Culture: Canadian Art is Now Free for New Citizens

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Published May 2008 – Now you can get a Canadian passport and free tickets to Canadian museums.

Six cultural organizations from Toronto joined the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) to present new citizens with a free year-long family pass. This “Cultural Access Pass” will allow new Canadians to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gardiner Museum, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and the Textile Museum of Canada as many times as they want, for a year, and without paying for tickets.

The initiative intends to bring newcomers closer to Canadian art. “It’s a new way to create a sense of connection, to get involved, to learn more about Canada and integrate new citizens,” explained Curtis Barlow, CEO of the Institute.

How to get a Cultural Access Pass? Easy, look for ICC representatives at your citizenship ceremony. They will give you a form to fill out and voilá (or in English, “that’s it”). You will receive a card a few days later that you can present at the box office of any of the participating cultural institutions. They will give you free tickets for you and your family. If for any reason you don’t get a form during your ceremony, you can ask for one by mail. There will be a form available at the ICC website for download soon (check our website, or for updates).

Even though the initiative was just announced, Barlow explains that they are already working towards expansion. “We intend to expand it all over Canada, from Toronto to other cities like Vancouver or Edmonton. We also want to expand to other art forms, like performing arts.”

Only those citizens who take the oath after April 10 can request a Cultural Access Pass.

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