New experiences, hours, tours and celebrations this spring/summer at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights  - The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in the summer (photo by Alex Beyderman)

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in the summer (photo by Alex Beyderman)

By: Only in the PegMay 12, 2017 // Attractions, Family Fun, Festivals & Events, LGBT, Tours

Canada’s most awe-inspiring museum is gearing up for some exciting events and captivating exhibits that you will not want to miss this spring/summer. 

For starters, from May 27-28, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) will be taking part in Doors Open Winnipeg – the city-wide event where Winnipeg’s best buildings and storied facades open up their doors to provide free, insightful tours.

As part of this, the CMHR has created a special 45-minute Behind-the-Scenes tour that will take place every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with tours en français at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This brand new fascinating tour will unveil things about the building that even veteran visitors do not know about, such as hidden spaces and new perspectives on the building’s design.  

While this 45-minute tour will surely be insightful, we would also urge you to take a full tour (all tours listed here) when you visit the city, along with granting yourself some hours to explore the galleries at your leisure. 

The Museum's famed alabaster walkways (Canadian Museum for Human Rights)

The architecture, as is plainly evident from the outside, is staggering. The higher you ascend through the exhibits, the more light enters, enveloping you in a literal interpretation of “darkness to light.” Throughout, you’d be hard pressed to find a single square angle, while the now-famed alabaster walkways will leave you spellbound by their seemingly Labyrinth like routes.   

Weighty exhibits are located throughout, many of which will leave you staggered and in need of quiet contemplation (of which the aptly named Garden of Contemplation provides an ideal reprieve), but they also flow through exhibits that feature uplifting stories, characters and projections of an end goal of universal human rights.

On that note, the CMHR will also be a big participant in one of the most colourful weeks in Winnipeg, Pride. Pride Winnipeg takes place from May 26-June 3 and as part of it, the CMHR is presenting Pride at the Museum, a special 60-minute tour that will focus on exhibits throughout the Museum that illuminate sexual orientation and gender identities in Canada. The cost for the tour is $5 (on top of regular admission), and tours will run at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (en français) and 2 p.m. on June 3 and June 4.  

A part of Canada’s 150th, the country’s celebration of Confederation, the CMHR is presenting a new exhibit called Points of View: A National Human Rights Photography Exhibition

The CMHR creates a fantastic visitor experience for the whole family (Travel Manitoba)

This photo exhibit features human rights based images that have been selected by jury and crowdsourced from people within Canada. Together, these photos present a uniquely Canadian version of human rights and are meant for a global audience. There are four primary themes to the photos, and while you are visiting the exhibit you can also vote for a People’s Choice Award, which will be presented to the winning photographer in January 2018. Points of View opens in June. 

There will also be special programming on Canada Day (July 1) as part of the nationwide celebrations. This includes a performance at the Museum’s outdoor amphitheatre by the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, along with $5 admissions all day and extended hours until 7 p.m.

The CMHR also excels at student programming and creating an environment that is friendly for families. You can experience the best of this firsthand on Family Day, which takes place every Sunday. 

On top of exhibits tailored for children, extra activities for kids include a scavenger hunt through the galleries (available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., inquire at main coat check), and an interactive activity that relates the UN Convention that every child has a right to relax and  play. In this, your child will learn how to make a soccer ball out of recycled materials (2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Rights Gallery). 

Visitors on a Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour (Mike Green/Tourism Winnipeg)

New hours and more free tours

Beginning on May 22, and running until after Labour Day, the CMHR will now be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to at 5 p.m. every day except Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, the CMHR is extending hours until 9 p.m., while offering free admission on the first Wednesday of each month from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. On all other Wednesday evenings, admission is offered at the reduced rate of $5.

As well, for the Canada Summer Games (July 28 to August 13), the Museum is expanding the hours until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, with a special performance from Indigenous musicians on July 29.  

On that note, for National Indigenous Day on June 21 there will be free Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tours — a personal favourite of ours here at TW, especially when you get to see and learn how Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota teachings have been incorporated in the architectural features of the Museum through representations of the eagle, wolf, bear, bison, turtle, beaver, and the mythical Sabe. 

To celebrate the Asian Heritage Month of May, the Museum will be hosting a free afternoon on May 28 that will feature films, cultural performances and discussions.