Big day for new­est Cana­di­ans

CI­TI­ZEN­SHIP CER­E­MONIES ‘ Mul­ti­cul­tural vil­lage’ shows off di­ver­sity

Montreal Gazette - - Inside To­day - JA­SON MAGDER THE GAZETTE SIKAN­DER HASHMI OF THE GAZETTE CON­TRIB­UTED TO THIS RE­PORT

The U.S. tele­vi­sion show Lit­tle House on the Prairie gained some Cana­dian flavour as one of its stars be­came a new cit­i­zen at a cer­e­mony at the Old Port yes­ter­day.

Ac­tress Melissa Sue An­der­son, 44, who was born in Berke­ley, Calif., planned to at­tend the cer­e­mony, but could not show up be­cause she was stuck in Detroit, ac­cord­ing to a spokesper­son from Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Canada.

Her hus­band, writer/pro­ducer Michael Sloan, 60, stood in for her. He also be­came a Cana­dian cit­i­zen along with the cou­ple’s two chil­dren, Grif­fin, 11, and Piper, 16. About 100 other new cit­i­zens were con­firmed in the 11 a.m. cer­e­mony.

As a child, An­der­son played the role of Mary In­galls in Lit­tle House on the Prairie, from 1974 to 1981. She mar­ried Sloan, a writer pro­ducer, in 1990. The two fell in love with Montreal while An­der­son was shoot­ing a minis­eries called 10.5: Apoc­a­lypse, which aired on NBC last year.

There were three other ci­ti­zen­ship cer­e­monies in Montreal and sub­urbs, in­clud­ing one at Pierre El­liott Trudeau Park in Côte St. Luc where 44 peo­ple from 13 dif­fer­ent coun­tries were con­firmed as new Cana­di­ans, 25 of whom are res­i­dents of Côte St. Luc.

The event was presided by Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Judge Bar­bara Seal, who is also a for­mer Hamp­stead town coun­cil­lor. Lo­cal MNA Lawrence Bergman spoke dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

The Montreal cer­e­monies were among 34 held across the coun­try to wel­come 1,700 new mem­bers to what Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Canada refers to as the “Cana­dian fam­ily.” This year marks the 60th an­niver­sary of Cana­dian ci­ti­zen­ship.

“What a great way to cel­e­brate Canada Day,” said Mike Co­hen, a Côte St. Luc coun­cil­lor and co-chair of Canada Day fes­tiv­i­ties in that city.

“There was a very nice crowd. It was an emo­tional and ex­cit­ing cer­e­mony. We hope to make it an an­nual event,” Co­hen said.

Mean­while, a “mul­ti­cul­tural vil­lage” was part of Canada Day fes­tiv­i­ties at Ge­orge O’Reilly Park in Ver­dun. Eighty booths brought to­gether lo­cal ar­ti­sans, cul­tural groups and mer­chants, with food and arts and crafts.

TYREL FEATHER­STONE THE GAZETTE

Pro­ducer Michael Sloan and chil­dren Grif­fin, 11, and Piper, 16, pledge their oaths at a spe­cial cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony, part of yes­ter­day’s Canada Day cel­e­bra­tions at the Old Port. Sloan ac­cepted wife and ac­tress Melissa Sue An­der­son's cit­i­zen­ship on her...

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