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Minister MacKay Officially Opens the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

On February 7, 2011, Pier 21 celebrated special milestone. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and the Atlantic Gateway, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, was on hand to announce the official opening of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is Canada’s sixth national museum and only the second located outside of the national capital region. However, the crowd was especially enthusiastic when Minister MacKay quipped that the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is actually the first, since it is open ready for business, unlike its sister museum the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“This museum highlights the essential role that immigrants have played in building this country and continue to play in shaping the Canada we know and love today,” said Minister MacKay. “Whether in culture, economy, health, education, or sport, their contribution to Canada in all fields of endeavour is woven into the fabric of our society.”

John E. Oliver, chairperson of the Museum’s board of trustees, along with Richard LeBlanc, a trustee on the board, joined Minister MacKay in sharing a few words.

Mr. Oliver took time to recognize the significant contributions of Azam Chadeganipour, a recent newcomer to our country. Mrs. Chadeganipour was part of the Welcome Home to Canada program presented by TD Bank Group, before being hired as one of the first employees of the new Museum. She contributed her talents as a graphic designer to help create the visual identity of the new Museum.

“What Azam has accomplished since coming to Canada is truly inspiring. It is remarkable to think about the opportunity that Canada has given to Azam, but even more remarkable to think about what Azam has given and will continue to give to Canada,” said Mr. Oliver of Mrs. Chadeganipour’s work.

To mark the occasion, both Mr. Oliver and Mrs. Chadeganipour presented Minister MacKay with a framed banner revealing the Museum’s new visual identity.

The mandate of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is to explore the theme of immigration to Canada in order to enhance public understanding of the experiences of immigrants as they arrived in Canada, of the vital role that immigration has played in the building of Canada, and of the contributions of immigrants to Canada’s culture, economy, and way of life.