How to Host a Citizenship Ceremony

How to Host a Citizenship Ceremony

I decided that this is the place that I wanted to stay for sure with my family. Now I am officially a Canadian citizen, oh my God! I’m filled with joy. In my soul I am very happy. … Being a Canadian in my life I promise that I will love Canada no matter what. I even forget my country … I grip hold of Canada. The citizenship ceremony is an important rite of passage for new Canadians. For many, it is the start of a new commitment, a new loyalty to their new country, leaving old allegiances behind. For the community, it’s an opportunity to welcome new citizens and hear them express their loyalty. The generation of pioneers that were before us laid that part. And the most important thing was during the speeches, the covenant created between me and Canada. That’s the most beautiful thing, which we stand by. Citizenship and Immigration Canada—or CIC—works closely with community groups across Canada to support their involvement in hosting citizenship ceremonies. This video will show you how to plan and host a citizenship ceremony, step-by-step. Let’s start with the basics. Here’s what you need to know about hosting a citizenship ceremony. The citizenship oath is a solemn declaration in which citizenship candidates promise to be loyal to the Queen of Canada and to observe Canadian laws while fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. As each new Canadian is welcomed into our rich and diverse family, the reward lies in moments like these… Family is important to me. Family is one of the most important values for Canadians. And, family is something that not most of the nations value. Canada values family. Everything is made for family in Canada, and I think this is a great value because Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Who is involved? The citizenship candidates are central to the day—and the most important people at the event. CIC takes care of contacting them and creating the invitation list, while your group manages the logistics. You can also count on others to participate, like family and friends of the candidates and other special guests. As the organizer, CIC will identify a presiding official and possibly a master of ceremonies. The presiding official is usually a citizenship judge, member of the Order of Canada, Order of Military Merit or recipient of the Royal Victorian Order who administers the Oath of Canadian Citizenship, presents Canadian citizenship certificates and delivers remarks about the importance of citizenship. The master of ceremonies welcomes guests and introduces speakers and special guests. CIC may also invite an RCMP officer, a member of the Canadian Forces or a veteran to participate in the ceremony. Media may also be in attendance. When should you hold the ceremony? Usually, ceremonies are held on weekdays, during normal business hours. Where should you host the ceremony? You can hold it at the local Citizenship and Immigration office or choose a location in the community. It can be places like art galleries, museums, historic sites, schools, universities, libraries and community centres. Let’s go over the finer points of planning the citizenship ceremony. Here’s what you and your group need to know. Step One. Have you contacted CIC yet to advise them that you would like to host a ceremony? If not, be sure to reach out AT LEAST 2 to 3 months before the big day. The sooner you can ask us, the better. CIC will confirm whether your request can be supported after considering logistics and available resources. The date will be confirmed after that. Let CIC know where you would like to host the ceremony. We will confirm the date with you. Schedule a planning meeting with CIC staff to discuss the number of people expected, special guests to be invited and other important details. Step two. Four to six weeks before the ceremony, determine your requirements and establish a budget to cover the costs. Plan the site layout, including where you’ll place the stage, chairs and so on. Prepare a space for your reception area. CIC will ensure there are ceremonial flags and a dignified portrait of the Queen, a visible reminder that the Oath of Citizenship is a mutual pledge between the citizen and the Queen. CIC officials will create a guest list and extend invitations to all guests. Consider food and refreshments for the reception. Consider having a local business sponsoring the reception. CIC does not provide funding for these extras. You can recruit volunteers to plan and staff the citizenship ceremony. They can help organize the event, including catering, work the reception, greet the guests and clean up. Whenever possible, be sure to include at least one bilingual volunteer on your team. We try to get more volunteers. We have to have around 6 volunteers to help us in the preparations. We have to have our supplies ready, like coffee, tea and cookies for everybody. Step 3. The countdown is on. With 2 to 3 weeks remaining before the ceremony, here’s what you need to do. Liaise with CIC staff on the final details. CIC will prepare the program and have it translated. Confirm your plans for the reception. It’s often easiest to keep it simple. Most groups serve tea, coffee and juice with cakes, cookies or light snacks. Remember to plan for dietary restrictions and label any foods with nuts. Promote the ceremony to the media if you would like coverage of the event. Keep your remarks brief. This is not your day but theirs. The appropriate comportment for one hosting a citizenship ceremony is dignified and formal but not overly officious or self-important. Step 4. We’re now just days away. It’s time to… brief volunteers and assign their duties. Re-confirm all details for the reception. CIC officials will bring Canadian flags, Maple Leaf pins, the program and other items for the new citizens with them to the ceremony. Step 5. It’s now the day of the citizenship ceremony. Be sure to arrive well in advance. Check that everything at the site is in order. Brief your volunteers and set up for the reception. Set up the location and make sure the sound and lighting systems work. As the soon-to-be citizens and other guests arrive and register, welcome them. Greet the media. Find out how you can help them set up or find interview subjects. Ensure everyone is seated on time and ready for the moment they have been waiting for… Step 6. After the ceremony, it’s time for celebration. The reception serves as a special way to bring new Canadians together and celebrate what each individual has achieved on their journey to becoming a Canadian. I was welcomed. If I ever go out I say “I’m going back home,” not “where I was born.” I felt, deep in my heart, this is where I belong. Canada. Canada needs you. I said I need Canada too. I felt you know when I sit down there … it’s as if a white piece of cloth just came right around me. And I know it was the Angel of God that was there at the present time! … I was not scared at all. “You are fully accepted in Canada. Have a good time.” I dropped my knees on the ground and I said “Thank you God!” Now that the day is done, it’s time to do the final clean up and reflect on what you’ve accomplished. If you or your group would like to touch the lives of new Canadians, visit CIC’s website for complete information on planning and hosting a citizenship ceremony. You’ll find guidelines, a sample event program and important do’s and don’ts to help you plan a day that’s special—from start to finish. ♪


  1. Post

    Well im 17 and Im working hard for school to later then immigrate into canada, Its the only country where I would be happy to live for the rest of my life 🙂

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