Tucked between the international kiosks at the Direct Energy Building (which once was the International Trade Building) at the Rogers Auditorium, where performances with an international flavour usually entertain shoppers, a Citizenship Ceremony took place on August 24, 2006.There, 51 landed immigrants became Canadian citizens. This event was organized by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC).
The Presiding Judge was Agnes Ugolini Potts, sitting behind her desk on the stage. Judge Potts pointed out with pride to the assembled that she was born in central Italy and then became a proud Canadian.The Clerk of the Ceremony was Linda Warman, also dressed in robes.
The others on the stage were CNE General Manager, Mr. David Bednar; David Sweet, MP, representing the Prime Minister the Honourable Mr. Stephen Harper; President of the CNE Association, Knox Henry who also gave the opening speech; NEPMCC Senior Vice President Ms Maryam Aghvami; the Event Chair of the NEPMCC, Mr. Clyde McNeil and the regional director of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
To give the event ultimate authority Constable Hudson of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in his ceremonial red tunic, backed up Judge Potts.
The new recipients of Canadian citizenship reflected the community They were of all races, all ages and all social strata. Some were shy, while others were well-composed.
When the speeches were finished the granting of the citizenship began. Cameras belonging to proud relatives began flashing, playing havoc with the five news cameras already there.
The closing remarks were followed by a flamenco performance and then a reception in a meeting room.
The seamlessly run ceremony was organized in conjunction by NEPMCC, CNE and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The reception was presided over by NEPMCC President Thomas Saras. It featured a middle eastern dinner followed by a birthday cake and music. Welcome, to the fifty-one new Canadians.
Citizenship ceremony at the CNE