More than 200 Newcomers Attend Performance of James Kudelka’s Cinderella.


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Canoo Members


On March 14th, the National Ballet of Canada, in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, hosted a magical evening for 200 newcomers to Canada. We would like to thank the National Ballet of Canada for this memorable night of beauty, culture and community building. Their commitment to enriching the lives of Canadians through the arts is inspiring.

James Kudelka’s Cinderella was breathtaking, set to Prokofiev’s vibrant score, with Art Deco-inspired designs by David Boechler and lighting by Christopher Dennis. But the night was about so much more than the performance.

The National Ballet is a valued Canoo partner, providing new Canadians and their families with access to exceptional cultural events. And thanks to their incredible generosity, last night marked the first time that 200 Canoo members gathered together under one roof. It provided a unique opportunity for newcomers to connect with members of the National Ballet, Canoo team members – and each other.

The night started with an exclusive Canoo pre-performance reception, held in the magnificent Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Just being in the same room as the stunning architecture, beautiful artwork and talented performers was enough to evoke a feeling of awe and electricity.

The evening’s events were introduced by Lisa Robinson, Senior Manager of Education & Community Engagement at the National Ballet of Canada, followed by remarks from Barry Hughson, Executive Director of the National Ballet and The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson & John Ralston Saul, Co-Founders, Institute for Canadian Citizenshipand First Soloist, Tanya Howard.

They all emphasized the National Ballet’s commitment to enriching the lives of Canadians and the power of the arts to foster belonging and inclusion. In attendance were ICC’s founders, the Rt. Hon Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.

“Many organizations declare themselves to be welcoming to newcomers, but the National Ballet does more than talk: they deliver a tangible, first-class welcome via Canoo. Our founders, the Rt. Hon Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul are long-time champions of the ballet and big believers in the power of the arts to foster belonging. With this partnership, we honour their legacy of building citizenship through culture, and reaffirm the National Ballet’s position as one of Canada’s most welcoming cultural institutions.”

–          Daniel Bernhard, CEO, Institute for Canadian Citizenship

As newcomer Citizenship rates drop across the country, the National Ballet’s initiative, in partnership with the ICC, is a testament that Canada has the potential to reverse this trend and provide true welcoming moments for Canada’s newest peoples.

Thank you to all who attended this wonderful event! Please share your experience (and photos!) on our social channels @CanooPass, and in the comments.

Please click here to view all photos from The National Ballet and Canoo event.



ICC’s $500,000 investment will support 50 talented new Canadian professionals in putting their skills and training to full use

DECEMBER 15, 2021 – The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) — Canada’s leading citizenship organization and the world’s foremost voice on citizenship and inclusion — has made a $500,000 investment in Windmill Microlending’s innovative and highly-effective Community Bond program, helping 50 skilled immigrants build successful professional lives in Canada thanks to Windmill’s accreditation and upskilling loans.

“New immigrants don’t need more rhetoric about what a welcoming country we are. They need resources to carve out successful careers and lives here,” said ICC CEO Daniel Bernhard. “That’s why the ICC is proud to invest in Windmill Microlending’s proven loans that ensure qualified new Canadians can be recognized for their talents and get off to a flying start in Canada.”

The partnership is a natural one. Through its Canoo mobile app, the ICC  has helped over 425,000 immigrants establish their Canadian lives by providing free admission to over 1400 museums, science centres, art galleries, parks, and historic sites across Canada. As Canada’s largest and most successful microlending charity for skilled immigrants and refugees, Windmill converts potential into prosperity by offering low-interest loans to help skilled newcomers obtain the credentials they need.

“Windmill Microlending is thrilled for the support of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, another great Canadian charity supporting the integration of immigrants,” said Claudia Hepburn, Windmill’s CEO. “ICC’s substantial investment comes at a time when Canada is experiencing a severe shortage of skilled labour. This loan capital will empower 50 skilled immigrants to acquire the accreditation they need to fill the skilled jobs. We are grateful to former Windmill and ICC board member Andreas Souvaliotis for his vision and role in bringing our organizations together to make this investment possible.”

“Canadians think of ourselves as a welcoming country — and we are — but in the global competition for talent and energy, we need to do more than talk a good game,” says Bernhard.  “As economics, geopolitics and climate change drive increased migration worldwide, we call on individuals, business, government, and civil society organizations to join us as active participants in Canada’s welcome network. It’s time to step up to the plate.”

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 works to inspire Canadians to be inclusive, create opportunities to connect and encourage active citizenship. Since 2005, the ICC has also supported more than 425,000 new Canadian citizens with programming to encourage a sense of belonging and build a more inclusive Canada.

About Windmill Microlending

As Canada’s largest microlending not-for-profit for skilled immigrants and refugees, Windmill addresses the underemployment of internationally trained professionals across Canada.  By offering affordable loans of up to $15,000 to pay for launching or advancing their career, our clients are able to achieve career success and convert potential into prosperity for themselves and for Canada. Founded in 2005, Windmill Microlending is a registered charity supported by donors, government, sponsors and granting agencies.

For further information:

Windmill: Rob Hindley,

ICC: Amy Leis,

Since its origins, democracy has been a work in progress. Today, many question its resilience.

We are proud to partner with Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action for the third season of the How to Fix Democracy podcast, exploring practical solutions for how to address the increasing threats democracy faces.

Season 3, Episode 1: The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson on citizenship and belonging
Adrienne Clarkson is the co-founder of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the former Governor General of Canada. Madame Clarkson tells host Andrew Keen her story of coming to Canada, learning what it was to be Canadian, and her journey to becoming Governor General of the country. Along the way, she formed important ideas of what citizenship and belonging means in Canada and around the world.