E-newsletter: January 2015


Dear Friends,

Thanks to your donations and support, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has welcomed more than 130,000 visitors who experienced the impact of the stories shared in the galleries. We have many exciting stories to share, so read on!

click on the following headlines for news:

We are now on Instagram! Check us out at @cmhrfriends.


CMHR extends hours on Wednesday evenings, plus free entry once a month

The CMHR will now be open every Wednesday evening until 8 p.m. Additionally, admission will be free on the first Wednesday evening of each month between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Our goal is to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to visit Canada’s new national museum and experience a journey of inspiration in an amazing architectural setting,” said Gail Stephens, CMHR interim president and CEO. “Just as we are committed to inclusive design in serving persons of all abilities and ages, we also strive to minimize other barriers to access based on income, lifestyle or working hours.”

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Busy holiday season at CMHR

People didn’t have to leave Winnipeg during the 2014 holiday season to go on an unforgettable journey. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights bustled as thousands visited in December and January, taking in a memorable and meaningful experience. Holiday public programming included family-friendly activities such as “Music for change” which invited participants to compose their own song for change in the Inspiring Change Gallery, and “Make your own spirit panel” – a hands-on exercise in the Indigenous Perspectives Gallery that let participants create their own spirit panel on rights and responsibilities.

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The Museum now offers a new tour – Mikinak-Keya (The Spirit Tour).

This cultural experience, created through a unique partnership with a group of seven Elders representing the Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota nations, explores rights and responsibilities from a First Nations perspective. Visitors spend approximately 90 minutes with the Museum’s Indigenous program interpreters, exploring how the symbolism in the buildings architecture profoundly relates to the Seven Sacred Laws and the Teachings of Grandmother Turtle.

On this tour, program interpreters make several stops throughout the Museum, however this program does not tour the galleries. Instead, the program explores the relationship between First Nations concepts of rights and responsibilities and elements of the Museum’s architecture and design.

Tours are offered:

Thursdays            4:30 pm (English)               4:45 pm (French)

Saturdays             9:30 am (English)               9:45 am (French)

Sundays                 9:30 am (English)               9:45 am (French)

The cost is $39 per person. Entry into the Museum is not included. Please email education@humanrights.ca to register. Advance tickets may also be purchased at the Ticketing and Information Desk.

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The Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Winnipeg hosted a fundraising event for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights on January 13 at Canad Inns Polo Park. This traditional Ukrainian New Year’s Eve Malanka honoured Dr. Andrea Babick and Dr. Lindy Ledohowski and featured lively performances from the O. Koshetz Choir, Orlan Ukrainian Folk Ensemble and The Todaschuk Sisters.

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Donor Profile: David Spence and Donna Otto

David Spence and Donna Otto of Port Moody, British Columbia, believe human rights, and responsibilities, are essential parts of the core of human dignity. This belief inspired them to support the CMHR through their family’s charitable foundation and make the trip to Winnipeg for the Museum’s inauguration in September 2014.

During their tour through the Museum, they were particularly struck by the architectural design of the building itself, its location at the Forks where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet, and The Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation. “The space represents the balance needed and the meditative ambience quietly and peacefully nurtures the human soul and the community spirit,” said Donna.

david-spence-and-donna-otto-310x233“We truly believe in the vision of the Museum,” said Donna. “And we believe it is an excellent educational institution both nationally and globally.” Donna and David’s hope is that the educational programs and interactive learning elements will progress and move each generation onward to understanding and respecting the rights of all people.

“Our human rights and responsibilities lie in the soul of being philanthropists. Our being lovers of humanity and being able to be generous to give forward in order to better life on earth.”

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CMHR-2015-Calendar-Cover-Web-310x240Boutique gift with purchase – 2015 CMHR calendar

Now that 2015 is in full swing, The CMHR boutique is offering the beautiful 2015 CMHR calendar as a gift with any purchase of $10 or more while quantities last. Make sure to come visit the boutique, check out its unique offerings and grab one of these calendars before they’re gone!

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gail_lord.jpg.size_.xxlarge.letterboxfinal-248x310Gail Dexter Lord appointed an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters

In December, the Government of France appointed Gail Dexter Lord as an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters for her major contributions to the arts in both Canada and France. The occasion was celebrated with a reception in December in Lord’s honour, hosted by the Alliance Française Toronto at its cultural centre.

Lord has been involved with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights since the early days and worked with the Museum to create the Content Advisory Committee and gather human rights stories from across the country.

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CMHR Event: Covering or uncovering the truth? Media reporting on the Holodomor


Holodomor-Event-Poster-1-240x310A free public event at the CMHR featuring a panel discussion on the role of the media in covering and uncovering the truth about the 1930s Holodomor famine-genocide in Ukraine will be held on February 4 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The event will also feature the first Canadian showing of a travelling exhibit from the national Holodomor memorial museum in Ukraine, courtesy of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Manitoba Provincial Council.

Guest speakers will be Jaroslaw Balan of the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Jeremy Maron, lead CMHR researcher-curator for the Museum’s “Breaking the Silence” gallery.

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Festival du Voyageur Torch Walk

The torch light walk that kicks off this year’s Festival will begin at the CMHR on February 13 at 6 p.m. Join the crowd as they walk from the CMHR to Voyageur Park for a unique stroll, lit by hundreds of candles and torch lights. The first 100 participants will receive a free day pass to Voyageur Park. The walk will start in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, inside the Museum’s main entrance. Participants can arrive any time after 5 p.m.

The collaboration between the CMHR and the Festival doesn’t stop there! CMHR members receive a 10% discount on 10-day passes to the Festival. To receive the discount, CMHR membership cards must be produced in person when purchasing Festival passes.

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Happenings during Annual Maintenance Week

cane-stops-310x310January 5 to 12 was CMHR’s Annual Maintenance Week, allowing workers at the Museum to make adjustments to exhibits and add a few new items that make the Museum more accessible for all visitors.

Cane Stops were installed throughout the Museum. These raised white strips on the floor indicate that a Braille plaque is nearby, leading to more information about the exhibits.

120 Universal Access Points were installed in the galleries. These little aluminum plaques communicate with mobile devices through the Museum’s app to make our exhibit content more accessible

circle-of-inclusion-310x310Workers adjusted the globe in the “Refugee Experience in Canada” alcove. Visitors access the human rights stories in this exhibit by turning the globe.
The floor surface for the “Lights of Inclusion” interactive game became even smoother. The technology used in this game includes a combination of infrared cameras, projectors, and custom built motion tracking software.

Last, but not least, the pools in the Garden of Contemplation were cleaned.

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Visitor feedback

To see some of the great pictures and comments shared by visitors on social media, please click here.


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