Hello, Bonjour, Aaniin, Canoo members!

Happy New Year! We’re sending out our warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2022 to you and your family. The team at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship took some time off around the holidays to reenergize, and we’re now back and looking forward to an exciting new year.

Here at the ICC, our team is made up of a combination of Perhaps: permanent residents, immigrants from 13 countries across the world and Canadians who were born here. We each have unique immigration stories, but we share one thing in common: we all have to survive Canadian winter every year. And that can be tough, whether it’s your very first winter or you’ve spent your whole life here. Before our holiday break, our team started talking about some of our favourite winter stories. We shared all sorts of funny, silly and sweet stories – from discovering that high heels don’t work as winter footwear in Ottawa, to memories of a long-ago first snowball fight in Calgary for two little girls freshly arrived from Nairobi, to watching a brand-new baby calf frolic in his first ever snowfall. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of warm hearts.

We’d love to share those same warm feelings with newcomers to Canada experiencing winter for the first time, and so we’re turning to you for help. Do you have a funny or heartwarming story of your first time experiencing winter? Have you discovered new sports, hobbies, traditions or events? Do you have any advice for a newcomer who is spending their first winter in Canada? We’d love to hear from you!

Share your winter stories here and we will put them up on our social media accounts so they can warm the hearts of even more Canadians. You can share written stories, a short video (no more than 1 minute and 30 seconds please!), photographs or artwork, as long as you submit your own original work. We can’t wait to hear from you!

In this newsletter, you’ll find information about exciting winter events and activities at Canoo venues across the country. We hope that these venues are able to continue offering in-person events as safely as possible, but COVID-19 numbers and restrictions in Canada are changing on a daily basis. Although some of the venues we are profiling may have had in-person events running at the time this newsletter was written, we cannot guarantee that this will still be the case throughout January. Remember to check the venue websites or call ahead prior to arrival to find out about safety protocols and/or temporary closures in advance of visiting.

We hope that you have a fantastic first month of 2022, and are able to enjoy all the beauty that winter in Canada has to offer.

Thank you, merci and chi miigwetch! 

“Inclusion 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.”

Meet Canoo Member Yoradyl Anne Cuaresma! Yoradyl arrived in Canada from the Philippines, dreaming of a better future for herself and her family. By using the Canoo app, she has been able to explore Canada’s greatest cultural and natural sites, in all seasons of the year. She has really enjoyed the access to museums and arts venues, but most of all, she has loved getting to discover Canada’s parks and the unique beauty that they offer up all year round. Read Yoradyl’s full story here and learn more about the winter event that has become a family favourite! Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for sponsoring the Canoo Spotlight as our Canoo Nation Building Partner!

Throughout January, our Enhanced Citizenship Ceremonies will be celebrating the history of education and learning in Canada, leading up to the International Day of Education on January 24, 2022. Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. To spotlight the importance of education, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship has invited some incredible Canadian educators to join us at our Enhanced Citizenship Ceremonies throughout January as guest speakers and performers. These educators come from many diverse backgrounds, and include professors, novelists, teachers and knowledge keepers. Keep an eye on our social media throughout this month to learn more about their inspiring speeches and performances.

Want to celebrate the International Day of Education on your own? We’ve collected some of our favourite Canoo venues that are all about the history of education in Canada, and provide hands-on learning activities for the whole family!

Evolution of Education Museum – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

The Evolution of Education schoolhouse was constructed in 1920 and used as a school until 1963. It was originally known as the Claytonville School. This building is a fine example of the one room school houses which dotted the prairies in the mid-twentieth century. To book a tour, contact the Historical Museum during regular business hours to set up an appointment for a tour.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse – Toronto, Ontario

Spend the day discovering a Victorian school! Established and funded in 1848 by local brewer Enoch Turner, Toronto’s first free school educated the children of the area’s many poor immigrants from 1849-1859. Because the families were often from Cork in what is now Eire (Southern Ireland), the neighbourhood became known as Corktown. After decades of use by many different community groups, the building was restored in 1972, and is now a historic site and museum. The Ontario Heritage Trust owns and operates it and runs several school children’s and citizens’ programs here. Through role playing with “Mrs. Henderson” at the blackboard, students experience first hand what a Victorian school was like with its wooden desks, slate writing boards, discipline and the starched collars and pinafores. (The children love it.) Its programs includes lectures, walking tours, and special events.

Monument-Lefebvre National Historic Site, Memramcook, New Brunswick

The Monument-Lefebvre National Historic Site was originally designated as a national historic site as a memorial to Father Camille Lefebvre who established Collège Saint-Joseph, the first French-language, degree-granting college in Atlantic Canada, in 1864. Since then, the college and this building have become a living symbol of the Renaissance Acadienne. It is a community gathering place that allows everyone to appreciate the history, culture and achievements of the Acadian people. The inauguration of the Monument-Lefebvre in 1897 is another sign of the central role played by the Memramcook Valley in the intellectual and cultural life of the Acadians. While you are there, be sure to explore the “Reflections of a Journey – The Acadian Odyssey Exhibition.” The exhibit immerses visitors in the world of the Renaissance Acadienne. It explores the milestones of this history, including education, religion, politics, economics and cultural aspects of the past and present.

Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science, Sherbrooke, Quebec

Learn about the natural world with the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science! Overlooking the Magog River Gorge, the Museum offers a diversity of products such as field trips, conferences, parties for children, a shopping boutique, the nature counter and more, with a mission of promoting conservation and awareness of the natural sciences in a scholastic environment. Head over to their website to explore both in-person and virtual exhibits!

The Palisades Stewardship Education Centre, Jasper, Alberta

The Palisades Stewardship Education Centre is surrounded by the awe-inspiring mountains of Jasper National Park. The modern facility and beautiful grounds create a special relational space for youth groups. The Parks Canada education team has the gear (canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, snowshoes, skis and more), the training and the experience to keep youth safe and engaged in quality programs. Parks Canada takes advantage of the best local resources, including an Indigenous knowledge keeper, to connect youth with the natural and cultural heritage of Jasper National Park. Their strength is experiential education, blending mountain recreation with environmental stewardship. Through multi-day, nature-immersion programs, youth create memories that last a lifetime.

Canada has something to offer in all four seasons of the year! It may be chilly out there, but Parks Canada has winter activities of all kinds available for you and your family to enjoy.

Camping isn’t just a summer activity! Take a look at some of Parks Canada’s top destination recommendations across the country.

Camping in the winter? Why not! It’s a lot simpler than you might think. Whether you’re an expert or just getting started, Parks Canada has got you covered with tips on where to go and how to stay warm while winter camping. Give it a try in the comfort of an oTENTik, or cozy up in your own tent at one of the many Parks Canada campsites. Let yourself be tempted by Parks Canada’s frosty suggestions and make your winter camping reservation today!

Try out snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Jasper National Park

The winter season in Jasper National Park is such a beautiful time to visit. From snow-covered mountain peaks to lightly dusted forests, the landscape is a winter wonderland awaiting adventure. Get your winter activity fix and venture out on the extensive trail system. From snowshoeing to cross-country skiing to fat biking, the park offers trails for all levels of ability. Visit popular landmarks like Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, Pyramid Island, Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls and enjoy a quieter time of year and some of the most glorious scenery you will see in Jasper (and if you’re lucky, winter wildlife along the way).

Get out on the trails at Prince Edward Island National Park

Indoor facilities may be closed for the season, but the great outdoors is always open to be enjoyed! Try hiking or skiing through the trails at Prince Edward Island National Park. Visitors are welcome to explore the park by foot, snowshoe or skis, view wildlife, and participate in other preferred winter activities. Find PEI National Park trail distances and descriptions here: Hiking

Discover oTENTik accommodations, rustic cabins and yurts at Fundy National Park

Fundy National Park facilities and trails are offering a wide array of winter activities! These include cross-country skiing, birding, snowshoeing, tobogganing and more. Winter camping is available at the Headquarters campground in one of five yurts, ten oTENTik accommodations or with your own tent! Three rustic cabins are also accessible: one on the Maple Grove trail, one on Hastings Road, and the other on McKinley trail.

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. 

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.