Friends of CMHR Fall Newsletter

Dear Friends,

It’s been a thrilling few months at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It seems every week I’m hearing about a new milestone that we’ve achieved, and seeing new ways that we’re able to make an impact.

Just recently, we passed 1.3 million visitors since opening our doors in 2014, including over 100,000 students to our educational programs. In September we won a medal at the International Design and Communication Awards for our special exhibition Mandela: Struggle for Freedom –  the 39th award we’ve received for our galleries, programs, communications, architecture and universal design. Just last week, we were one of the destinations that was singled out as Manitoba was named one of Lonely Planet’s top regions to visit in 2019.

And of course, we’ve been given the incredible honour of being featured on the new $10 bill, alongside civil rights trailblazer Viola Desmond. Stay tuned for more details on the official launch of the bill, coming very soon.

Today, I’m so pleased to share with you just a few highlights from the Fall here at the Museum.

If you ever have questions about the Museum, or want to know about new ways you can get involved, my door is always open to you – the donors who make our work here possible.

Warm wishes,

Mena Gainpaulsingh
CEO, Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Peace Walk at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Whenever I hear that a group of students is going to be visiting the Museum, it fills me with hope for our future. So, when over 1000 student streamed through the Museum as part of the 5th annual Elementary School Peace Walk, presented by Rotary World Peace Partners, it was an extra special day.


There were so many students – the march stretched around the block!

They started on the ground floor and walked all the way up to the Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation. It was amazing to watch their eyes light up as they walked through the Museum, many of them for the first time.


That same day, these students gathered and heard from speakers about what makes a good friend. It was a way to talk about human rights, and the importance of respecting each other, in a way that would connect with them. Afterwards, they took some time to write down their thoughts, and when I caught a glimpse of these I just had to share them with you:

A big thanks to the partners who contribute to the Peace Days Festival and all the dedicated individuals who make this wonderful event happen every year.

Getting inspired at Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

Photo Credit: Aaron Cohen (CMHR)

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit our special exhibition Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, you still have time to catch it before it wraps up January 6, 2019.

After learning about the story of Mandela, and all the supporters from Canada and around the world who worked to end apartheid, visitors can fill out a card with their thoughts or a commitment they’re making to help their community – just like Mandela helped his.

A few of these landed on my desk and I wanted you to see them, because they show that all your generosity is having an impact:

Special exhibitions would not be possible without our outstanding sponsors. On behalf of the entire Museum community, thank you to The Asper Foundation and TD Bank Group as our contributing partners for Mandela: Struggle for Freedom. I also want to thank Air Canada for being the Official Airline of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom.

Pilot project brings deaf and hard of hearing students to the Museum from Calgary

I’m very pleased to share with you that last week the Museum collaborated with the Calgary Board of Education on a pilot project that brought a group of deaf and hard of hearing students from Calgary to experience everything the Museum has to offer.

Photo Credit: Aaron Cohen (CMHR)

Our teams had the chance to spend a lot of time with these students and their parents, and it quickly became apparent that the experience we were able to offer them here at the Museum was unique.

You may know that as part of our efforts to make the Museum accessible for everyone, we include closed captioning and ASL interpretation in all our videos and on our mobile app, and we employ a transmitter system that allows visitors who are hard of hearing to hear their guide or facilitator clearly. These are just a few of our accessibility features. Click here if you’d like to read about everything we do to ensure that the Museum experience is accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

Very few places were designed with this level of accessibility – but the Museum was. Because of this, we kept hearing that the experience these students were getting was special, and when combined with our inspirational galleries and programs, only possible here at the Museum.

I’ll have a lot more to share with you about their experience very soon, but for now, I want to let you know that your support is crucial to making these amazing programs happen. Thank you for helping us make such a difference in these students’ lives.

Next up: The Rescue: A Live Film-Concerto

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Museum is proud to partner with the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs to host a free screening of The Rescue: A Life Film-Concertoon November 8 at 7:00 PM. In 1942, José Arturo Castellanos was the Salvadoran ambassador to Switzerland. Seeing the plight of European Jews trying to flee Nazi persecution, he issued more than 13,000 Salvadoran nationality papers to Jews in Hungary, Romania, France, the Netherlands and Germany. Today, his grandsons Alvaro and Boris Castellanos have created a film on their grandfather’s legacy and the power we all have to help those seeking refuge.The Rescue: A Live Film-Concerto is an innovative and engaging way of telling the story of Col. Castellanos and the thousands he saved, combining the film with a live concert performance of its musical soundtrack by a six-piece Latin chamber orchestra.

And don’t forget…

If you would like to mark a special occasion, or let someone know how much they matter to you, consider making a donation in their name to support the work of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. If you’re donating online, just fill out the dedication information and we will send your special someone a tribute card on your behalf that includes a custom message from you. 

If you would prefer to make a donation over the phone or in-person, give us a call at 204-289-2002 or toll free at 1-866-828-9209.