Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Musée canadien pour les droits de la personne

Logo of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.png
Established 13 March 2008 ; 13 years ago ( 2008-03-13 )
Location The Forks , Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada
Type Human rights museum
Visitors 295,300 (2016/17) [1]
Founder Izzy Asper and The Asper Foundation
President Isha Khan
Owner Government of Canada [2]
Website www .humanrights .ca

Building details

Canadian Museum for Human Rights under Construction 03.JPG

CMHR, October 2012

General information
Groundbreaking December 19, 2008
Construction started 2009
Cost $501 million
Observatory 100 m (328.08 ft)
Technical details
Material alabaster , basalt rock , glass, Tyndall limestone , steel
Floor count 8
Floor area 24,155 m 2 (5.97 acres)
Lifts/elevators 2
Design and construction
Architect Antoine Predock
Awards and prizes 14 national & international awards related to its architecture and construction
Other information
Number of restaurants 1 (ERA Bistro)
Agency overview
Type Crown corporation
Minister responsible
Key document
  • The Museums Act

Canadian Museum For Human Rights


Canadian Museum For Human Rights

">Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Human Rights Museum, Manitoba Canada. Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

French: Musee Canadianpour les droits de la person) is the Canadian Crown corporation's national museum Winnipeg Manitoba. This museum is located near The Forks The museum's goal is to: "explore human rights with special, but not exclusively Canadian, reference", to better understand human rights, foster respect of others, and encourage reflection and dialog. The CMHR was established in 2008 by Bill C-42. This amendment to The Museums Act of Canada made it the first Canadian national museum. It opened its doors on September 19, 2014.

Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights are the charity responsible for soliciting and maintaining all forms of charitable contributions for the Museum.

Canadian Museum For Human Rights


Canadian politician, lawyer Izzy Asper and founder of Canwest Global Communications are credited with the vision and the idea for the CMHR. Asper first proposed the idea on 18 Jul 2000 to build it.

Asper wanted it to be a hub where Canadian students could learn more about human rights. It was also a chance to rejuvenate Winnipeg's downtown and boost tourism. Asper was working for his idea three years. He had museum experts conduct an exhaustive feasibility study.

Asper set up the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as a charitable private organization in 2003. The Friends were responsible for building the CMHR.

On April 17, the 21st anniversary of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms , an event was held at The Forks in Winnipeg where Asper first publicly announced the intent to create the CMHR. The Asper Foundation government of Canada Manitoba of Winnipeg and Jean Chretien contributed the $30 million. Private fundraising soon followed.

The Asper Foundation gave $20 Million.

Izzy Asper was killed suddenly on October 7, 1971, while he went to Vancouver to announce the architectural competition for the CMHR. Vowing to continue to develop the museum, his family and The Asper Foundation continued with the project, now spearheaded by Izzy's daughter, Gail Asper Two weeks later, the symbolic sod-turning ceremony was held at The Forks and the architectural competition announced.

Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights organized an international architectural competition for the design of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The competition was one of Canada's biggest ever juried architectural challenges. 100 submissions from 21 countries worldwide were submitted.


Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Legislation and Construction.

On 20 April 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Government of Canada's intention to make the CMHR into a national museum . On 13 March 2008, Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Museums Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, royal assent Parliament with support from all political parties, creating the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as a national museum.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights November 2011. A government-funded research project on opinion was completed in 2008 by The Antima Group and TNS. Based primarily upon focus group participants, the report listed the following topics the CMHR could cover (not necessarily in that order); important milestones in Canadian human rights accomplishments; current human rights debates; and any events in which Canada has shown a lack of respect for human rights.

Prior to construction, Archeologists, working with Elders, conducted an extensive excavation. More than 400,000 artifacts were found in ancestral lands. Construction was originally expected to finish in 2012. A new interim chair was chosen.

Queen Elizabeth II, having selected Runnymede as her personal stone selection, unveiled the museum's cornerstone in September 2012. Inscribed with a message, it was enclosed in Manitoba Tyndall Stone.

Inauguration took place on April 14, 2014.

Also in 2014, a stretch of road in front of the CMHR was named Israel Asper Way.

Activist groups protested the official opening of the museum on September 20, 2014. They claimed that the museum had not accurately represented or included their human rights history.


Canadian Museum For Human Rights


Canadian Museum for Human Rights, seen from Provencher Boulevard in April 2014 Funding for the capital costs of the CMHR is coming from three jurisdictions of government, the federal Crown provincial Crown , and the City of Winnipeg, as well as private donations. As of February 2011, the total cost of building the exterior and contents of the CMHR was $310million. When the museum opened in September 2014 it cost $351million.

To date, Canada has provided $100 million in funding; Manitoba has donated $40million; Winnipeg has made a donation of $20 million.

The Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, led by Gail Asper , have raised more than $130 million in private donations from across Canada toward a final goal of $150 million.

To cover any shortfalls, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights requests an additional $35,000,000 in federal capital funding. Additional $3.6 Million was received by the CMHR from Winnipeg in April 2011 as a Federal Grant. This money came from taxes and not from any tax revenues.

Canada’s government has provided an operating budget since the CMHR is a museum. According to estimates, $22 million per year is the cost of operating for federal government. In December 2011, the CMHR revealed that because of rising prices for museum interior exhibits, the total construction cost has increased by $41 Million to $351 Million.

The federal and provincial governments reached an agreement in July 2012 to increase capital funding for the CMHR to up to $70million through a mix of a federal loan as well as a provincial guarantee. The new funding was crucial for completion of interior exhibits, so the museum could open officially in 2014. This is two years late than the original schedule.


Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Design and Construction Process

Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights started an international architectural competition in 2003 for the design of the CMHR. 100 entries were received from 21 different countries.

The judging panel chose the design submitted by Antoine Predock and Chris Beccone, architects from Albuquerque, New Mexico His vision for the CMHR was a journey, beginning with a descent into the earth where visitors enter the CMHR through the "roots" of the museum. You will be led through the Great Hall and then you'll see a variety of huge spaces, ramps, and finally, the Tower of Hope. It is a high spire rising from the CMHR.

He once said, "I'm often asked which building is my favorite. My most important building in the world is ….." I'm going on record right now… 'This is it.'" Predock got his inspiration from Canada's open space and natural beauty, as well the First Nations peoples of Canada and the rootedness in human rights activism. The CMHR can be described as follows:

Canadian Museum for Human Rights has a deep roots in humanity. It makes visible the commonality of all humankind through its architecture, a symbol of the apparition of stone, clouds, and ice set in sweetgrass. The abstract wings of a white bird embrace the mythic Tyndall limestone mountain, which is carved into the ground and dissolves into the Winnipeg skyline. This creates a landmark that unites all cultures and nations.

View from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights top floor. Since 2012, the base building has been complete. As a mark of respect for Mother Earth during the construction of the CMHR's foundation, Medicine Bags made by Elders at Thunderbird House were inserted in the caissons and piles that had been created. The CMHR website had two webcams available for the public to watch the construction as it progressed.

More than 3500m2 of alabaster was used to construct the Hall of Hope. 15.000 alabaster tiles were also used. This project is the largest ever made with alabaster.

Queen of Canada


Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Exhibit Design

New York's Ralph Appelbaum Association (RAA), was the exhibit designer for the museum's inaugural exhibits. RAA suggested that galleries within the CMHR will focus on various subjects, such as the Canadian human right journey, Indigenous human rights concepts, Holocaust and current human rights concerns. RAA collaborated with RAA's researchers to design the initial exhibits.

Yude Hateleff, a Canadian lawyer and leader in human rights, was appointed the chair of the museum's advisory content committee. It is composed of experts on all aspects related to museums. The committee was key to the museum’s first big-scale public participation exercise.

CMHR researchers conducted a national tour in May 2009 and February 2010. The "Help Write the Canadian Museum for Human Rights" project involved visiting 19 cities to talk to people about human rights and their hopes for the future. Lord Cultural Resources, which is based in Toronto, managed the consultation. A story by CBC TV Manitoba (Manitoba), on 5 March 2013, mentioned a document called "Gallery Profiles", dated 12 September 2012. This document confirmed certain of the CMHR’s suggested contents. Canadian content occupies the museum’s largest gallery, but all of its galleries adopt a thematic approach.


Canadian Museum For Human Rights


The CMHR along with various government agencies and educational institutions have made several agreements that will improve both the quality and depth in the museum's information, as also to extend the museum's educational options. It is possible to see a growing list of partners that the museum has had:

University of Winnipeg

Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies

Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada (Netherlands Embassy)

Library and Archives Canada

Manitoba Museum

Manitoba Education (the Province of Manitoba).


.Canadian Museum For Human Rights

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