New Canadians Welcomed with Citizenship Ceremony Hosted by Raptors

canadian-citizenshipAs recently reported by The Star, 34 new Canadians took their citizenship oath at the Air Canada Centre court before the Raptors-Wizards game. The ceremony was organized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, who had partnered with the Raptors for this special occasion.

After taking their citizenship oath, the newest Canadians on the block also sang along to the Canadian national anthem, before enjoying a game featuring the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.

Journey to Citizenship

One of the new citizens, Maedline Rivera, couldn’t help but look back on how things had changed since she first came to Toronto from El Salvador. She said: “Life changes so fast. Not like I’m old, but I remember what I was like back then and I see where I am now. It feels so significant.”

Out of all the sports teams in Toronto, the Raptors have one of the most diverse fan bases, and the team have more recently embraced a strong Canadian identity thanks to the popular “We the North” marketing campaign.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the first time Rivera had stood on that particular court, as only two weeks after landing at Pearson Airport in 2010, Rivera had practiced to become part of the official dance troupe for the Toronto Raptors. She was only 21 at the time, and never actually joined in with the squad for any of the games – instead choosing to concentrate on other areas of work and study.

A Bold Decision

Returning to the court last week, 25-year-old Rivera reflected on her many accomplishments over the past few years spent in Canada. At first, she claimed her mother had been terrified of her “bold” decision to move to Canada alone, but Rivera wasn’t able to achieve all that she wanted in her home country of El Salvador.

Rivera said: “It’s very difficult to do what you want. They may say it’s different, but it’s not. For a woman you’re born to be a mother and stay at home and pretend like you’re happy to have children. I wasn’t prepared for that, so I moved. Here I can do pretty much whatever I want, with no criticism, nobody pointing fingers at me.”

In El Salvador, Rivera had studied accounting, but now she works as a preschool teacher and loves her job. She’s currently thinking about taking on a new challenge, to study psychology.

Rivera claimed to look upon Wednesday’s citizenship ceremony as the culmination of all her experiences in Canada: “I’ve accomplished a lot in this country. It makes me proud, because I’m doing things on my own.”

Are you Interested in Applying for Canadian Citizenship?

Do you see yourself becoming a Canadian citizen one day? If so, we at Niren & Associates can help you on your journey. All you need to do is fill our free online immigration assessment form here, and we will get back to you (within 24 hours) to discuss your eligibility and immigration options.


Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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