Meet CAP Member Grazia Masi
Originally from Milano, Italy, Grazia Masi came to Canada in December of 2009. Grazia received her citizenship on Canada Day this year, and she was in the first group in all of Canada to recite the oath that day. “Very emotional!” she says.
“Canada seemed the best choice for multiculturalism and I wasn’t wrong!” Grazia says, “I wanted to live here and I had my plan ready when I moved here. It didn’t always [go] so smoothly, but in the end it worked out. Moving to Canada helped me to face a really difficult time in my life and to start a new chapter in my life. I learned a new language and made other friends and appreciated a different culture. Now I find [it] rude not keeping a door open for someone, and I say sorry often!”
In regards to the Cultural Access Pass program, Grazia says: “What a treat! I visited museums here in Toronto, [and] I visited them in Montreal and Quebec City and St. John’s. I went to a Music in the Afternoon [performance] at the Faculty of Music [at the University of Toronto], to a night at the opera, and to plays at Hart House. Every time I use the Cultural Access Pass, I am welcomed from front-of-house staff and tour guides. In addition, this program makes me feel that this country is taking the time to welcome me and give me the opportunity to explore a lot of attractions that it would be expensive to appreciate [otherwise]. I feel that CAP is a way to include everyone new and make them part of Canada. [CAP is] a welcoming experience in a welcoming country.”
Grazia believes that cultural spaces act as a special form of social inclusion: “Social inclusion lets everyone feel valued and appreciated. Cultural places are the spaces where you can create and harmonize different values. Through poetry, music, crafts, books, and so on, it is possible to understand, appreciate, and welcome different cultures and beliefs.”
“All of us [new Canadians], we have a different story and a different background. And that is our strength. The best thing is to use it to our advantage,” says Grazia. “I believe that every new Canadian wants to be part in creating a better place to live and prosper.”
About CAP: For nearly 10 years, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) has delivered the Cultural Access Pass (CAP), an innovative, best-in-class program that gives new citizens access to Canadian culture.