International Free Hugs Day 2011 Victoria BC

Saturday July 2nd 2011 marked the 2nd time we celebrated International Free Hugs Day in Victoria BC. Our inaugural event in 2010 came about after Alex Yates @Lunacee tweeted about the day and before you knew it, we had crowd sourced a small group of people willing to meet at the Visitors’ Information Centre for a few hours of hugging.

International Free Hugs Day was the inspiration of Juan Mann (a pseudonym) an Australian, in 2004. The hugs were intended to be random acts of kindess. The day was made popular by a Sick Puppies music video.

Although anyone can organize a free hugs campaign, the 1st Saturday in July is set aside for International Free Hugs Day.

Somehow, the day snuck up on us, and it wasn’t until the final week of June that we realized it.

Despite the hurried preparations, we were 6 gathered to hug.  Alex and I agreed that people seemed more willing to accept a hug this year. We wonder if the festive nature of the weekend, and the warmer weather produced this response.

Thanks to Frans Jonker, our photographer for the day.

Would you like to join us next year? Put Saturday July 7th 2012 on your calendar and stay tuned for more details.

See  Flickr for more photos of International Free Hugs Day 2010 and 2011.

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. What a crazy idea. Do people tend to be receptive or avoid hugs?

    • @lacouvee says

      Last year the weather was cold and we found very few people were receptive. We had to explain the idea to them. This year, even without explanations, people were very receptive. What a difference.

  2. Hi There: Sorry we missed you last year! We were at the Homecoming statue just around the corner!
    ( We were there again today as well ( and weather permitting we’ll be there next Saturday!! Drop by and share a hug!!

    Marcia and Mike.

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