Fun Fact: The North American incarnation of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 – the same year Hatley Castle was completed!

While many blame the greeting-card industry for creating holidays like Mother’s Day, its beginning was, in reality, much more wholesome. In North America, Mother’s Day began from the tireless efforts of Ann Reeves Jarvis who, after her mother’s death in 1905, wanted to honour the sacrifices mothers make for their children. The first celebration was held in 1908 in Grafton, West Viriginia. Then-President Woodrow Wilson later ratified it as an official holiday in 1914, with Canada following suit the next year.


Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of


If you’re looking for some outdoor fun to celebrate this Mother’s Day, check out the Mother’s Day Paint-In and Craft Fair happening Sunday, May 8th from 10 am to 4 pm on the grounds of Royal Roads University! The university is located on the Hatley Park National Historic Site, home of Hatley Castle. The annual outdoor festival is celebrating its 21st year, featuring local artists and artisans as well as entertainment for children and adults.

Staff from West Shore Parks and Recreation will be hosting crafts and activities for kids while adults can enjoy musical entertainment all day on the main stage. Seeking even more culture (and some exciting local history)? Take a FREE tour of Hatley Castle and learn about the local, ever-so-dramatic Dunsmuir family.


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Both admission to the grounds and parking are free for the event this year, but if you’re craving some exercise and fresh air, why not bike over instead? The Galloping Goose Trail can take you most of the way to the castle. Come rent a bike from The Pedaler and enjoy a ride out to the grounds! It’s just under 16 kilometers to the castle on a well-maintained, car-free path. If that much pedaling doesn’t sound like a good time to you, try out one of our Evo Electric-Assist bikes to keep things nice and easy.