Activities and events

The Museum offers interactive in-gallery activities, public programs and special events to engage visitors with the human rights concepts that underpin Sight Unseen. Many are listed below. Please check back regularly on this page or our online calendar to see what’s new!


In-gallery and online activities

Creative touch

Make a picture you can “see” with your fingertips! We use all our senses to explore the world around us and express ourselves. Sight is one of our senses, but so are sound, smell and touch. Some artists featured in Sight Unseen strive to make their images accessible to people with vision loss by using braille and tactile drawings.

At this station, you create a raised-ink drawing that you can take home as a souvenir. Use special paper and pens to draw the image. Then, Museum staff will heat your masterpiece in a machine to create the tactile effect.


The #VoiceOverPhoto project

Can you take a photo without using your eyes? Several artists featured in Sight Unseen use high-tech solutions to help express their creativity. Challenge yourself by using an iOS accessibility tool called VoiceOver, designed for people with vision loss.

You’ll find a station in the gallery to test your hidden skills. Put on the headphones, pick up the iPod and use the VoiceOver feature to take a photo of a “still life” you arrange from various objects at the station. Share your photo on Instagram.

Now comes the hard part. Turn the display screen off and try it again, relying only on the audio cues from the VoiceOver tool!

You can also participate in this activity online from anywhere. You’ll find detailed instructions about how to take the challenge on Tumblr.


Shared perspectives

Add your photographic creations to our mosaic wall by experimenting with camera techniques that are not based on sight. To participate, simply share your photos on Instagram or Tumblr using #VoiceOverPhoto or #SightUnseen. You can share from the interactive station located in gallery, or by using your own smart phone from anywhere! Instructions can be found on Tumblr at inspiredatCMHR.tumblr.com. Check out the FAQs to see how it works. We’d also love to read your thoughts and observations about what you learned from this activity and from Sight Unseen.


Public programs and events

Programs have been designed to help visitors connect with concepts of inclusion, disability rights and “seeing” without sight. Activities also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Photography scavenger hunt

Take a look at the Museum through a different lens! In this activity, you’ll be provided with a list of photo assignments focused on creative expression. For example, how would you express light or darkness? How can photographs convey thoughts and messages about human rights?

Pick up your list anytime during opening hours from the Ticket and Information desk, or inside the Sight Unseen exhibition.


Guest lectures: shooting blind

March 16, April 13, May 18, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation

Join us for these special discussions with blind photographers. The lectures are included with the cost of Museum general admission.

  • March 16 – Tara Miller, a blind commercial photographer from Winnipeg, shares her experiences and insights.
  • April 13 – Pete Eckert, a blind artist from California whose photography is featured in Sight Unseen, joins us to talk about his “light painting” technique and how he conveys what he “sees” to the sighted world.
  • May 18 – Bruce Hall, a photographer with vision loss from California, joins us to talk about art and disability. Hall, whose work is featured in Sight Unseen, has twin sons with autism who are the subjects of a special photo project.


Painting with light

March 30, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bonnie & John Buhler Hall

Use flashlights to create an amazing light-painted photograph with a message for social change. Several of the artists featured in Sight Unseen use light painting as part of their photographic techniques. Program leaders will take you through this interesting creative activity. Free.


Meet-ups for photography buffs

April 13, June 8, September 14, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Photography enthusiasts are invited to join us for guided photo opportunities inside and outside the Museum. Free with general admission.


Stories with sign language

May 14, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bonnie & John Buhler Hall

Join us for a day of storytelling with a difference! Held in conjunction with the International Storytelling Festival, this special program features American Sign Language (ASL) storytellers presenting alongside sign-language interpreters. The program challenges us to re-consider stereotypes about communication and sensory perception. Free.