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Meet Canoo Member Yoradyl Anne Cuaresma

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank

Yoradyl arrived in Canada from the Philippines, dreaming of a better future for herself and her family. She became a citizen in 2019 and since then thanks to Canoo, she was able to dive right into the natural world around her new hometown of Calgary.

“My family and I always love to go fishing in and around Alberta,” Yoradyl told us. “Our favourite place by far would be Waterton, it is the most beautiful place for us whether it be in spring, summer, fall or winter!”

For many newcomers to Canada (and even for those of us who have spent many, many years here), winter can be really hard. Whether you’re used to the cold or not, months of snow, ice and darkness can be tough to deal with – physically and mentally! Fortunately, Yoradyl and her family found the beauty in Canadian winters – and discovered a fun new family festival to go with it!

“The best place I’ve visited using Canoo was Banff and Lake Louise, where we experienced the Winter Ice Magic Festival,” she said. “We went there in January 2020 together with my whole family and my mother who was visiting us here in Calgary. We saw magnificent ice carvings made by different participants from all over the world.”

Experiencing the Winter Ice Magic Festival gave the Cuaresma family a close-up look at the incredible beauty that Canada’s national parks have to offer, even outside of the peak summer season.

“It was not that cold and the weather was perfect for strolling and enjoying the scenery, especially the magical ice carvings they made. Our favorite part was taking pictures with the incredible carvings. We also got to see people skating through the frozen Lake Louise,” Yoradyl said. She and her family have decided to make Lake Louise a year-round adventure spot, to unlock all of Canada’s outdoor fun. “We would love to come back when it’s time and try fishing, kayaking or boating in the lake.”

Yoradyl loves her new country, and has embraced the diverse and multicultural society with her whole heart. She sees cultural places as being incredibly important to fostering multiculturalism and inclusion in Canada. “Cultural places preserve and give importance to where we came from and what we were before becoming Canadian,” she says. “These places serve as reminder for us to celebrate multiculturalism in this wonderful country we now call home.”

She has been looking forward to becoming a Canoo member for a long time. “I learned about the Canoo app from a friend of ours and I was so excited to use it when we finally had our Oath taking as new Canadians. It was very user friendly and we were able to sign up easily with an account by scanning our Citizenship Certificates.”

Canoo has been a huge part of Yoradyl feeling at home in Canada. “I love using Canoo because it allows us to explore and enjoy the spectacular parks, sceneries, and museums that Canada has to offer for free. It also includes special discounts on trains and flights if we want to explore Canada from Alberta to Toronto. The perks and privileges Canoo offers are endless! I’m so thankful for the Canoo App and all its developers who did a fantastic job. This app made us more proud to be Canadians!”

She said that she and her family have felt totally included in Canadian society. When we asked her what inclusion means to her, she said, “It means being accepted and equally privileged as anyone. Canada is our saving grace and we will be forever grateful to this country for the opportunity and privileges it offered to us.”

“I am so proud of this wonderful country who embraced and welcomed us wholeheartedly.”

We’re so glad that the Cuaresma family has been able to explore so much of Canada, and has been able to enjoy the magic of a Lake Louise winter. We wish them an incredible lifetime of exploring all that Canada has to offer! Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that the Cuaresma family and thousands of newcomers get to unlock Canada.

Discovering the Lake Louise Winter Ice Magic Festival made the Cuaresma family’s first winter as new Canadians extra special. Do you have a special winter story or words of advice you’d like to share with a newcomer discovering Canada’s winter for the first time? Share it here!

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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.