ICC Community Citizenship Ceremony opens 6 Degrees Citizen Space 2017
“This country has been enriched by generations of people who have come from all over the world to make Canada a better place.” — The Right Honorable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada
The 2017 edition of 6 Degrees Citizen Space opened with a community citizenship ceremony, celebrating 50 new Canadian citizens with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Every year the ICC hosts 75 community citizenship ceremonies across the country that take place in the hearts of communities in cultural, welcoming, public spaces. Each ceremony includes an engaging roundtable discussion where new citizens, and community members share their stories of immigration and reflect on what it means to be an active and engaged citizen. Discussions are facilitated by roundtable hosts who have been invited for their interest in diversity, inclusion, and connection to citizenship. Several of today’s roundtable hosts were 6 Degrees speakers, participants, and Junior Fellows. It was a unique opportunity for attendees coming from around the world to experience a Canadian citizenship ceremony, and have a global conversation on citizenship and inclusion with new citizens.
The ceremony was presided over by the Chief Justice of Canada, The Right Honourable, Beverley McLachlin, who began by acknowledging the role immigrants have played in shaping Canada by adding, “welcoming newcomers is the story of Canada.” The Chief Justice went on to thank today’s new citizens for embracing Canada and contributing to the country’s future, “while we don’t share the same past, we share a common future.”
Following the Oath of Citizenship, ICC co-chair, and former Governor General, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson shared her thoughts on the value of citizenship, as well as her own personal story of coming to Canada as a young refugee and how she was received in her new country, “I was welcomed here. And today I welcome you.” In her closing remarks she emphasized the bravery in immigration, “anyone who comes here from another country has guts. We need people like you with courage.” ICC co-chair, John Ralston Saul concluded the speeches by encouraging new citizens to take advantage of the rights citizenship offers by voting and to give back to the community with volunteer work, “volunteering is the core of this society, and the road into full citizenship,” and to more importantly be engaged, “this is your country now.”
Photos: ICC/Alyssa K. Faoro
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