VIA Rail helps Canada's newest citizens celebrate their citizenship by exploring their new home
Participation in the Cultural Access Pass program connects new citizens to an exclusive travel offer
MONTREAL, Oct. 15, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In celebration of National Citizenship Week, VIA Rail Canada is encouraging Canada's newest citizens to hop on a train and explore the country they've chosen to call home by taking advantage of an exclusive travel offer it's created with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC).
Launched this past Canada Day, VIA Rail and the ICC are offering new Canadian citizens who are members of the ICC's Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program a one-time, exclusive offer: a 50% discount on the lowest available fare, any class, one way or round trip, no blackout periods, for CAP members and up to four of their children under the age of 18.
A mere three months into the collaboration, VIA Rail and the ICC are pleased to announce that new CAP members have travelled on average 769 kilometres each, for a total of 366,237 kilometres travelled by citizens taking advantage of the offer - the equivalent of travelling from Vancouver to Halifax 57 times! Destinations along the Québec-Windsor Corridor were the most popular, with close to 70% travelling there, and of these, 43% travelled between Montréal and Toronto. The Canadian, linking Toronto to Vancouver, attracted 25% of participating CAP members, while The Ocean, running between Montréal and Halifax, carried about 5%.
"As the national rail service, VIA Rail is committed to helping all Canadians discover the many wonders of Canada," declared Marc Laliberté, Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail. "We are pleased with the popularity of this initiative and hope many more new citizens will take advantage of this offer to create their own Canadian experiences and strengthen their sense of pride."
Gillian Hewitt Smith, Institute for Canadian Citizenship Executive Director & CEO agrees: "Our offer with VIA Rail helps new citizens explore new places and spaces outside of their hometown. Members' interest in this offer gives us even more to celebrate this Citizenship Week."
Fostering inclusion, the Cultural Access Pass program connects Canada's newest citizens to a wealth of Canadian experiences by giving them a year of free access to more than 1,000 attractions from museums and historic sites to national and provincial parks. More than 55,000 new citizens have participated in the program to date. To learn more about the Cultural Access Pass, its participating attractions, and VIA Rail Canada's offer, go to culturalaccesspass.ca.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national, non-profit organization that engages Canadians in active citizenship. Through innovative programs and partnerships, the ICC works to ensure new citizens are welcomed and included as equals, create meaningful connections among all Canadians, foster a culture of engaged citizens and celebrate what it means to be Canadian. Our Building Citizenship program welcomes and connects new citizens by hosting community-led citizenship ceremonies across Canada. Our Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program introduces new citizens to Canadian experiences by offering a year of free access to more than 1,000 attractions from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium, our intellectual platform, is a national, interactive lecture on citizenship. And ICC Insights, our partner-focused initiative, brings new citizen voices to national conversations through collaborative projects. The ICC was founded and is co-chaired by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, and is supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). For more information, visit icc-icc.ca. You can also follow us on Twitter @ICCICC).
ABOUT VIA RAIL CANADA
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's (viarail.ca) mandate is to provide safe, efficient, environmentally sustainable passenger transportation in the country's two official languages. VIA operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety Award and the 2012 Baxter Travel Media's Agent's Choice Award as voted by Canadian travel agents for the 11th time in 12 years, VIA transports over four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided VIA with nearly one billion dollars in capital investment funding. Follow the evolution of current projects at viarail.ca/transformingvia.
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SOURCE: VIA RAIL CANADA INC.For further information:
VIA Rail Canada
Institute for Canadian Citizenship
416-593-6998, ext. 225