E-newsletter: April 2015

Dear Friends,

We have lots of news to share with you this month. Check out the stories below to see what’s going on at Friends and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

Click on the following headlines for news:

From Opening to Operating – Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Event

Gail-at-WCC-luncheon-2-153x310On Monday, April 27, seven years after her last speech to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D., National Campaign Chair of Friends of the CMHR, again had the opportunity to speak at a Chamber event, this time from a different viewpoint – inside the CMHR.

Asper spoke to the journey of the CMHR from idea to opening and encouraged Chamber members to be ambassadors for both the Museum and Winnipeg. She then joined Gail Stephens, interim President & Chief Executive Officer, CMHR and Jacques Lavergne, Director, Revenue and Visitor Services, CMHR for a panel discussion moderated by CJOB’s Richard Cloutier about operating this newly opened national centre.

“It is phenomenal to be able to sit inside this beautiful building and talk about operations and the impact this Museum has already had in the seven months it’s been open,” says Asper. “It is a dream come true to know that thousands and thousands of visitors have already been inspired by this place and are sharing this with us through any means possible.”

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New national museum an inspiration that must be seen

cmhr-summer-Visitors to the CMHR are overwhelmingly satisfied with their experience, with 94 per cent rating themselves as “very satisfied” or “satisfied” in a visitor survey conducted for the CMHR. Four in five visitors rated the Museum an inspiration, while over nine in 10 visitors felt the CMHR should be seen by as many people as possible.

“This survey demonstrates that the Museum is connecting our visitors with human rights in meaningful ways,” said interim President and CEO Gail Stephens. “The Museum will build on this early success, continuing to engage our visitors in human rights stories, programming and exhibition content.”

Nearly 500 people participated in the survey, which was conducted by Quorus Consulting Group over nine days during the winter of 2014-15.

From September 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, the CMHR welcomed 212,000 visitors through ticketed admission, booked events and customized programs, memberships, public programming, and visits to the Boutique and ERA Bistro. This figure includes the 45,000 people who visited during the busy month of September, including opening ceremonies, public preview tours, and third-party facility rentals. In just seven months, the CMHR came close to reaching the annual visitation target of 250,000.

Read the full announcement

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CMHR launches innovative mobile app

appcover-Eng-310x194Visitors to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights can now download a free mobile app that offers a fully accessible self-guided tour, interactive map, mood meter, online ticketing, and more.

The app’s accessibility features are unparalleled by any museum in the world. Information is available in English and French, American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ). For visitors who are blind or have low vision, the app relays exhibit information to the text reader on their devices.

“We wanted to create a truly inclusive experience, where visitors of all abilities could easily experience everything the Museum offers,” said Scott Gillam, CMHR Manager of Digital Platforms.

The self-guided tour also features the voices of CMHR experts who worked on the galleries and programs they describe.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights App can be downloaded to iOS or Android devices for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Read the full announcement

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Museum expands summer hours

The CMHR is gearing up for Manitoba’s busiest tourism season with extended summer hours. Throughout July and August, and including Labour Day, the Museum will be open seven days a week instead of closing on Mondays. Doors will open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. every day except Wednesdays, when visitors are welcome into the evening. Starting May 6, Wednesday evening hours will be extended to 9 p.m.

Free evenings, which are currently offered on the first Wednesday of each month, will be suspended during July, August and September, and resume on Wednesday, October 14.

The Museum will not be open during the evening on Wednesday, April 29; Wednesday, May 27; or Wednesday, October 7 in order to accommodate pre-booked private events. The Museum will close at 5 p.m. on those dates.

Read the full announcement

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U of M honours B.O.S.S. boss

Wayne Davies, co-founder of the Building on Students Success (B.O.S.S.) Guitar Works Program that raised $101,000 for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, will be honoured with a University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Award in May.

The award recognizes his outstanding community service. Davies launched B.O.S.S. in 2010 while he was principal at École Selkirk Junior High. The program taught students how to build and customize fully playable electric guitars. The resulting works of art were autographed by some of the biggest names in music, movies, sports and politics, and then auctioned off for causes chosen by the students.

Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D., National Campaign Chair of Friends of the CMHR, says she’s “ecstatic Wayne is receiving this well-deserved recognition. He magnificently exemplifies the power educators have to inspire youth, give them a voice, and create opportunities for the next generation of leaders to make a difference in the world around them. Congratulations, Wayne!”

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U of M honours professional achievement

Nick Logan, past president and CEO of National Leasing, will be honoured with a University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Award in May.

The award recognizes his professional achievement. Logan helped build a corporate culture at National Leasing’s Winnipeg headquarters that is steeped in the values of mentorship, teamwork and respect. His ability to bring out the best in people extends beyond the workplace and into the community where he has worked with a variety of Winnipeg organizations, including Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

“Nick came on board as an early volunteer with friends and was an invaluable asset,” says Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D., National Campaign Chair of Friends of the CMHR. “His passion for our project and for human rights was evident from his personal support, and his work on our behalf. He certainly deserves to be recognized for both his professional and personal achievements!”

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On the CMHR blog

Yom ha-Shoah

“Legislation usually makes for dull reading. But on rare occasions, our laws read like poetry. Such is the case with Canada’s 2003 Holocaust Memorial Day Act, which creates an annual day of reflection on the Holocaust…” Continue reading…

Who has the right to play?

“How does a plastic grocery bag connect to human rights? One of the activities we offer for families during spring break involves learning to make a soccer ball from plastic bags, newspaper and string. It’s one of my favourits…” Continue reading…

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If you would like further information on donating, please contact the Regional Campaign Manager for your area.

Carolyn Basha

Kelly McArthur

Alice Ogston

Lynda Henriksen