VIA Rail renews Cultural Access Pass program

Jul 09, 2015, 11:49 ET from VIA Rail Canada Inc.

MONTREAL, July 9, 2015 /CNW/ - VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) are proud to announce the renewal of their partnership. Starting July 1, 2015, the ICC'S Cultural Access Pass will offer all new Canadian citizens a 50% discount on the best rate in effect for travel on VIA Rail trains. This one-time pass can be used during their first year as Canadian citizens, to discover the beauty and diversity of their adopted country.

 "This initiative represents a remarkable opportunity and experience for new Canadians. Canada is a beautiful country with great sights to see, and it is important new Canadians get a chance to experience as much of it as they can."

-The Honourable Lisa Raitt,
Canada's Minister of Transport

"We are pleased to see VIA Rail's partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship continue. This partnership will allow new Canadians to discover the vast beauty and diversity of our communities, our landscape, and all that our great country has to offer. Canadians are proud of their citizenship and we will continue to celebrate it across the country."

-The Honourable Chris Alexander,
Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

"Our cooperation with the ICC is highly symbolic, since it represents an opportunity for thousands of new Canadians to enrich their integration experience. VIA Rail is delighted to see that an increasing number of them want to board its trains and discover their new country. We are pleased to be partnering with the ICC – the developer of this nitiative – since we see it as a unique way to welcome new citizens to Canada."

-Yves Desjardins-Siciliano,
President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail Canada

"We are so grateful for our continued partnership with VIA Rail. Our Cultural Access Pass members and their families appreciate discovering Canada by train. Connections abound; with people, places and with the country itself."

-Charlie Foran,
CEO, Institute of Canadian Citizenship

The program's results far exceeded expectations, especially in the past year. The number of recorded trips rose from 771 in 2012 to 2,187 in 2013, and climbed to 4,885 in 2014. To this day, over 9500 trips have been taken nationwide with this offer. Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City were the most popular departure points and destinations among new Canadian citizens.

Every new citizen aged 18 years or over can use a Cultural Access Pass, which is valid for one year starting the day they are sworn in as Canadian citizens. The pass holder and up to four of their minor children can also participate, at no charge, in more than 1200 activities hosted by art galleries, museums, historic sites, national and provincial parks, and performing arts organizations across Canada.

To find out more about the Cultural Access Pass program and VIA Rail Canada's offer, visit

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada ( and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years, and was the recipient of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail.

About The Institute for Canadian Citizenship
The ICC is a national, non-profit charity that helps accelerate new citizens' integration into Canadian life through original programs, collaborations and unique volunteer opportunities. While our focus is on encouraging new citizens to take their rightful place in Canada, we want all citizens – new or not – to embrace active citizenship in their daily life. The ICC is founded and co-chaired by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.


SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.