Meet CAP Member Bilal El Houri


CAP member Bilal received his citizenship only a few weeks ago. We reached out to Bilal after he received hundreds of comments on his Reddit post about the Cultural Access Pass and becoming a Canadian citizen. Here’s Bilal’s Spotlight, in his own words.

My name is Bilal El Houri. I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but moved to Canada in June of 2012 after living for 5 years in Dubai. I didn’t feel at “home” in the Middle East so I wanted to move to a country where I feel that I belong. My goals when I moved were mainly to be part of a community and start building roots.

After I moved to Canada, I lived in Edmonton for 3 years. On the very first time I left Canada for a vacation, when I came back to the Edmonton airport, the passport officer said to me “welcome home!”, that was a moment that I will never forget, it made me fall in love with Canada and its people.

I became a citizen in February 2018. My life changed drastically since I now really feel “at home” and feel that I belong. I’m definitely looking forward to voting!

In spring/summer times I like to spend my time outdoors and hiking in Ontario. I also like film photography and improv. I’ve only been to ROM with [my Cultural Access Pass] but I’m planning to explore more places when the weather gets better. Almost all of my Canadian friends were jealous after I told them what [the Cultural Access Pass] was, since they’re born here [in Canada]!

[Cultural places] open our minds and hearts to different cultures and histories, we probably never have exposure to them if it weren’t for cultural places. [As a new Canadian], these places help me understand and learn Canada’s culture and history.

About CAP: For nearly 10 years, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) has delivered the Cultural Access Pass (CAP), an innovative, best-in-class program that gives new citizens access to Canadian culture. It’s time to shift CAP to the digital age. Support the ICC.

Be featured in our newsletter: Tag CAP and use the hashtag #CAPCanada in your social media posts for your chance to be the next CAP member or alumni featured, or send an email to


Stay in touch by signing up for our newsletter.


Cultural Access Pass


View All

Cultural Access Pass is now Canoo

Canoo (formerly known as the Cultural Access Pass program) is a mobile app that helps new Canadian citizens celebrate their citizenship by providing free admission to over 1400 museums, science […]

Cultural Access Pass

New Canadians cherish their right to vote, study finds

ICC in the News
ICC Insights

Ahlan Canada helps newcomers build relationships

By Gayatri Kumar A warm “Ahlan” from the ICC : Family-friendly tours connect Syrian newcomers to Canadian culture At the Art Gallery of Ontario, a group of Syrian newcomers are […]

Cultural Access Pass