Toronto, May 15, 2008 – Entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and scientists led roundtable discussions today with 60 new Canadians at a special citizenship ceremony held at the MaRS Centre.

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada, attended the community-based Citizenship Ceremony as co-founder, with John Ralston Saul, of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC). The ceremony, held in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is the first to be staged at a science and technology-based centre.

“We believe to build a better Canada, it is imperative we help new Canadians adapt to their new country and encourage them to become active citizens,” said Clarkson. “Throughout the country we have witnessed first-hand how meaningful it can be to have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the value of shared citizenship.”

An integral component of the ICC’s Citizenship Ceremonies are the community roundtable discussions that precede the ceremony, providing an opportunity to bring together new Canadian citizens with established community members to share their views on what it means to be a Canadian citizen.  A range of MaRS supporters and representatives of MaRS’ extended community participated in these informal discussions with new Canadians, including:

  • Lawrence Bloomberg, MaRS founder, business leader and philanthropist
  • Dr. Tony Cruz, biotech entrepreneur and CEO of Transition Therapeutics Inc.
  • Dr. Stephen Scherer, Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children and UofT, and winner of the 2008 Premier’s Summit Award for Medical Research.

Also participating in the ceremony were MaRS Chair Dr. John Evans, Companion of the Order of Canada, and MaRS CEO Ilse Treurnicht. The presiding official was Citizenship Judge Raminder Gill.

The ceremony – which included a lively performance by the Canadian Children’s Opera chorus – was open to MaRS tenants to witness, which proved a moving experience for many.  For MaRS, a community-based ceremony offered a chance to extend and strengthen its ties with the community and stimulate engagement of new Canadians with its mission.“MaRS is focused on stimulating innovation to address Canada’s global competitive challenge.  New Canadians, who bring their talent, creativity, energy and dreams to this country, continue to make a profound contribution to the success of our society,” said Ilse Treurnicht, MaRS CEO.  ”Hosting a Citizenship Ceremony at MaRS is a great opportunity for our community to welcome these new citizens and perhaps inspire new ideas and a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Canadian in the 21st century.”

More Information
For more information about the MaRS Citizenship Ceremony, please contact:

Dawn Marie Schlegel
416.673.8119
dmschlegel@marsdd.com

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8104
lquattrin@marsdd.com