CFL Hosts Canadian Citizenship Ceremonies

22 Mar 2023

The CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos hosted a citizenship ceremony on August 18th, welcoming 50 new citizens at Commonwealth Stadium. August 24th had the Montreal Alouettes take their turn and the 25th had the B.C. Lions hosting another ceremony. 

3 Citizenship Ceremonies Hosted By The CFL in Celebration of the League’s Diversity is Strength Campaign

After reciting the oath of citizenship at all three events, Canada’s newly sworn citizens headed to the football field to sing the Canadian national anthem alongside football players and thousands of fans. This is all part of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the CFL’s collaboration on the Diversity is Strength campaign, which is complimenting the greater #ImmigrationMatters initiative by the department. The campaign aims to demonstrate the benefits of immigration to Canadian communities and promote positive engagement between newcomers and Canadians. The ceremonies were part of the league’s Weeks 10 and 11 game calendar.

Since last year, CFL teams are incorporating a wide variety of activations and activities into their individual Diversity is Strength game days. Some teams have hosted visitors and fans from remote areas of Canada or facilited citizenship ceremonies to welcome new Canadians. Fans have also had the opportunity to experience pregame and halftime cultural showcases as teams celebrate their heritage and community.

“This initiative builds on the strength of the campaign we launched a year ago, when CFL coaches, players and fans rallied around this positive message by donning Diversity Is Strength t-shirts. Football is the ultimate team game because it welcomes and includes participants from every background as well as of every shape and size. It’s in this spirit that we invite and welcome all Canadians, be they Canadians by birth or Canadians by choice, to join us in our stadiums.”  – Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

This year, participating teams have worn special edition t-shirts (in team colours) on the sidelines and during the pre-game walkthrough that honour trailblazers such as Tiger-Cat Bernie Custis, the first black quarterback in professional football, and Ottawa’s Jo-Anne Polak, the first female general manager in the CFL and in North American professional sport. Check out more on the initiative here.