New Canadians welcomed in Calgary on Canada Day
O Canada isn’t a song you’d usually expect to hear on your birthday, but Diego Fernandez called hearing it on Monday one of the best gifts of all.
Fernandez was one of several new Canadians who took the oath of citizenship in Calgary on July 1.
“It’s an awesome birthday present, I’m so happy right now,” said the 26-year-old originally from Uruguay.
Citizenship offers new opportunities, said Catalina Ilut, who hails from Romania.
“It’s a big opportunity for our kids for the future of our kids, school university, they have a real good future in Canada,“ she said.
A high school student, education is the opportunity Oliver Ross wants to take advantage of.
“Honestly, to be able to be a part of this community, really was a moving experience, it’s a part of my identity,” he said.
The annual swearing in ceremonies mean almost as much to the volunteers who help put them on.
“I really don’t appreciate what some of these people have gone through to become Canadian citizens, so I consider it an honour,” said Irene Pfeiffer, an honourary citizenship judge who oversaw the ceremony.
Moments after his own ceremony, Tomi Olajide, from Nigeria, called Canada “home.”
I finally know that I belong here and can be a part of the Canadian family,” he said.
Tens of thousands of Calgarians celebrated Canada Day at events across the city, which culminated with the city’s fireworks show overtop the Centre Street Bridge.
(With files from CTV News Calgary's Mark Villani)