected the name “Ruff Rider” based on submissions from Saskatchewan people. Ruff Rider is a Gladiator Breed, which is a cross between a Great Dane and a Mastiff. He is 8 months old, and when full grown, he will reach 230 to 245 pounds. Ruff Rider will be able to wake his handler up from bad dreams, calm him down, make him feel comfortable, plus various other tasks. Because of his size, he will also be able to help with any mobility problems such as balance or weakness.
Free parking will be provided at EVRAZ Place at the Lewvan Drive entrance. A free shuttle service will run frequently between the EVRAZ parking lot and Government House.
More information about the Levee may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Lieutenant Governor at 306.787.4070, by visiting the website at www.ltgov.sk.ca or Facebook at www.facebook.com/LtGovSk.
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Carolyn Speirs, Communications Manager
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
On January 1, 1884, Lieutenant Governor Edgar Dewdney held the first New Year’s Levee in what is now known as Saskatchewan. The Government House of 1884 was little more than two draughty, clapboard dwellings joined to make one inconvenient, cold, temporary structure on the edge of Wascana Creek, located near the site of the present RCMP Depot. Only gentlemen were invited to the first Levee, where they renewed acquaintances with the elite of frontier society. Lieutenant Governor Joseph Royal moved into the present Government House in October of 1891, and continued the Levee tradition.
In 1902, adopting a more democratic approach, Lieutenant Governor Amédeé Forget opened the Levee to the public. The public, however, was exclusively male, as women were still not permitted to attend. The cancellation of the Levee of 1905, due to Forget’s poor health, was met with general disappointment; however, the tradition continued in 1906. In 1910, special buses were dispatched every ten minutes from Regina’s downtown to transport the hundreds of callers eager to enjoy the Vice-Regal hospitality. The New Year’s Day Levee continued to be a popular tradition for decades. The men of Saskatchewan attended Government House in great numbers, enjoying the chance to meet the Vice-Regal couple in the elaborate setting.
In 1945, Government House was converted into a rehabilitation hospital for veterans returning from World War II. In keeping with popular tradition, Lieutenant Governor Reginald J.M. Parker continued to host the Levee at the Hotel Saskatchewan, the official office of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. The Levee was held at the Hotel Saskatchewan until the early 1970s, when it was cancelled due to lagging popularity.
In 1985, following the return of the Vice-Regal Office to the newly restored Government House, Lieutenant Governor F.W. Johnson and Mrs. Joyce Johnson re-introduced the New Year’s Levee. The Vice-Regal couple welcomed men and, for the first time, women to the New Year’s Day festivities.
The Levee has, once again, become a New Year’s tradition. The Lieutenant Governor extends a warm invitation to join her at the New Year’s Day Levee 2016 at historic Government House.
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