What is Canoo?

Founded in 2010 and formerly known as the Cultural Access Pass (CAP), Canoo is a distinctly Canadian innovation that translates our country’s openness to newcomers. Through the Canoo app, Permanent Residents and new citizens get a one-year membership that unlocks free VIP access to over 1400 locations and experiences across Canada (e.g., Concerts, arts & culture, travel, volunteering, etc.). Canoo originally served new citizens within their first 12 months of citizenship, but in May 2022, the ICC relaunched Canoo and expanded eligibility to more than two million recently arrived permanent residents.


The Problem

The Canadian government pledges to welcome more than 1.45 million permanent residents between 2023 and 2025 and general support for immigration in Canada remains strong. However, the number of permanent residents choosing to become citizens has dropped significantly since 1996, and a survey commissioned by the ICC in March 2022 showed that 30% of recent newcomers under 35 said they are likely to leave Canada within two years.

Like other countries, Canada depends on immigrants, and without their contributions, Canada will struggle to provide good-quality public services and economic growth will decline.

The Solution

Through Canoo, the ICC is on a mission to unlock the best of Canada so that immigrants don’t just come here, but also see themselves as a part of Canadas future, love it, become citizens and equal contributors to the country’s shared prosperity and success.

The goal is to create the best possible experience for newcomers in their early years. The ICC has responded by:  

  • Expanding the range of benefits available through Canoo
  • Opening the program to 2 million permanent residents in May 2022
  • Providing opportunities for Canadian institutions and companies to join Canada’s largest welcome network

Who are Canoo Partners?

Canoo partners make up Canada’s largest welcome network; a unique model in the world.

Canoo has two partnership streams:

Canoo offer partners Canoo’s backbone

Canoo offer partners join the network when they commit to bringing great value to newcomers via Canoo. These partners provide free access or significant discounts to their places, experiences, and products. It is about rolling out the red carpet and showing newcomers in tangible ways that they are welcome and wanted in Canada. In other words, they bring Canada’s welcoming spirit to life.

Canoo enables its offer partners to connect directly with newcomer audiences, the fastest-growing demographic in Canada, along with Indigenous peoples. The partnership also supports Canoo’s offer partners’ diversity and inclusion mandates, helping demonstrate impact in the newcomer sphere internally and externally. 

All of Canada’s top cultural institutions and most parks are part of Canoo, as are Canada’s flagship airline, Air Canada, and rail company, VIA Rail. Three of the top five most recognizable Canadian retailers recently joined the network and will start publishing their Canoo offers in 2023.

The ICC’s success rate in securing the participation of major brands we’ve outreached to in 2022 is 100%. This is a testament to Canadians’ commitment to welcoming newcomers. We continue to expand our offering each month, bringing on new corporate, cultural, and civil society partners eager to join the Canoo welcome network. 

Canoo’s partnerships with immigrant-serving organizationsFurther connecting Canoo & the ICC to the newcomer community

Beginning in May 2022, Canoo has been forming a pan-Canadian network of immigrant-serving organizations, such as settlement agencies. These agencies connect newcomers to Canoo, link Canoo members to agency services, and provide valuable counsel to Canoo’s strategic planning.


Canoo places across provinces and territories

Some Canoo partners offer discounts and free admission to their places. These places are situated across all provinces and territories.

Places per ProvinceNo. of Sites
Other (parks, historical sites, museum, art gallery, festival, theatre)340
Ontario268
Nova Scotia51
British Columbia50
Quebec50
Alberta46
Saskatchewan23
Manitoba21
Newfoundland and Labrador18
New Brunswick11
Northwest Territories7
Yukon7
Prince Edward Island4
Nunavut3

Canoo partners by category

Canoo partners range from provincial parks and festivals such as the Vancouver International Film Festival, Calgary Stampede, and the Toronto Film Festival, and many discounted and free offers to venues and activities like museums, science centres, and art galleries. In 2022, Air Canada, Canada’s national airline joined Canoo to expand the program’s travel offerings with VIA Rail who’s been with Canoo since 2012. These travel offerings allow Canoo members to discover Canada barrier-free beyond their place of residence.

Places by Category

Place CategoryNo. of Places
Park516
Museum165
Historic Site121
Art Gallery69
Theatre11
Science Centre7
Sports3
Aquarium1
Convention Centre1
Festival1
Library1
Zoo1

Top 5 visited places by Province

Time frame: May 6th, 2022 – December 7th, 2022

Alberta

Since the relaunch of Canoo in May 2022, Heritage Park Historical Village was the topmost visited site by Canoo members with 1,944 adults and 2,201 children. A living history museum and educational centre located in Calgary, the Heritage Park Historical Village exhibits western Canada from 1860s to 1950s along with amusement rides, restaurants, and event venues.

TELUS Spark Science Centre became the top most visited site for Canoo members with children, welcoming 2,319 children. An interactive science museum that has the largest dome theatre and ignites curiosity in the world of science, technology and innovation.

Alberta: Top 5 Places Visited

Alberta: Top 3 Places Children Visited

In addition to the places featured in the above graphs, Canoo members received 500 free tickets to the 2022 Calgary Stampede, hundreds of complimentary and discounted tickets to performances by the Alberta Ballet, Calgary Opera, and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, dozens of free tickets to the 2022 Calgary Folk Music Festival, and unlimited discounted tickets to Calgary International Fringe Festival.


British Columbia

The Vancouver Art Gallery was the top visited site by Canoo members with 413 adults. It is recognized as one of North America’s most innovative visual arts institutions that gives space and focus to First Nations artists and the art of the Asia Pacific region.

Science World recently joined Canoo in September 2022 and became the top visited site for Canoo members with children, welcoming 264 children. Science World is an interactive museum that attracts children with its live science demonstrations.

BC: Top 5 Places Visited

BC: Top 3 Places Children Visited

In addition to places featured in the above graphs, Canoo members received 400 free tickets to the 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival, with 200 additional free tickets being offered for their year-round film screenings. Members also received discounted paddling lessons with Dragon Boat BC, exclusive tickets to BC Lions sports matches, 75 free tickets to Ballet BC’s opening show of the season, and regularly-offered complimentary tickets to performances at Vancouver Island’s Belfry Theatre.


Manitoba

Since the relaunch of Canoo in May 2022, Manitoba Children’s Museum was the most visited site in Manitoba – 403 adult Canoo members and 541 children. It is housed in the oldest train repair facility in Manitoba and it “exists to spark kids’ creative learning”.

Manitoba: Top 5 Places Visited

Manitoba: Top 3 Places Children Visited


Nova Scotia

Since the relaunch of Canoo in May 2022, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic was the topmost visited site by Canoo members with 281 adults in Nova Scotia. One of the oldest and largest maritime museums in Canada, it hosts a large collection of elements that highlight the province’s marine history.

The Discovery Centre is the top most visited site by Canoo members with children, welcoming 221 children. It is an interactive science museum located on the Halifax waterfront.

Nova Scotia: Top 5 Places Visited

Nova Scotia: Top 3 Places Children Visited


Ontario

Since the relaunch of Canoo in May 2022, the Toronto Zoo was the topmost visited site by Canoo members with 4,043 adults who brought along 3,502 children on their visits.

Ontario: Top 5 Places Visited

Ontario: Top 3 Places Children Visited

Canoo members have had access to incredible events and experiences in Ontario such as:


Quebec

Since the relaunch of Canoo in May 2022, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts attracted the most Canoo members with 639 adults. It is the oldest museum in Canada (founded 1860), comprising over 45,000 art works showcasing Quebec, Canadian heritage, and international art.

The Montréal Science Centre is situated in the heart of Old Port of Montréal and attracted 416 children of Canoo members. The centre includes interactive, innovative and educational activities and creates a scientific space filled with fun and wonder.

Quebec: Top 5 Places Visited

Quebec: Top 3 Places Children Visited


Saskatchewan

A network of four museums in Saskatchewan, the Western Development Museum attracted the most Canoo members to learn about the social and economic development of the province.

Since the relaunch of Canoo in May 2022, the Western Development Museum was visited by 69 adults and 103 children.

Saskatchewan: Top 5 Places Visited

Saskatchewan: Top 3 Places Children Visited

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank   

After getting his citizenship in 2019, Canoo member Smeet Pandya has embraced all that Canada has to offer, especially all the different types of weather. When we asked what he loved most of all about his chosen country, he said there was no contest. Having four seasons is the best.  

About Smeet

Arriving from India and settling in Toronto, Ontario, Smeet and his wife have had a great time exploring Canada with the Canoo app. Smeet originally picked Canada for personal growth and to get to be a part of one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Getting to create memories in cultural places has been a big part of him feeling like he is a part of the mosaic that is Canada.  

“Access to cultural places plays a vital role in building a strong community that feels inclusive and like home,” he said.   

Smeet and his wife used their Canoo benefits to travel across the country and enjoy some of Canada’s most stunning natural sites with VIA Rail.  

“Last year my wife and I decided to utilize our Christmas holidays by visiting the Canadian Rockies, so we explored the Canoo app and found out that free entry to National Parksis included,” Smeet told us. “We decided to use our discount at VIA Rial. We departed from Toronto Union Station in a VIA Rail Premium coach and the experience was breathtaking. This was the best trip we ever had.”  

Smeet and his wife traveled on VIA Rail’s Great Western Wayline, which runs from Toronto, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia. The trip offers unique views from beautiful northern Ontario to the awe-inspiring area of the Prairies, all the way to the stunning majesty of the Rockies. The Pandyas loved every minute of it.  

“The train experience was so amazing, and we got to see the mountains as the train cruised through the dense forest and snowy hills. We visited Banff and Jasper National Park, and celebrated Christmas in the town with the locals. Skating on Lake Louise was an experience on its own. Our trip of 10 days went so fast, and we would love to do it again.”  

We got to see the natural wonders of the True Canadian North, which we would have never planned if it wasn’t for Canoo. Thanks a ton!”  

We’re so glad that the Pandya family was able to see so much of this incredible country, and we’re wishing them a long, happy, and peaceful life in Canada, with many years of exploring the mountains ahead. Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that Smeet and thousands of newcomers like him get to build incredible memories in Canada’s one of a kind cultural sites.   

Are you interested?

If you’re interested in discovering some of the same incredible natural sites that Smeet enjoyed, check out Banff National Park and Jasper National Park in the Canoo app. The summer season is just getting started, and the parks are ready and waiting for you to build lifelong memories in them. Happy exploring!  

Looking for other Canadian spots to explore over the summer, from coast to coast? Check out our guest post with Windmill Microlending, where we’ve spotlighted some of our member’s favourite places in Canada. 

Want to discover Canada through the windows of a train?VIA Rail generously provides a one-time 50% discount on traintravel to all Canoo members!To unlock this offer, open the Canoo app, select “More” on the bottom right of your screen, and then click Via Rail Offer and follow the onscreen instructions. 

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 11 May 2022

MEET CANOO 2.0 — FREE ACCESS TO OVER 1400 EXPERIENCES FOR MILLIONS OF NEWCOMERS

Institute for Canadian Citizenship Works With Canada’s Biggest Organizations and Brands to Relaunch VIP Access Program for Newcomers

TORONTO – The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) — Canada’s leading citizenship-building organization and the world’s foremost voice on citizenship and inclusion — has relaunched its signature Canoo Access Pass, by making the app available to some two million permanent residents for the first time and adding hundreds of new free and discounted experiences and attractions for newcomers to enjoy in every province and territory.

Canoo is Canada’s only national welcome network for newcomers. The ICC created Canoo in 2010 to help new Canadian citizens celebrate their citizenship. Since then, Canoo has welcomed over 420,000 members and their families with free VIP access to more than 1,400 of Canada’s top destinations.

Canoo 2.0 massively expands the program’s reach to serve more than two million recently arrived permanent residents, and vastly extends the range of available benefits to include free and discounted access to live events, volunteer opportunities, travel, and exclusive deals with Canada’s leading brands.

Canoo 2.0 partners include:

These are just a few of the many organizations and brands across Canada offering deals on travel, experiences and more to newcomers through Canoo, and the ICC will continue to add new partners and experiences to the app, including those that connect newcomers with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, organizations and events.

“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 to come to Canada, but love it here, become citizens, and make Canada their permanent family home. Yet recent surveys reveal that up to 30% of newcomers under 35 are likely to leave Canada within two years,” 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.”

86% of Canoo members report feeling an enhanced sense of belonging to Canada after just one year of using Canoo. A further 92% of members will be continuing visiting Canoo partner attractions after their membership expires.

“In short,” said Bernhard, “We know that Canoo works as a tool to create a feeling of home at scale. As of today, it works even better, for many more people.”

To download Canoo 2.0 for iPhone or Android, visit canoo.ca or search for Canoo in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

From our partners

“VIA Rail has been a proud partner of Canoo for 10 years and we are excited to be expanding our 50 per cent discount offer on the best available fare to more than two million permanent residents for one trip to a destination of their choice during their Canoo membership. There is no better way to fall in love with this country, and truly make it your home, than to explore it by train. 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 splendor of their new home.”

Martin R. Landry, Chief Commercial Officer, VIA Rail

“Air Canada is very proud to partner with the ICC on this initiative as exploring the country to experience Canada’s diversity in-person the diversity of Canada is the best route to welcome newcomers and engage them in active citizenship”

David Rheault, Vice-President, Government and Community Relations, Air Canada

“TIFF is delighted to partner with the Institute of Canadian Citizenship and Canoo as part of our efforts to open our doors to all film lovers to participate in transformative film experiences at our home, TIFF Bell Lightbox,” stated Cameron Bailey, CEO, TIFF. “Those who take up our offer of a free Membership will have access to over 200 free screenings of new essentials, classics, rarities, and recent restorations in our TIFF Cinematheque programming this year, in addition to other exclusive benefits in the lead-up to the Festival. This is an exciting moment for TIFF to welcome these film lovers to Canada and bring them closer into our film community.”

Cameron Bailey, CEO, Toronto International Film Festival

Project benefactors

The ICC is grateful to our generous benefactors, whose vision, support, and financial backing underpin this ambitious expansion of Canoo, including:

Government of Canada
Canadian Western Bank
Irfhan Rawji
Sandra and Jim Pitblado
Power Corporation of Canada
Drs Munira and Kabir Jivraj
George and Martha Butterfield
The Kim Family Foundation
Catherine and William Graham
Naim Ali and Family
Peter Cheung

About the Institute for Canadian Citizenship

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national non-profit organization co-founded by The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. The ICC unlocks Canada for newcomers, facilitating and encouraging the journey toward full and active Canadian citizenship. Since 2005, the ICC has supported more than 450,000 newcomers with programming to encourage a sense of belonging and build a more inclusive Canada.

For comment and more information: media@inclusion.ca

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank

When we asked Zoran why he picked Canada, he simply said, “It’s the best country in the world.” Originally from Croatia, Zoran became a Canadian citizen in 2019 and settled in Alberta. Since arriving here, Zoran has fallen in love with the great outdoors of Western Canada, especially the mountains. As far as he’s concerned, the only thing that can match up to the Rockies is the Canadian people themselves.

Zoran has used Canoo to get up close and personal with all that Canada’s national parks have to offer, taking himself on as many solo trips as he can.

“I am a frequent goer to all of the national parks in Alberta and British Columbia,” he said. “I saw incredible glacier caves; I rode some of the most amazing ski mountaineering objectives and managed to meet a multitude of amazing people.”

These frequent trips to national parks have been a huge part of Zoran feeling at home in his chosen country. “Every outing is special and creates a special bond between me and Canada.”

He feels that having access to cultural sites of all kinds is incredibly important to building memories and feeling at home in Canada. “Cultural places build and expand knowledge. They add to a sense of identity as a Canadian,” he said. “The trips I took with Canoo were absolutely exhilarating!”

If you’re interested in discovering some of the same incredible winter activities that Zoran has been enjoying in Canada’s national parks, check out Parks Canada’s Winter Activity Hub here. Canada’s great outdoors has something for everyone. Happy exploring!

We’re wishing Zoran a long, happy, and peaceful life in Canada, with many years of exploring the mountains ahead. Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that Zoran and thousands of newcomers like him get to build incredible memories in Canada’s one-of-a-kind cultural sites.

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank

Lorena arrived in Canada from Cuba, with dreams of studying and working hard, and soaking up all of the natural beauty that Canada has to offer. She settled in Québec and became a citizen in 2019. Since then, she has been deep diving into the incredible parks and natural wonders throughout her home province with Canoo.

“For many new Canadian citizens, including myself, Canoo has opened a door to connect even more with our new home,” Lorena told us. “Canoo has been a wonderful platform to discover the variety of cultural and natural places around me. Thanks to this opportunity, I have felt even more motivated to attend different museums, art galleries, and parks.”

So far, her favourite Canoo discovery has been La Gaspesie, Québec, the peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River that is home to spectacular seascapes, mountains and crystal-clear rivers, as well as a vast array of activities and impressive cuisine drawn from the sea, land and forests.

In the summer of 2019, Lorena and her partner organized a week-long road trip from Montreal to La Gaspesie. “We spent two days in Gaspé where we visited Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse and of course Forillon National Park. The beach at the foot of the mountain was spectacular, though the water was too cold for a tropical girl like me.”

Located at the northeast tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, Forillon National Park offers sea and cliff views, quiet pebble beaches, camping areas and opportunities to observe all kinds of incredible wildlife, from moose to seals to whales.

Lorena and her partner enjoyed a breathtaking hike together. “The most spectacular view was from the top of the mountain!” she said. “You could absorb all the magnificence of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the vast diversity of flora, and the pleasant sensation of peace.”

The most exciting part of the day wasn’t the mountain itself, but the events that happened once Lorena and her partner reached the summit.

“At the very top, almost a little bit afraid of the height, and among low clouds, my fiancé proposed. I said: “Yes”.”

Forillon National Park will forever be a special place for Lorena and her fiancé. While we can’t guarantee that every Canoo venue will be that uniquely special for every Canoo member (romantic mountain-top proposals are pretty one-of-a-kind), we do think that Canada’s incredible natural locations and cultural sites have a sort of magic all of their own. Lorena agrees.

“Cultural places bring people together,” she said. “They are a means for people with common interests to meet and share or explore new interests. And cultural venues are not exclusively for able-bodied people; they are a safe place for everyone regardless of physical and mental disability to participate.”

We’re wishing Lorena and her fiancé a long, happy and peaceful life together as a married couple, and we’re so glad they were able to celebrate their special day with Canoo. Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that Lorena and thousands of newcomers like her get to build incredible memories in Canada’s one-of-a-kind cultural sites.

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank

Yoradyl arrived in Canada from the Philippines, dreaming of a better future for herself and her family. She became a citizen in 2019 and since then thanks to Canoo, she was able to dive right into the natural world around her new hometown of Calgary.

“My family and I always love to go fishing in and around Alberta,” Yoradyl told us. “Our favourite place by far would be Waterton, it is the most beautiful place for us whether it be in spring, summer, fall or winter!”

For many newcomers to Canada (and even for those of us who have spent many, many years here), winter can be really hard. Whether you’re used to the cold or not, months of snow, ice and darkness can be tough to deal with – physically and mentally! Fortunately, Yoradyl and her family found the beauty in Canadian winters – and discovered a fun new family festival to go with it!

“The best place I’ve visited using Canoo was Banff and Lake Louise, where we experienced the Winter Ice Magic Festival,” she said. “We went there in January 2020 together with my whole family and my mother who was visiting us here in Calgary. We saw magnificent ice carvings made by different participants from all over the world.”

Experiencing the Winter Ice Magic Festival gave the Cuaresma family a close-up look at the incredible beauty that Canada’s national parks have to offer, even outside of the peak summer season.

“It was not that cold and the weather was perfect for strolling and enjoying the scenery, especially the magical ice carvings they made. Our favorite part was taking pictures with the incredible carvings. We also got to see people skating through the frozen Lake Louise,” Yoradyl said. She and her family have decided to make Lake Louise a year-round adventure spot, to unlock all of Canada’s outdoor fun. “We would love to come back when it’s time and try fishing, kayaking or boating in the lake.”

Yoradyl loves her new country, and has embraced the diverse and multicultural society with her whole heart. She sees cultural places as being incredibly important to fostering multiculturalism and inclusion in Canada. “Cultural places preserve and give importance to where we came from and what we were before becoming Canadian,” she says. “These places serve as reminder for us to celebrate multiculturalism in this wonderful country we now call home.”

She has been looking forward to becoming a Canoo member for a long time. “I learned about the Canoo app from a friend of ours and I was so excited to use it when we finally had our Oath taking as new Canadians. It was very user friendly and we were able to sign up easily with an account by scanning our Citizenship Certificates.”

Canoo has been a huge part of Yoradyl feeling at home in Canada. “I love using Canoo because it allows us to explore and enjoy the spectacular parks, sceneries, and museums that Canada has to offer for free. It also includes special discounts on trains and flights if we want to explore Canada from Alberta to Toronto. The perks and privileges Canoo offers are endless! I’m so thankful for the Canoo App and all its developers who did a fantastic job. This app made us more proud to be Canadians!”

She said that she and her family have felt totally included in Canadian society. When we asked her what inclusion means to her, she said, “It means being accepted and equally privileged as anyone. Canada is our saving grace and we will be forever grateful to this country for the opportunity and privileges it offered to us.”

“I am so proud of this wonderful country who embraced and welcomed us wholeheartedly.”

We’re so glad that the Cuaresma family has been able to explore so much of Canada, and has been able to enjoy the magic of a Lake Louise winter. We wish them an incredible lifetime of exploring all that Canada has to offer! Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that the Cuaresma family and thousands of newcomers get to unlock Canada.

Discovering the Lake Louise Winter Ice Magic Festival made the Cuaresma family’s first winter as new Canadians extra special. Do you have a special winter story or words of advice you’d like to share with a newcomer discovering Canada’s winter for the first time? Share it here!

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

Spotlight on Canoo Members, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank

Teresita made the move to Canada for the countless possibilities and opportunities it had to offer for her and her family and quickly fell in love with the incredible natural landmarks, friendly people and culture. After becoming a citizen in March of 2020, she quickly signed up for Canoo and began working her way through Canada’s cultural institutes and parks.

“Canoo is a tool that lets you get to know the country,” she says. “It’s not only about visiting cultural places or sightseeing in its amazing parks, but embracing and understanding the reason for being a Canadian in heart and mind.”

She sees getting to explore Canadian arts, culture and the great outdoors as an incredibly important part of feeling at home in her new country. “Embracing the culture and accepting diversity, which is the most essence of being a Canadian citizen. That’s what inclusion really means,” she says. “Cultural places provide me with the knowledge about the country that I am embracing. Knowing the history made me understand the people and the culture. It also gives me pride that when they asked me about my purpose and why I am here, I can answer with confidence. It enables me to connect and adjust with everyone in the community and the country, as a whole.”

Teresita’s whole family has been able to use Canoo to discover the best that Canada’s outdoors has to offer. “My children are already adults and planning a vacation needs a lot of timing and adjustment to schedules, but we were able to go to Waterton National Park on August 27, 2020. It was amid the pandemic, but we were still able to make the most of our vacation.”

The trip out to Waterton had lots of activities and sights for all to enjoy. “It’s a small town but packed with lots of beautiful places to explore, like the mountains, colourful rocks and thunderous Falls, but what stood exceptional to me was the Bear Humps Trail,” Teresita told us. “It was a big challenge for a non-hiker/climber like myself but the hardest climb had the most beautiful view as they say. It was the most fulfilling experience for me. I am always amazed by nature, and Canada is never short of this.”

We’re so glad that the Perez family was able to spend a fantastic time together in Waterton National Park, and we wish them an incredible lifetime of exploring all that Canada has to offer! Thanks to Canadian Western Bank for supporting Canoo so that the Perez family and thousands of newcomers like them get to unlock Canada.

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

Meet Canoo Member Nuno Silva.

After moving to Canada for his job, Nuno ended up making this country his home and officially became a citizen in October of 2019. Now settled in Alberta, his favourite thing about Canada is the generous spirit of his fellow Canadians and the importance of inclusion and acceptance. “Everyone works to make everyone’s life easier,” he says. “It’s a two-way street: Canada accepts my individuality, and I embrace Canadian Culture.”

Nuno has gone out of his way to embrace Canadian Culture, particularly in exploring the great outdoors. VIA Rail provides a one-time 50% discount on train travel to all Canoo members. Nuno used this offer to take a VIA train from Edmonton all the way to Vancouver during his first winter as a citizen. “I loved the two-day train trip,” he said. “It’s my favourite way of travelling.” The route from Edmonton to Vancouver features breathtaking views for nature lovers, and Nuno had an amazing time taking in the incredible landscape. “I loved the opportunity to enjoy the raw Nature of the Rockies.”

Nuno is so glad to have had access to Canoo and the VIA Rail offers. When we asked him about what it has been like to discover and experience Canada’s cultural sites through Canoo, he said, “These Canadian landmarks are now my places as well. I feel proud and blessed for being able to enjoy them. They make me feel at home.”

Canoo has been a huge part of Nuno being able to feel a sense of ownership and belonging in Canada, and it’s a resource he wouldn’t want to have been without. As he says, “When I became a citizen, I gained a Canadian Passport that allows me to enjoy other countries. On top of it all, I’ve also gained Canoo: a Citizenship Cultural Passport that allows me to enjoy my new country.

Want to discover Canada through the windows of a train? VIA Rail generously provides a one-time 50% discount on train travel to all Canoo members! To unlock this offer, open the Canoo app, select “More” on the bottom right of your screen, and then click Via Rail Offer and follow the onscreen instructions.

Ready to see the whole country? It would take almost a week, but it’s possible to travel across the entire width of Canada with VIA Rail. We’ve laid out the trip for you, along with some of our favourite Canoo venues to check out at the major train station stops along the way.

From east to west, here are some amazing Canadian sites that you can’t miss. Click here to read the whole article.

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

Meet Canoo Member Sylvannia Soulet.

After moving to Canada over 20 years ago, Sylvannia officially joined the Canadian family in December 2019 and now lives in Toronto with her fiancé and stepdaughter. She loves Canada’s celebration of cultural diversity, and the way all voices are valued and included. The free health care doesn’t hurt, either! She values inclusion and the many freedoms of being Canadian which to her means that “Everyone gets a seat at the table, regardless of race or creed.

Sylvannia has fallen in love with her hometown of Toronto, and even with pandemic restrictions in place, has still managed to explore as many Canoo venues in the GTA as possible. The Royal Ontario Museum has become a particular favourite. In the fall of 2020, she was able to take her then 11-year-old stepdaughter to see the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibit, and had a great time discovering the story of the beloved bear of very little brain. “It was during the height of the COVID-19 restrictions, but it was still an enjoyable experience to the history of Winnie-the-Pooh and how he was brought into being.”

Sylvannia believes that arts and cultural places play a role in fostering inclusion and belonging, saying, “Visibility is important. Cultural places introduce groups to other experiences and backgrounds, and in turn instills a curiosity into learning about and experiencing said cultures. Why do you think “Taste of ___ festivals are so popular?” She also believes that active citizenship is important, and was very excited about being able to vote for the first time in the 2021 federal election.

As COVID-19 restrictions slowly start to lift, Sylvannia and her family are looking forward to planning more excursions and discovering all there is to know about Canada using the Canoo app. 

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.

Meet Canoo member Prabuddh Dixit!

Originally from India, Prabuddh moved to Canada from India over 10 years ago. Prabuddh officially joined the Canadian family in November 2019, and now lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. He chose Canada because he always felt included and that he belonged here. He values inclusion and the many freedoms of being Canadian which to him are “the acceptance of one’s religious, political, sexual and personal beliefs.”

One of Prabuddh’s favourite things about Canada is the fresh air, which he and his family have made an effort to take in as much as possible all across the GTA. He has explored almost all of the Credit Valley Conservation Areas on the Canoo app, but there is only one that his family has visited time and time again and is their clear favourite – Island lake Conservation Area. “We’ve been to this conservation area three times. Once in summer, once in fall and once in Winter. The kids liked the 8km hike and many, many small bridges and the scenic trails in the fall. Walking on the frozen lake was the best part during our winter hike.” Over the past year, Prabuddh and his family were able to discover new activities and places that they wouldn’t have discovered without Canoo. In this time, their family bond was strengthened, the most important thing being “that we were able to build memories which our kids will hopefully remember for a lifetime.”

Prabuddh believes that arts and cultural places play a role in fostering inclusion and belonging, saying that “Cultural places give you a chance to belong and they build a feeling of community. It works as an extended family that stays with you during the good and the not so good times.” Prabuddh believed that active citizenship is important, and to him it means “giving back to the community which accepted us and made us feel like we are home.” Despite the challenges of the past year during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dixit family used Canoo to help them safely explore their city and spend quality time together. “Canoo served as a saviour for our family’s mental health during COVID. It gave us a chance to explore those places where we’d not been to before. It helped us strengthen the family bond.”

Up next is a spring hike, since Canoo has helped the Dixit family discover their new favourite family activity – hiking! He and his family look forward to planning more excursions and discovering all there is to know about Canada using the Canoo app.

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? Fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in an upcoming Canoo Spotlight.

Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.