Meet Canoo member Angelina
Meet Canoo member Angelina Paras.
Angelina chose to move to Canada because “it’s a country that’s both historically relevant yet still nascent in terms of economic and social potential. I feel like there is much for me and my children to learn from and contribute to this country that I chose.
“What I love most about Canada is its rich ethnic diversity, coupled with an amazing citizenry that has embraced people from all corners of the world. It’s what enticed me to live and raise my children here. In fact, Canada adopts multiculturalism as a national policy. I have felt this from the get go, as minorities’ representation in the workforce and in education is encouraged, added to a plethora of support services for newcomers like me.
“My favourite place in Canada is my new home and community, because it is symbolic of our immigration journey. But if I had the chance to revisit a place, it would be postcard-pretty Banff in Alberta, because our trip to this picturesque town for our landmark wedding anniversary will always be memorable.
“I typically visit Canoo venues with my husband and my children, and my mother-in-law who lives in Toronto but stays with us in Winnipeg for a few months each year. The best place I’ve visited using Canoo was the Canadian Human Rights Museum (CMHR). I have visited the CMHR several times in the past, but they always have something new to offer. In July of 2019, I used my Canoo [app] to see the Mandela exhibit with my friend, who was visiting from Minnesota. That state has its own share of amazing museums, but I was proud to show her around the world’s first museum dedicated to human rights, and we were both fortunate to view the Mandela exhibit which was ongoing at the time. She is an educator, while I work for the Manitoba Legislature, which means we not only have to be curious for personal curiosity’s sake but we need to be updated on all matters political! The effort that goes into curating and researching for these exhibits is remarkable, and as a Winnipeger, I am fortunate to have easy access to this excellent edifice.
“Although I work for both the city and provincial governments, have been summoned for jury duty, volunteered at countless events and voted twice since we arrived, active citizenship can be many other things. It can be as simple as welcoming new citizens to the community or watching a game at your kids’ school. It can be sharing a personal traditional recipe or lending a hand to a neighbour in need. When you keep a mindset of trying to give more than what you take from the society you live in, that, to me, is what active citizenship is all about.
“Inclusion to me doesn’t just mean “tolerance,” which I feel gives it a sense of “putting up with”. Inclusion is a deliberate welcoming of others’ culture — stepping back and having an open mind;to give recognition and genuinely have appreciation for the added value that others can give.
“Cultural places serve as living dioramas, giving us a glimpse of other people’s ways of life. Awareness opens the path to inclusion because people would come to realize that there is a greater society in which they live, and that the languages, abodes, food, beliefs, music, attires, traditions and customs in that greater society are legion. If anything, cultural places are kaleidoscopes of this remarkably diverse world we live in.
“Canoo has opened the doors of not-to-be-missed places to newcomers like me. Through Canoo and others’ generosity, our family has been able to take an introductory peek into museums and national parks, which we would definitely visit again in the future.”
*Some quotes have been edited for length and clarity.
Canoo gives new Canadian families access to 1400+ arts, culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new Canadian citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their family belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.