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Meet Canoo Member Lorena Galvez Bello

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank

Lorena arrived in Canada from Cuba, with dreams of studying and working hard, and soaking up all of the natural beauty that Canada has to offer. She settled in Québec and became a citizen in 2019. Since then, she has been deep diving into the incredible parks and natural wonders throughout her home province with Canoo.

“For many new Canadian citizens, including myself, Canoo has opened a door to connect even more with our new home,” Lorena told us. “Canoo has been a wonderful platform to discover the variety of cultural and natural places around me. Thanks to this opportunity, I have felt even more motivated to attend different museums, art galleries, and parks.”

So far, her favourite Canoo discovery has been La Gaspesie, Québec, the peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River that is home to spectacular seascapes, mountains and crystal-clear rivers, as well as a vast array of activities and impressive cuisine drawn from the sea, land and forests.

In the summer of 2019, Lorena and her partner organized a week-long road trip from Montreal to La Gaspesie. “We spent two days in Gaspé where we visited Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse and of course Forillon National Park. The beach at the foot of the mountain was spectacular, though the water was too cold for a tropical girl like me.”

Located at the northeast tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, Forillon National Park offers sea and cliff views, quiet pebble beaches, camping areas and opportunities to observe all kinds of incredible wildlife, from moose to seals to whales.

Lorena and her partner enjoyed a breathtaking hike together. “The most spectacular view was from the top of the mountain!” she said. “You could absorb all the magnificence of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the vast diversity of flora, and the pleasant sensation of peace.”

The most exciting part of the day wasn’t the mountain itself, but the events that happened once Lorena and her partner reached the summit.

“At the very top, almost a little bit afraid of the height, and among low clouds, my fiancé proposed. I said: “Yes”.”

Forillon National Park will forever be a special place for Lorena and her fiancé. While we can’t guarantee that every Canoo venue will be that uniquely special for every Canoo member (romantic mountain-top proposals are pretty one-of-a-kind), we do think that Canada’s incredible natural locations and cultural sites have a sort of magic all of their own. Lorena agrees.

“Cultural places bring people together,” she said. “They are a means for people with common interests to meet and share or explore new interests. And cultural venues are not exclusively for able-bodied people; they are a safe place for everyone regardless of physical and mental disability to participate.”

We’re wishing Lorena and her fiancé a long, happy and peaceful life together as a married couple, and we’re so glad they were able to celebrate their special day with Canoo. Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that Lorena and thousands of newcomers like her get to build incredible memories in Canada’s one of a kind cultural sites.

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Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and 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 citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.