What an amazing year!
On January 1, 2014 the galleries of our newly-finished building at the Forks stood largely empty and staff had yet to move in. A year later, we are a fully operational national museum. It’s been a momentous year.
Even in early 2014, the Museum saw plenty of activity. A “Fragile Freedoms” lecture series welcomed large crowds to hear distinguished speakers as John Borrows, Baroness Helena Kennedy and Steven Pinker.
In March, we held the Juno Awards opening reception.
In summer, Canadians got a televised sneak peek when the Amazing Race Canada aired part of an episode inside the Museum.
August also saw the Museum host an event for the Canadian Tourism Commission’s largest annual travel media conferences, welcoming more than 140 members of the tourism industry and over 110 Canadian and international travel journalists.
On September 19, the moment we’d been awaiting arrived -- the official opening weekend. A beautiful opening ceremony kicked off a weekend of activities, including free preview tours of the Museum, performances at the Forks and the Canadian Concert for Human Rights.
We then began to welcome the world. By the beginning of December, more than 100,000 visitors had passed through our doors. They included inspiring human rights defenders Wanda Robson, the sister of Canadian civil rights trailblazer Viola Desmond and Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala Yousafzai.
An event in November for content contributors brought even more – people like Marina Nemat, who was once imprisoned in Iran; Rebekah Enns, who founded a gay-straight alliance at her school; and Maréshia Rucker, organizer of the first intergrated prom for students of her high school in Georgia, USA.
On December 10, we marked International Human Rights Day by offering extended hours and free admission – and welcomed more than 4,000 visitors. Special events included our Annual Public Meeting, a citizenship ceremony and amazing Indigenous performances. It was a great way to cap off an eventful year.
The year is over, but our journey has just begun. We now await all the exciting milestones to come in 2015, and look forward to sharing them with you.