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New citizens and emerging civic leaders join Orders of Canada/Ontario for dinner

Catherine Cano, John Tory, Gillian Smith, Adrienne Clarkson, Angie Seth, Mitzie Hunter & Roberto MartellaPhoto caption: Catherine Cano, John Tory, Gillian Smith, Adrienne Clarkson, Angie Seth, Mitzie Hunter & Roberto Martella

Last night, Toronto’s grano restaurant once again played host to Order! Order!, a unique dinner-discussion series connecting three diverse Canadian groups – members of the Orders of Canada and Ontario, new Canadian citizens and emerging civic leaders.

Hosted by Adrienne Clarkson, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship Co-Founder and Co-Chair, and John Tory, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance Chair, the event brought together 60 attendees, including Lawrence Bloomberg, Lola Rasminsky – founding director of the Fine Arts Kindergarten, the Avenue Road Arts School and Arts for Children, and Tatum Wilson – Director of Community Engagement & Planning, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

“There is great value in creating a forum for inclusive, insightful conversation among new citizens, community leaders and key influencers,” said Clarkson. “I became a Canadian citizen when I was 10 years old, and with each passing year, I grow more proud of our country’s ability to welcome others and embrace their differences. All Canadians have a role to play in the success of our extraordinary nation, and this series is a great example of how embracing diversity can make our country more interesting and more capable.”

Moderated by Angie Seth, OMNI News South Asian Edition Anchor, the evening explored the topic From ideas to action – a conversation on recipes for successful civic engagement. Attendees shared personal experiences while trying to uncover ways to combat the barriers that prevent Canadian citizens from participating.

“Tonight’s discussion promotes the power of inclusion,” said Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. “New citizens and rising leaders have a lot to contribute, and we wantto give them a platform to share their perspectives with members of the Orders of Canada and Ontario. Together, we can find creative ways to allow everyone to join the civic conversation.”

Order! Order! is a new dinner series that connects members of the Order of Canada and Ontario with members of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) and new Canadian citizens for an evening of lively discussion on issues of significant public interest. The series is organized by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance with support from grano restaurant and NATIONAL Public Relations. Its intent is to create a recognized and ongoing forum for inclusive, insightful discussion with each dinner exploring a pre-determined discussion topic / theme.

The inaugural dinner explored innovation and immigration, moderated by Amanda Lang, CBC News host and senior business reporter. It produced new insights and partnerships dedicated to putting ideas into action. That evening, Bindu, a new citizen, connected with Harry Rosen and shared her idea of providing new Canadians who can’t afford to shop with gently worn business attire. Harry loved the idea and connected Bindu with Dress Your Best, a charity Harry Rosen currently works with, to make this happen. For more information on this series, and how to get involved, email

For the past 10 years, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction) has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region’s toughest social, economic and environmental challenges. CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships, and launches campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. Currently, CivicAction has three areas of focus: accelerating regional transportation through the Your32 campaign, enhancing the region’s economic performance, and fostering inclusion and resilience. For more information, visit

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national, non-profit charity that promotes active citizenship. Through innovative programs and partnerships, the ICC works to ensure new citizens are welcomed and included as equals, create meaningful connections among all Canadians, foster a culture of engaged citizens and celebrate what it means to be Canadian. Our Building Citizenship program welcomes and connects new citizens by hosting community-led citizenship ceremonies across Canada. Our Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program introduces new citizens to Canadian experiences by offering a year of free access to almost 1,200 attractions from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium, our intellectual platform, is a national, interactive lecture on citizenship. And ICC Insights, our partner-focused initiative, brings new citizen voices to national conversations through collaborative projects. The ICC was founded and is co-chaired by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, and is supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). For more information, visit You can also follow us on Twitter (@ICCICC).

NATIONAL Public Relations is the largest public relations consultancy in Canada with offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, Halifax, St. John's, New York and London. The Firm serves leading corporate, government and institutional clients and offers the full range of communications services, including corporate communications, investor relations, public affairs, employee engagement, public consultation and participation, marketing, technology and healthcare communications, as well as digital communications. It provides medical communications, public relations and clinical trial support services to a wide section of the leading pharmaceutical and medical devices companies internationally under the name AXON Communications. NATIONAL is a subsidiary of RES PUBLICA Consulting Group which also owns Cohn & Wolfe | Canada, another communications firm with offices in Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. At the international level, the Firm is affiliated with Burson-Marsteller, part of WPP Group, the largest communications company in the world. For more information, visit

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Jess Duerden
Institute for Canadian Citizenship
(416) 593-6998 ext.225 |