Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for

Ottawa Centre

Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for

Ottawa Centre


Catherine McKenna celebrates Canada Day with new Canadian citizens at Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Today Catherine McKenna celebrated Canada Day with Canada’s newest citizens at a citizenship ceremony held at the Rideau Canal National Historic Site’s Hartwells Lockstation.

In celebration of diversity and the importance of our protected places, the Government of Canada is proud to offer free admission for new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass Program. Since Parks Canada began its partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, there have been more than 30,000 visits to Parks Canada places using the Cultural Access Pass.

The Government is also investing in new and innovative programs and services that make Parks Canada places more accessible for Canadians, including newcomers, such as expanding the Learn-to camp program with over 100,000 participants to date and further developing the Parks Canada mobile app that now has over 200,000 downloads.

Parks Canada’s places represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. By building connections to these places, we can foster the stewards of tomorrow — people who know and care about these treasures.

Canadians are encouraged to celebrate our nation all year long by visiting Parks Canada places. To make the most of their Parks Canada experience, visitors are encouraged to plan their trip. They may do so by visiting the Parks Canada’s website, downloading the free Parks Canada’s mobile application, and following us on social media for information about Parks Canada’s destinations.


“Today, as we celebrate Canada Day, I am exceptionally privileged and proud to be involved in a Citizenship Ceremony along the Rideau Canada National Historic Site. In Canada, we are fortunate to have natural spaces and a rich history as diverse as these new citizens that now call it home. One of my goals is to encourage more Canadians – particularly newcomers to our country – to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment and history. That’s why I am proud that the government is offering free admission to Parks Canada places for new Canadians citizens.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“Promoting immigration and supporting our new Canadian communities are top priorities for the Government of Canada. The Government is proud to partner with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship to encourage new Canadian citizens to experience nature and connect with Canada’s history. I encourage all new Canadian citizens to take advantage of free admission to our national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas as a way to celebrate Canada.”
The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“We’re thrilled to be working with Parks Canada to encourage new citizens to make lifelong connections to national parks and historic sites through the Cultural Access Pass. Now, as Canadian citizens, these spectacular places across the country are both their right and their responsibility.
Charlie Foran, CEO, Institute for Canadian Citizenship

Quick Facts

  • Parks Canada manages 46 national parks, 171 national historic sites, four marine conservation areas, and one national urban park.
  • A gift to each Canadian citizen during their first year of citizenship, the Cultural Access Pass provides complimentary admission to more than 1400 of Canada’s cultural treasures from coast-to-coast, including national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas.
  • Now in its 10th year, more than 260,000 new Canadian citizens have participated in the Cultural Access Pass program.
  • Parks Canada’s Learn-to camp program creates a connection between first-time campers and the camping experience, helping Canadian families, including many newcomers, overcome barriers to planning and enjoying safe camping trips. In 2017, Parks Canada hosted 32 overnight events as well as almost 500 Learn-to Camp outreach events. In the last year, the Learn-to camp program has grown from 10,000 participants to over 100,000 participants across the country.
  • For the 2018 visitor season, Parks Canada has launched version 2.0 of the Parks Canada Mobile App. The App helps visitors plan their trip and offers fun and interactive content. New features will help visitors make the most of their Parks Canada experiences, including downloadable trail maps and a new feature that allows visitors to create their own itineraries based on travel dates and events happening at Parks Canada places.
  • More than 13,000 Canadians provided feedback through the Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!. Minister McKenna has identified three priories for Parks Canada: to Protect and Restore our national parks and historic sites; to enable people to further Discover and Connect with our national parks and heritage; and to Sustain for generations to come the incredible value – both ecological and economic – that our national parks and historic sites provide for communities.

Related Links


Caroline Thériault
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency