Welcoming 48 new Canadians on eve of Pan American Games opening
Pan Am-themed citizenship ceremony leads the torch’s arrival at Nathan Phillips Square
Toronto, Ontario — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander personally welcomed forty-eight new citizens from 14 countries as new Canadians yesterday at a special sport-themed citizenship ceremony. The ceremony took place on the stage where the games medals are to be presented in Nathan Phillips Square. Today’s ceremony occurred on Day 40 of the 41 day TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games torch relay, allowing these new Canadians to share in the festivities celebrating the Pan Am flame. The torch, which symbolizes the spirit of the 41 participating nations and the history of the PAN AM Games, will make its final stop on July 10, 2015, at the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.
At the ceremony, Minister Alexander emphasized the importance of sport in bringing together individuals of different cultures.
Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe is hosting the TORONTO 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games, one of the largest multisport events ever held in Canada. Through its contributions to the Federal Cultural Strategy, the Government of Canada is helping promote Canadian culture and heritage, while showcasing Canadian values and enhancing engagement in the Americas.
- In 2014, 3,121 citizenship ceremonies were held across Canada, where more than 262,000 new citizens were welcomed – this is more new Canadians than in any year in Canada’s history and more than double the number from 2013.
- Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that 2015 is the Year of Sport in Canada, and its overarching theme is “Canada: A Leading Sport Nation.”
- The Pan American Games will be held July 10-26, 2015 and the Parapan American Games will take place August 7-15, 2015.
- The TORONTO 2015 Games will be one of the largest multisport events ever hosted in Canada and will gather more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across the Americas.
“As Canadians, we are proud of the role sport plays in bringing individuals together and achieving unity in our diversity. Today, as we continue to celebrate Canada’s Year of Sport, we also mark the opening of the 17th Pan Am Games. For the next several weeks Toronto has the honour of hosting vibrant demonstrations of athletic and cultural excellence. We welcome competing nations from the Americas, and we also welcome our newest Canadians. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister