A group that includes some prominent Canadian actors, writers and politicians is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to change the name of Victoria Day.

Author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and actor Gordon Pinsent are among those behind an online petition to rename the public holiday, which is celebrated on Monday, as "Victoria and First Peoples Day."

Peter Keleghan, an actor and spokesman for the group, says the new name would give Canadians a chance to honour both the Crown and the indigenous peoples of Canada.

"I know there is a great deal of monarchists in this country but I think also that there is also an awful lot of talk about how First Nations people, Inuit people, indigenous people in this country are being treated," he said Sunday.

Victoria Day marks the birthday of Queen Victoria and is celebrated every year on the last Monday before May 25. Quebec celebrates National Patriots' Day on the same day, to honour the rebellion against the British in 1837.

There is already a day to honour Canada's indigenous peoples, but Keleghan pointed out it's not recognized as a federal public holiday.

National Aboriginal Day is celebrated every year on June 21.

Keleghan said the group is trying to spread the word about the proposed name change on social media. He's hopeful the message will gain traction in the days to come.

The petition, which is posted on the group's website, victoriaandfirstpeoplesday.ca, calls on Harper to recognize the country's history.

"For centuries, Canadians, the First Nations, the Inuit, and the Metis have had a close affinity with the British Monarchy," the petition says.

"The newly named holiday would be an opportunity to commemorate that venerable relationship, to celebrate unique Indigenous cultures, to revisit our shared history, and to provide an opportunity for all Canadians to participate in the diverse and extraordinary heritage of our country."

Singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark, one-time NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp and Thomas King, an author who often writes on First Nations issues, have also signed the petition.

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  • Ashbrige's Bay, Toronto, Ontario

    Fireworks at Ashbridge's Bay on Victoria Day are a yearly tradition and 2013 is no exception. This year's show is slated to run 14 minutes long<a href="http://www.beachesliving.ca/pages/index.php?act=events" target="_blank">, starting at 9:45 in the evening, rain or shine</a>. But be sure to move quickly, the City of Toronto recommends visitors leave their cars at home and take public transit instead. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbrooker/" target="_blank">The Chris Brooker</a>

  • Blue Mountain, Collingwood, Ontario

    Travellers visiting Blue Mountain ski resort in May won't find too much snow, but at the very least, there will be fireworks. The light show is slated for 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 and caps off a day of dancing, live music and face painting, <a href="http://www.bluemountain.ca/events_quickfacts.htm" target="_blank">according to the resort's site. </a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7GvGL0zTZk" target="_blank">Source</a>

  • Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario

    If Toronto isn't an option for firework fans this year, why not try Canada's Wonderland? The theme park is about a 30-minute drive from the downtown core and the show has <a href="https://www.canadaswonderland.com/article/media-center/Victoria-Weekend-Fireworks-at-Canadas-Wonderland" target="_blank">featured over 6,000 explosions in the past</a>. The show is included with park admission.

  • Dow’s Lake, Ottawa, Ontario

    The Victoria Day long weekend is a busy time for the City of Ottawa. Not only is the Tulip Festival in full swing, but there's also a separate Victoria Day festival at the city's Dow’s Lake, which includes a <a href="http://www.ottawafestivals.ca/news/the-top-10-victoria-day-events-across-canada/" target="_blank">petting zoo, face painting and of course,</a> fireworks.

  • Fanshawe Conservation Area, London, Ontario

    Travellers who find themselves in the city of London, Ont. can get their fill of fireworks at the Fanshawe Conservation Area. The show starts at dusk, around 9 p.m. and costs $15 for admission (cash only), though early admission starts at 4 p.m.. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_qki310qls" target="_blank">Source</a>

  • Downtown Waterfront, Nanaimo, British Columbia

    Last year's show may have been cancelled due to a lack of funding, but things are looking a lot brighter for firework goers in Nanaimo, B.C.. This year's Empire Fireworks is back and <a href="http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/news/191695201.html" target="_blank">starts at dusk on May 19 by the downtown waterfront</a>. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8510057@N02/" target="_blank">Moosealope</a>

  • Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls, Ontario

    Canada's longest fireworks series returns for one more year and brings a spectacular light show behind a truly unique backdrop. Shows are free of charge and<a href="http://www.niagaraparks.com/attractions/fireworks.html" target="_blank"> run on the Friday, Saturday and Monday</a> of the long weekend at 10 p.m..