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Hello, Bonjour, Aaniin, Canoo members!

Welcome to December! For many of us, we’re gearing up for the holiday season. Lots of different

cultures and religions have holidays throughout December, including Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and many different Solstice and New Year’s celebrations. One of the best parts of living in Canada is the opportunity for so many cultures and celebrations to live alongside each other. Each of you brings unique and important traditions from your home countries, and we hope you continue to practice them here in Canada.

In addition to the many different holidays celebrated throughout December, we observe Human Rights Day on December 10th. This day commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Declaration states that each person is entitled to fundamental rights, including the right to equality, and the right to life, liberty and security of the person. It also recognizes the right to freedom of religion and speech and the right to participate in the cultural life of the community.

At the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, our goal is to give all newcomers the ability to access their right of participating in the cultural life of Canada. That’s why we offer the Canoo Cultural Access Pass. Nothing makes you feel more Canadian than discovering its amazing attractions and being able to make them your own. The generosity of individual Canadians like you allows us to give the gift of Canoo to almost 50,000 newcomers every year. Like you did, they get free, VIP access to more than 1,400 arts, culture, parks and recreation spaces across the country.

This year, 65,000 newcomers are about to experience their first real winter, just like you did. Help make it their best one yet by giving the gift of Canoo to the next generation of newcomers. $50 can allow us to offer Canoo to a family of four for a year.  Please contribute what you can today.

In honour of Human Rights Day, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship will be hosting an Enhanced Citizenship Ceremony with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The Ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube, starting at 3 PM EST on December 10th. The ceremony will include a number of special guests, including speakers Warda Shazadi Meighen and Daniel Bernhard, anthem singer Audrey Saparno and performer Veronica Johnny. The Honourable Sean Fraser, our new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, will lead the candidates in the Oath. Watch your inbox over the next week, as we will be sharing information about how to view this very special ceremony and cheer on the newest members of the Canadian family.

Want to learn more about the history of Human Rights? We’ve collected some of our favourite Canoo venues, including museums, parks and historic sites, that chronicle the history of human rights and democracy in Canada and the world. Keep reading to find out more! / Click here to read more!

Please continue to wear your masks and remain socially distanced, and check your region’s guidelines and regulations. In regions of the country where it is still safe to visit venues, please follow all health guidelines that the venue has in place. Although we are updating the Canoo app, please always check the website of the venue or call ahead to find out about safety protocols and/or temporary closures in advance of visiting.

Thank you, merci and chi miigwetch! 

“Canoo is a tool to know the country, not only visiting cultural places or sightseeing its amazing parks, but embracing and understanding the reason for being a Canadian in heart and mind.”

Meet Canoo Member Teresita Perez! After becoming a Canadian citizen in March of 2020, she has used Canoo to explore Canada’s cultural sites and to discover our incredible parks with her family. Read Teresita’s full story here to learn about her family’s ultimate vacation spot, and find out which hiking trail has become her new favourite. Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for sponsoring the Canoo Spotlight as our Canoo Nation Building Partner!

With Human Rights Day coming up on December 10, we’ve suggested three of our favourite Canoo venues that do a great job of teaching about human rights throughout history, both in and out of Canada. Check out the collections of these museums for free online or in person, and be sure to check the venue’s website for their COVID-19 safety policies before visiting:

Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Take the time to spend time with their exhibit, The Witness Blanket. The Witness Blanket was created to honour the children who were forced into the Indian residential school system in Canada. It takes the form of a cedar “blanket,” and includes over 800 pieces of Indian residential school history. These contributions were donated by residential school Survivors and their families, band offices, and friendship centres. Many items were reclaimed from former residential school sites. The contributions include letters, photos, stories, books, clothing, art and fragments of buildings. Those responsible for the school system – churches and the Canadian federal government – have also donated pieces for this installation. Click here to learn more. 

Montreal Holocaust Museum – Montreal, Quebec

The Montreal Holocaust Museum educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the Holocaust, while sensitizing the public to the universal perils of antisemitism, racism, hate and indifference. Through its Museum, its commemorative programs and educational initiatives, the Montreal Holocaust Museum promotes respect for diversity and the sanctity of human life. Their next big event is a free book talk on Zoom, with author Rachael Cerrotti about her latest book “We Share the Same Sky” based on her award-winning podcast. Rachael’s book follows her grandmother Hana’s Holocaust survival story, and the stories of those who helped save her life. To learn more and register for the event, click here.

Explore the Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa, Ontario

The Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year to its celebrated complex in the heart of the National Capital Region, making it the country’s most-visited museum. With roots stretching back to 1856, it is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a respected centre of museological excellence, sharing its expertise in history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies both within Canada and abroad. While you’re here, wander the Canadian History Hall, and enjoy Gallery 3’s Modern Canada – Diversity and Human Rights section, which tells the stories of Canada’s LGBTQ+ communities, the fight for social welfare programs, religious freedoms and the official adoption of multiculturalism and bilingualism. Learn more here.

Looking for activities to put the whole family in the holiday spirit? Parks Canada has you covered! Check out holiday events that they are running at parks across the country and online. Canadian nature in the winter is stunning – just remember to bundle up!

Enjoy new holiday experiences at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Halifax, Nova Scotia

This strategic hilltop location with a commanding view of the Halifax harbour was chosen in 1749 for the fort destined to protect the city. The Halifax Citadel’s star shaped architecture is equally as impressive from the inside and out. Step back in time with the 78th Highlanders and the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery to learn what it was like for the soldiers and their families to live and work in this historic fort. New for this season, The Halifax Citadel Society in partnership with Parks Canada will be offering holiday experiences for the whole family, including Feed Nova Scotia, Citadel by Candlelight Holiday Tour, Raise Your Holiday Spirits, Evergreen Festival, and the chance to make lots of Victorian crafts and recipes. Click here to learn more.

Celebrate the holidays at Fort Langley National Historic Site, Langley, British Columbia

Rising from the mist of the Fraser River, the palisades of Fort Langley stand tall. Inside the walls, rough-hewn timber buildings recreate the rugged 1800s. Start a new tradition of exploring cozy, charming Fort Langley National Historic Site during the holidays. Start your visit by visiting the Cooperage, where you can taste a roasted chestnut by the stone fireplace or make a craft. Then, pick up their kids’ scavenger hunt or join a guided tour to learn about historic holiday traditions. Finish in the Big House with a white glove talk and old-fashioned fountain pen activity. Check the schedule for musical performances during the afternoons. Enjoy lunch or a treat at lelәm’ at the fort café or shop for something special at šxwimelә boutique & gifts. Click here to learn more.

Enjoy a Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s – Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site, Montréal, Quebec

Rooted in the historic district of Old Montréal at the corner of the prestigious Notre Dame and Berri streets, the Sir George Étienne Cartier National Historic Site is two semi-detached houses that once belonged to the main architect of the Confederation, Sir George Étienne Cartier. On weekends from December 4 to the 19, 2021, stop by to celebrate A Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s. It’s Christmas, 1867; the Confederation has just been formed, and festivities are in full swing at the Cartier home! All the latest trends in decoration, cooking and fashion are sought out to delight the guests. During the guided tour of the house, discover the history and unexpected origins of some of our still-current holiday traditions. If you’re looking to go out with friends or need a break from December’s hustle and bustle, come visit the Cartier house with its festive decorations. Click here to learn more and make your reservation!

Enjoy family friendly holiday crafts online with Parks Canada. Inspired by Rouge National Urban Park’s traditional Annual Winter Bird Count, Club Parka has put together an easy Origami Christmas Birds making activity. Check it out with your kids here.

Do you remember exploring Canada’s wonders for the first time?

Nothing makes you feel more Canadian than discovering its amazing attractions.

But you shouldn’t have to wait five years for Canada to reveal its wonders.

That’s why we’re making Canoo available to new Canadians from day one.

So more people than ever can explore the museums, science centres, art galleries, majestic parks and historic sites.

From the first day they arrive.

By donating $50 to Canoo, you can help us bring the best of Canada to more new Canadians this Giving Tuesday. 

November 30 is Giving Tuesday, a day to honour, celebrate and participate in acts of generosity. 

So give new Canadians a first winter to remember.

And we’ll give you a $50 toque, made in Canada by immigrant tailors,  as a warm thank you.

Make your donation here. Thank you.