UPEI hosts successful New Year’s Day Levee

Thursday, January 4, 2018
UPEI employee and alumna Freya Qi and student Jiahiu Huang welcomed guests at UPEI's New Year's Day Levee. UPEI music students, seen in the background, sang carols as levee-goers waited to greet members of the receiving line.

The University of Prince Edward Island and UPEI Alumni Association continued their time-honoured tradition of hosting a New Year's Day Levee on January 1. UPEI’s version of the social event—held at the School of Sustainable Design Engineering—proved yet again to be a popular stop for levee-goers.

A group of international students and alumni provided a helpful hand as they welcomed members of the community, wrote out presentation cards, and helped to collect and hang up coats while several UPEI music students, attired in Victorian dress, sang seasonal carols.

UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz and Valerie Abd-El-Aziz, UPEI Board of Governors Chair Pat Sinnott and Darlene Sinnott, and UPEI Alumni Association President Curtis Toombs received close to 500 guests including the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, and Chief Brian Francis of the Abegweit First Nation. UPEI honorary degree recipients and former premiers of Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Catherine Callbeck and Pat Binns, were also in attendance.

View the 2018 Levee Photo Gallery

About the levee tradition
The word levee (from the French noun lever, to raise) originated with King Louis XIV of France whose custom was to receive his subjects just after arising, a practice that then spread throughout Europe. In the 18th century, the levee in Great Britain and Ireland became a formal reception given by the sovereign just before noon or in the early afternoon. It was in Canada that the levee became associated with New Year's Day when fur traders began the tradition of paying their respects to their government representative on January 1. The first recorded levee in Canada was held in 1646.

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