Working with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a non-profit organization founded by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, who is a Companion of the Order of Canada. The ICC works with local community groups to create local citizenship committees that play a special role in welcoming new citizens to Canada. In consultation with CIC offices, the ICC assists the local citizenship committees to plan and host citizenship ceremonies in their communities.

Building Citizenship program

As part of the Building Citizenship program, active and respected Canadian citizens are usually invited by the local citizenship committees to attend the citizenship ceremonies to help welcome new candidates and their families, and to take part in roundtable discussions to develop a shared understanding of the meaning of Canadian citizenship.

Once a local citizenship committee is formed, the ICC contacts the local citizenship office where CIC officials take the lead role in planning and coordinating all citizenship ceremonies. Under the guidance of CIC officials, the local citizenship committees take an assistant role in the preparation of the ceremony and an active role in the roundtable discussion and the reception following a citizenship ceremony.

Cultural Access Pass

The ICC has created the Cultural Access Pass program, giving holders access to more than 1200 museums, art galleries, historic sites and parks across Canada for a year.

CIC’s role

  • Make candidates aware of the pass and get them excited about this gift and the opportunity to experience so much Canadian culture for free.
  • Distribute Cultural Access Pass leaflets during the ceremonies.
  • ICC will provide a supply of leaflets based on local offices estimation for the number of new citizens that are expected to take the oath within a six-month period.
  • Each CIC office decides independently how they wish to distribute the leaflets ― the most successful have been those that distribute them by hand at the same time as the certificates. Local offices can select the method that best suits their needs. Please advise ICC which method your office will adopt.
  • CIC offices should include a reference to Cultural Access Pass at each ceremony.
  • During the preamble, mention the following four points:
    • It is a gift for the candidates;
    • They get free admission to more than 1200 museums, art galleries, historic sites and parks across Canada for a year;
    • They can go online to register;
    • All the information that they need is in the leaflet.

Scripted speech

And now, we are delighted to tell you about a very special gift from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

As our newest Canadian citizens, you are eligible for a Cultural Access Pass that will give you free admission to more than 1200 museums, art galleries, historic sites, parks and more for one year. You’ll also get special discounts on travel and be able to discover the best of Canada from coast to coast!

All the information you need to register is in this leaflet [show leaflet]. The pass expires one year from today, so remember to go online to register for your pass!

See also Working with hosts, sponsors and partners.

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