“We’re the most multicultural country in the world. It’s special to me because my family came to Canada when I was eight years old. I didn’t speak any English. So to be able to integrate, be able to go to school and ultimately strive and succeed, I think it was a good environment to make that happen.” – Nitin Kawale, president of CISCO
“It’s the diversity of our country: From people to places, east coast to west coast. When you think about the uniqueness we have – natural resources, wildlife, industries, cultures – you realize Canada is a very special and one-of-a-kind place. – Canadian golfer Mike Weir
111. Winning isn’t everything.
“When I think of Canada and I think about Canadians, we’re just good people. We want to help out. We want to support one another. In the bad times we’re always there. For me, as an athlete, one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced was the Vancouver games, seeing how much excitement and pride and emotion was involved ... even in the moments when we didn’t win. Seeing that emotion was one of the biggest reasons I kept skating. I was pretty close to quitting in 2010. I was at a pretty low point there, I was coming off this injury and just switched over to long track [from short track] and didn’t really know what I was doing. Seeing how proud people were to be Canadian made me want to represent this country and keep going with skating.” – Olympic speed skater Gilmore Junio
112. We’re a land of opportunity
“Above all, Canada to me means a land of opportunity, no matter where you come from, no matter where you started. There are few places in the world where one could move, as I did, from a small village hotel to one of the greatest universities in the world! The deeply rooted values of our country are truly its most valuable natural resources.” – Suzanne Fortier, principal and vice-chancellor, McGill University
“I was nearly 30 when I moved to Canada, where I raised my family and created a successful career. I do believe my children have had the very best start in life in this wonderful country, and I am convinced I would never have had the same success if I had embarked on my journey elsewhere. Canada offers so many opportunities, and if you are willing to grab each one of them nothing will hold you back.” – Interior decorator and TV host Debbie Travis
“Sometimes in life you make a decision which, at the time, you don’t realize just how right it is. But 45 years after I decided to move to Canada from the United States, I’m forever grateful that I had the good sense to make my home and my future in this remarkable country. Unquestionably, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. This country inspires me in countless ways. Its diversity, generosity, tolerance, fairness, talent, creativity, freedom, modesty, humantarian values and sense of opportunity are the envy of the world. Regardless of where you’re from, Canada makes it easy to be yourself and to advance in life. And since I first came to Canada as a young boy to attend Camp Tamakwa, the outdoors attracted me – the boundless beuaty of the land never ceases to amaze me. It’s no accident that Algonquin Park was behind the creation of Roots in 1973. To this day, fellow Roots co-founder Don Green and I each spend as much time as possible swimming, canoeing and kayaking there. The aesthetics of Algonquin Park guide us in so much that we do as individuals and at Roots. For me, Canada is also hockey. I play 12 months a year. I thrive on it. I love Canada’s passion for the game, both at the amateur and professional levels. So much about what goes into making a team triumphant on the ice appeals to me. I’m deeply thankful to Canada. For what it has offered my family and I. I’m grateful that I could bring up my children in a country like this.” – Michael Budman, co-founder of Roots Canada
“In the 1960s, being a South African who opposed apartheid, I was somewhat adrift in the world, and after a period in England found a wonderful home in Canada. A small thing, perhaps, in the scheme of things, but for the 30 years that I lived and/or worked in Old Montreal the sight of the slanting sun on those old stone walls never failed to thrill me – Table Mountain surpasses our Montreal ‘mountain’ for grandeur and inspiration, but that minor beauty in the old city still haunts me. In the larger scheme of things, Canada gave me the chance to fulfill my dreams and whatever talent I possessed by supporting the creation and running of the Centaur Theatre. That, and so may generosities toward myself and my wife – both of us un-expectant immigrants, is proof of a spirit that hopefully will never leave the country. Hopefully, too, my daughter Alison, who founded and runs Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre in Montreal and is full of wondrous surprises, will be similarly blessed. – Maurice Podbrey, founding artistic director of the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, and originally a native of South Africa, where he still spends much of his time on theatre projects today.
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