Volunteer guidelines for citizenship ceremonies

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 Canadian citizenship ceremony is the formal welcome and recognition of new citizens on behalf of all Canadians. For a new citizen, the ceremony is the formal entry into the Canadian family. We endeavour to make every event as special as possible for all of our clients and guests.

Volunteers are an important part of our citizenship ceremonies. Volunteers can assist in citizenship ceremonies either before, during or after a citizenship ceremony. We recognize and appreciate the time and assistance they contribute. In order to assist the volunteers, we have prepared some guidelines to follow.

Dress Code

Because they deal with the public, volunteers are expected to dress appropriately in business attire. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) staff will provide them with a name tag so clients will recognize them as volunteers.

Professional Conduct

  • Volunteers are to act responsibly, conduct themselves professionally, politely and cordially at all times and be respectful of cultural differences and sensitivities.
  • Volunteers can be asked to cease performing duties or leave the ceremony should they fail to demonstrate professional conduct.

Confidentiality of Information

  • Volunteers must respect the privacy of all clients.
  • Volunteers should not have access to citizenship application files nor give information or advice on citizenship matters to a client. Inquiries should be redirected to CIC staff.

Media

Occasionally, media will be present at ceremonies. Any questions from the media should be redirected to CIC staff.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency, volunteers should follow the emergency safety procedures as determined by CIC staff.

Seating

CIC staff is responsible for reserving seating for special guests, clients and their guests. Volunteers may not alter seating arrangements set up by CIC staff. Please understand that ceremonies are often crowded and on occasions, there may be no seats available for volunteers.

Description of Duties

Before the Ceremony

  • Greeting clients and guests
  • Directing clients to the registration area and then to their assigned seats
  • Distributing flags and pins to clients once they have registered and assigned their seats
  • Directing guests to their seats
  • Hanging up jackets or coats
  • Directing clients and guests to the washroom
  • Providing crowd control

During the Ceremony

  • Assisting parents with restless children to leave the ceremony room (Volunteers should not bring the children out themselves, but rather ask the parents to bring their children outside of the ceremony room.)
  • Directing clients back to their seats after they have received their certificates of citizenship

After the Ceremony

  • Assisting the hosting organization with the reception after the ceremony
  • Assisting with cleanup after the ceremony
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