Canadian Museum for Human Rights


Celebrating the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

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s p e c i a l f e a t u r e c a n a d i a n M u s e u M f o r H u M a n r i g H t s - s u p p l e M e n t t o t H e W i n n i p e g f r e e p r e s s - s a t u r d a y , s e p t e M b e r 1 9 , 2 0 1 5 The Tower of hope liT up in red. by AAron Cohen "I feel like in a lot of ways the best is yet to come," says director of exhibitions and digital media Corey Timpson. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is still a fledgling in terms of a national museum, but it's already racking up accolades. The first national museum built since Canada's Centennial in 1967 — and the first ever built outside of the Ottawa region — the CMHR has been honoured with 21 national, international and regional awards, for everything from its unique architecture and accessibility to its digital infrastructure and mobile app. But staff are not resting on their laurels. An evaluation program is underway to help determine how the museum should evolve and mature as time goes on. "We'll figure out what's working, what's resonating, what isn't resonating as much, how to change, where to change. And we have this idea of always being fluid, whether it's our exhibitions or our public programs or our education programs," Timpson says. "This is our solid first stab at things and now it's like, 'Let's be really creative and (see) where can we grow and where can we go to from here.' " Starting with preview tours held during the two-day RightsFest celebration at The Forks last September, the museum welcomed 385,000 visitors during its first 11 months. Having worked toward the opening since the fall of 2009, Timpson says seeing people explore the exhibition spaces has been a personal highlight of the past year. "The number of visitors that we've had has been really exceptional. The feedback we've received from visitors has been really exceptional as well, and the variety of visitors we've had has been really fun." Prominent guests have included Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is the father of education activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who dropped by in January following a local speaking engagement. All visitors are encouraged to add messages to the Imagine Wall in the Inspiring Change gallery, where Clinton's message reads: "I imagine a future where human rights will be secure for everyone because all people stood up and spoke out for the freedom and dignity of each of us. We all must work toward that time together." Timpson says having Canadian Olympic swimming star and LGBT rights advocate Mark Tewksbury visit in July was another high point. Tewksbury presented the gold medal he won at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona for the museum's The Year of Sport exhibit, which features athletes and organizations that have promoted human rights and instigated positive change. The exhibit will be displayed in the What are Human Rights? introductory gallery until next March. As a museum of ideas, with a mandate to encourage reflection and dialogue, the museum's use of sport as a gateway into human rights is just one more way to make the subject accessible. "The more entry points we can offer for different visitors, then the more it becomes relevant to different people," Timpson says. All of the museum's galleries are designed to accommodate continual change, and the extensive use of state-of-the-art digital technology makes it easy for staff to add elements, expand on themes and introduce new stories and ideas. "Every time a visitor comes in there's basically something else going on, there's different stories being told," Timpson says. "Human rights is a subject that evolves and changes and we can adapt and change with the discourse." However, one of the most inspiring exhibits is rooted in permanence. It's the imposing Trace installation that Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore created for the Indigenous Perspectives gallery. Referring to the traces of ancient generations in the thousands of aboriginal artifacts that were found during archeological excavations at the building site, Belmore's work is made up thousands of beads hand-pressed from local clay. Visitors From September 2014 until the end oF AuguSt 2015, the CAnAdiAn muSeum For humAn rightS welComed 385,000 viSitorS. From mAy through AuguSt, it welComed 140,000 viSitorS – A 31% inCreASe over the previouS Four monthS. in July, 66% oF viSitorS CAme From outSide oF mAnitobA. mAny viSitorS report they've extended their StAyS in winnipeg by An extrA night JuSt So they CAn viSit the muSeum. Free AdmiSSion eveningS drAw An AverAge oF 1,900 viSitorS. the beSt iS yet to Come The Canadian MuseuM for huMan righTs firsT anniversary ➤ When the Canadian Museum for Human Rights officially opened on Sept. 19, 2014, it marked the end of a 14-year journey from the late Israel Asper's conception for the museum to its completion. One year later, a new journey has just begun. Prominent guests have included Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is the father of education activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sTory ConTinued on pAge 2 ➤ Welcoming the World V i e w t h i s f e a t u r e o n l i n e a t w i n n i p e g f r e e p r e s s . c o m / p u b l i c a t i o n s GlobalCollege GLOBALCOLLEGE.UWINNIPEG.CA UWinnipeg'sbachelorofartsdegreeprogram—unique inWesternCanada—examineshumanrightsinglobal contexts,asmechanismstoaddressissuesofhuman dignity,socialjustice,andglobalcitizenship.Delivered throughUWinnipeg'sGlobalCollege,theprogramaims toequipstudentsforeducationandadvocacyinhuman rights,andtounderstandwaystorespondtohuman rightsabuses. The Human Rights major includes courses from 20 UWinnipeg departments� ����-year degree includes local or overseas practicum placement� INSPIRE CHANGE Pursueadegreeinhumanrights Learnmoreat: DISCOVER � ACHIEVE � BELONG

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