On Thursday, June 1, in (early) celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, we had the honour and privilege of hosting our very first citizenship ceremony at FortWhyte Alive.
34 new Canadians, originating from 14 countries around the world, were welcomed during this afternoon ceremony at the Alloway Reception Centre. This proved to be a powerful experience for all in attendance – both those taking the Oath of Citizenship, and everyone who joined us as observers – with nary a few dry eyes in the crowd!
Overseeing the ceremony were Rachel d’Eschambault (clerk of the ceremony), and M. Dwight MacAulay (Chief of Protocol for the Government of Manitoba), who acted at the presiding official. We were also joined by Indigenous Elder Allen Sutherland, who opened the ceremony with a welcome messaging. Special thanks to members of the Riel Gentleman's Choir who lead us in a rousing rendition of 'Oh, Canada' upon completion of the official proceedings.
Along with receiving their certificates, flags, and pins, our new Canadian friends were also presented with a Cultural Access Pass, made available from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. This pass enables new Canadians to explore, travel, and discover Canada during their first year as citizens, with free admission to more that 1,300 of Canada's premier cultural attractions (including FortWhyte Alive!) as well as discounts on travel.
After celebrating with cake and refreshments, guests were invited to stay and enjoy FortWhyte Alive for the reminder of the afternoon and evening, with family activities including Voyageur canoe rides, bannock at the sod house, and more.