Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

September 19, 2014 11:30 ET

Canadian Museum for Human Rights Officially Opens

Minister Glover marks the historic opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Sept. 19, 2014) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, took part today in the official opening ceremonies for the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg. The new museum is the first in Canada solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and promotion of human rights.

The CMHR will encourage reflection and dialogue on the exceptional role Canada continues to play in promoting human rights at home and around the globe, and deepen the public's understanding of the struggle often required to secure those rights in a turbulent world.

The CMHR was created through the joint support of the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, private partners and thousands of donors from across Canada. The Government of Canada's commitment to this project demonstrates its commitment to promoting the shared values of all Canadians and strengthening our economy.

Quick Facts

  • The CMHR marks the first time a province and a municipality have partnered with the Government of Canada and private-sector donors to create a national cultural institution.
  • The new museum is the first national museum ever built outside of the National Capital Region.
  • The CMHR offers a unique online experience, "Share Your Story," where the public can submit audio, video, photos or written stories to the museum about their experiences with human rights.
  • Regular operations and public access to all museum galleries begin September 27, 2014.

Quotes

"As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we should never forget that freedom, dignity and opportunity are both our own inheritance and the legacy we leave for future generations. It is my sincere hope that this Museum becomes a way to share that legacy with the world."

-The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Associated Links

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

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BACKGROUNDER

Canada is committed to promoting human rights both at home and abroad. To this end, on September 19, 2014, the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) officially opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The museum is the first in Canada solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and promotion of human rights.

The project, which was launched in 2003 by the late Dr. Israel Asper and The Asper Foundation, evolved into an agreement with public- and private sector partners to share the cost of building the museum.

On April 20, 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of the CMHR as a national museum. The groundbreaking for the museum took place in December 2008, and construction of the building began on April 22, 2009. The construction of the CMHR was made possible by a unique funding partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, the Forks Renewal Corporation and the private sector.

Support provided by the Government of Canada's funding commitment to date includes $100 million for the construction of the CMHR and $21.7 million annually toward its operating budget until 2015-2016.

The CMHR is an "ideas" museum that will feature multi-sensory exhibits using a variety of cutting-edge, accessible technologies so that visitors of all ages and abilities, on site and online, will have the opportunity to explore and engage in human rights.

Mission Statement

Established by Parliament through amendments to the Museums Act on March 13, 2008, which came into force on August 10, 2008, the CMHR is envisioned as a national and international destination-a centre of learning where Canadians and people from around the world can engage in discussion and commit to taking action against hate and oppression.

As with all of Canada's national museums, the CMHR will play an essential role in:

  • Preserving and promoting our heritage at home and abroad;
  • Contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians; and
  • Inspiring research, learning, and entertainment that belong in keeping with the Canadian spirit.

The CMHR is part of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The purpose of the CMHR, as set out in the new legislation, is as follows:

The purpose of the CMHR is to explore the subject of human rights, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public's understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue (Museums Act).

Consultations and structure

The museum solicited broad public input and consulted a variety of academic and expert sources to develop its exhibitions and programming. The museum continues to gather input on its programming and content through various means, such as its online "Share Your Story" tool and small-scale public engagement sessions throughout Canada.

The museum has adopted advisory structures to guide its planning, development and content, such as the Human Rights Advisory Council, the Youth Advisory Council and the Inclusive Design Advisory Council.

Contact Information

  • Marisa Monnin
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    819-997-7788

    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca