Citizenship ceremony held at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival

A special citizenship ceremony at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival in Saskatoon welcomed 40 new citizens. Adam MacVicar / Global News

A group of new Canadians swore an oath on Tuesday in Saskatoon – officially becoming Canadian citizens.

The ceremony was held at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival site in honour of Canada 150.

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Forty new Canadians signed their declaration of citizenship in front of friends and family.

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Many, including Rajbir Volk, have been waiting a long time to officially become a Canadian.

“It just feels like you’re part of this community that is so diverse, but that just feels like one,” Volk said.

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Volk has been in Canada for eight years, studying in Ontario and Manitoba. She moved to Saskatoon for work, where she met her husband before moving to Unity, Sask., where they now live with their two children.

“I talk to other parents and hear the activities their kids are going into, I didn’t have that,” Volk said.

On the ceremony itself, Volk said she felt prepared because of the long wait, but there are things she’s looking forward to now that she’s a Canadian citizen.

“There were times we had elections in town, we had our elections here; I wanted to vote and I can do that now, I’m very excited for that because I want to vote and have an opinion,” Volk said.

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“They’re joining the Canadian family – it has its traditions, it has its cultures, it has its institutions, but they’re welcome to contribute to them as well as learn from them,” presiding official Jim Miller said.

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This was Miller’s 12th time presiding over a citizenship ceremony, a duty he enjoys.

“It’s always a joy; it is simply a fun experience to see all the excited new Canadians joining our family,” Miller said.

“They’re so full of optimism and great plans, it’s a fun time to be with them.”

The new citizens will also receive a free pass to Canada’s national parks for the year, and are also eligible for travel discounts to explore the country.

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