National Family Week

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National Family Week originated in Canada and takes place the week before Thanksgiving every year. It was proclaimed an official week by the government of Canada in 1985. [1] National Family Week is celebrated throughout the country with special events put on by community organizations. National Family Week also exists in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

National Family Week is an annual event in the UK which celebrates family life and encourages families to spend more time together while also highlighting the important role families play in society. The week consists of thousands of local events organised across the UK by supporting organisations including local authorities, sports clubs, charities, community and religious groups. National Family Week is endorsed by but does not receive funding from the UK government so funding for the initiative comes through commercial sponsorship.


It is a distinct event from Family Day which is a statutory holiday created by the provincial governments of Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Family Day is a public holiday in South Africa, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and soon New Brunswick, in the American states of Arizona and Nevada, in Uruguay, in Vanuatu, in Vietnam, in the Australian Capital Territory, and as the second day of Songkran in Thailand.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Alberta Province of Canada

Alberta is a province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905. The premier is Jason Kenney as of April 30, 2019.


National Family Week is largely a public awareness campaign, the purpose of which is to celebrate families. Each year FRP Canada, in partnership with other national organizations, creates downloadable resources for families and those who work with families to access when planning an event in their community. With a different theme each year, National Family week highlights various important aspects of family life.


The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada) is a non-profit organization that aims to help families by providing resources, national leadership and consultation to those who care for and support them. Their vision is "to build a Canada that cares for its children, its families and its communities." [2] There are over 2000 family resource programs in Canada serving approximately 500,000 families.

For more than 20 years, Family Service Canada coordinated National Family Week activities. At the invitation of Family Service Canada in 2007, Families Canada (formerly FRP Canada) took on the lead role in national programming and coordination.

Government perspective

National Family Week offers an opportunity for the federal government to honour families and to introduce new legislation or modify existing laws in ways that it deems will help families.

In 2007, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Monte Solberg, stated that "Canada's New Government is proud to celebrate National Family Week and to recognize the important role that families play in this country. Families are the building blocks of our society, and we will continue delivering on our commitment to support and strengthen them.” [3]

National Family Week UK

National Family Week takes place during the Summer half term holiday and is backed by over 180 not-for-profit organisations [4] and has broad political support. It is organized by Family Week Ltd, part of the Henley Media Group. Although it received Lottery funding in its inaugural year it receives no government funding and operates through commercial sponsorship and support by not-for-profit partners. [5]

National Family Week United States

National Family Week in the United States takes place the week of American Thanksgiving. It was first proclaimed by Richard Nixon in 1972 pursuant to a resolution introduced in Congress by Representative John Myers (R-IN) upon the suggestion of a constituent, Sam Wiley. It is led annually by the National Family Week Foundation, established by Mr. Wiley and now managed by John Palatiello, a former staff assistant to Rep. Myers. President Donald Trump proclaimed the week of November 18 through November 24, 2018, as National Family Week. [6] [7] [8]

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Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.

National Families Week Aust

The Australian Government, through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, sponsors National Families Week with Families Australia. Centrelink also promotes National Families Week and provides support through its national network.

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  1. "Family Service Canada".
  2. Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs
  3. I Monte Solberg October 2, 2007
  4. National Family Week UK - Supporters
  5. "National Family Week UK - Sponsorship".
  6. Office of the Press Secretary (November 17, 2018). "President Donald J. Trump Proclaims November 18 through November 24, 2018, as National Family Week". . Washington, D.C.: White House . Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  7. Staff (November 22, 2017). "Trump Declares National Family Week: 'We Can Show Support to Our Family Members by Loving Selflessly'". . United States: Media Research Center.
  8. Office of the Federal Register (November 17, 2017). "National Family Week, 2017". Federal Register . Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Archived from the original on November 22, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.