MONTREAL, June 27, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A collaboration between VIA Rail
and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) has resulted in 1,500
new citizens travelling by train to explore Canada, their new home, in
the last year.
This collaboration offers members of the ICC's Cultural Access Pass
(CAP) program - a program exclusively offered to new citizens - 50 per
cent off the lowest available fare, in any class, one way or round
trip, with no blackout periods, for them and up to four of their
children under the age of 18.
Since the offer's launch on July 1, 2012, new citizens have travelled on
every main route VIA Rail offers, visiting almost all of the 450
Canadian communities aboard one of the 500 trains departing each week.
Most new citizens chose to travel within the Québec City - Windsor
corridor, but many - nearly 20 per cent - chose to journey on the Canadian, an incredible voyage that runs between Toronto and Vancouver.
"VIA Rail is proud to contribute to new citizens' discovery of our
beautiful country," declared Marc Laliberté, Chief Executive Officer of
VIA Rail. "We are pleased with the popularity of this initiative and
hope that even more new citizens will continue to take advantage of
this truly Canadian experience and increase their sense of belonging to
their new country."
CAP members couldn't agree more. Upon booking his trip through the
offer, Andrew S. shared his excitement: "I cannot think of a better way
to spend Canada Day than on the Canadian, travelling across Canada's beautiful and varied landscapes on a train
line steeped in Canadian history. Canada inspires and surprises and we
would never have done anything like this were it not for the work done
VIA Rail, and the ICC's Cultural Access Pass."
"With more than 1,200 participating attractions across the country,
collaborating with VIA Rail has helped make exploring Canada's cultural
places and spaces a real possibility for new citizens", said Leith
Bishop, ICC's Acting Executive Director & CEO. "We're thrilled that our
members echo our sentiment and reinforce the program's success in
igniting a shared passion for Canadian cultural experiences among new
citizens. It takes courage to start fresh in a new country and we want
every new citizen to be excited by CAP - a unique program created just
About the Cultural Access Pass Program
The Cultural Access Pass introduces Canada's newest citizens to a wealth
of Canadian experiences by providing a year of free access to
galleries, museums, historic sites, national and provincial parks and
performing arts organizations across the country. Since its inception a
mere five years ago, more than 70,000 new citizens have participated in
the program. A new citizen becomes eligible for a Cultural Access Pass
the day he/she receives his/her Canadian citizenship. The pass is valid
for one year, expiring on the first anniversary of a member's date of
citizenship. New citizens must be 18 years of age or older to
participate, but each member can use his/her pass with up to four
children under the age of 18. To learn more about the Cultural Access
Pass, its participating attractions, and VIA Rail Canada's offer, visit
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national, non-profit
charity that promotes 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 almost 1,200
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 and economical passenger
transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA
operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450
communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. Recipient of the
Railway Association of Canada's Safety Award in 2011 for the 11th time
in 12 years, and of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian
travel agents and presented by BaxterTravel Media, VIA safely
transports nearly four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the
Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail.
Follow the progress of our transformation at viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment.
Follow us... Evolution Blog at viaevolution.ca; on Twitter @VIA_rail; on Facebook
SOURCE: VIA Rail Canada Inc.
For further information:
MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION:
VIA Rail Canada
1 877 393-8787
Institute for Canadian Citizenship
416-593-6998, ext. 225