Earlier this year we headed over to Toronto’s Old Chinatown to meet with Leith Bishop and her colleagues at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), a non-profit organization co-founded by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.
The ICC is focused on connecting new Canadians through opportunities such as Building Citizenship Community Ceremonies and the 6 Degrees Forum. Every year, the Building Citizenship program hosts over 60 special citizenship ceremonies across the country – each with a roundtable and reception – all to celebrate belonging and to welcome new Canadians to our northern family.
The 6 Degrees Forum is another opportunity for Canadians to get engaged. With events in Toronto, Vancouver and in Europe, this citizen space promotes connectivity and encourages participants to recognize the contributions of migrants to our communities, and to think critically about what it means to be inclusive in an increasingly divisive global environment.
The ICC also promotes active citizenship amongst newcomers through its Cultural Access Pass Program, which provides new citizens with a free pass to 1300+ cultural attractions across the country during their first year as Canadians. Another important project championed by the non-profit is the ICC Insights program. ICC Insights seeks to be a leading voice on research related to inclusion and the newcomer experience in Canada.
Visiting the ICC served as a powerful reminder of our province’s diversity and the importance of working towards greater inclusivity and multiculturalism in Canada. Thank you to Leith Bishop, Yasmine Mohamed, Alykhan Haji, Heather Steel and Alain Pescador for hosting the OLIP interns at the ICC!