June 2017 newsletter

Dear Friends



Everyday Objects

Maude Couturier has held a plastic bag in her hand more times than she can count, and has
never thought anything of it.

The 14-year-old from Fredericton, New Brunswick recently visited the Museum as part of The Asper Foundation Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program and said it wasn’t the genocides or large-scale atrocities she was most surprised to learn about.

“It was the little things that were shocking to me,” she said. “It was shocking that something as simple as a plastic bag, that we waste every day, can be so crucial for hygiene.”

Plastic bags are one of the items featured in the Museum’s Rights Today Gallery in an exhibit called Everyday Objects. The exhibit features stories of how objects we use every day are connected to human rights in positive and negative ways.

Maude learned there are many communities worldwide that lack adequate toilets, even though the right to sanitation is a basic human right. People often resort to using plastic bags as “flying toilets” – throwing them away after using them to deposit waste.

“These realities are still realities today, not a hundred years ago,” said Maude.  “And kids our age are still living in horrible conditions.”

Still, bags are considered safer than communal toilets or open fields where women, especially, risk sexual assault.

Maude said it’s important for those stories to be highlighted in a place like the Museum so people can learn what is happening, and what people are living through, to find a way to help.

“To me, the museum is really special,” she said. “Because you go from a really dark place and you go up to the tower and it’s more of a hopeful view of the world. We can help change bad things.”

Maude noted that there have been more and more refugees joining her school, and that most people really don’t know what they’ve been through. But if more people could learn about the stories shared at the Museum it could help to start a positive conversation.

“Knowing that some of them have seen terrible things gives us insight on how we can help them live the best lives that they can. It’s important that we make them feel like they can talk about their experience,” she said.

She plans to return to the Museum in the future, and will encourage friends and family to do the same.

“I’m glad that we have it here in Canada. It’s not just about learning it’s also about putting that knowledge to use,” she said.

Your donation will help students, like Maude, learn the incredible stories featured at the Museum and put their knowledge to use. Donate today to inspire the next generation of human rights champions


Message from the CEO

Dear Friends,

Summer breathes a new life into the Museum. It’s open seven days a week and welcomesvisitors from across Canada, the United States and around the world.

Our Canada, My Story and Points of View are two exhibitions developed by the Museum specifically to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. One tells the personal stories of seven Canadians who have overcome barriers in human rights, and the other showcases diversity and inclusion; the environment; reconciliation; and freedom of expression through crowd-sourced photos.

You can take pride in knowing that your generous support has helped to lay the foundation for exhibitions like these, and will help the Museum to create more engaging exhibitions and programs in the future.

You can continue to help change the world. This year we’ve launched our Changemakers Circle, and I invite you to join this group of highly-motivated individuals who, through annual giving, help to sustain the Museum’s role as a national and international human rights leader. For more information, please contact change@friendsofcmhr.com

Whether you are a donor or a prospective donor, we are also seeking sponsorship for a number of world-class exhibitions and education programs. For a list of current sponsorship opportunities please contact me at dboyle@friendsofcmhr.com

I look forward to hearing from you, and know that together we can help to build a better tomorrow.

Diane Boyle
CEO, Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Long-time support for Drive FORE the Stars event
A round of golf is a great way to relax and have fun – but for Tony Teixeira, vice-president of JC Paving Ltd., it’s also a great way to support and promote human rights.
“It’s important,” he said. “The Museum is seen as a beacon of hope for human rights across the world and Canada is a society that supports all cultures and religions. It’s important for us to support that.”
JC Paving Ltd. has supported the annual Drive FORE the Stars golf tournament for the past five years by donating a prize or being a hole sponsor, and by registering a team.
“I really admire the people that give their time and put effort into the event, like Markus (Chambers), in the name of human rights,” he said.
Gus Koutolas and Alpha Masonry have supported the event every year since the first Drive FORE the Stars in 2008.
“It’s a great event, people have fun,” he said.
Koutolas visits Greece every year, which sometimes falls on the day of the event. But even when he’s out of town the support remains.
“Every year my foremen are asking me ‘are you going to be here?’ because they’re excited to go in my place,” he said.
EARLY BIRD Registration for the 10th annual Drive FORE The Stars golf tournament closes on July 14, 2017. Get your spot now by emailing DFTS Chair Markus Chambers at 204.791.1950 or driveforethestars@mymts.net
When: Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Where: Larter’s at St. Andrew’s Golf and Country Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Interested in sponsoring the event? Email Kathy at info@friendsofcmhr.com for a sponsorship and registration package.

back to top


Celebrating Gandhi - Thank You!!
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this wonderful event in support of the Gandhi statue by the entrance of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights at the Forks.
We are happy to have raised more than $20,000 towards repairing and maintaining the statue - in large part thanks to the hard work of the event committee, led by Romel Dhalla.

(From left to right: Romel Dhalla, Tangit Nagra, Hasmita Trivedi, Anupam Sharma, Diane Boyle, Neera Shah, Sachit Mehra,Ajay Chopra. Not pictured: Markus Chambers)
We are grateful to Vikas Swarup India's High Commissioner to Canada as an Honorary Patron to the Celebrating Gandhi! event. The writer and diplomat is best known for his work Q&A, adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire.
Thank you to our incredible co-presenting sponsors: East India Company Restaurants and Ventura Custom Homes
Our generous supporting sponsors the Royal Bank of Canada and the Kothari Group.
Our partner sponsors: Amarjeet Warraich, Mr. Darshan Kaila, Tetrault Wealth Advisory GroupThe University of Manitoba Students' Union, the India Association of Manitoba, Amit Kapoor - Owner of McDonald's 994 Keewatin St. and 1301 McPhillips St., Amenity Health CareAuto List of Canada, the Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Canada, the Gujarati Cultural Society of Manitoba, the Indo Canadian Telegram and Winnipeg Nephrologists Dr. Paul Komenda, Dr. Navdeep Tangri, and Dr. Jay Hingwala
A special thank you to Achal Khanna of Indians in Winnipeg.
And thank you to our major donors Prakash Chand and Tessa Dhalla.

back to top


In Remembrance: Dr. Joseph Du

Dr. Joseph Du, a long-time and passionate supporter of the Museum, died on March 19, 2017. His commitment to family, community and helping others left a tremendous mark on Winnipeg and the Northern Manitoban communities he frequented through his work as a pediatrician.

One of the acts he will be remembered for is commissioning a statue, created by Professor Wang Guanyi of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, honouring the Chinese railroad workers, which will be housed permanently at the Museum.

Dr. Du was one of the key representatives of the Chinese Canadian community consulted by the Museum during the content planning stages. At the time he said he looked forward to sharing the community’s knowledge, experiences, and perspectives for the benefit of all future visitors.

He truly believed in the Museum, and worked with Friends to gather support from the Chinese Canadian Community, resulting in a generous financial contribution to support the Breaking the Silence gallery.

back to top

News and stories from CMHR
Are you interested in receiving monthly updates about upcoming exhibitions and events at the Museum – delivered straight to your inbox?
Sign up for the member’s newsletter by contacting membership@humanrights.ca

back to top

Look who's visiting:
We were happy to have two members from the Thomas Sill Foundation Board of Directors visit the Museum in May. The Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the Museum, making their first gift in 2006.
From left to right: Foundation director Robert Martens; Museum tour guide Julie White; Foundation director David Anderson
The Museum recently had a visit from The Honourable Ron Ghitter and his daughter Cori Ghitter. They toured with CMHR President and CEO Dr. John Young and were amazed by the stories told and the way they are presented.
The Honourable Ronald D. Ghitter is a Canadian lawyer and former Senator. He was appointed to the Senate in 1993 representing the senatorial division of Alberta. From 1996 to 1999, he was the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee of Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.
Corinne Ghitter (Cori) is the Director of Professionalism and Access at the Law Society of Alberta.
We were happy to welcome Dr. Eric Bohm and his guests on a tour at the end of May – it’s always wonderful to be able to share the Museum’s stories with visitors from around the world.
From left to right: Dr. Thomas Turgeon, Orthopaedic Surgeon, University of Manitoba, Dr. Jerome Murgier, Orthopaedic Surgeon from France, Dr. Eric Thein, Orthopaedic Surgeon from Switzerland and Dr. Eric Bohm, Orthopaedic Surgeon University of Manitoba.

back to top