Vancouver officially welcomed 61 new Canadians yesterday morning at a citizenship ceremony held outside the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Family, friends and bystanders filled the west end outside the convention centre, cheering their loved ones on as they walked across the stage to receive certificates declaring their Canadian citizenship.

Among the new citizens was Maikel Febles, who came to Vancouver from Cuba five years ago.

“What a great place, what a marvelous place to be,” said Febles, who proudly waved his Canadian flag during the ceremony. “It’s my country now, it’s a dream come true.”

Among the officials present was Judge George Gibault, who swore in the new Canadians, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who gave a speech.

“I want you all to repeat these three words: ‘I am Canadian,’” Robertson told the newly sworn-in citizens. “You can say that for the rest of your life now, and that is a great honour and privilege.

“Vancouver represents the best of what Canada has to offer.”