Today sees the grand opening of Canada’s newest museum, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. With a mandate to educate visitors on human rights, promote respect for others, and encourage a dialogue around human rights, this eagerly awaited museum has been talked about for over a decade, and was declared a National Museum by Parliament in 2008 (this is the first National Museum to be created since 1967).
The building is a stunning piece of architecture designed by Albuquerque based architect Antoine Predock, who says he drew inspiration from the natural spaces in Canada, the trees, the grasses, the Northern lights. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is located in the Forks area of the city, and it is hoped that this new museum will bring both a boost to tourism in Winnipeg, and to the cityscape.
In the years leading up to the launch, the museum has been surrounded by controversy. The process for deciding which human rights issues would be showcased has faced heavy criticism and left several groups upset, which is not surprising as human rights are a controversial subject and what one group may consider an important issue is different to another. However, the museum is finished and looks to be a superb addition to the city.
Inside visitors will find galleries concentrating on certain areas of human rights and how they play a part in our lives. For example, there’s a gallery examining the Holocaust, one on Indigenous Rights in Canada, and others that give basic introductions to the concepts around human rights. The exhibits are designed to make us think, and push our understanding of how we treat one another – making the Canadian Museum of Human Rights a very unique addition to the museum landscape in this country.
The grand opening happens on Friday September 19th, and on the 20th there is an open-air concert at the Forks in front of the museum to celebrate this. The concert should be amazing, and features Canadian Folk legends Bruce Cockburn and Buffy Saint Marie, electronic pioneers A Tribe Called Red, hip-hop artist Shad, fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, and other inspiring Canadian artists. Admission is free, so grab a blanket and find a place to sit from 6.30pm to enjoy the show.
Roseman’s Queen Street location is less than 15 minutes away from the museum and other popular downtown attractions.