Working with a master of ceremonies

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The clerk of ceremony, responsible for introductions and the overall flow of the ceremony, sets the tone for the ceremony and is sometimes seen as the master of ceremonies. There is no requirement to have another person besides the clerk of ceremony to emcee a citizenship ceremony.

For enhanced ceremonies, the host organization or another representative may wish to act as the master of ceremonies of a special event. To comply with the Official Languages Act, the master of ceremonies must be fluent in both English and French in communities officially designated as bilingual. See Types of citizenship ceremonies – application of the Official Languages Act.

The roles of the citizenship judge or volunteer presiding official and of the clerk of ceremony remain unchanged despite the presence of a master of ceremonies.

Guidelines for the master of ceremonies

  • Before the clerk of the ceremony delivers the preamble, the master of ceremonies addresses the audience (e.g., welcoming the candidates, their guests and Citizenship and Immigration Canada [CIC] staff to the ceremony, explaining why a special ceremony is being hosted at their location, or inviting everyone in attendance to stand before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] officer enters the ceremony room).
  • The master of ceremonies does not open or close the citizenship ceremony.
  • Following the opening of the ceremony by the RCMP officer or the clerk of ceremony, the clerk gives their introductory remarks and immediately turns the ceremony over to the citizenship judge or volunteer presiding official, not to the master of ceremonies. However, should there be several speakers, the master of ceremonies should introduce each of them with a short biography.
  • The introduction of special guests and the invitation of special guests to give congratulatory remarks to the new citizens remain with the citizenship judge or volunteer presiding official.
  • The master of ceremonies can be included as a platform member and be seated on the stage area with the other special guests, offer congratulatory remarks and invite everyone to the reception.
  • The master of ceremonies may introduce entertainment, if applicable.
  • Following the departure of the citizenship judge or volunteer presiding official and of the platform party, the master of ceremonies can close the event (e.g., thank the new citizens, their family and friends for their attendance, offer congratulations and remind everyone of the location of the reception).
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