Special NHL citizenship ceremonies help new citizens connect with Canada's favourite sport
EDMONTON, Oct. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Tim Uppal Minister of State for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Edmonton - Sherwood Park welcomed 12 new Canadians at a special citizenship ceremony hosted by the Edmonton Oilers.
To celebrate Citizenship Week 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada partnered with several National Hockey League (NHL) teams to hold special citizenship ceremonies at hockey games across Canada. These ceremonies give new citizens first-hand experience with Canada's favourite pastime, strengthening their attachment to Cnanada and provide spectators the opportunity to celebrate these special moments with the new Canadians.
Today's newest citizens were greeted by Minister Uppal and Oilers Vice President Tim Shipton this afternoon. Celebrations continued this evening as the new citizens took to the ice to join in the singing of the National Anthem before the Edmonton Oilers faced-off the Vancouver Canucks.
- Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history - an average of one quarter-million newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent.
- For a new Canadian, the citizenship ceremony marks their formal entry into the Canadian family. A citizenship ceremony is a unique part of Canadian civic life. It is one of the few occasions where we formally reflect on the rights, responsibilities, privileges and benefits of being a Canadian citizen.
- Citizenship Week is taking place this year from October 13-19, 2014.
- As the buzzer sounds on Citizenship Week, new citizens are being welcomed at the following hockey games: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings (October 17), the Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks (October 17) and the Vancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (October 18).
"There is almost nothing more Canadian than hockey, so what better way to offer new citizens a true taste of Canadian life than to involve them in one of Canada's favourite pastimes. Sport transcends cultural boundaries and is a way we build connections between ourselves, our communities and our country. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to each and every new Canadian who took the Oath of Citizenship at this very special ceremony. Our government is proud to welcome these new Canadians who will make valuable contributions to our community here in Edmonton."
Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park
"On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers we are delighted and honoured to host the citizenship ceremony at our home, Rexall Place. We extend a warm welcome and congratulations to the families that will become Canadian citizens on this special day. Hockey is the lifeblood of our nation, it bonds and inspires us. From the youngest grassroots hockey to the National Hockey League, Canadians love their game and it is fitting these new citizens get to join a packed-house of Oilers fans in singing the national anthem before puck drop."
Oilers Vice President Tim Shipton
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Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.
SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
For further information: Kevin Menard, Minister's Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 613-954-1064; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 613-952-1650, CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca