Non-Fiction Books:

The Workers' Festival

Sorry, this product is not currently available to order

Here are some other products you might consider...

The Workers' Festival

A History of Labour Day in Canada


Paperback / softback

Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

The Workers' Festival by Craig Heron
Sorry, this product is not currently available to order


For most Canadians today, Labour Day is the last gasp of summer fun: the final long weekend before returning to the everyday routine of work or school. But over its century-long history, there was much more to the September holiday than just having a day off. In The Workers' Festival, Craig Heron and Steve Penfold examine the complicated history of Labour Day from its origins as a spectacle of skilled workers in the 1880s through to its declaration as a national statutory holiday in 1894 and finally to its reinvention throughout the twentieth century. The holiday's inventors hoped to blend labour solidarity, community celebration, and increased leisure time by organizing parades, picnics, speeches, and other forms of respectable leisure. As the holiday evolved, so too did the rituals, with trade unionists embracing new forms of parading, negotiating, and bargaining, and other social groups re-shaping it and making it their own. Heron and Penfold also examine how Labour Day's monopoly as the workers' holiday has been challenged since its founding by alternative festivals such as May Day and International Women's Day. The Workers' Festival ranges widely into many key themes of labour history - union politics and rivalries, radical movements, religion (Catholic and Protestant), race and gender, and consumerism/leisure - as well as cultural history - public celebration/urban procession, urban space and communication, and popular culture. From St. John's to Victoria, the authors follow the century-long development of the holiday in all its varied forms.

Author Biography

Craig Heron is a professor in the Department of History at York University. Steve Penfold is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.
Release date NZ
July 29th, 2005
Country of Publication
University of Toronto Press
Product ID

Customer reviews

Nobody has reviewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Review

Marketplace listings

There are no Marketplace listings available for this product currently.
Already own it? Create a free listing and pay just 9% commission when it sells!

Sell Yours Here

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
Filed under...

Buy this and earn 440 Banana Points