Canadian Museum for Human Rights showcases concept at CentrePlace Manitoba

Kim Jasper, Director of Marketing of Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights launched its Champion Human Rights! Campaign during the media opening of the CentrePlace Manitoba pavilion at LiveCity Vancouver Downtown.

The campaign, aiming to promote respect and human rights action, asks visitors of the CentrePlace Manitorba pavilion to complete the “Everyone has the right to…” protest sign and have a picture taken with their sign and then future museum in the background. Currently all photographs taken are displayed on a screen in the pavilion but some of them will be shown again when the museum will open in 2012 in Winnipeg.

Although there is no connection between the presentation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a museum of ideas and the first of its kind in Canada located outside a capital city, and the Olympic Games or the Olympic Truce, Kim Jasper, Director of Marketing of Canadian Museum for Human Rights, said that they wanted to use the visibility created by the Olympic Games to direct attention to their project and help thus raise funds as well.

According to Jasper the Museum’s mission 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”. Once opened the museum will use a mixture of visual arts, music, dance, theatre, digital technologies, multimedia and the Internet in order to engage with its visitors, encourage engagement and facilitate dialogue abou both Canadian and international human rights issues, challenges and triumphs.

The museum is the idea of  Dr. Israel Asper, founder of CanWest Global Communications Corp. and President and Founder of The Asper Foundation – a Winnipeg-based private charitable foundation that undertakes and develops major initiatives in the areas of culture, education, community development and human rights locally, nationally and internationally. Itslocation in Winnipeg, Manitoba is not unexpected, Manitoba being known in Canada for its reach human rights history from the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, French language rights, Métis rights through Louis Riel, to women’s rights through suffragette Nellie McClung.

The museum is a member of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. It was established in March 2008 though Parliament amendments to the Canadian Museum Act which came into force in August that same year.