Free attractions for new Canadians
Newcomers to Canada can take advantage of hundreds of free experiences and attractions in every province and territory with an easy-to-use app. Through the CANOO 2.0 Access Pass, new residents to Canada can discover and explore more than 1,400 experiences that include everything from museums, travel, sporting events, and nearby volunteer opportunities.
Canoo was originally created in 2010 by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) — Canada’s charitable citizenship-building organization co-founded and co-chaired by former Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. By relaunching the Canoo Access Pass with the updated app, the expanded program will be able to serve more than two million recently arrived permanent residents and help these new Canadians celebrate their citizenship.
“Newcomers to Canada are builders, dreamers, entrepreneurs, and job-creators. As a country, we are better, stronger and more competitive when newcomers don’t just come to Canada, but love it here, become citizens, and make Canada their permanent family home,” said ICC CEO Daniel Bernhard. “Canoo is a powerful way to invite newcomers to experience the very best of Canada. It provides tangible proof that Canada values them and believes in them, while also celebrating the people, places, and experiences that make Canada amazing.”
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Many attractions included
Some of the Montreal-area attractions that are available for free include Parks Canada sites like the Lachine Fur Trade Museum and Fort Chambly, the Montreal Holocaust Museum, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Newcomers can also attend online workshops to learn about developing communication and leadership skills, and overcoming challenges. For those wishing to give back, volunteer opportunities can be found with Parks Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, or local events such as FrancoQueer. And if travelling this vast country is in the plans, Canoo partner VIA Rail offers 50 per cent off rail passes for one adult and up to four of their kids, while Air Canada gives 15 per cent off up to four tickets anywhere in Canada.
“Encouraging newcomers to Canada to travel this country by rail is an enchanting way to welcome them, and support them, as they discover the beauty and splendour of their new home,” said Martin R. Landry, chief commercial officer of VIA Rail.
The ICC plans to continue adding partners and experiences to the app, including those that connect newcomers with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, organizations and events.
Using the program
To take advantage Canoo, you must be within your first five years of receiving permanent residence status, or within 12 months of having become a Canadian citizen. Children under the age of 18 cannot sign up for Canoo; however, adults can bring up to four children under the age of 18 with them for free every time they visit a participating venue.