Members of the Halifax Mooseheads hockey club had the pleasure in assisting with a unique ceremony on Tuesday to welcome 50 new Canadian citizens in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Assistant Coach Sylvain Favreau gave a welcoming speech as part of the event celebrating the 50 citizens from 20 different countries.
“I’d like to congratulate you on becoming a Canadian citizen. I also speak on behalf of the Halifax Mooseheads, the ownership group led by Bobby Smith and the rest of our staff as we welcome you now as fellow Canadians.”
The Ottawa, ON native said he felt he could relate to what they may be going through on a personal level.
“When I left Canada as a young man to play professionally in France and especially in Germany it was a big adjustment. I know what that stress and anxiety feels like when you are suddenly living in a new culture and society.”
Three players from the team also sat in on some round table discussions. Patty Kyte, Walter Flower and Brock McLeod were able to hear stories from the new Canadians about their journey in life and the players shared some of their own information as they mingled with everyone in attendance.
“Hockey is often what many new citizens associate with being Canadian. We know from our research that the majority of new citizens have watched a hockey game and share an appreciation and enthusiasm for hockey as a unifier. So it’s fitting for our country’s newest citizens to be celebrating this day together with the Halifax Mooseheads,” said Amy Matchen of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
The ceremony was held in Dartmouth, just outside the Mooseheads practice facility and was capped off with the singing of the Canadian National Anthem by Peter Bayliss.
The next game for the Herd is Saturday night at 7pm in Moncton and they will be back on home ice Sunday afternoon at 3pm vs Chicoutimi. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or charge by phone 902-451-1221.