Commemorations

Louis Riel statue at St. Boniface College

  • On 10 March 1992 a resolution was passed by Parliament citing that Louis Riel was the founder of Manitoba.
  • On 26 September 2007, Manitoba legislature passed a bill establishing a statutory holiday on the third Monday in February as Louis Riel Day, the same day some other provinces celebrate Family Day, beginning in 2008. The first Louis Riel Day was celebrated on 18 February 2008.
  • Two statues of Riel are located in Winnipeg.  One of the Winnipeg statues depicts Riel as a naked and tortured figure. It was unveiled in 1970 and stood in the grounds of the Legislative Building for 23 years. After much outcry (especially from the Métis community) that the statue was an undignified misrepresentation, the statue was removed and placed at the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.  It was replaced in 1994 with a statue designed by Miguel Joyal depicting Riel as a dignified statesman. The unveiling ceremony was on 16 May 1996, in Winnipeg.  A statue of Riel on the grounds of the Saskatchewan legislative building in Regina was installed and later removed for similar reasons.
  • An opera about Riel entitled Louis Riel was commissioned for Canada’s centennial celebrations in 1967. It was an opera in three acts, written by Harry Somers, with an English and French libretto by Mavor Moore and Jacques Languirand. The Canadian Opera Company produced and performed the first run of the opera in September and October, 1967.
  • From the late 1960s until the early 1990s, the city of Saskatoon hosted “Louis Riel Day”, a summer celebration that included a relay race that combined running, backpack carrying, canoeing, hill climbing, and horseback riding along the South Saskatchewan River in the city’s downtown core.
  • In numerous communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec Riel is commemorated in the names of streets, schools, neighbourhoods, and other buildings.
    • Winnipeg/Manitoba
      • Louis Riel School Division
      • Louis Riel Avenue in Saint Boniface
      • Riel Avenue in St. Vital
      • Louis Riel Library Branch located at 1168 Dakota Street, in St. Vital.
    • Saskatchewan
      • The student centre (Place Riel) and campus pub (Louis’) at University of Saskatchewan
      • Highway 11 stretching from Regina to just south of Prince Albert, has been named Louis Riel Trail, as the roadway passes near locations of the 1885 rebellion.
    • Alberta
      • Louis Riel School – Calgary
    • British Columbia
      • One of the student residences Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia is named Louis Riel House.
    • Ontario
      • Louis Riel High School in Ottawa
      • Louis Riel Drive in Ottawa
    • Quebec
      • Rue Louis-Riel in several Quebec towns and cities: Quebec City, Gatineau, Sainte-Foy, Sorel-Tracy, Sherbrooke, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Deux-Montagnes, Jonquière, Trois-Rivières-Ouest, Magog, Saint-Philippe
      • Avenue Louis-Riel, in Montréal.
      • Parc Louis Riel, in Montreal,

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